The Canadian Election and its Impact on the U.S.

Most Bellarmine students, and Americans for that matter, see Canada as the land of maple syrup, hockey, and incredibly nice people. These stereotypes may be reasonably accurate, as Canada produces approximately 80% of the world’s maple syrup, and that during the 2010 Winter Olympics gold medal hockey match of Canada vs. the United States, 2/3 of Canadians were glued to their televisions. The stereotype of being nice may be true, but the gloves come off both in hockey and in politics. Canadian government follows a template, one exceedingly similar to that of the United Kingdom. Federally, Canada has a House of Commons, a Senate, and a governor general; the American equivalents are the House, the Senate, and the President. The House is elected via direct election, the senate by the prime minister’s recommendation, and the governor general represents the Queen of England within Canada.

Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau

On October 19th, 2015, Canadians went to the polls for the House of Commons election, voting for the local member of parliament (MP) of their choosing. The prime minister is chosen from whatever political party won the most seats in the house. For the last nine years, Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party have had control of the house. Under his government, Huffington Post Canada reports that the conservative party encouraged the economy to grow, increased military spending, prioritized industrial development (especially with oil), and cut many taxes. However ambitious, CBC News asserts that his party took on too much debt to fund industry, hurt the Canadian environment in pursuit of oil, and cut healthcare benefits nationwide. With this in mind, Canadian voters went to the polls and after all the votes were counted and the smoke cleared, Canada had a new prime minister. After losing big in the 2011 Canadian election, the Liberal Party of Canada rallied and won a majority of seats in the House of Commons. The Liberal Party’s selection for prime minister was Justin Trudeau. Justin Trudeau is the son of Pierre Trudeau, a legendary prime minister of the 1980’s who made his mark on Canada with the universal health care system that Canada knows today. Riding off his father’s coattails, Trudeau was seen as a young, charismatic ticket out of Stephen Harper’s government.

The kneejerk American reaction to election coverage outside of the U.S. is, “This doesn’t affect me, I don’t care”. However this election in Canada shouldn’t be dismissed so quickly. Bellarmine junior, and frequent visitor to Canada, CJ Ajlouny says, “I think the Canadian election is going to be an absolute game changer for not only the country, but all of North America. This is a huge shift in styles of leadership in Canada, and it’ll impact America’s relationship with them.” Under Justin Trudeau’s newly formed government, he intends to stop environmental harm caused by Harper, and remove the Canadian military from the Middle East. Trudeau’s intention to halt environmental harm means that he most likely will not support any Keystone XL proposal, thus stopping many American’s dreams to have cheaper and more North American (instead of Middle Eastern) oil. Canadian citizen and Junior Ben Ma is unsure of Trudeau’s efforts, saying, “Trudeau’s plan may be successful, but only time will tell if actually works out well.” Trudeau’s plan to remove the Canadian military from the Middle East will hurt all American efforts in that region. Many Middle Eastern nations see Canada as much more negotiable and reasonable than the United States. Therefore, the United States may be losing an ally during an incredibly pivotal time in geopolitics. Trudeau has captured the Canadian interest, but only time will tell if his policies will truly win over Canada. The United States will most definitely be impacted by Trudeau and his government, but we have yet to see the significance of this momentous power change in Canadian and global history.

7 Comments

  1. A superficial and inaccurate analysis of Canadian politics.

  2. “one exceedingly similar to that of the United Kingdom. Federally, Canada has a House of Commons, a Senate, and a governor general; the American equivalents are the House, the Senate, and the President. The House is elected via direct election, the senate by the prime minister’s recommendation, and the governor general represents the Queen of England within Canada.”

    Well, The Govenor General is NOT relatable to the POTUS, that would be the Prime Minister. From a figurehead position, the GG is the Queen’s representative and basically a rubber-stamper. We never had a revolution and did not separate from out heritage and the procedure and roles have evolved over the years.

    We are still a Constitutional Monarchy

    Have a read:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_of_Canada

    Its a bit complicated in description in regards to how the Queen fits into roles and how the GG is the Queen’s rep and appoints Senators on the Advice of the PM – it’s more a procedural thing but if the PM lost their mind and did weird stuff, the GG could stop it

  3. Pierre Trudeau most certainly did NOT formulate the Canadian health care system. It was in place many years before he came to power.

  4. First Harper angered and insulted Obama. This last time, Harper called Obama a foul name and hung up on him. Therefore, Harper had to cancel the meeting of the 3 Amigo’s. The US is our largest trading partner. Whether Trudeau can mend this breach? Only time will tell. However, I do not see the Keystone going through during Obama’s reign.

    The Alberta oil sands has the dirtiest oil of all and many countries are worried about climate change and pollution. The Northern Gateway will be fought, right to the last ditch. This pipeline serves China only and right now, the people of BC are very unhappy with the Chinese pouring into BC and grabbing everything, they can lay their hands on. This is blamed on PM Harper and the BC government. All the other parties are also against the Enbridge pipeline.

  5. This article is filled with inaccuracies. The father of Canada’s universal health care system is Tommy Douglas, who was the leader of Saskatchewan’s New Democratic Party (formerly the CCF). Under Stephen Harper’s leadership the economy struggled…and military spending fell to its lowest level in decades. Justin Trudeau did in fact support the Keystone XL project. Justin Trudeau has certainly not ridden on his father’s coattails…Pierre Elliot Trudeau died in the year 2000 and last held office in 1984. His son wasn’t elected to political office until 2008.

  6. The Keystone isn’t about fulfilling anyone’s dreams of more North American oil and greater energy independence. It’s to transport bitumen for export, not to pump gasoline into America.

  7. Broken Hearted says:

    Justin Trudeau will get Canada more stuck in a debt crisis then they ever could have been in maple syrup.

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