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Supriya Dwivedi

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Is the Harper Government More Romney Than Obama?

Posted: 10/23/2012 8:39 am

A funny thing has been happening lately: Americans of all political stripes have been getting mighty defensive about the political discourse that has been surrounding the current American Presidential debate. As a quintessential Canadian, I understand. It is downright embarrassing to be presenting Barack Obama as a progressive, under any circumstances.

Yet, here we are, whereby Canadians are taking to Twitter and Facebook to justify the very policies that Barack Obama has endorsed. Obama has somehow managed to come across as a socialist during this election -- a man who believes in subsidizing insurance companies, who is consistently violating international and domestic law by killing people via drones, and only recently came to the epiphany that all people should be free to choose the person they marry, is being painted by the GOP as a socialist.

More alarmingly, however, is the ease in which the Conservative base in Canada has managed to sympathize with Romney. To them, Obama is indeed a "socialist," hellbent on derailing American off track.

This of course brings a very important debate to the forefront: is the Harper government much further to the right than they would like to let on? After all, it seems rather odd that Canadian Conservatives could find anything in common with the current Republican Party of today. And yet, my Twitter and Facebook feeds increasingly seem to be filled with pro-Romney Canadians.

Either Conservative Canadians don't believe in marriage equality, women's rights and health care for all, or they truly deem these issues to be "up for debate," even though no other civilized society has questioned any of these notions. Regardless, it is more than enough reason for the Canadian public to question the agenda of our Conservative government, especially considering the fact that so many of its supporters are blind Romney supporters.

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  • US-VOTE-2012-DEBATE

    Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney gestures beside his wife Ann following the third and final presidential debate with US President Barack Obama at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, October 22, 2012. The showdown focusing on foreign policy is being held in the crucial toss-up state of Florida just 15 days before the election and promises to be among the most watched 90 minutes of the entire 2012 campaign. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEBATE

    Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney gestures following the third and final presidential debate with US President Barack Obama at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, October 22, 2012. The showdown focusing on foreign policy is being held in the crucial toss-up state of Florida just 15 days before the election and promises to be among the most watched 90 minutes of the entire 2012 campaign. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Barack Obama, Michelle Obama,

    President Barack Obama, left, gives a thumbs-up as he is joined on stage by first lady Michelle Obama, right, at the end of the last debate against Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

  • President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney smile during the third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Pool-Rick Wilking)

  • President Barack Obama greets members of the family of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney after the third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Pool-Rick Wilking)

  • Barak Obama, Michelle Obama

    President Barack Obama kisses his wife Michelle after the third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

  • Mitt Romney, Barack Obama, Ann Romney, Michelle Obama

    President Barack Obama, right, and first lady Michelle Obama wave as they walk off stage as Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, and his wife Ann, say goodbye to the crowd before departing after the third presidential debate on Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

  • President Barack Obama and First lady Michelle Obama kiss after the third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Pool-Michael Reynolds)

  • Mitt Romney, Barack Obama

    President Barack Obama greets members of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's family after the third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

  • President Barack Obama and First lady Michelle Obama wave to the audience after the third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Pool-Michael Reynolds)

  • Barack Obama, Mitt Romney

    Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, right, and President Barack Obama, left, greet members of the audience at the end of the final debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

  • Barack Obama

    President Barack Obama shakes hands with the audience after the third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Pool-Win McNamee)

  • Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, right, and President Barack Obama shake hands with audience members following the third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

  • President Barack Obama and Michelle wave to members of the audience following the third presidential debate with Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

  • Barack Obama, Mitt Romney,

    Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama walks past each other on stage at the end of the last debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

  • Ann Romney, Mitt Romney,

    Ann Romney, wife of Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, laughs as she pulls her husband away from the edge of the stage after the third presidential debate with President Barack Obama at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

  • President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney meet family members after the third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Pool-Michael Reynolds)

  • Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, left, shakes hands with President Barack Obama following their third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

  • President Barack Obama, left, hugs his wife Michelle while Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney kisses his wife Ann following the third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

  • Barack Obama, Mitt Romney

    President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney pass each other after the third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

  • President Barack Obama, right, and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney shake hands following their third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEBATE

    US President Barack Obama (R) greets Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (L) following the third and final presidential debate at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, October 22, 2012. The showdown focusing on foreign policy is being held in the crucial toss-up state of Florida just 15 days before the election and promises to be among the most watched 90 minutes of the entire 2012 campaign. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, left, shakes hands with President Barack Obama following their third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

  • President Barack Obama makes his closing argument during the third presidential debate with Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

  • Obama And Romney Spar In Final Debate Before Presidential Election

    BOCA RATON, FL - OCTOBER 22: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (L) speaks during a debate with U.S. President Barack Obama as moderator Bob Schieffer of CBS (R) looks on at the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University on October 22, 2012 in Boca Raton, Florida. The focus for the final presidential debate before Election Day on November 6 is foreign policy. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

  • Obama And Romney Spar In Final Debate Before Presidential Election

    BOCA RATON, FL - OCTOBER 22: U.S. President Barack Obama debates with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (not seen) at the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University on October 22, 2012 in Boca Raton, Florida. The focus for the final presidential debate before Election Day on November 6 is foreign policy. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEBATE

    US President Barack Obama debates Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in the third and final presidential debate at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, on October 22, 2012. The final debate before the November 6 election is focusing on foreign policy. AFP PHOTO / Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEBATE

    Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks during the third and final presidential debate with US President Barack Obama at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, on October 22, 2012. The showdown focusing on foreign policy is being held in the critical toss-up state of Florida just 15 days before the election and promises to be among the most watched 90 minutes of the entire 2012 campaign. AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

  • President Barack Obama, right, speaks to Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney during the third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

  • Mitt Romney, Barack Obama

    Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama react to moderator Bob Schieffer during the third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

  • Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, left, and President Barack Obama laugh after being interrupted by moderator Bob Schieffer during the third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

  • Obama And Romney Spar In Final Debate Before Presidential Election

    BOCA RATON, FL - OCTOBER 22: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks during a debate with U.S. President Barack Obama at the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University on October 22, 2012 in Boca Raton, Florida. The focus for the final presidential debate before Election Day on November 6 is foreign policy. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)

  • Obama And Romney Spar In Final Debate Before Presidential Election

    BOCA RATON, FL - OCTOBER 22: U.S. President Barack Obama debates with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (not seen) at the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University on October 22, 2012 in Boca Raton, Florida. The focus for the final presidential debate before Election Day on November 6 is foreign policy. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

  • Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney makes a point during the third presidential debate with President Barack Obama at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

  • President Barack Obama speaks during the third presidential debate with Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

  • President Barack Obama smiles as Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney speaks during the third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Pool-Rick Wilking)

  • Mitt Romney, Barack Obama

    Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama answer a question during the third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Pool-Win McNamee)

  • President Barack Obama listens as Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney speaks during the third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Pool-Rick Wilking)

  • Obama And Romney Spar In Final Debate Before Presidential Election

    BOCA RATON, FL - OCTOBER 22: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (L) debates with U.S. President Barack Obama at the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University on October 22, 2012 in Boca Raton, Florida. The focus for the final presidential debate before Election Day on November 6 is foreign policy. (Photo by Rick Wilking-Pool/Getty Images)

  • Obama And Romney Spar In Final Debate Before Presidential Election

    BOCA RATON, FL - OCTOBER 22: U.S. President Barack Obama debates with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney at the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University on October 22, 2012 in Boca Raton, Florida. The focus for the final presidential debate before Election Day on November 6 is foreign policy. (Photo by Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images)

  • Obama And Romney Spar In Final Debate Before Presidential Election

    BOCA RATON, FL - OCTOBER 22: U.S. President Barack Obama (L) listens as moderator Bob Schieffer of CBS speaks during the debate with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney at the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University on October 22, 2012 in Boca Raton, Florida. The focus for the final presidential debate before Election Day on November 6 is foreign policy. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEBATE

    Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney debates on October 22, 2012 during the third presidential debate at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida. The final debate before the November 6 election is focusing on foreign policy. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEBATE

    Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney listens during the third and final presidential debate with US President Barack Obama at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, on October 22, 2012. The showdown focusing on foreign policy is being held in the critical toss-up state of Florida just 15 days before the election and promises to be among the most watched 90 minutes of the entire 2012 campaign. AFP PHOTO Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

  • President Barack Obama speaks during the third presidential debate with Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

  • Obama And Romney Spar In Final Debate Before Presidential Election

    BOCA RATON, FL - OCTOBER 22: U.S. President Barack Obama (R) debates with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney at the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University on October 22, 2012 in Boca Raton, Florida. The focus for the final presidential debate before Election Day on November 6 is foreign policy. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEBATE

    US President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney participate in the third and final presidential debate at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, on October 22, 2012. The final debate before the November 6 election is focusing on foreign policy. AFP PHOTO / Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

  • US-VOTE-2012-DEBATE

    US President Barack Obama debates in the third and final presidential debate at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, on October 22, 2012. The final debate before the November 6 election is focusing on foreign policy. AFP PHOTO / Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

  • President Barack Obama speaks during the third presidential debate with Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

  • Obama And Romney Spar In Final Debate Before Presidential Election

    BOCA RATON, FL - OCTOBER 22: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks during a debate with U.S. President Barack Obama at the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University on October 22, 2012 in Boca Raton, Florida. The focus for the final presidential debate before Election Day on November 6 is foreign policy. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)

  • Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney speaks during the third presidential debate with President Barack Obama at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

  • Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, left, listens to President Barack Obama during the third presidential debate at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)


Tommy Douglas, the inventor of socialized medicine, was voted as "the greatest Canadian," and yet Obamacare remains a dirty word amongst Republicans and Canadian Conservatives alike. Socialized medicine, a noun, can be defined as the provision of medical care for an entire population with the use of public funds. Canada's health care delivery system is designed to ensure that all Canadians have reasonable access to medically necessary physician and hospital services, all on a prepaid basis through taxation. That is socialized medicine, or as the rest of the civilized world calls it, medicine. Obamacare, also a noun that has found its way into the American vernacular, does not fit the definition of socialized medicine. Conversely, Obamacare is a system that is based on state-sponsored capitalism.

In mandating private insurance for all Americans, President Obama has effectively tilted America's already socialist system -- uninsured individuals being covered by the mercy of the hospitals, who in turn transfer this cost onto the insurance companies, who subsequently hand off this cost to the insured, who then effectively absorb this expenditure through increased premiums -- to one where people are forced to take personal responsibility for themselves and purchase insurance.

Thus, I would ask that the public please stop referring to Obamacare as socialized medicine. It isn't. I wish it was, for America's sake, but as long as Obamacare keeps being confounded with socialism, it makes the actual delivery of socialized medicine look bad.

Additionally, I consistently fail to comprehend how Americans can deem themselves the pinnacle of democracy when the country still struggles with the concept of affording its gay community the basic civil right of being able to marry the person that they have fallen in love with.

The Romney-Ryan ticket would seek to amend the Constitution to redefine marriage as being between a man and a woman. This proposed Constitutional amendment would put America on the same footing as countries such as Latvia and Liberia. Gay marriage, or simply, marriage, has been legal for all Canadians since 2005, and oddly enough, raining toads or plagues of locusts have not befallen Canada. The denial of gay rights is the denial of human rights, and the sooner the American people in general, and the GOP in particular, begins to realize that, the better.

Moreover, as the GOP attempts at eradicating a woman's basic right for jurisdiction over her own body, with as much gusto as many of the same theocracies the GOP claims to despise, Canada looks on with dismay.

I get it. Republicans love choices (except when it's a woman choosing) and they also cherish their individual liberties (even if it means watching their uninsured neighbour die, and prohibiting same sex couples from marrying). But isn't it time the GOP get with the times and stop trying to pull the country back into an era whereby June Cleaver served as the model woman, "Chinaman" was an acceptable term, and white males wielded absolute power in politics (instead of the overwhelming majority of it).

The problem lies with the fact that the Republican Party has been moving increasingly right since the 1980s. Nobody is saying Canada is some sort of utopian country to serve as an archetypal model; Canada has many of its own failings. However, as long as Canada holds true to the notions that access to health care is a fundamental human right, the love between two women or two men is no different than the love between a man and a woman, that women should be free to exercise dominion over their own bodies, and that regulations in the financial sector does not qualify us as de facto Communists, I'll drink to that. Canadian Club, of course.

 

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