There’s no debate why most Canadians overwhelmingly preferred President Barack Obama over Mitt Romney (and it’s not just because Romney wears magical underpants). Obama is not only the first cool-guy President to secure two terms, he introduced an almost-universal healthcare system, he’s down with the gays, drinks beer, smokes cigs, and told Gary Bettman to get his shit together so he could get the NHL season back up and running. These are all things that we can totally get behind.
But let’s face it; Obama’s been a dick to Canadians, economically speaking. Which is also why you all should have been hoping that Mitt Romney won the election. What I’m saying Canada, is that it’s possible your posi-vibes for Barry O were fiscally misguided.
Take for example Obama’s demonstrably protectionist “Buy American” policies that proverbially took a look at the Canadian economy, flipped it the bird, kicked it in the stomach, gave it a Stone Cold Stunner, then cracked a cheap American beer and poured it all over it’s unconscious metaphorical head. Other than adding provisions that would entice US companies to use strictly American goods (threatening Canadian companies that produce exclusively for American buyers), some of the 2011 Jobs Act attempted to cut Canadian companies out of municipal level procurement contracts (where most budgetary money is spent annually) to build infrastructure. To the Harper government’s credit, they argued against the blatantly protectionist move, citing a disturbing the peace of our exceedingly interconnected economies.
Not long after that, Obama instituted a petty $5.50 surcharge to all Canadian travellers entering the country in a flagrant cash grab that he knew we couldn’t retaliate against: Canadians export close to 70% of all our goods to America, if we resisted, we’d be as economically versatile as Cuba. In other words, a man deeply concerned with bullying in American schools basically shook us down for our milk money, then made us thank him for it.
Obama also nixed the Keystone XL pipeline, which beyond its potential environmental threats, would end up being incredibly lucrative for the Canadian economy. Note that Obama didn’t nix it because of any altruistic Democrat sense of piety (in fact he initially approved it), but because uninformed actors like Mark Ruffalo convinced him not to. Yes, Obama took his cues from the same guy who appeared in 13 Going On 30, giving into the vapid fear mongering that overblew the environmental practises of Canadian oil enterprises, to score petty political points before the election. Never mind the fact that Keystone would be a critical job stimulus, north and south of the border, and could be highly regulated to protect valuable ecosystems.
While it looks like Keystone might eventually get approved anyway. Conversely, Mitt Romney would have supposedly approved Keystone XL immediately upon election. If Mitt had pulled it off, the activation of Keystone XL would have benefitted our prized energy sector and simultaneously relieved another nagging, internal dispute: the childish infighting between BC Premier Christy Clark and her Albertan counterpart Alison Redford over a proposed pipeline from the Alberta to the BC Pacific coast that’s holding up the Canadian economy.
Yes, it was all a part of Romney’s overall plan to wean Americans off oil from dictatorships like Iran and Venezuela, and make the US dependent on friendlies like us. That kind of thinking would have poured money into our warm, Canadian pockets and stolen from the Iranians. Yet, here we are, without any of that sweet Romney money lining our beaver-skinned coin purses. It almost feels like we’ve betrayed one of our own, as Mitt is basically a Canadian. The guy owns a cottage in Ontario, can speak French, and clearly has an affinity for winter sports.
In short, even though Mitt is a religious zealot who believes Jesus was American, hates illegal Latinos, women, and black people, who thinks that two guys getting married is wrong but has a total boner for war with Iran – it would have been pretty great for our economy to have him palling around, even though he never outlined a clear path to economic success for his own country.