Thursday, November 06, 2008

Two Birds, One Stone (of Hope)

As the countdown to Election Day (in the States) drew down to zero, a strange inverse relationship began to shine through - more and more of my friends began doing things like "donating" their Facebook statuses to remind other friends to vote for McCain or Obama. They joined various groups, and spoke to various people about the importance and power that this election held. All I can say is, "Where were you last month when Canadians voted?!" Perhaps sitting on your butts with the other 40.9 per cent of the country waiting for, I don't know, the American election to trickle down and decide our election. Was that it?

Now, I don't think for a second that the American election was not terribly important. The one sad part about the election is that it officially lets George W. Bush off the hook for eight years of complete lunacy. Since the election talk really began heating up, people seem to have forgotten that the inmates were running the damn asylum; the focus has been on how the candidates would deal with all the problems that Bush was creating, but no one was wondering why he wasn't doing anything about them himself. But, beyond that, Obama's victory (and with such a clear mandate) will probably prove to be a very, very good thing for America and the world.

Speaking of mandates, that is why the Canadian election was pointless, and expensively pointless at around $300 million. Granted, no election can every really be considered "pointless" - except maybe for people in certain countries that are perpetually Mugabe-screwed - but it should accomplish something more concrete than "We don't really like the way you're doing things, but we don't really dislike the way you're doing things, so thanks for calling, but we'll actually stay with our current long distance provider".

Canadians have rushed to align themselves with the States (after eight or so years of making it quite clear that we would not be counted among their ranks) as if to say, "Look, we were too apathetic to bother telling our candidates what mattered to us, but we're gosh darn proud of the way you guys have done it."

Suddenly, we Canadians have found ourselves in a unique position - we're proud to hang out with the States again. It's been such a long time since we could take that drunken idiot to parties, we simply don't know how to handle it now that he's got his act together. Still though, we figure we'd better get as much out of him as soon as we can before he starts falling back into old habits.

Part of the problem, admittedly, is that the Canadian system doesn't really allow for the celebration of particular people (weird Justin Trudeau fanboyism notwithstanding) like the American system; I can't vote for Jack Layton or Elizabeth May unless I move to Toronto or Antigonish, but I'd be able to vote for Barack Obama or John McCain no matter where I lived in the States.

I guess overall I just get extremely frustrated by the insecure and incomplete Canadian psyche sometimes - if you're going to get righteous about the results of another country's election, you should stand up and be counted at home.

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