So Canada is a blue state.
A BBC poll of 21 countries completed prior to the Nov. 6 U.S. election showed a solid majority preferred to see Barack Obama return to the White House. Only Pakistan, and by a slim majority, was in favour of a Romney government.
Interestingly, the difference in the number of Canadians choosing Obama over Romney was around 65 per cent – the kind of lead any political leader would love.
Meanwhile, here in Canada, Prime Minister Stephen Harper continues to act with apparent disregard for polls or approval ratings. Understandable, since many Canadians don’t appear overly thrilled with his approach to doing business. In fact, a September Ipsos-Reid poll shows one in four Canadians think Harper is the worst prime minister the nation has had since 1968. Mind you, he still comes ahead of Liberal Jean Chrétien, and fellow Tory, Brian Mulroney. The highest-rated PM was Pierre Elliot Trudeau.
Since he announced his intention to run for the leadership of the federal Liberals, Pierre’s son, Justin Trudeau, has been grabbing headlines. While critcs argue he’s more style than substance (ignoring or downplaying what he’s accomplished to date), there’s something to that style that has Canadians in a tizzy – and it’s not just his right hook.
There’s a charismatic charm to Justin that is beginning to sink in among Canadians tired of a prime minister for whom democracy appears to be a royal inconvenience. Case in point: the Foreign Investment Promotion & Protection Agreement Harper has signed with China. This trade agreement, which Canada will be bound to for 31 years, received no debate in the House of Commons and little in the way of public discourse.
The BBC poll, Justin’s rising popularity and even the federal NDP’s showing in the last election indicate a desire for government that doesn't take power and the electorate for granted – government places democratic process over sketchy trade deals and omnibus bills. That’s how positive approval ratings are earned.