Posted by: Hannah | 11/07/2012

hangover

I have an election hangover this morning.

But you’re a Canadian! you cry. Why did you stay up until 1AM skipping back and forth between CNN, The Daily Show, and Twitter? That makes no sense. Please explain.

Well, pick your metaphor. Up here in America’s top hat, we have to be interested in what happens with US politics. (Incidentally, American friends, that ought to go both ways. We are your largest trading partner, you know. And a major source of your oil. Just something to consider). As Pierre Trudeau famously said, we in Canada are the mouse in bed with the elephant. When America sneezes, Canada catches a cold.

We need to know what you’re up to, because everything you do affects us.

Sometimes we get obnoxious and self-righteous about it, and that’s upsetting. A lot of Canadians yesterday got all shouty-caps on social media reminding Americans to vote, which was unbelievably patronizing. Some even went so far as to say “vote for Obama!” and this morning I’m seeing a lot of smarmy “dear America – thank you, love Canada” type things.

I’m going on record right now as saying that really pisses me off. Think about it, fellow Canucks – if during our next federal election Americans started reminding us en masse to vote – if they started telling us how to vote – and if they had the nerve to thank us after it was all over – it would be a national emergency. You know it would. So don’t do it. Imperfect as American democracy may be at the moment (I am looking at you, Florida, you nutters), it is their democracy. Yes, we have a vested interest. Yes, we need to butt out and let them figure it out for themselves.

As a Canadian social liberal, I would have no choice but to vote Democrat. American social conservatives and I do not see eye to eye on issues that are important to me: marriage equality, abortion, free access to quality health for everyone, the wider social safety net. I freely admit that the rhetoric coming from the Republican candidates was alarming to me. But.

Had Romney won, America would have continued to exist. With Obama in the White House for another four years, it’s the same. I saw a tweet this morning that read “Romney would have repealed Roe v. Wade on November 7th!!” Well, that’s just stupid. First of all, the new President isn’t inaugurated until January. Second, the President does not have the power to unilaterally repeal that decision, unless I’m missing something. Third, I doubt that any President could actually marshal the bipartisan support necessary to open that debate at the national level again.

(It’s a similar situation in Canada, by the way. Our majority Conservative caucus has the numbers to push through all kinds of restrictive laws about abortion, and periodically some of the more far-right MPs will introduce ‘private member’s bills’ to try and make that happen. Our Prime Minister, much and all as I dislike most of his policies, has stated categorically that regardless of his personal beliefs, the debate will not be reopened on his watch. So far, he has kept that promise – because he knows there is no national will to discuss it.)

The election is over. Wolf Blitzer can calm the hell down. That guy with the magic wall who could correctly identify counties right across the country – John King I think his name is? – can relax. The pundits can go back to wherever pundits go between elections (the 7th circle of hell? The Black Lagoon? I detest pundits and punditry).

I think what’s most baffling to me is just the sheer level of emotion involved; of sadness, of rage. And it’s the craziest people who get the most airtime. Why are we still listening to Donald Trump? And Victoria Jackson? “America died”? No, you twit, America didn’t die. America didn’t even get put in intensive care. Left-wing crazies are no better.

Seriously, America, if *I* may offer a piece of unsolicited assvice, it’s that you need to take all your extreme mouthpieces from both sides of the spectrum and lock ’em up somewhere. The Republican congressmen and Senators who say bone-stupid things about rape. The Democratic spokespeople who try to imply that a Republican presidency will spell the End of Everything. Grover Norquist. James Carville, much as I love his leprechaun-like visage. The ones who earn their bread and butter by fomenting hate, by causing distractions.

Can we please, now that the election is over, agree to disagree and try to get along? For the sake of your Canadian friends, who have been drowning their sorrows in bacon and maple syrup since the midterm elections.

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Responses

  1. Last night before Obama’s victory speech CBC pundits were already discussing the 2016 election. Oh sweet Jesus and a box of hair — DO NOT GO THERE! NOT YET. Erm…but if we have let’s pretend the ticket is Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama.

    • I know, right? They called it for Obama and not 15 seconds later on my Twitter feed “YAY! now let’s concentrate on midterm elections!” and then my head exploded. It’s like they are trapped in a perpetual election cycle and can’t get out.

  2. I’m glad my husband is American and that my son has the option to choose American citizenship when he grows up because I feel it gives me the right to care.

    • I think we all have the right to care – I just think there is a big difference between caring / showing legitimate interest and sticking our collective Canadian nose in where it doesn’t belong.

  3. Almighty YES.


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