I care about this upcoming presidential election in the United States. More than I thought. And more than ever before.
I do a lot of business with U.S. clients who operate in Canada. I hold U.S.-based company stocks. I live an hour away from the longest unprotected border in the world, the Canada-USA border (known formally as the International Boundary). But most importantly, my second residency is in the U.S.
My husband and I bought a place for our family in southern Florida. We purchased the house almost seven years ago as a vacation property and future investment. Like many Canadians, we took advantage of the housing bubble collapse, the great injustice America suffered as a result of Wall Street greed, now recounted in the book (and film) The Big Short.
We bought a place simply to go a few times during our winter vacations, a place to visit when we took time off from the bitter Canadian cold.
But our house in Florida has become so much more than that. It has become a real home. A warm and familiar place that is truly part of our family's fabric. I have terrific neighbours, friends and belong to a vibrant and fun community.
As a Canadian citizen with a deep affiliation and appreciation for the USA, I hope and pray my American friends and neighbours vote for a savvy, humane and respected leader.
For the first time in a long time, I genuinely care about this next U.S. election. It personally affects me and my family in many ways.
I pay American property tax. I pay for the roads I travel on when I am there. I depend on their health care system when I need it. I support U.S. charities. I shop in the U.S. I spur on the local economy as much as I can. I cross the Canada-USA border many, many times during the year, and I have a valued Nexus card that I keep sacred. I respect American ways, the flag, the veterans. I follow the rules and way of life every time I'm there.
I am no longer a visitor to the USA. I am part of the national tapestry.
I have made the U.S. a part of my extended home and my existence, while still maintaining my Canadian status.
So, policies and laws in the U.S. matter to me. Immigration policies, gun laws, border security, corporate and personal tax laws, freedom of speech, military spending, etc. It all touches me and my family.
I think America is one of the greatest nations in the world and I'm proud and privileged to do business with Americans, and to live on U.S. soil as much as I can. In my heart, it is my country, too.
But I'm only a Canadian citizen. While I have deep U.S. ties, I have no say in this upcoming American election. But I wish I did. Even a half vote would be nice!
As a Canadian citizen with a deep affiliation and appreciation for the USA, I hope and pray my American friends and neighbours vote for a savvy, humane and respected leader. You hold in your power to elect the next commander-in-chief and leader of the free world. Don't screw it up.
Your neighbour to the north (and the world) is counting on you to do the right thing.
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