Though I’ve seen it time and again, the contrast between Canadian and US politics is so vast on so many different levels. Last Friday was the first of the televised US Presidential debates. Starting at 6pm, the debate coincided with our dinner break where a large majority of my team stopped to watch Senators Obama and McCain duke it out. It surprised me how many people were so interested in the debate of an election we had no part in.
Contrast that to tonight, the first of the debates between the Canadian party leaders. None of our TVs were set to the debate, in fact, the popular program of the evening was the pre-season hockey game between the Canucks and the Flames. I am almost ashamed to admit that I didn’t realize the debate was tonight until I got home and read about it on the CBC web site (well after it was over).
Tonight is going to be a great night for politics. The federal party leaders will debate again, this time in English. On the US side, the much anticipated VP debate is on, where many, many people are looking for Joe Biden to dismantle Sarah “I can see Russia from Alaska” Palin. The crazy thing is that both debates are scheduled to start at the same time. Though I consider myself a proud Canadian, I will fully disclose that I intend to watch the US VP debate in its entirety. Does that made me a bad citizen? I don’t think so, I just love the spectacle of the US politics more than the straightforward and matter-of-fact nature of Canadian elections.