Why Canadians can’t look away from the US vote #Breaking112
“We’re all watching the US election with close attention because of its potential impact on the Canadian economy and on Canadians,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said during a press conference last week.
Asked if his government is preparing for election disruptions or violence south of the border, Trudeau went further. “I think we’re certainly all hoping for a smooth transition or a clear result from the election, like many people are around the world. If it is less clear there may be some disruptions and we need to be ready for any outcomes,” Trudeau said.
But even with a smooth US election process, many Canadians are feeling uneasy about the possibility of four more years with an American president who has shown personal animus toward Canada and its government. President Donald Trump threatened tariffs on Canadian steel, aluminum and other resources without negotiation or warning and walked out of the G7 summit in Canada in 2018 calling Trudeau “dauishonest” and “very weak.”
“We’re right next to the United States, I think there is increasing anxiety, if Trump gets re-elected, he would have carte blanche for 4 years,” said professor Nelson Wiseman, a political science professor at the University of Toronto.
He recalls that in 2018, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro even said there was a “special place in hell” for Trudeau. “What kind of language is that?” Wiseman asks.
Feigenbaum also suspects that more Canadians support Trump than is shown in the polls. “They’re just not willing to disclose it,” he said.
Whomever they support, there’s no pleading ignorance of America’s looming choice. Canadian airwaves are saturated with the latest updates from both US national networks and local American broadcasts.
Over the past year, Google Trends data has also shown an increase in searches for “How to move to Canada.”
But many fear that America’s divisive political discourse could eventually be imported north, too. Trump’s corrosive, anti-government rhetoric is dangerous not just to the US, but as an example for Canadians, says Volpe.
“We’re spectators and we’re watching a society that is in relative decline,” said Wiseman, adding that Canadians fear their own politics could become as polarized.
“America shows Canada its future.”