Living within such close proximity to the United States, Canadians are more affected by the U.S. elections than many. Canadians for Obama, a Facebook group featured on Voices without Votes in April, has been having a lively discussion of Obama's merits, with many participants lobbying from the other side of the border. The group has recently discussed the possibility of Hillary Clinton as Obama's running mate; Kevin Leung says on the subject:
[In my opinion], BAD IDEA. Like an op-ed in a major newspaper said (I can't exactly remember, but I think it was the Washington Post?), if Obama can't stand up to the “House of Clintons”, he has no chance against Mamoud Ahmadinejad. And it's so true.
Alec Caine from Calgary is glad that the Democratic brawling is over:
It's great to see that finally they are down to one. For the last 18 months the Democratic party has been like a fluke worm that was cut in half. Each respective candidate has done there part in building animosity against the other. In such actions they have split the 1 democratic party in to two distinct entities each vying for their own platform and ideals. The question now is if the democratic party unlike the fluke worm, can bring the two sections back together to form a single party, to put aside petty angsts and agendas and work together to give the U.S. a much needed facelift.
It should be said, however, that not all Canadians support Barack Obama. A recent post on the Facebook page entitled “How Obama Could Hurt Canada” references a recent article in the Edmonton Sun in which the effects of an Obama presidency on the Canadian economy are discussed. Rob Knippshild disagrees with the article's assertion that Obama as president would negatively effect the economy:
The guy's like any other US politician and knows very little about Canada.
Bush didn't even know that Ottawa was the capital.
As far as NAFTA goes, I hope they renegotiate it, we have gotten screwed on it. Our health care is taking a beating because of free trade, the US has unfettered access to our resources and we get zilch in return.
Canada will be fine. We have our financial house in order so I am unconcerned on the economic front. But we cannot do business any longer with a rogue nation that does soem of the crazy shit the US has been doing since 2000.
Our relationship hangs by a thread and won't survive another Bush.
Chuck Henderson of Hamilton, Ontario agrees:
its all election hype, free trade should be negotiated as we have gotten the short end of the stick more than once ( softwood lumber anyone?)
but I would rather see him than Hillary especially after her comments about attacking Iran
Kevin Leung sums up the general sentiment, saying that regardless of Obama's awareness of Canadian issues, at least he's open-minded:
I think renegotiation should be done, in the way that it should be significantly reduced or scrapped. Dealing with the Americans is like refusing to leave a sinking ship. It sucks big time for blue-collared workers, but we have promote a more advanced nation in the face of changing times (BIG changes, mind you) by converting to an information-based economy and dramatically increasing trade to China, India, Brazil, and Europe and Asia in general. Of course, maintaining good trade with the U.S. is still imperative, but definitely far below the point of strangle-hold.
The lamp-lighters never liked the introduction of electric light bulbs, but they still moved on; now it's time for the manufacturing workers to bow out. In time, the new jobs created in other, more sustainable sectors will alleviate any possible economic damage done by job cuts to industries.
P.S. I don't expect Obama to be much more…”un-ignorant” than the average American. But at least he has an open ear.