TORONTO - Were it a country with which we had “normal” geographic, economic and culturally distant relationships, yesterday’s mid-term elections in the USA would have su.ered the consequences of the dustbin of history -- here today, gone tomorrow. As much as we like to think otherwise, Canada is part of a Continental economy where the Big Dawg is someone else.
Close to 80% of our exports head South. American pop, cinematic and theatrical culture is so dominant that it is ours as well. Professional Sports for Canada is synonymous with the USA. Our Stock Markets reflect the ebbs and flows of the NASDAQ and New York Stock Exchange, and so on.
American social norms are aped by less secure Canadians. Attitudes to social and economic trends emerging in the USA absorb the attention of influence makers North of their border. And so it is with the political and electoral process.
Politicization of virtually everything seems increasingly to be the norm, especially since their President appears to pull whatever reality he wants out of the proverbial hat. Gaming the electoral process is as much a part of the democratic process as is the declining respect for the institutions which foster civilized societies.
Candidates for office spend as much or more than Canadian Federal Political Parties do in a national campaign. All to smear the [good] name of their opponent and to simplify the choice of the electorate.
Perhaps every mature political system crosses the line between compromise (my self-interest vs yours) and hypocrisy (pretend to take your interests into consideration); but at least there is a line.
After yesterday’s vote, the only victor was polarization. The country is now an either/or environment. Were it another part of the world … The electoral battle for the next Presidential election in 2020 has already begun.
There is no other plank in the Make America Great Again platform: “it’s either me or you”, everything else is roadkill. Whither Canadian interests in NAFTA (USMCA), softwood Lumber, the Auto Industry, Supply Management (milk supplies) Petroleum Pipelines Fisheries and Canadian Sovereignty? Hold on to our hats. It may o.end our sensibilities, but it doesn’t matter to them.