Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Bush offers giddy congratulations for Harper win

Ok, so I lied. I tourqed the headline. The comments from Bush press thingy Scott McClellan were purely formulaic. He probably was giddy though. Might have even choked on a pretzel.

Canadians will be watching this relationship closely though. Will Stephen's first foreign visit be to the U.S., and how soon will it be? Will he get to have a sleepover at the ranch and maybe make smores with Dubaya? Will Dubaya come up to O-Town?

It should be interesting though. If Harper can get a quick win on one of the major trade irritants with the U.S. it would be major wind in his sails. The question, though is what would he have to give up in return...BMD maybe? That would never get through the HoC.

I'd advise PM Stephen to keep it cool and loosey goosey. The last thing he needs is a When Irish Eyes are Smiling-type moment. They would look so adorable in matching cowboy outfits though, wouldn't they? Why, it would look like a scene from Brokeback Mountain!

In all seriousness though I think PM Harper will soon find out that solving Canada/U.S. relations is not going to be as easy as just minding your Ps and Qs and being nicer to them. PM Martin came into office with much the same attitude, looking to be an "agent of change" from the Chretien/Parish/Drucos years. Worked out well, didn't it?
White House congratulates Harper

WASHINGTON (CP) - The White House congratulated Stephen Harper on Tuesday for his Conservative party's election win in Canada. "We look forward to strengthening our relations and working with the new government," said Scott McClellan, spokesman for President George W. Bush. U.S. Republicans have been quietly hoping for a Conservative win after years of increasingly tense ties under the Liberals. Analysts say, however, that the White House has moderate expectations of just how much Harper can do as he grapples with a minority government.

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CanadianTruth said...

All I can say is hopefully our relationship with the country improves. Not neccessarily with Bush, we just need to get along with him enough to get us through soem of these rough spots until he's done his term.

I think Canada has to hope for another Republican though. Many Democrats are very protectionist and it could really hurt our economy.

A BCer in Toronto said...

I'm not sure our relationship with the country is all that bad. I love Americans, I travel to the States quite often on business and they're great people. I, and a lot of Canadians, have a problem with the Bush government and its policies. Come to think of it, so do a lot of Americans. So, we have that in common anyway.

I think the Liberal Dubaya's best friend attack ads were unfortunate from a diplomacy POV, but a desperate party will do desperate things. And it probably helped pull back the Conservative numbers too.

Anyway, now we're where we are. I came from a riding hit hard by the softwood dispute, so I hope Harper has some luck on the file. I suspect he's going to soon come to the conclusion that he will have to take a tougher stand, and even bring in linkage. I promise not to say I told you so.

As for democrats being protectionist you are right, but on softwood the White House is laregly irrelevant. The problem lies in Congress.

bruce said...

As someone who only gets to cities like New York & San Francisco, the only Americans I meet feel pretty much that same as we do. Not a bad crowd at all, I love that country. Our relations are fine. It has to be understood that Canada is a place of it’s own. There are many millions of Americans who envy our society. I get some who come to me and ask, what’s it like to live in a sane world? I have to tell them it’s not so sane as they might think. No society is, but Canada does a good job of weighing issues and finding solutions. They’ll get over Bush someday, I hope, and it won’t seem so much like there is a huge division between both countries. There never was.