December 01, 2005

Election in the Great White North

Now, Doug Gamble is one pessimistic dude when it comes to the Canadian election, and Canada in general. I guess that's why he's an expat. Captain Ed quotes an IPSOS poll that has the Tories in a dead heat with the Liberals, and, as several commentors point out, IPSOS tends to be chronically biased toward the liberal side. My own guess is the Tories will lose ground during the election, as the incumbents are willing to do almost anything to win. (And I'm hesitating about the almost qualifier.) The same thing happened last time around. However, the Conservatives don't really have to gain much more of a swing in many Ontario constituencies to gain a bunch of seats, so any swing at all in their direction would put them in a strong position to form the new government, although odds are against them getting a clear majority. At that point it will all come down to what kind of deal they can cut with the Quebeckers, who should also gain seats.

Gamble makes a point about how the Canadian Conservatives aren't really conservative by American standards. True to some extent. But what they are is conservative by blue state standards -- they'd be pretty comfortable with somebody like Paul Celucci, or even Giuliani. Or to put it the other way, if New England were an independent nation, their party of the right would be pretty much like the Canadian Conservatives, except for New Hampshire which would be their Alberta, except without the oil.

And if you really have an opinion about the Canadian election, you should enter Mark Steyn's contest.

UPDATE:

Michael Barone's current comments on the Canadian elections are worth noting. My family lived in Detroit from 1962 onward, and I had an interesting balcony seat on pre-Trudeau Canada and the subsequent changes. It was on some ways the start of the process that led to the Anglosphere perspective: it was clear that to understand the US I had to understand Canada, since it had so many of the things that made America what it is, but was clearly not the same. Then it was obvious I had to understand Australia since the Australians had many of the things that made Americans and Canadians what they were, but were clearly not the same. Then it became clear that I had to understand the British Isles...and there was no end to it. It is a fascinating puzzle.

Posted by James C. Bennett at December 1, 2005 05:54 PM
Comments

The question is: how can an Anglospheric perspective help Canada (yes, even Quebec) find its way? "We're not America" is not exactly a formula for success. "We're the best damn Anglospherists on the planet, eh" just might be (or, for Quebeckers, "we're part of the Francosphere and those Anglos be damned but I guess we need to work with them anyway, eh"). What's the state of Anglo-Canadian ties with parts of the Anglosphere other than America? How about free trade with Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Ireland, South Africa, and India? Etc.

Posted by: Peter Saint-Andre at December 1, 2005 10:17 PM

Inviting Australia into NAFTA might be a good first step; Canadian former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney has been advocating that for some years.

Posted by: Jim Bennett at December 1, 2005 10:56 PM

Doug Gamble is a little over the top on that one, particularly his assertion that Stephen Harper is the "least anti-American". He's not anti-American at all and it is quite chincy in my opinion to equate his conservatism as that of a moderate Democrat. Whatever, Doug. Get some rest.

Free trade is only a starter for me. I want to see total reciprocity in terms of free mobility of people within the Anglosphere. I won't take it as far as recognizing joint citizenship (exclusionary national notions are relevant in terms of fostering inter-jurisdictional competition), but I see no reason why I shouldn't be able to go to New Zealand and set up shop, for example. Really, what's stopping us?

Posted by: Michael J. Smith at December 2, 2005 08:40 AM

When I talk to outside-the-Beltway people (i.e., people other than policy geeks) about the Anglosphere idea, the one thing that that relate to immediately is the "sojourner" concept. They can see the practicality of that in their own minds. Older people in the Commonwealth still remember fondly the ease of movement between Britain, Canada, Australia, etc. before the UK joined the EU. I think this should be an early target for an Anglospherist movement.

Posted by: Jim Bennett at December 2, 2005 09:50 AM

One of the challenges with the Anglosphere concept is that it seems to violate Tip O'Neil's law that "all politics is local". Trade agreements and sojourner status don't hit people directly in the way that local issues do. Translating the Anglosphere perspective into local politics or social activism would, I think, result in a focus on things like assimilation (not PC, I know), English-language education, extending and deepening the heritage of common law, encouraging entrepreneurship (both commercial and non-profit), protecting individual rights (in all spheres), and so on.

Posted by: Peter Saint-Andre at December 2, 2005 02:15 PM

G'day,

I'm an Australian (although of Maltese descent) so can hop over to New Zealand and set up shop any time I want. Also Australia now has a free trade agreement with the USA.

However one thing that seems odd to me is that we don't have a working holiday agreement with the USA.

Working holiday agreements allow young people (under 30) to visit a country and work there for up to a year. they can only be employed by one employer for a 3 month period. We have such reciprocal arrangement with many countries including Canada, UK, Ireland, Japan, Sweden, and Malta.

I would have thought there would be many young Americans who would like to come here and vice versa. I would be a good way to increase personal ties withen the Anglosphere.

ta

Ralph

Posted by: Ralph Buttigieg at December 3, 2005 01:31 AM

Ralph, A program called BUNAC and its Australian affiliate IEP do assist in setting up 4 month work holiday between the US and Australia. My daughter just finished 6 months in London on a BUNAC visit and learned quite a bit more about Britain than she would have as a tourist or at some Oxford study program.

A look at the flags on the IEP website and the names of countries at the IEP website shows that the Anglosphere is indeed alive and working in its typical decentralized fashion to create working holidays apparently with minimal government assistance.

Posted by: Richard Heddleson at December 3, 2005 11:05 AM

As of Dec. 4, Intrade gives the Liberals more than 3:1 odds of gaining a majority of seats.

Posted by: Jonathan at December 4, 2005 08:18 PM

Speaking of free trade areas, it seems that the Commonwealth countries are thinking about forming their own. I guess Canada could join that one, eh? Perhaps sojourner status for Commonwealth citizens too, while they're at it?

Posted by: Peter Saint-Andre at December 4, 2005 10:25 PM

Very interesting re this proposed commonwealth free trade area:

"A Commonwealth free trade agreement has several advantages, Bajaj said. ''We have a common language, judicial system, free press, we all feel at home in Commonwealth countries.'' Such an agreement may not have to include every country, Bajaj said. ''There are three countries, UK, Malta and Cyprus which are members of the EU,'' he said. ''As per their rules they may not be able to join a separate trade agreement. But what about the other 50 countries? All of these can.'' "

So, everyone (pretty much) gets to be in it except Britain. How sad. Britain should withdraw from the EU so they can be in this.

Posted by: Lex at December 5, 2005 03:11 PM

I would like to offer some suggestion as to what approach might be taken. First, one might see Canada join ANZCERTA, and allow some scalability in terms of Commonwealth members entry - based on adherence to a Charter of Standards which covers basic human rights and democracy obligations.

Secondly, a CFTA might sign a free trade treaty with the United States at some point.

Here is a link to the book I wrote recently on this subject:
http://www.trafford.com/4dcgi/robots/04-2084.html

There has been some positive feedback from some who are in aposition to move the agenda forward.

Posted by: Brent Cameron at December 21, 2005 08:12 AM

big thank

Posted by: vicks vaporub toenail fungus at October 6, 2006 08:06 AM
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