Dear Americans

Dear Americans,

Tomorrow is your election day. Tomorrow you’ll be voting with your confusing electoral system that I don’t really understand and deciding who leads your country for the next four years.

It’s weird being a Canadian during the U.S. election season (which always seems to last so bloody long!) I can’t imagine it’s the same when we’re voting in a new Prime Minister. We see your election ads on TV. We watch your presidential and vice-presidential debates. Weird things your congressmen say are reported in our newspapers. And we wait, a little nervously, to see how you as a country will vote.

Because, and I kind of hate to admit this but it’s true, how you vote really, really affects us. Who leads your country for the next four years has a lot to say on how our country is run. Your economic and military decisions become our economic and military decisions, just as your television, movies, and music have become ours too.

I can’t help but follow your elections because they’re plastered all over my TV and computer. And we laugh at it a little, up here in the not-so-freezing North, because you take yourselves so seriously and never seem to doubt that the rest of the world is interested too. I get enraged, sometimes, about the things that are being said, particularly about women’s health and the ignorant statements coming from the mouths of men who should know better. And then I feel thankful that I live in a country where I don’t have to worry about my access to healthcare being taken away or restricted. I wonder why I get so caught up in it when it doesn’t affect me.

Here’s the thing, America, we like you. Not all the time and none of us ever like everything about you, but we care about what happens to you. You’re like our aggravating older brother, who picks on us and pulls our hair and doesn’t always stick up for us on the playground. We know that your decisions, like an older brother’s, often become our decisions.We know that we’ll have to keep standing up to you and keep reminding others that we’re different and unique countries but we know that our paths, for better or for worse, are intertwined.

So, Americans, vote well tomorrow. Vote from your heart but, more importantly, your head. Above all, do not let ignorance or evil or hate triumph. You can decide for yourself which political party best represents those things. We trust you. Kind of.

Love,

A Canadian Friend

My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.    – Jack Layton

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