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?
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.