In sharp contrast to 2008, when NAFTA was a four-letter word for much of the American public, North American issues were broadly irrelevant to the 2012 campaign. Canada remains a fortunate afterthought in American domestic politics -- although particular cross-border issues remain subject to the crossfires of interest group politics.
Consider the evidence: the Obama-Romney battle was notable for its "courtesy " and "common-sense," and God knows those are terms we all associate with the Canadian political process. Plus, a bunch of voters approved referendums to endorse gay marriage and legalize pot, and I bet those are things Canadians might do too if anyone ever asked! In any case, I'll just note for our American friends that when a columnist giddily claims that "Canadian-ness is spreading like a bad rash," across your country, it's supposed to be a compliment.
History was made last night when President Obama was re-elected for another four year term. What struck me while listening to his acceptance speech was the fact that his words are now part of his nation's historical record. When you look at the House of Commons today you have to wonder where is that sense of history when an MP stands up to read a Member's Statement, a speech, ask a question or if a minister, answer one?
In a couple of days, the American populace will elect the next President. Numerous self-identified "progressive" voters have endorsed the Obama campaign, stating that while Barack Obama is certainly not perfect, he is far better than Mitt Romney. However, one of the major areas that have been largely ignored is Obama's foreign policy record in the Middle East.
In the 2008 election, Republican John McCain got five per cent of the black vote. Romney is said to be hoping for 11 per cent in November -- enough to make a difference. Hence his recent foray into the liberal waters of the NAACP in Texas to deliver his message. To his credit, to didn't soften pedal or twist his message to pander to African American, but said to them what he's been saying all along -- that America (and people of colour) will do better with him as Prez, than it has done, or will do, with more of Obama.
Recently, the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies will be hosting a gala event -- the Spirit of Hope Gala Benefit -- to benefit the organization's advocacy, human rights and outreach efforts here in Canada and abroad. There will also be a debate by distinguished Americans on the resolution "Be it resolved, the world is safer under President Obama." Well, is it?