Thursday, October 09, 2008

A Canadian on Obama

No, it's not a famous Canadian figure--it's my brother-in-law. He and his wife are both PhD students in political science at Duke, and I love hearing what they say. Here's his take on why he supports Barack Obama (even though he can't vote). With all of the emotional appeals left and right, I enjoy hearing someone step back and calmly analyze the candidates' leadership styles and stands on certain policy issues.

Your thoughts?


  1. As another Canadian not voting in the American election (but voting in the Canadian one on Oct 14), I have to say I agree with your brother-in-law on all points. I find the description of Obama as a cool and calculated decision-maker to be very apt and I think it's much of what attracts me to him. Some have called Obama elitist, but I just think he's detached and analytical enough to THINK before he acts and that's certainly a positive.

    I wish we had an Obama here in Canada. Our party leaders are pretty lame. We need a Trudeau again!

  2. hi there! i follow drop by your blog often to read about birthing info. i live in the u.s.-in a region where most are mccain supporters. i appreciated what your bnl had to say about obama. it was interesting to read someone's perspective outside of the u.s. and that is was written from a non-emotive stance. everyone here is SO emotional about this election. i'm already sick of it! : ) i personally was a ron paul fan...

  3. Thanks Rixa your BIL seems like a nice and reasonable person. (Of course, he could still be nice and reasonable and have different opinions than mine, but it just so happens I absolutely agree!) I'm so plugged into this election I keep forgetting I'm not actually an eligible voter. It could vote in this one, and would do so proudly. Not that I'm in a swing state by any stretch. If I were, I would have stopped procrastinating and obtained my citizenship back in May.

  4. another canadian voting in oure election but sadly can't vote in yours...i'm not even in the US, but if i could it would be Obama all the way. we've probably had more coverate of the american election than of our own (sad, isn't it?) and i think i'll be more upset if mccain wins down there than if harper wins up here.

    and on an unrelated note, i thought i'd pass this along. i'm sure you've already seen it or soon will but:

  5. (ooo, ignore the horrible spelling, just woke up. bad english major, bad, bad. sorry.)

  6. I won't vote for Obama because
    1) He supports abortion
    2) He supports redistribution of someone who as worked in HR for a fast food restaurant, this makes the cycle of poverty worse than better...people actually get rewarded for not working hard
    3) He supports universal healthcare...we can't reform welfare (full of fraud and people taking advantage of the system), and we the government to run, I don't think so
    4) He will appoint liberal judges to the Supreme court
    5) I don't feel like he will protect our country and be a good commander in chief

    I will be voting for McCain because
    1) Sarah Palin will be a wonderful VP...I just love her
    2) He will protect our country, and be a commander in chief with guts
    3) He does not support abortion except in rape cases and when the mother's life is in danger
    4) He does not support the redistribution of wealth
    5) He will appoint conservative judges to the supreme court

    A very liberal president and congress together scare this conservative Christian girl like nothing else. I'm not McCain's biggest fan--but I am Sarah Palin's biggest fan:)--but an Obama presidency scares me.

  7. His post seemed more anti-McCain than pro-Obama.

    I'm an independent, and I would have looked long and hard at Hillary. Obama is too far left for me.

    The thing that irritates me about Obama is that his primary "qualifications" are giving good speeches and running for president. No accomplishments. I had to chuckle in the debate when he mentioned how he reached across the aisle to work with some Republican on nuclear proliferation. Really? I hadn't realized that was such a charged, partisan topic! Try reaching across the aisle on abortion, or education reform, or Social Security reform, or even campaign finance reform if you want to impress us.

    I thought it was interesting that your brother-in-law sees it as a disadvantage that change happens so slowly with a president and congress from different parties. I see it as a benefit, myself. Honestly, most Americans (liberal or conservative) are near the center. Having the president and congress in the same party, I think, encourages that party to go farther to the left or the right than is representative of our country.

  8. I agree with your brother-in-law that Romney would have been a better choice. I was very sad he didn't make it too far past the starting line.

    To be completely honest, I'm not thrilled about McCain, but I really don't like Obama. I do not like his socialist leanings, and I think the idea of redistribution is terrible.

    Here's part of the reason why. My husband has been out of work for 2 1/2 months now. He's been collecting unemployment for about 6 weeks. Yes, I am very grateful for that money because I'm not sure where we'd be without it, however, he almost cannot work at all because of it. He wants to go get a job while he's looking for work in his field, but after the first $64 a week, he's basically working for free because every dollar he makes after that is deducted from his unemployment check, and he'd have to work over 40 hours at week at more than $8 an hour to make more than unemployment. What Lowe's or Wal-Mart or something like that pays more than $8 an hour? The Welfare system does not reward a person for trying to improve their situation on their own. It rewards people for sitting on their behinds.

    On the other hand, the Welfare Program of the LDS Church (which we are also using) encourages people to improve their situation. They provide financial help up to a point and food help and other things, but do it in a way that helps put people back on their feet, not keeping them down despite their best efforts.

    I hate being in this situation, but I'd hate it more if this is what I had to live with every day of my life. The idea of redistribution is a little too Robin Hood "steal-from-the-rich-to-give-to-the-poor" for me. I'm not trying to be hateful towards the poor, but I do think there are better ways to help them than put everyone at the mercy of a money-hungry government bureaucracy.

    Like I said before, I'm not thrilled with McCain, but I'm not ready to put Obama in the White House. Unfortunately, I think McCain is going to lose. At least maybe the Republican Party will get smart in 4 years and nominate somebody good. Hopefully.

  9. I agree with Kelley.

    I wish there was a better republican candidate, I do love Palin. But I honestly feel like I can't trust Obama. There's a little too much going on with him that makes me uneasy, especially going to a church for 20 years that has a preacher like that. Faith is a big huge thing with me, and to say "oh don't mind him, he's just cooky", some part of the man HAD to agree with his preacher to even stay in that church and listen to that for 20 years.
    That makes me very uneasy.

    anyway, that's my 2 cents.

  10. I agree with Michelle on the abortion thing. It's always presented a problem when voting in Canada, and it's one reason I've often voted for the more conservative parties (although, as I learned while in Iowa, conservative in Canada is way-liberal in the USA!). Our Conservative Party has gone too conservative for my taste and now I'm in a quandary. I voted for the Green Party in the last federal election. :)

    I'm an unabashed socialist and I'm all for redistribution. The Cdn govt redistributes $377 to me every month because I have a child and a last-year income of $18K (the benefit is pro-rated based on income). I don't think this discourages me from working hard, but it does allow me to choose better care for my daughter and to spend more time with her than I'd be able to otherwise. Someday my tax dollars will be given to someone else who needs them. I'm good with it.

    But *how* the money is redistributed is important, and, as Kelley points out, some plans for redistribution really aren't terribly efficient or effective. There is a woman in my home town who has been on welfare for 30 years, and she works just enough hours to make sure she doesn't earn too much and lose her welfare. I have NO idea why she is still on welfare and why it wasn't taken away years ago. It's bizarre.

    As much as I like him, I don't really think Obama is going to win.

  11. I last visited this blog months ago and just bumped into it again today. The political discussion caught my interest, and so I thought I'd add my perspective as a moderate who is a Latter-day Saint and happens to be a U.S. citizen--and a supporter of Obama. Here's my political blog:

    Among other things, I demonstrate (to my own satisfaction at least) that the charges of Obama being "socialist" and "having no accomplishments" are false. Also, his health care proposal (which is not, by the way, a mandatory "universal" system) strikes me as much better than McCain's. You may want to see what I have to say. Maybe you'll find it informative and persuasive--or maybe not.

  12. Thanks Bruce; off to read your blog!


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