You Got a Friend in Canada


Barack Obama, President of the United States o...

The US election is over, well unless you are a vote counter in the state of Florida. No matter, we all know the outcome; Mr. Obama and his family will get to call 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue home for another four years. I am so proud of all those voters, even the ones that voted for Romney. You are exercising your democratic right to vote and I applaud that. . .even if you did so “like a lamb to slaughter” so the saying goes. There is a reason why it’s the lamb animal used in this idiom. Some would say it’s because the lamb represents innocence but I believe that it’s because lambs are not the smartest animal in the barn.

Here in Canada, the election was watched closely. In my house, in which we are one step up from basic cable, we had four channels with live coverage of the results starting at 7 pm, EST. Unfortunately, we do not get CNN or MSNBC. We plowed on with just the closest local US coverage. We cheered each time Obama scored another state or a Democrat won their local race. We enjoyed the night. . . and wee hours of the morning too.

I awoke with an extra hop in my step. I held my head a bit higher. I am proud to be American but let’s face it, there are some places around the world that I don’t bring that topic up. If others want to assume I’m Canadian, I’m okay with that; it’s less painful that way, especially when Bush Part Deux was in office. My new friends here tease me once in a while about stereotypical American traits, we all chuckle because they are usually right and I’m okay with that. I know they see me as an individual and one that doesn’t necessary fall into the stereotypes.

So I was quite happy upon entering work. As soon as each one of my co-workers, all four of them, saw me for the first time this morning, they all greeted me with the knowledge Obama won re-election. Our cook, a Muslim from Afghanistan, explained to me how his 8-year-old son responded to the news of the election’s outcome. He jumped up in delight and ran to go wake up his twin sister to tell her. Both kids know who President Obama is, both knew there was an election and what an election is. How many of you can tell me the name and title of our leader in Canada? No cheating.

American politics is big news in this country. Canadians in general are confused by it but still fascinated. One example of their confusion is that there are only two basic political parties in the US. How can a country as large as the USA have only two polarizing opposite parties? They realize there are millions of people somewhere in between those two so why shouldn’t there be more parties to represent them? I would go so far as to say that Ontarians (aka., those living in the Ontario province of Canada) know more about the politics south of the border than their own. The leader of Ontario, a member of the Liberal Party, resigned about a month ago. This is equivalent to a state Governor just up and quitting. Ontario does not have a leader, a boss, as we speak. A special election has been called for late January to select one but the ballot is not yet set. Last time I checked; one person announced they would run and another said they would announce their decision to run or not in the next couple of days. Do they realize the election is scheduled for January 2013, in about 10 weeks? But ask a Canadian why they like or don’t like Romney or Obama, each person I’ve talked to can give an educated well thought out answer.

Today was a day to celebrate. It was a time to celebrate many causes: LGBT, women, race, immigration, marijuana, etc. We can celebrate hope, a hope that this result will shake-up the Republican Party. The GOP does not represent the diversity of the US or the world. Did anyone see how white Romney’s party goers were last night? This is not 1950. Women are working, deserve equal pay and have the right to their own bodies. LGBT are more visible, demand to be heard and treated as equals. The color scheme of the US is not snowy white.

Mr. Obama, you got my vote and you have my support because I believe in you. I believe you will make the right decisions for America to be better, to get stronger. I believe that in turn will make the world a better place for all of humankind. I, along with 73% of Canadians if they could’ve voted, believe in you. Peace

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