Do Canadians care more about American politics than what's going on at home?
As is custom, a group of Americans have threatened to move to Canada if their favourite candidate doesn't win. But it appears a lot of Canadians have some sort of secret desire to get American citizenship and take part in all the excitement down south.
Over the past few weeks, HuffPost Canada's editors have noticed a significant disparity between reader interest in stories about Canadian politics and those on the U.S. election. The statistics are likely similar for other websites and TV news, which would help explain why the U.S. election gets so much coverage here.
While the outcome of the American vote is bound to have plenty of consequences for Canada, it's difficult to imagine how they could be more important, at least in the short term, than the changes proposed in the latest omnibus budget bill, or whether the Tory government will approve foreign investments in Progress Energy and Nexen, or what the ruling will be in the robocalls court challenge, or whether Justin Trudeau will really become leader of the Liberal Party.
So why do Canadians seem to be so much more interested in U.S. politics at a time when so much is happening on Parliament Hill?Are Canadians more interested in U.S. politics? Story continues below
There's always the issue of scale. Estimates put the cost of the current American campaign at roughly $7 billion, while in Canada political donations from corporations are banned and the maximum contribution to a federal party is currently capped at $1,200. It's like comparing Avatar and Sarah Polley's latest art-house flick. Which one are you more likely to go see?
Then there's the sheer lunacy of it all — the venomous attack ads, the hyper-partisan news networks, the brazen lies and misrepresentations and the chasm of polarization between New York and Nashville, San Francisco and San Antonio.
We may have Quebec separatism, but they have the Tea Party, and it's not hard to see which has more viral video potential.
And then there's the envy.
Canada is lucky if news of a new prime minister registers elsewhere in the world, while Barack Obama is probably the most famous person on the planet.
And while many Canadians would prefer to keep Stephen Harper a secret, nobody likes to go unnoticed.
It's the perpetual Canadian contradiction: We disdain and envy the American circus all at the same time.