When Alan Freeman was the Globe and Mail correspondent in Washington, nobody paid attention to Canada. Suddenly, he writes, that has all changed:
Over the past week, major U.S. news outlets like The New York Times, CNN and The Washington Post haven’t been able to get enough of Canada. And that was before Thursday’s meltdown on the Commons floor.
In recent weeks, major American media outlets have run stories on the Fort McMurray wildfire, Canada’s transgender anti-discrimination legislation, Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau’s plea for more staff help, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s apology to South Asian immigrants turned away on the Komagata Maru in 1914 — and, of course, the elbows-out fracas involving Trudeau and several other MPs in the Commons.
Why the change? Call it the Trump-Clinton Syndrome:
Instead of any sense of excitement over a new kind of leadership, Americans are brooding over the prospect of six more months of a nasty election campaign — between a reality TV star who seldom mentions a rival or a foreign leader without resorting to crude insults, and a political veteran who has trouble shaking her image of arrogance and entitlement.
The personal weaknesses of Trump and Clinton normally would be enough to sink either one of them in a presidential election campaign — if it weren’t for the fact that they’re running against each other. So many Americans are stuck with a choice between two people they don’t like.
Some Canadians -- people like Conrad Black -- used to look with envy on the United States. Black's envy seems to have disappeared after his acquaintance with American Justice. And it appears that a significant number of Americans are now envying us.