Global Politics

McCain, NAFTA, Canada and Obama

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(Image: johnmccain.com)

McCain spoke in Ottawa before the Economic Club of Canada, a business organization. He talked at length about the very long, very close, and very important relationship between the United States and Canada. And he pledged his support of NAFTA, and called opposition to the trade agreement, not naming any names, nothing more than retreating behind protectionist walls. McCain's audience in Ottawa cheered his remarks, but that's at odds with how Canadians as a whole, are viewing the American candidates.

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James Travers, the National Affairs columnist for the "Toronto Star," says: "Given the opportunity, Canadians would overwhelmingly elect Senator Obama. In fact the ratio is somewhere in the neighborhood of about 3-1. So it's a very interesting dynamic ... Canadians are saying ... 'we're voting with our hearts rather than our wallets on this one.'"

Canadians of course don't have a vote in an American election, but many Canadians believe their own government tried to influence the outcome of it. One of the big stories in Canada these past few months has been the leaked memo. In March there were reports that Obama advisors had tipped off Canadian diplomats that their candidates' promise to reopen NAFTA was just campaign rhetoric aimed at winning votes in the Ohio Primary. After Obama and the Canadian government denied the allegation, some official in Ottawa leaked a diplomatic memo describing just such a conversation. A three-month federal investigation in Canada was unable to determine who leaked the memo.

It's widely believed that someone in the office of the Canadian Prime Minister was responsible. The Canadian Prime Minister was not present at McCain's luncheon in Ottawa, nor was anyone from his office.

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