This Presidential election was a cacophony of noise, nattering and nonsense from its start to its ignoble and therefore entertaining finish. It has reduced American prestige in the eyes of many Canadians, not because of who won, but because of everyone who lost -- observers interested in bipartisan solutions to America's problems.
One implication of my predictions would be Ohio losing its status as a predictor of Presidential election victories. More importantly, this would be the first election in recent history where the winner of the election will not win two out of the three "big swing states." This seems to be indicative of a shift, where future swing states will be comprised of a collective of smaller states with rapidly rising populations, such as Nevada. As opposed to the past rigidity of the "big three" swing states, this will lead to future Presidential candidates having to chase after electoral votes in a more decentralized manner.
As a younger woman, I stood beneath the arch on countless occasions at the height of the Cold War. It was a time when there were far fewer allied nations and as a Canadian teen I knew my closest allies were those I could reach through the arch to connect with. In 1984 the Americans were not just my neighbors, they were my family in every sense of the word. Suddenly, it's 28 years later. You find yourself in 2012 in the midst of the US election and you realize, with shock and awe that the gate is closing - not because of economics or war or terrorist threat or because a guard is standing at the border locking the gate in front of you - but in the name of blind adherence to ideology.
The Canadian media rarely bears even the slightest apprehension about bossily dictating U.S. elections. Our papers state their partisan preferences loudly and often, but thankfully no one south of the 49th seems to give a doodle-dandy. And to be fair, as far as nefarious foreign endorsements go, you could do a lot worse than the Canadian stamp of approval. Anyway, who's getting the honour this year?
The presence of 15,000 journalists in Tampa and Charlotte for the conventions was ridiculous but even wackier is the size of "Nation PR." Likely bigger than Newark or its governor, this is an industry of propagandists, bloggers, twitterers, scandal-mongers, pundits, spin doctors, pollsters, journalist-partisans who pen biased op-eds and columns, campaign operatives and dewy-eyed "Monicas" who will do anything for the boss. Nation PR never sleeps and now the fun, for the rest of us, begins as they launch their saturation bombing campaign on US voters to capture victory in November.
Rick Perry recently released an ad where he argued that "there's something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can't openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school." So what is the Canadian response to this? To suggest that the video should be taken down because it is "hate speech."
As Americans head into their Thanksgiving long weekend, they will have plenty of things to be thankful for. Unfortunately, an effective government will not be one of them. There was a feeling that members of Congress would get their respective acts together and put to rest any doubts over fiscal repair in the U.S.