Monday, January 23, 2006

Canada: conservative coming out day!

Continuing on my Canadian political splurg: a good article in The American Spectator puts a good perspective on the importance of today's election results.

For North America, it will mean a much friendlier partnership between the U.S. and Canada. Prime Minister Paul Martin has hitched his political wagon to shameless Yankee-bashing this campaign, accusing Harper of being a Washington puppet and vowing to "make sure that Canada speaks with an independent voice now, tomorrow, and always." ...

But as David Sax points out (subscription required) in the New Republic, Canadian anti-Americanism may be broad...but it isn't deep. An SES/Buffalo University poll in 2005 showed that a majority of Canadians want closer relations with the U.S. on security, antiterrorism, and energy policy. Canadians don't want to be Americans, but they do want to be American allies. The Grits have made this tough over the years, with periodic anti-Bush and anti-American outbursts from the back and front benches.

The Tories won't have that problem. Though Harper has made pains to distance himself from the perception of excessive deference to Washington, even writing to the Washington Times to dispute an op-ed characterizing him as "Mr. Bush's new best friend internationally," the fact is that he'll be the most pro-American Canadian Prime Minister in a long time. He may not send Canadian troops to Iraq, but he has praised the U.S. for pursuing democracy there and would stand with the U.S. (and Israel) in international disputes where his predecessors would stand against us. In a dangerous world, the good guys are about to gain another strong leader. And that's bad news for the bad guys.
It's really a shame the United States hasn't paid much attention. One American commentator was bemoaning a week ago that the average American knows more about the British and German political process than our "close allies" up north.
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