I apologize for not posting over the last days of the election or since.  I was on a trip in Eastern Canada.  It was good to be out of the veritable storm of political ads, but there were times when I felt disconnected from the process.  In Oregon where I live, I feel that way anyway because we do all our voting by mail – a system I hate.  Why?  There is something special about going to the polls and doing your civic duty that is left unfulfilled by filling out a form at your desk and putting it in the mail.

What was interesting about being in Canada during the election was to be privy to a different and somewhat removed point of view.  I think that Canadians are fairly well informed about our politics.  At least they are far more informed than we are about theirs.  They do have opinions and Eastern Canada in particular was surveyed to be about 80% pro-Obama.  In the west, especially in Alberta (oil and farm country) they were about 80% in favor of Romney and Ryan.

The day before the election I was in Ottawa, the Capitol City.  I toured their Parliament and walked all over Parliament Hill.  It is a beautiful city and seemed quite livable.  The Canadians do many things through their government that we do privately.  With the results of our recent vote, I think we wil move further in that direction.  They bitch and moan about their taxes and don’t really like the medical care they get, but they tolerate it because they are covered for everything major for life.  Just don’t try to get a procedure that is not life saving without months or more of wait.

Pending which province you are in when you buy something the tax will be between 13 and 15% and they tax everything!  My wife and I spend half a day in the Canadian Museum of Civilization, run by the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation, a federal Crown Corporation, meaning it is government owed and operated.  Even there, our $7.50 each entrance fee was taxed 15%.  That means our $30 entry cost us $34.50.  When you go to a restaurant or get your hotel bill, it blows you away to see an additional $10 to $20 added for tax.

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Thanks to The Ottawa Sun and Ezra Lavant

Among the most interesting things was reading the opinion pages of the the newspapers.  On Tuesday, election day in the US, there was a column in the Ottawa Sun that summarized my feelings that day.  It was written by Ezra Lavant a regular columnist for the Sun.  I have copied it below or you can go to his page at www.ezralavant.com:

What if Barack Obama is re-elected president of the United States tonight? What will the next four years be like? 

It’s not hard to guess. His campaign slogan is “Forward.” Which means he’s not about to back down on his policies. He’s going to go deeper. 

“Forward” happens to be a call to arms for socialist movements around the world. It is not an insult to call Obama’s policies socialist. It is an observation. Five years ago, the thought that the U.S. would nationalize two of the three big automakers would have been called socialist. The de facto nationalization of the entire health care industry — one-seventh of the U.S. economy — would have been called socialist. 

In Obama’s America, government picks winners and losers in industry, replacing competition and freedom with command and control, replacing entrepreneurs with lobbyists and political cronies. 

It’s not just that Obama is socialist; or that he has never been in the real world of business or job creation. It’s that he’s positively hostile to those who do create jobs. 

It’s one thing to tax businesses. It’s another thing to morally condemn them, as Obama did when he departed one day from his Teleprompter, telling business owners “you didn’t build that,” that they exist only by the grace of government, not the other way around, that government is the centre, and that citizens are clients of it, not masters of it. 

It’s that hostility, as much as any actual policies, that’s holding back the U.S. economy. Who would build a new factory, or a new mine, or a new company, with Obama re-elected? Because if you didn’t build your own business, then you don’t own it, and Obama can take it — through taxes or regulations. 

In one of the presidential debates, Mitt Romney outlined a basic test for government spending: Is any expenditure worth borrowing money from China? Obama has yet to find his limit, and America’s debt and tax load will continue to grow. 

Foreign affairs are just as scary. 

Obama treats America’s friends like enemies and America’s enemies like friends. Alone amongst modern presidents he has not visited Israel during his presidency. 

But it’s not that symbol that matters — it’s the substance, a palpable hostility to Israel and its prime minister, and an unlimited appeasement of the region’s menace, Iran, and a quiet acceptance of the radicalization of the Arab world through the misnamed Arab Spring. 

And if Obama has found excuse after excuse to do nothing to stop Iran’s nuclear weapons program these past four years, why would he do something in the next four? Would the president who literally bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia lift a finger to protect Israel from Muslim nukes? 

Obama has abandoned liberated Iraq, is abandoning Afghanistan and has long ago abandoned the war on terror ­— even though it has not abandoned him. 

So desperate is he to pretend that it’s over, that for two months he and Hillary Clinton claimed the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, by 300 al-Qaida terrorists on the anniversary of 9/11, was simply a grassroots demonstration against an obscure movie on YouTube. 

In a second term, what will Obama cede to Iran? To al-Qaida? To China? Obama was caught on tape telling Dmitry Medvedev, Russia’s prime minister, to pass on a message to Vladimir Putin to be patient ­­— that after Obama’s re-election, he’ll be able to be more “flexible.” 

America is resilient. But four more years of Obama will change that country deeply — and not for the better. 

I think I will follow Ezra Lavant in the future.  I hope he is wrong in his assessment but since I agree with every point he has made, I tend to believe in his dire prediction.

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