So it’s the big day for America! Buh-bye, Bush! And good riddance, right? Now if we could only do the same with Harper. That seems to be the sentiment of a lot of Canadians, who are registering some serious Obama-Envy.
I found myself wondering after Obama’s election win in November whether the results of Canada’s election would have been different had ours come after the U.S. election instead of before. Considering the disappointingly low turnout of voters in Canada’s election (around 55%, can you believe it?) and the level of inspired hope exhibited by Canadians after the U.S. presidential election, I do wonder if the polls may have shown a little more determination and a little less resignation.
So we’re stuck with Harper and looking for once at our neighbours down south and wishing we could have what they have. Ha! That’s irony for you. Still, we’re not all complicit with the Obama plan of action, as CBC reports.
Many Canadians are worried about how American policies will affect us, especially in areas concerning NAFTA, deficit spending and especially Afghanistan. Basically we remain a peace-loving public and want our troops home, so if Obama wants to “stay the course” there, Canadians aren’t too comfortable with that.
I have my own concerns about Obama’s less than solid support of reproductive choice in the past (he supports choice, but depending on his audience, the level of that support seems to vary) and his opposition to gay marriage.
Now I am not going to say I am not totally stoked about Obama taking office today, however. For all of my criticisms of him, the man has run on what is probably the most progressive presidential platform the U.S. has ever seen. I’m just saying if I ran my own feminist magazine I might not put him on the cover as the next hero of feminism. But you know, he’s still pretty darn cool.
So what do you think? Are you excited about the new president? Do you wish Canada could find a progressive leader just like Obama? Do you have any concerns about the new American leadership and if so, what areas do you think need the most immediate work?