As anyone in the free world is well aware, tomorrow is a big day for our friends to the south. I can’t resist getting caught up in all the hype. It’s fascinating how people rise to the occasion in the states come election time. In Canada, campaigning is a little different….like, you’re not going to see Celine Dion perform at a campaign rally and Jim Carrey isn’t going to produce punchy little vids a la Will Ferrell. We also haven’t suffered the same hardships the US has over the past 5 years, but I wonder if we had would our party leaders put on the same song and dance (we all know the PM loves to sing….gawd).
Personally, my politics swing to the right where Canada is concerned but I really hope Obama gets elected for a second term. In watching many of the YouTube videos and hearing all the stories from, not celebrities, but regular people I’m reminded just how lucky we are. Earlier this year my brother had to undergo minor heart surgery which was ofcourse covered and allowed him access to top notch care. What if we were a middle class family in the US with no coverage or insurance? It blows my mind that there are families who will forgo treatment because they can’t afford it.
The US has influenced the world in so many ways, economically, culturally…in every way, really. But what has always made it a great country is opportunity. It doesn’t matter where you grew up, what your background is or how much money your parents make. The notion that hard work and perseverance can help you to achieve your dreams is a core American value that luckily translates north of the border as well.
When I was 21, I moved to Australia for a year and ended up with a lot of British roomies. I remember chatting with them about private school and being posh or well-to-do and it never made sense. In our house, private school was more of a threat. If we misbehaved or brought home shitty grades, it was off to boarding school we go. In the UK it seemed as though you were judged poorly if you attended public school or your parents were middle class. This is when I realised that this wonderful American value we adopt here in Canada is not necessarily so in the rest of modern society.
Like a lot of folks the world over, I’ll be glued to the media (Piers Morgan’s Twitter feed to be exact) tomorrow to watch the election results unfold. I just hope the outcome is positive so our neighbors can get back on track.
Check out this short film produced by Ed Norton and director Bennett Miller. Kind of refreshing that he puts the focus on regular folks rather than himself.