Washington Post: Canadian Election a Defeat For Anti-Americanism
ACCORDING TO his opponent, Canadian Conservative Party Leader Stephen Harper exposed “an agenda really drawn from the extreme right in the United States.” He favored the Iraq war, opposed the Kyoto treaty on global warming, and is a social conservative to boot. He might just become — heaven forbid — “the most pro-American leader in the Western world.” His victory would — O, Canada! — “put a smile on George W. Bush’s face.” Despite all those scary warnings, Mr. Harper and his party won Canada’s election on Monday. That put an end to 12 years of increasingly incoherent and corrupt rule by the Liberal Party — as well as the cynical and irresponsible attempt of its leader, outgoing Prime Minister Paul Martin, to use anti-Americanism.And to state the obvious, the Canadian election is a defeat for anti-Bush Americans. Looking to Old Europe and leftist yuppies in Canada as some sort of moral and cultural arbitors, they can claim that American under Bush is somehow “out of the mainstream.”
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Mr. Harper can be expected to stop the self-defeating flow of bile [from Canadian politicians], to offer more cooperation on defense, and to seek to be heard on trade and border issues. If he is wise, Mr. Bush will make an effort to listen, and find compromises, as he did this month with Ms. Merkel. Foreign political leaders who stick to a platform of friendship and cooperation with the United States in the teeth of anti-American mudslinging ought to be visibly rewarded. As for Mr. Martin, perhaps he will be tempted again by the example of Mr. Schroeder, who has taken a job as an agent for Russian President Vladimir Putin. Does Hugo Chavez need another lobbyist?
These are the same people who fancy themselves “nonconformist” about a lot of things. So why it should be bad to be “out of the mainstream” isn’t clear.
But Bush doesn’t seem to be “out of the mainstream.” Between genuine pro-American sentiment and the fact that the U.S. is the single superpower whose views can’t be ignored on any important world issue, Bush is very much in the mainstream.