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Obama's Got Options, Baby.
September 23, 2008 10:54 PM   Subscribe

Maybe America needs Barack more than Barack needs America... It's got to be tough being Barack Obama these days. Just managing to hang onto a slim lead in the polls against a truly horrifying Republican ticket - after eight years in which a Republican administration has all but destroyed the nation. Having to explain to people over and over again that no, he's really not a Muslim, and people still don't believe him. Sarah Palin. Maybe America isn't worth Barack's trouble. Maybe there's other fish in the sea, America. Maybe you ought to think about that a little and stop being this way. Canada has an election coming up too, and given what they've got to work with, more and more Canadians are starting to take a hard look south of the border.
posted by Naberius (78 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Obama bleu?
posted by Kwine at 11:04 PM on September 23, 2008


Yeah, dream on Canada. You've been ignoring the rest of the world's request that you bite the bullet and join up.
posted by jeffburdges at 11:06 PM on September 23, 2008


Slim lead my ass. He's up 9 points in tonights WaPo/ABC poll.
posted by fourcheesemac at 11:09 PM on September 23, 2008


I can totally see this happening. Obama wins the Canada election. McCain takes the US. The music stops, and we all scramble around the continent looking for a chair.
posted by iamkimiam at 11:10 PM on September 23, 2008 [28 favorites]


You might even manage to spin off jesusland.
posted by jeffburdges at 11:10 PM on September 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


What do we get in trade?

I think Canada would be better off trying to recruit Mrs. Clinton. America's already thrown her into the discard pile.
posted by three blind mice at 11:13 PM on September 23, 2008


Slim lead my ass. He's up 9 points in tonights WaPo/ABC poll.

Yeah but he's only up three points by Pollster's averaged numbers. On the bright side, though, Michigan went blue, and Florida when from red to yellow.
posted by Caduceus at 11:13 PM on September 23, 2008


Until Palin was chosen as McCain's running mate, I always regarded Canadians' support for Obama (and it is nearly universal - the need for Obama to be in the White House is the one things all Canadians agree on, at least around the water cooler) as being kind of weird: the Democrats are anti- Free Trade and protectionist, anti- Oil Sands, etc, and will work hard to sink our (Canadians) economy. Why not look forward to a McCain presidency? You, laissez faire trade, that sort of thing. But ever since Palin (Bush3), I have *seen the light*.

But I'm not taking a hard look at the southern border. That is just ridiculous. Because the Stephane Dion campaign is just too hilarious. Campaigning by promising to raise taxes? A candidate who can't speak English but must campaign in English Canada because he is hated in Quebec (although his French oratory is said to be pretty good)? Only in Canada.

This column by John Barber
and this column by Margaret Wente sum it all up pretty well.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:19 PM on September 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


(Oh, and speaking of the Pollster map, can anyone tell me what the fuck is wrong with New Hampshire?)
posted by Caduceus at 11:20 PM on September 23, 2008


an anyone tell me what the fuck is wrong with New Hampshire?

They're opting for the "or die" thing this year.
posted by maxwelton at 11:22 PM on September 23, 2008 [66 favorites]


If you guys like him so much you can join up after he wins.
posted by delmoi at 11:23 PM on September 23, 2008


Trading universal health care for foreclosed McManions
posted by mattoxic at 11:29 PM on September 23, 2008


I think he's had enough....
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 11:29 PM on September 23, 2008 [5 favorites]


Ah, if only it were as easy to know whom to vote for as whom to vote against...

I can only advise to hold one's nose and vote for whoever has the best chance of defeating the Conservative opponent in your riding.
posted by clevershark at 11:32 PM on September 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


What the fuck is with the centre-left in the English speaking western world (UK, Canada, Australia) this decade? They're either going right with this third way bullshit or imploding or both.

I've been forced to hold my nose and vote with the socially progressive but bat-shit insane left wing nutjobs in my state elections and it leaves a sour taste in my mouth.
posted by Talez at 11:39 PM on September 23, 2008


If you guys like him so much you can join up after he wins.

USA could not handle an influx of 30 million generally center/left small "l" liberals. It would forever throw the two party "balance" asunder, there would never be another Republican president, universal health care would become reality, the war on drugs would end, the NRA would be neutralized.

It just couldn't work.
posted by philip-random at 11:49 PM on September 23, 2008 [10 favorites]


Despite his American citizenship, many of Obama's detractors seem oddly at home with the idea of a Canadian Obama.
posted by Rhaomi at 11:55 PM on September 23, 2008


It would forever throw the two party "balance" asunder, there would never be another Republican president, universal health care would become reality, the war on drugs would end, the NRA would be neutralized.

I'm not gonna fight you on the healthcare thing, but you do realize that Canada has both a war on drugs and plenty of guns, right?
posted by vorfeed at 12:02 AM on September 24, 2008


Of the many forms the NAU nuts expected their imaginary mega-state would take, I don't think a personal union ala Denmark-Norway. I guess to complete the union properly Obama would have to become the what, viceroy of Mexico or whatever it is that they do down there?
posted by 1adam12 at 12:07 AM on September 24, 2008


USA could not handle an influx of 30 million generally center/left small "l" liberals.

How about this? Just send enough to replace the long-haired, big-L liberals you took from us in 2004.
posted by roll truck roll at 12:11 AM on September 24, 2008


America deserves Barack Obama.

... Why?

Because he represents our possibility.

True, he campaigns against the tides of contrarian thinking, conservative obstacles, good old fashioned prejuidice, misinformation, a flaccid/ineffectual 4th estate, cries of hypocritical "elitism", and some odd sociological factors. But this is nothing new. This is an election in divided populace. The founding fathers battled these things just as much as they are today. Only then, they weren't the founding fathers. They were "elitist" city folk who would eventually be removed once Andrew Jackson was elected from the backwoods and could be free though a hoe-down on the White House Lawn (true story).

Which makes it all the more interesting when outside nations talk of us like we have one entity. "Fat Stupid Americans" and "Such and Such." It's sensationalism, pure and simple. Sure we're united by some things. We all like The Star Spangled Banner. July 4th is always great fun. Somehow, we all universally liked The Sopranos (that was pretty good of us). But most of the time, we're simply a divided people. Always have been. Look at the support for the revolutionary war. 33% for it. 33% sided with the Brits. 33% didn't care and just hoped their crops came in this year. It's an eternal division for us, one marked by our enormous geography and our freedom to pursue ideologies to their own stagnant ends.

So we find ourselves a people divided, derided even by our club-like mentality. Yet without, that there is no such thing as possibility for change... there's that buzzword.

But there's another buzzword I should bring up. Perhaps the corniest of all... hope.

Hope... It's a word that's become xeroxed in this election to the point of meaninglessness, but we simply cannot forget that maybe, just maybe on November 4th, we will elect a man named Barack Hussein Obama as president of The United States of America. It's an impossible election even 8 years ago. He's a man of mixed racial heritage, his last name rhymes with the nation's greatest enemy, yet he has a top notch education, displays heartfelt intelligence, won't start an illegal war, has read the federalist papers, represents a major changing of the guard to countries abroad, is rather in touch with the youth of his nation, and has seen every episode of The Wire. Ladies and gentlemen, this can actually happen. How the magnitude of this reality been lost in the mire of electioneering?

Maybe... But Obama wouldn't be here without the opposition. He simply could not be who he is today.

Yes, the man has a litany of things to fear.

... And that is why we deserve him.
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 12:25 AM on September 24, 2008 [10 favorites]


I'm not gonna fight you on the healthcare thing, but you do realize that Canada has both a war on drugs and plenty of guns, right?

Canada has an ongoing needlessly destructive and mostly useless "police action" against drugs, but it pales in comparison to great US of A's ongoing, needlessly destructive and entirely useless WAR. As for all those guns, I think that's just in case Alaska attacks.
posted by philip-random at 12:45 AM on September 24, 2008


Campaigning by promising to raise taxes?

Technically, it's the Greens who would restore the 2%. Dion's trick depends on the energy/manufacturing/transport industries not raising their prices higher than income tax cuts can cover.

Personally, I prefer either to Harper's patronizing 2% discount on everyfuckingthing in sight - the more you buyput on your groaning credit card, the more you save! Compared to a year ago the dollar's purchasing power is less than $0.98, so cutting the GST, rather than income tax and letting people decide what they want to do with their own damn money, is irresponsibly pathetic pandering and does nothing to benefit the 'Real Canadian Families' Harper pretends to champion.

A candidate who can't speak English but must campaign in English Canada because he is hated in Quebec (although his French oratory is said to be pretty good)?

SFW? We have two official languages. And the reason he's hated in Quebec makes me like him more, as opposed to Harper, who's willing to poke the stupid sovereignty bear if he thinks there's some short term gain in it for himself.

Anyone catch the dipshit's attempt at creating his very own CultureWarTM North?

"I think when ordinary working people come home, turn on the TV and see a gala of a bunch of people, you know, at a rich gala all subsidized by taxpayers claiming their subsidies aren't high enough when they know those subsidies have actually gone up - I'm not sure that's something that resonates with ordinary people," Harper said during a campaign stop in Saskatoon.

Reading it doesn't do justice to the stumblingly rushed, slightly panicked delivery of a man desperately trying to be both Bush and Rove.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:58 AM on September 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


You gotta wonder -

Say, for a moment you wake up one morning and find you have, magically, over the course of one sound night's sleep, been transformed in Barack Obama. On first waking up you are aware that you are, quite suddenly and completely, not who you went to sleep as, but as the (currently) brightest politician in America. A man who very possibly to most likely, will become the next President.

For a moment before you actually smear your gradually-becoming-more-familiar-as-the-transformation-becomes-all-the-more-complete toothbrush with toothpaste, you savor the almost limitless opportunities both personally and politically that are about to open up to you. You are two months from being in a position to see into reality all and any of your craziest fantasies. You could, if you thought to, actually repair the Constitution! You could go after that psycho Cheney and his cohorts. Maybe sick the IRS on Murdoch in a pre-emptive strike and fuck him but right properly. Those "Swift Boat" funding guys too. Turn the tide. What a bag of assholes.

You spit and put your toothbrush away, and when you look into the mirror again the transformation is complete. That whole "Whoa, I'm 'Barack Obama'" moment you had earlier has evaporated completely but for the slightest ripple in the background.

As you go through another grinding morning of fighting the tsunami of stupidity being vomited up by the right, the ripple grows louder. As you're driving to the airport to get to the next meeting, what is it again? someone tells you but you've drifted for a half a second when your eye catches the Google news reader on someone's iPhone.

The depth of problems are mind-boggling. And then there's everything that doesn't make it to the front page.

If you win you're going to be fighting not just to fix all that the previous administration has actively worked to break, or at least as many things as you can but all the time the shit fountain will be running full bore. Not to mention all the wackos who want to kill you just on principle, if Michelle had any idea she would pull out of this in a second...

You have to be asking yourself every minute - "Do I really want this? But really?"
posted by From Bklyn at 1:03 AM on September 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


I always regarded Canadians' support for Obama... as being kind of weird

Ditto Europe and the world. I absolutely don't understand why Europeans are so hostile to Bush and the Republicans when it's clear that Europe has benefitted greatly from the last eight years. I mean, the dollar fell 41% against the euro during Bush's term. I vividly remember people laughing at the debut of the euro (it wasn't long ago) and now it's in the running for the world's top reserve currency. Bush has played a key role in this.

America's military romps, in the meantime, have greatly helped European unity, especially among the public, which is now suspicious and distrustful of the U.S. This antagonism will go a long way in helping Europe finally find its "special purpose." As Condoleezza Rice once said: "We need a common enemy to unite us."

Obviously the collapse of America will hurt everyone. But the U.S. fighting in Iraq for another 100 years, or slugging it out with Iran, is going to benefit the countries quietly sitting on the sidelines, especially places like Europe and China.
posted by Ljubljana at 1:10 AM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


...and Florida [went] from red to yellow.

Face it. We all knew that Publix would run out of Depends someday.

What we didn't realize is that it would have an effect on a presidential election.
posted by mudpuppie at 1:13 AM on September 24, 2008


I absolutely don't understand why Europeans are so hostile to Bush and the Republicans when it's clear that Europe has benefitted greatly from the last eight years.

Perhaps because, amazing though it might seem, people in these countries do not vote solely on the basis of their own narrowly defined self-interest.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 1:31 AM on September 24, 2008 [11 favorites]


I think he's had enough....

"I was prepared to fight global warming, reform the health care system, repair our crumbling roads, create a 21st century electric grid, find Bin Laden, end the war in Iraq, and bring peace to Israel and the Palestinians. But now you tell me I have to clean up the worst financial mess since the Great Depression too? One that’s going to plunge our economy into a recession for most of my administration while I take the blame? Fuck that. That’s fucking ridiculous. You guys clean up your own shit. I’m outta here."

Well, I can't say I blame him.
posted by homunculus at 1:34 AM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


Campaigning by promising to raise taxes?

In 1999 the Labour party in New Zealand campaigned on raising taxes, and won a huge victory, because people were fed up with the smash-the-state right-wing government of the day.

Perhaps because, amazing though it might seem, people in these countries do not vote solely on the basis of their own narrowly defined self-interest.

It's easy to support the right thing in someone else's country.
posted by rodgerd at 1:40 AM on September 24, 2008


Obama would be an amazing change for America. In Canada he would be a mediocre leader of the Progressive Conservative party.
posted by srboisvert at 1:41 AM on September 24, 2008 [5 favorites]


I absolutely don't understand why Europeans are so hostile to Bush and the Republicans

Personally, it annoys the hell out of me that I can't get on a plane with a bottle of booze. That's my one reason for hating Bush.

Nothing at all to do with the murdering of hundreds of thousands of innocent people. Nothing Whatsoever. So what if a war criminal is in charge of the biggest failing economy in the world.It has nothing to do with watching arrogant Americans shitting oil through their big fancy SUVs as if there was no tomorrow.

It's all about me and not being able to fly on planes with booze. Pisses me off it does.
posted by twistedonion at 1:54 AM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ljubljana writes "Ditto Europe and the world. I absolutely don't understand why Europeans are so hostile to Bush and the Republicans when it's clear that Europe has benefitted greatly from the last eight years."

I've got this neighbor. Good guy, though we've had our disagreements over the years. And sure, he and I ran against each other for Sheriff of our little town, and he's won these last 60 years. He's a big guy and tough in a fight, but he used to be a bit slow to the draw and as a rule friendly.

Yeah, our kids squabble at times, but we have a special relationship, and I've been able to rely on him for three generations: if I ever got in trouble deep, he'd (eventually) show up to help pull me out.

But for the last eight years, my neighbor's been getting, well, just weird. He got sucker-punched by some guy from the Third Village, and ever since he's been angry and suspicious of everyone from that village. Picked a couple of fights with totally unrelated guys down there too. And he's let his house get rundown -- the plaster's falling off, his youngest kids are running around without shoes, he's always off in Third Village with a chip on his shoulder, yelling "bring it on". Or out in his garden, banging away at god-know's-what "projects", sucking back beers and cursing.

It's been good for me, in a way -- as Deputy Sheriff, I've been getting more overtime pay when he doesn't show up for work. And frankly, most people prefer dealing with me now, as he's just gotten too erratic, and when you can even find him, too mean.

But really, I want to spend more time at home, I want to relax, I've earned it. And I can't, because my neighbor, who used to anchor the community, he's just a loose cannon now. We all walk on eggshells around him, wondering if he's gonna blow his top, or insist -- again -- that we all get closed circuit TVs to watch our yards, or just have another one of his crying breakdowns, or smash up his truck -- again --, or get in another fight.

I mean, my neighbor's a good guy, but, well -- he's too big to get riled up, and too paranoid to console, and he's just starting to creep the shit out of all of us, frankly.
posted by orthogonality at 2:38 AM on September 24, 2008 [60 favorites]


it's clear that Europe has benefitted greatly from the last eight years

It sure isn't clear to me. Cite?
posted by chuckdarwin at 2:57 AM on September 24, 2008


The fact is that the unspoken reason why Harper is violating his own election law is terror of an Obama White House. Canadians know that Obama would have little to say to the hateful little man, especially after Harper probably tried to sabotage his leadership campaign. Nobody here would let Canada have a more right wing government than the United States, ever, so we're doing this election now so that the US election won't influence the results.

Obama would probably make a decent Liberal. Plus, the "Renegotiating NAFTA will anger Canadians!" McCain meme= hilarious.
posted by mobunited at 3:51 AM on September 24, 2008


Hey, Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister, is in trouble. Her Majesty could make Obama a Peer, then Brown could resign for Obama to take his place. She'd also have to make David Cameron (Leader of the Opposition) a Peer so Prime Minister's Questions could take place in the Upper House. That'd be fun!
posted by alasdair at 3:52 AM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yeah but he's only up three points by Pollster's averaged numbers.

A 3 point difference is bigger and bigger the closer you get to Election Day. In July, 3 points is a slim lead. But on The Day, if you win the popular vote by 3 pts you have a 95+% chance of winning the election.
posted by DU at 4:43 AM on September 24, 2008


Obama would have to wait five years. Full citizenship is required, and it isn't a fast (or an easy) process.
posted by chuckdarwin at 4:50 AM on September 24, 2008


chuckdarwin: Well, for the first time since the end of WW2, people (like Alan Greenspan recently and Xu Jian last year) are talking about the end of American monetary hegemony and pointing to the euro as its possible successor. The decline of the dollar means that Europe now has an actual shot at regaining superpower status and all the privileges this entails. (With the bonus of having America picking up the cheque when it comes to keeping the peace) It's a great position to be in.

And I think Europe was given this golden chance because of 1) the seemingly eternal "war on terror" and 2) the record-breaking debts America has been accruing over the past few years. History may show that Bush fumbled away American supremacy -- and that Europe had a chance to pick it up. It's not exactly a new argument or anything. If anyone is interested in more details there are plenty of books on this subject, like: The United States of Europe: The New Superpower and the End of American Supremacy and How Europe will Run the 21st Century. (I actually don't agree with them, but that's another story.)

Basically, I'm just tired of listening to Europeans bitch about Bush and pray for an Obama victory, instead of saying "America's ballroom days are over, now's our chance to fire up a new, golden European era. Let's roll."
posted by Ljubljana at 5:39 AM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


I saw Bill Clinton on The Daily Show last night, and I was gladdened (and unsurprised) to hear him bring the campaign back to what I think is the proper focus, and the focus I have been pushing on everyone I talk to about it: Are you better off now than you were eight years ago? Do you really think we need four more years of this?

This is what Obama is going to drum into everyone's heads over the next several weeks, and it will be a successful strategy for convincing fence-sitters. Then he will win Canada too! Free maple syrup for all my friends!
posted by Mister_A at 6:17 AM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's easy to support the right thing in someone else's country.

More, I think, that people in the rest of the world tend less than Americans to see life as a zero-sum game. Take health care. It seems to me, as an outsider, that the resistance on the part of the average American to a universal, single-payer system is based on a fear that one's current benefits, tenuous and incomplete as they may be, might be reduced if the system were changed so that every citizen were covered. This may or may not be true in any individual's case, but making the decision on that basis is to ignore the huge benefit that would accrue to the citizenry as a whole were a universal system to be adopted in which everyone, CEO, bum, employed and unemployed alike, could expect the same standard of care if they were unlucky enough to fall ill. It's well understood in Canada that if you are well insured in America you receive superior care than you do here, and without aggravations like long wait times for elective surgery. Yet few people could countenance a change in our system that would improve care for those who could pay, and allow their neighbour to be bankrupted if he were to lose his job and suffer a terminal illness. It seems to me, again as an outsider who is willing to be corrected, that many Americans have some sense of the benefit in a universal system, but is secondary to the feeling that "I got mine, and don't even think of touching it, pal."
posted by Turtles all the way down at 6:25 AM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


the focus I have been pushing on everyone I talk to about it: Are you better off now than you were eight years ago? Do you really think we need four more years of this?

Could you please vary that approach a little by asking, "Is the country better off than it was eight years ago? Do you really think we need four more years of this?"
posted by orange swan at 6:42 AM on September 24, 2008


Are you better off now than you were eight years ago?

Yeah, let's adopt all of Ronald Reagan's campaign slogans.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:55 AM on September 24, 2008


"Are you better off now than you were eight years ago?"

Is our children learning?
posted by Hands of Manos at 7:06 AM on September 24, 2008


Perhaps because, amazing though it might seem, people in these countries do not vote solely on the basis of their own narrowly defined self-interest.

Sure they do. locally, with a real vote, everyone votes naked self-interest. In a hypothetical vote in a different country then we're all suddenly philosophers and saints. Canada has enough problems of its own. I suggest it solves them and lets us solve ours. Thanks.
posted by damn dirty ape at 7:42 AM on September 24, 2008


rodgerd:It's easy to support the right thing in someone else's country.

But what's even easier is to support your own country doing wrong things in countries on the other side of the world.

Ljubljana: (With the bonus of having America picking up the cheque when it comes to keeping the peace)

You may be surprised to hear this, but a lot of people in the rest of the world would prefer if the US would cut out this "keeping the peace" bullshit. We don't view American military actions as a benefit.

Basically, I'm just tired of listening to Europeans bitch about Bush and pray for an Obama victory, instead of saying "America's ballroom days are over, now's our chance to fire up a new, golden European era. Let's roll."

I think you are really missing the point here: Many people in the rest of the world (and indeed in the US too) care more about things like peace and human rights more than they do about which country gets to be top dog.

(The irony of your using the phrase "Let's roll" here is not lost on me here.)
posted by ssg at 7:52 AM on September 24, 2008


Sure they do. locally, with a real vote, everyone votes naked self-interest.

Care to provide a cite for your broad and easily falsifiable assertion?
posted by ssg at 7:53 AM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Canada has enough problems of its own. I suggest it solves them and lets us solve ours. Thanks.

The problem is that the problems of America very quickly become the problems of Canada. And the rest of the world. And we don't really trust you to make the right decision. You're welcome.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 8:06 AM on September 24, 2008 [6 favorites]


I found this all sort of stilted and unfunny until the Barack Obama: Quelle Homme! t-shirt.

And now I want one.
posted by rokusan at 8:24 AM on September 24, 2008


If he goes north, I go north.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:34 AM on September 24, 2008


Ditto Europe and the world. I absolutely don't understand why Europeans are so hostile to Bush and the Republicans when it's clear that Europe has benefitted greatly from the last eight years.

Benefited? First of all, the U.S. destroyed their public image with their own hands. Libération, a French paper created after May '68, had a black first page reading "We are all Americans" after 9/11 IIRC. What we got forwarded from the other side of the pond was more talk about the clash of civilizations, which wasn't helping a Europe trying to deal with its relatively new consciousness that a significant part of its citizens were Muslims, nor was it beneficial for Euro-Arab relations.

The invasion of Afghanistan that followed, was a NATO affair without U.N. permission, but the U.S. were understandably hurt, the Taliban were assholes and finding Bin Laden was a good idea. What we got were constant reports of "collateral damage" (that expression was still hip) and while lots of articles demonstrated the tribal link to Pakistan, the U.S. didn't want to deal* with Pakistan. Not that this administration seemed able to do that, but we're now seeing the results of inaction. Al-Qaeda suffered a temporary setback retreating to Pakistan, Bin Laden** nor Mullah Omar (remember him?) are still roaming and after the first reportages about the emancipation of women and poor farmers, Afghanistan has disappeared from the primary world stage, slowly reverting to its pre-2001 condition. Words like liberation and democracy (on which both the U.S. and the European countries are based) were twisted out of their meanings.

What hurt that government most was the invasion of Iraq. When one heard "to disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, to end Saddam Hussein's support for terrorism, and to free the Iraqi people.", the fabrication of evidence was already known, the location of the terrorists was elsewhere and the Afghanis knew what promises of "liberation" meant. The war would just transfer oil contracts from European (and Russian(?)) oil companies to Cheney's pals and create another destabilized region in the Middle East. Bush ignored the U.N., the biggest anti-war demonstrations ever were held in vain, and France was lumped with Germany into "old Europe". Then, the freedom fries followed.

While the Eastern European countries are funded by the EU and mainly Germany, they are held under the spectre of possible Russian aggression. This administration has surely done its part to pique Russia by supporting regime changes in countries situated in Russia's backyard (imagine Russia installing missiles in Cuba and funding & organising the Zapatistas in Mexico). When wanting to divide the European countries, bilateral agreements about the missile shield or non-VISA agreements have been a useful tool. The E.U. should have been looking after its own unity, but that doesn't mean one turns a blind eye on the actions of the U.S. government during these 8 years.

I already talked about that in part, but the unilateralism of the present administration is amazing. The strongest i.e. the U.S., will obviously be shaping the world politics, but the pronounced disregard for the U.N., the allies of the U.S. -unless they followed suit-, the international treaties (Kyoto, ABM, ICC, various human-rights ones) and the constant posturing in international politics (the axis of evil that was either irrelevant or could be negotiated with, as shown by N. Korea, ex-baddie Libya and soon Syria) leaves a bad taste in the mouth. This Republican administration was a pure us vs them affair. Either you followed without giving input or you could go play in your room. Even in the States themselves, see how the Democrats were dragged around under the fear of appearing soft or non-patriots or BS of the kind. Obama symbolises a clean break there and that's not to be underestimated.

And then of course there's the environment this administration has created. New legislation that would normally be opposed passing under the anti-terror mantle, U.S. demands for all kinds of data on European citizens, the constant more-or-less-forceful nagging to participate in the war on terror. Human rights that were considered secure being weakened, torture, snooping, tax cuts for the rich and a nominally smaller government ready to be exported.

As an anecdote, last year when 10% of the forests in Greece were burnt, our PM wore an Air Force jacket and all his photos resembled Bush after 9/11. He even went so far to be as effective as him.

The stronger euro did alleviate some of the effects from the rising oil, but European exporters have been mumbling about the problems it causes since the beginning of time. The U.S. and the E.U. have a huge economic partnership, so both stand to lose when one of them's not doing good.

And finally, No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were. The Americans are culturally close to the Europeans, so we'd rather they were doing way better than that. I agree with the non--zero sum game comment. No surprise most of us prefer not to see a McCain or Palin presidency. I'm optimistic we (and they) won't have to.

*deal doesn't equal bomb.
**Wiki says: Seven days into the U.S./British bombing campaign, the Taliban offered to surrender Osama bin Laden to a third country for trial, if the bombing halted and they were shown evidence of his involvement in the September 11 terrorist attacks.

/Long-ass comment.

posted by ersatz at 8:37 AM on September 24, 2008 [6 favorites]


ugh. the Republican party seems to have no morals or ethics whatsoever, reaching deeper into the gutter, determined to steal this election too.G.O.P.: Lose Your Home, Lose Your Vote.

Canada is looking more and more like a nicer place to live. What's needed for a US citizen to go live there?
posted by nickyskye at 8:42 AM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Canada is looking more and more like a nicer place to live. What's needed for a US citizen to go live there?

A sense of fair play, a love for hockey, and the embracement of mediocrity.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 9:11 AM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Dude didn't give up a Supreme Court clerkship and tenure at the University of Chicago to be President of no Canada.
posted by grobstein at 9:15 AM on September 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


Earlier this week I procured five "Obama for President" t-shirts requested by a friend's family... in Trinidad.
posted by Soliloquy at 9:33 AM on September 24, 2008


The problem is that the problems of America very quickly become the problems of Canada. And the rest of the world. And we don't really trust you to make the right decision. You're welcome.

Or as the awful song goes, "We are the World, We are the people". Even Bob Dylan sang along. You don't get to unleash dreck like that upon us all and then say, "Mind your own business."

Look what happened to the poor Japanese.
posted by philip-random at 9:46 AM on September 24, 2008


Becoming Canadian: From Immigration to Citizenship

Libération, a French paper created after May '68, had a black first page reading "We are all Americans" after 9/11 IIRC.

I believe it was Le Monde. In return we dumped French wine in the streets and renamed French fries.

The invasion of Afghanistan that followed, was a NATO affair without U.N. permission, but the U.S. were understandably hurt, the Taliban were assholes and finding Bin Laden was a good idea.

Also, "NATO declared the [9/11] attacks to be an attack against all NATO member countries."
posted by kirkaracha at 9:47 AM on September 24, 2008


Article 1 Section 9. It would be pretty awesome if Congress passed the "Whatever, it's just Canada" resolution.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 9:50 AM on September 24, 2008


Obama would be an amazing change for America. In Canada he would be a mediocre leader of the Progressive Conservative party.

Seconded, and two things:

1. Canadians don't vote for a prime minister. Nobody outside of the Calgary SW riding actually has a "Harper" lawn sign. This is not how a parliamentary system works, and even Canadians seem too often not to understand this basic difference between the American and Canadian political systems.

2. Canadians- even our version of "conservatives"- would never tolerate Obama qua Obama simply because all his talk about religion has no place in Canadian politics. None. He is an American candidate in every way, shape and form, and on this religion mark he is intolerably and indelibly SOCIALLY conservative. Canadians- yes even here in Alberta- repudiate social conservatism overwhelmingly.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 9:53 AM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


America's military romps, in the meantime, have greatly helped European unity, especially among the public, which is now suspicious and distrustful of the U.S.

Yea. No.

I think you'll find we hate Bush so much because of the human rights atrocities, none of which made us feel any better about ourselves.
posted by opsin at 9:58 AM on September 24, 2008


Oh, and destroying our economy just recently. That's not a high point.
posted by opsin at 10:00 AM on September 24, 2008


because all his talk about religion has no place in Canadian politics. None.

The one jarring and sour note for me in his 2004 convention speech was his referral to his Awesome God. Here he was, charismatic, down to earth, I'm with him all the way, then suddenly, WTF? He's one of those religious nuts? In Canada, Harper's suspected religious inclinations have engendered a worrying feeling of distrust as to his motivations among all but the most religiously extreme electors.

Okay, there was another one: That statement that 'only in America was a story like his even possible'. Oh, fuck off!
posted by Turtles all the way down at 10:37 AM on September 24, 2008


Technically, it's the Greens who would restore the 2%. Dion's trick depends on the energy/manufacturing/transport industries not raising their prices higher than income tax cuts can cover.

Look, intellectually I can understand the Green Shift. But you don't win election by getting bogged down in the details. And no one trusts a government who says a new tax will be "revenue neutral". I think the GST is great (and think the worst thing the Harper Conservatives have done yet is reduce the GST to 6%, instead of cutting income taxes or scrapping EI), but it doomed the Mulroney PCs.

>>>A candidate who can't speak English but must campaign in English Canada because he is hated in Quebec (although his French oratory is said to be pretty good)?

SFW? We have two official languages. And the reason he's hated in Quebec makes me like him more, as opposed to Harper, who's willing to poke the stupid sovereignty bear if he thinks there's some short term gain in it for himself.


I do think it's more than a little unfair to make fun of Dion's fractured English, especially since, as far as I know, Harper and the rest of the Conservative knuckle-draggers' French is worse, and also since French is one of our official languages. And Dion, with the Clarity Act, really did "save Canada."

But what's the use of having a Liberal leader who can't communicate in English, and who should not communicate in Quebec?

And I know I'm going out on a limb here, but Harper's flirting with the sovereigntists in Quebec perfectly aligns with his "firewall" (rather than centrist) approach to government: give the provinces more power to decide things themselves. Of course, this has implications for things like transfer payments, and, ultimately, the economic health of Canada. After all these years supporting the regional "basket cases", Ontario is going to be told to fuck off and help themselves...help themselves.

PS: The racist implications of the "Quebec Nation" statement really freaks me out.

Too bad Harper can't just stick to easily digestible one-word slogans like "Hope" and "Change".
posted by KokuRyu at 10:37 AM on September 24, 2008


Don't feel bad Canada! We've had such a good time together in Afghanistan these past few years and I just wanted you guys to know that you're, like, totally invited to the afterparty we're throwing in Pakistan. It's gonna be a blast. Hope you all can make it!
posted by GalaxieFiveHundred at 10:43 AM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


The one jarring and sour note for me in his 2004 convention speech was his referral to his Awesome God. Here he was, charismatic, down to earth, I'm with him all the way, then suddenly, WTF? He's one of those religious nuts? In Canada, Harper's suspected religious inclinations have engendered a worrying feeling of distrust as to his motivations among all but the most religiously extreme electors.

It's pretty much impossible to win a national election here in the U.S. without pandering to Christians. Plus, it is pretty clear that religion is indeed an important part of Obama's life and allowed him, as a light-skinned black man with 2 Ivy league degrees to integrate into south-side Chicago's community via the church he attended and the pastors at the church, especially because of the importance of the church as part of the social structure of black communities here in the U.S.
posted by gyc at 10:59 AM on September 24, 2008


After all these years supporting the regional "basket cases", Ontario is going to be told to fuck off and help themselves...help themselves.

My guess is that the only reason the Tories have a chance in Quebec is because people there know that Alberta also hates Toronto Ontario.
posted by oaf at 11:16 AM on September 24, 2008


It's starting to freak me out how much the Liberals and the Democrats are running essentially the same campaign.

Liberals: "Do you really want more of this?"
Democrats: "We can't afford more of the same."

I don't think we'll ever see this one explicitly stated, even though it's true: "Avec les Républicains, le Sud prend des forces."
posted by oaf at 11:23 AM on September 24, 2008


gyc: Yeah, that's pretty much what I figured once I thought about it. Interesting that it's precisely the opposite here in the Great White North.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 11:23 AM on September 24, 2008


Most Canadian politicians believe in separation of church and state, Turtles. We've had so many Catholic leaders and you never hear a word about it.
posted by orange swan at 11:42 AM on September 24, 2008


Most Canadian politicians believe in separation of church and state

But then what do you do when God gives you instructions?
posted by Turtles all the way down at 11:52 AM on September 24, 2008


Smile and nod.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:55 AM on September 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


Libération, a French paper created after May '68, had a black first page reading "We are all Americans" after 9/11 IIRC.

I believe it was Le Monde.


Yeah, seems like it; archive.org only has the 9/14 versions of the site. Thanks for the correction.
posted by ersatz at 11:56 AM on September 24, 2008


But then what do you do when God gives you instructions?

I consult with my Member of Parliament.
posted by philip-random at 3:05 PM on September 24, 2008


CanadaIraq has enough problems of its own. I suggest it solves them and lets us solve ours. Thanks.

CanadaIran has enough problems of its own. I suggest it solves them and lets us solve ours. Thanks.

...fixed that for you. Shall I do more?
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 3:56 PM on September 24, 2008


But then what do you do when God gives you instructions?

Increase your dosage of meds.
posted by dazed_one at 4:29 PM on September 24, 2008


God? Pfftt. Canadian politicians consult the spirits of their dead dogs for political instructions*.

*OK, only one of them did, but it could catch on again.
posted by ssg at 4:44 PM on September 24, 2008


I'm Canadian and American, and I thank God every day that I get to vote for at least one politician I want as leader of the country.
posted by Dr. Send at 5:04 PM on September 24, 2008


You're voting for the 'stache, aren't you?
posted by oaf at 5:08 PM on September 24, 2008


But then what do you do when God gives you instructions?
posted by dutch at 10:23 PM on September 24, 2008


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