“If I wear an Obama shirt, people will comment, and I can start talking to my professors about it. I have a lot of friends that watch the debate as well.”
Beauchesne is excited to cast her absentee vote in the next couple weeks. However, why might Canadian citizens who cannot vote be excited about the U.S. election?
“I think the biggest reason is the spectacle of it,” said Chris Hannay, online political reporter for The Globe and Mail. “No Canadian politicians are that exciting.”
Hannay helped to produce “Election 2012: Canadians in America,” a project for The Globe that looks at the presidential election through the eyes of Canadian expats living stateside. He believes that Canadians are drawn to the charisma in American politicians.
Chloe Wolman, a Canadian expat living in Los Angeles, agreed.
“In Canadian politics, we vote for the party and not the individual. Here, it’s so clearly the individual,” said Wolman.
Because there is a focus on a personality in the presidential election, it is more easily accessible to the general public, Wolman said.
Doctor Shadia Drury, who is organizing a U.S. election open forum at the University of Regina, pointed out the greater implications that U.S. politics may have on Canadians, and why Canadians should pay attention come election night.
“We’re hearing the vice-presidential nominee in the Republican Party saying that he can’t distinguish between the private and the public,” she said, citing Paul Ryan’s comments on his Catholic faith during the debate. “He’s questioning the separation of church and state, and we should be very worried about that kind of thing because our liberal traditions are based on the separation of church and state.”
“What happens there invariably ripples to Canada,” Drury said.
The U of R’s American Election 2012 forum is open to the public and will be held on Oct. 6 at 3:30pm. For more information, please contact the department of Political Science.