The next American presidential election is coming up and Canadians are already being inundated with campaign season news.
It is nearly impossible to not know what is happening in the States during any kind of election. If you are one of the very few people who have not seen or heard a single political campaign from the United States so far, consider yourself lucky.
Every four years, Canadians are forced to ride on the rollercoaster known as the American presidential election. From President Bill Clinton’s well-known quote, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman,” to President Donald Trump’s childish press speeches, Canadians are kept up-to-date daily about their Southern neighbours.
But is there a way to get off this ride? Unless you do not own a phone, TV, or computer, it is a hopeless endeavour to try to avoid this topic. I use the metaphor of a rollercoaster because American politics are not just cut and dry. There are ups and downs, twists and turns, at every stage of the presidential election. There are always scandals that break out about seemingly every politician who has ever run for president.
In Canadian politics, the elections are pretty basic by comparison. The politicians present their campaigns, you vote, and they are elected. Of course, that is the essence of any election, but American elections are almost a form of entertainment. The amount of media coverage American politicians receive is beyond the amount Canadian politics has ever had. When watching American politics on TV, it can be perceived as a comedy show. Canadians get a sense of comic relief from doing so and think, “I’m glad that’s not us!”
Even though it may be irritating to see everything American, it is important that we as Canadians do pay attention to the presidential election. We should care about who is running and what they plan to accomplish. Whoever becomes the next president plays a significant role in Canada-U.S. relations. The United States is our number one largest trading partner. Over 400,000 people cross the border each day either for business or pleasure. Our shared goods and services are vital to both countries’ economic values and prosperity.
However, this does not mean that we should listen to every moment of the presidential election. Our own politics are just as important, although it may not seem as exciting and intense as American politics.
We can not push aside American politics without acknowledging America’s relationship to Canada. It is important that we weigh in on American politics because whoever is the next president is who we, as Canadians, will have to deal with for the next four years.
Although we do not have the power to choose the next president, we do have the power to contribute to our own politics. We must always ensure that who we choose as our Prime Minister in Canada not only benefits our needs, but also represents us on the global stage.
As for now, all we can do is sit back and enjoy the ride.