By Jamie Rieger
Canada really is a good place in which to live, isn’t it? Just a few short weeks ago, we celebrated our national birthday with community events, fireworks, and backyard barbecues. We live in a land of freedom where we can enjoy those activities and fly our flag with pride, without any worries of consequence. In many places around the world, these kinds of freedoms are just a dream. Our country is a great one, for sure, but it is not without its faults. While many tout our political and banking systems as among the best in the world, others scoff at our politicians and big banks. Scoff all you want at our politicians, ridicule them for their inexperience and seeming lack of substance and back bone. At least we don’t have the political fiasco taking place in the United States right now. A year ago, just after Donald Trump announced he would be running for leader of the Republican party in the presidential race, I wrote that he actually might have a shot at the White House if he learned how to control his mouth a little bit. Well, last week at the Republican National Convention, it was confirmed what we already knew; that Trump would be the Republican candidate to go up against “Corrupt Hillary” Clinton, whose Democratic party is holding its own convention this week. It seems so long ago that I wrote that column, but not much has changed. Trump continues with his ‘shock and awe’ tactics and Hillary’s web of lies and deceit continues to unravel. I thought at the time that part of the problem with the American political system was the lack of a third-party option and while Americans were complaining about the polarization, they forgot they have the Libertarian party as an option. Now, as many people down there refuse to vote for Trump or Clinton, they are opting for the little-known party that has been there all along, but without all the fanfare the mainstream media gives to the powerful Democrats or Republicans. After I wrote that column last year, I was asked why I was so interested in the American political system. The answer is quite simple. Because what goes on down there will have an impact on what goes on up here, whether we like it or not. When Trudeau was elected as our Prime Minister, I wondered how many Canadian voters gave much thought to how he would be able to work with Trump or Clinton, especially when it comes to moving goods across the border. Time will tell, but I sure hope our own leader buckles up and gets ready for either one. Given the turmoil in the U.S, I sure am happy to live in a country where our elections don’t last two years and cost the equivalent of a small country’s GDP. We may not have a perfect system here in Canada, but I think we are leaps and bounds ahead of what is taking place down south right now.