Stephens: Which Republican candidate would be best for Canada?

By: /
18 January, 2012
Hugh Stephens
Distinguished fellow at the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada and executive fellow at the School of Public Policy of the University of Calgary

Let’s think outside the box for a minute. Maybe the best candidate for Canada would be the most extreme and non-mainstream of the Republican candidates (Rick Santorum? Ron Paul?)— because this will assure an Obama victory! Although the Republicans have always been more pro-free trade, the current obsession of elements of the party with isolationism, resistance to any tax increases (which are needed to start moving the US toward deficit reduction, which in turn will lead to a healthier economy), not to mention many of the other odd ideas emanating from the Tea Party, mean that any Republican occupant of the White House, even a “moderate” like Romney, will not be able to ignore the influence of this powerful faction. Any President beholden to fringe elements is a dangerous proposition for any of the neighbours of the US, especially its closest neighbour. Barack Obama is not a particular “friend” of Canada (no surprise, Canadians don’t vote down there), but he offers a more moderate, balanced and incremental approach to economic recovery, military engagement, and environmental issues/resource development that in the long term will be more sustainable and benefit not only the US ship of state but “all who sail in her”.

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