Pairings and Partnerships – how can elections help Canada?
By former Canada’s World blogger Lisa Wagner:
It is interesting that while the United States awaits its November election, Canada’s PM is threatening the same. The next US president – Obama or McCain? Democrat or Republican? Are Americans ready to vote a black man into office? Is McCain too old to lead? While these questions plague American and international newspapers, Canadians really ought to be thinking, “How does this affect us?” Of course, we already are. Many Canadians have declared support for either candidate (while another many of us are bored to death with the constant election news) and a large factor in support for the US presidential hopefuls from Canada is how the new US President will affect American-Canadian relations. If Canada has an election as well, how can this affect our role in the world and our relations with those south of 49?
Given that NAFTA has been taken under recent fire, US travel restrictions are rising, and the dollar looms around par, relations between us and Americans are and continue to be extremely important. In an increasingly global world, our relationships with other countries become crucial for survival. So if we are wondering how the next president will affect us, we may well look closer to home as a start.
Let’s look at Stephen Harper. What are his convictions and values, and how would he interact with either candidate should he regain power as our PM? Would he work well with John McCain, since they are conservative candidates in their respective countries? What about Barack Obama – is Obama too left for Harper? What could either pairing accomplish for Canada as well as the US?
What about Stephan Dion? Same idea – how would he work with McCain or Obama? And equally as importantly, is he at a disadvantage not having the experience already of leading a minority government? Do either Dion or Harper have what it takes to really assert Canadian sovereinty in a global forum?
With the four possible combinations (Harper/McCain, Harper/Obama, Dion/McCain, Dion/Obama), which would be best for Canada? The US?