What happens here affects our neighbors to the Nor

It’s not just us United States citizens that are being adversley affected by the horrid policies of the miserable failure, George Bush. Our neighbors to the North, Canada, are clearly being affected, especially by our economic and environmental policies. Jack MacAndrew has stated in an opinion piece, that what happens in the US race will have a huge impact on Canada.

It’s been said that when the US gets the sniffles, the rest of the world gets the flu. Under Bush, the US is in cardiac arrest. Canada’s relationship with the U.S. matters

U.S. policies have an effect

>by Jack MacAndrew
February 8, 2004

The noted Canadian commentator Patrick Watson once explained our consuming Canadian interest in matters political in the United States of America. Said Watson …“he’s our President too.”

And so it is that amongst political watchers and addicts like myself, there is nearly as much interest in who is likely to be the next President as there is in knowing who is going to be our next Prime Minister. Of course, this time, we already knew who our Prime Minister was going to be, long before he was actually anointed to the position.

So, except for minor league battles like the current one for the leadership of the Reform/Alliance/Conservative party of Canada, all we’ve got to entertain us is the “big show” down south.

On the subject of the Canadian contest, the result and its consequences are absolutely predictable: Harper wins, the Conservative Party loses all its Atlantic Canadian seats and picks up none in Quebec and Ontario, thus closing the circle and becoming the Reform Party once again, while Jack Layton and a re-energized New Democratic Party gain seats and become the Official Opposition.

Place your bets and tell ’em you first heard it here.

Meanwhile, the action south of the border is with the Democratic Party, with a line-up of candidates jousting for the privilege of taking on Dubya in mortal political combat. Who wins the primaries and becomes the Democratic candidate is important to Canada, just as it is to the entire world, now that Bush and his advisors believe they have been singled out by the Almighty to pursue evil and root it out wherever it may be found, irrespective of national boundaries and international law.

There are those, myself amongst them, who suggest that Bush need not look afar to find acts of “evil,” indeed, no farther than his own executive offices.

Consider a former speechwriter, the Canadian journalist David Frum, and a longtime neo-conservative deep thinker named Richard Perle. These two have written a book titled An End To Evil: How To Win The War On Terror.

It is indicative of the stultifying presumptuousness of these two worthies that they should offer an ideological recipe to accomplish something God Almighty has been unable to do in thousands of years.

It follows that their solution is simplistic to the point of idiocy: entrust the salvation of the world to the unrelenting use of American military power — when, where and how the American government wishes to employ it in the pursuit of American interests and American foreign policy.

Another new book chronicles the story of Paul O’Neill, who quickly discovered the penalty of interrupting neo-conservative dogma with a dose of common sense.

O’Neill had served Bush the elder during his Presidency, as well as Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. In other words, he was a Republican with credentials. Not only that, he had become friendly with Donald Rumsfeld (Secretary of Defense) and Dick Cheney (the Vice-President ), who was instrumental in having him appointed Secretary of the Treasury.

He didn’t last long.

Dick Cheney had him fired after a couple of years. O’Neill’s crime: his outspokenness and dissent with the neo-conservative agenda.

Putative Democratic Party candidates had been having trouble handling their dissent with their President’s “war on terror.” To speak against the war, or against its chief mouthpiece’s handling of the war was tantamount to treason. But now, as the body count of young Americans mounts (it’s over 500) they are becoming more bold in their criticism.

And out of the pack has emerged the Kennedyesque Senator John Kerry (from Massachusetts), craggy faced and talking sense, and most importantly, a Democrat with the distinct possibility of sending President Bush and his claque of neo-conservatives packing.

It’s a long, long time to November, in a business where a week can be an eternity, but the first nationwide poll after Senator Kerry’s surprise win in Iowa, already had him in the lead over the President — narrowly, but still ahead.

Kerry’s sudden emergence as the front runner was confirmed by the results of the first actual primary vote in New Hampshire and the subsequent primaries. He will now be off and running and pretty much unstoppable and the campaign money will begin flowing into his election treasury.

But his emergence as a potential winner over Bush has energized the Democrats as nothing else. It has also re-focused the primary campaign on that key question of electability.

A recent editorial in the New York Times pointed out that the Republican Party under George W. Bush only faintly resembles the party once headed by his father.

Said the Times: “The most striking thing about the new Republicanism is the way it embraces big government.” The editorial goes on to cite huge spending commitments made by the President at a time when the jobless rate is increasing and the war in Iraq costs more and more in trying to find the peace.

“The modern party’s key allegiance is to corporate America, and its tolerance for intrusive federal government ends when big business is involved. The White House and Congress has chipped away at environmental protections that interfere with business interests on everything from clean air to federal lands… A political majority that believes in big government for people and little or no government for corporations, has produced an unsustainable fiscal policy… a stern and intrusive government to regulate the citizenry, but with a hands off attitude toward business.”

That is a rather damning indictment.

It is clear that United States policies enacted on the watch of George W. Bush have had an effect on Canada. Our relationship with our southern neighbour matters. And a win for a Democrat, be it Senator Kerry or someone else, will make a difference to our country.

Jack MacAndrew is a writer and broadcaster in P.E.I.

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