Here in the "cold, arctic wastes" of Canada we had our National election a few weeks ago. The assholes won (again), but it was done with little interest and one of the lowest voter turn-outs our country has ever seen. All was said and done in a matter of weeks....but that's how we roll in Canada.
Fast forward a couple of weeks. Our local and national news programs have been saturated with information, poll results and predictions for your American election, which I believe is happening today (Nov. 4). The influx of American political information is not new (we've been subjected to a lot of town hall debates and cross-fire Q&A, constantly interrupting my access to some very fine American television shows) but it surprises me how much attention is paid in Canada to an American Presidential election. We didn't give our our parlimentary election this much attention when picking our Prime Minister for poop sake!
I don't necessarly have a problem with it; I find your election to be much more entertaining than ours. (The closest thing we had to a "Joe the Plumber" was "Jaque the Slightly Irritated Lumberjack".) It just boggles my mind as to why we, and other countries, stake so much interest in American politics. One of our national newspapers held a poll the other day. It asked who we would vote for in the American election if we were American. (In my opinion, Obama all the way!!) We didn't do a thing like that for our OWN candidates, but we did dedicate a lot of print resources to seeing how Canadians would vote if they were Americans. It's really hard for me to get my head around. Internationally it is the same. Why the interest to something that we cannot effect the outcome of in any way?
I have my own thoughts and beliefs for this. One reason is that America pretty much dictates what Canada does. Our economy (although doing a bit better than yours as of late), our forms of entertainment and our international involvements all hinge on what "Big Brother America" is doing. That's not necessarly a bad thing, but an odd thing. We've had our own distinct culture for a long time....yours just seems a little more important to the majority of our citizens. Maybe its the flash and showmanship of your candidates, maybe its the patriotism, maybe its the alarming number of tractor pulls your country seems to take part in, I don't know. All I know is that there are a lot of anxious Canucks waiting to see what happens, and a lot of hours of television set aside for coverage on all the major Canadian networks. (The ultimate reality show, one could argue.) Looks like its a "Family Guy on DVD" night for me tonight, eh?
I guess I'll just have to wait and see how all this plays out tonight. I suggest to any of you in the good ole US of A to get out there and vote today...for Obama, if you can...and let your opinion matter. I'm sure Canada will be covering every aspect of the election as it happens. It's the least we can do since we ignored our own.
Thanks for reading,
-The Big Bad, proud citizen of "America's Hat"