By Simon Granat

 

Well, for political junkies, it’s that time of year. We’re now in the midst of the US Presidential election, not to mention another Federal Leadership election.

And as I write this, Obama and Romney are in their dressing rooms, preparing to square off head to head in the first of three US Presidential debates.

If you’re a political junkie like me, this is the equivalent of the Superbowl, only with less common fanfare. And just like the Superbowl, some of us Canadians are obsessed with large scale U.S. spectacles.

Presidential debates deserve attention since in the short span of an hour and a half, this event can seriously affect who will be the commander in chief of the world’s most powerful country. So as Canadians, it’s worthwhile to pay attention and to ask, what’s in it for us?

Barack Obama, the guy everyone knows and most Canadians love, is still the favourite. His economic policies favour “Buy American” and a shift to wean the country off of foreign oil producers. These two policies could pose as problematic for Canada. By buying American, the already battered Canadian manufacturing sector could see even greater reductions.And while there are numerous other factors at play, and while the U.S. will remain Canada’s trading partner, we need to look no further than Hamilton’s U.S. Steel to see the potential effects on our economy.

Likewise, any policy that affects foreign oil will undoubtedly affect Canada. Our economy is commodity based, and oil represents a large proportion of that sector of our economy. I’m not making a value judgement here, but this election will have an effect on any pipeline decisions the Harper government will make, especially if we ship our oil down south, or out west.

Romney’s election could, I think, prove dire. At the expense of regurgitating the Obama campaign’s messaging, it will lead us back to the old G.W. Bush economic policies that got us into a recession in the first place.

It’s worth noting that Obama still heavily favours private enterprise, and his economic policies could still be considered neoliberal trickle-down economics.

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