When I lived in Rochester, my favorite place to visit was Toronto, one of the world’s great cities. And I always loved that when we were driving there, somewhere outside of Buffalo you could pick up the CBC on the radio, and start hearing about the Premier of Ontario, by-elections in contested ridings, a whole different political world that Americans almost completely ignore, even those who lived only, as the crow flies, or the ferry runs (or not) about 30 or 40 miles away. But since I moved to South Carolina, with its own set of problems, I confess I haven’t paid much attention to goings on in our northern neighbor.
Until last night. I sat, transfixed, watching Canadian election returns, so excited to see hour after hour of political coverage without a single mention of the word “trump.” And as you know, Justin Trudeau, the son of the most famous Canadian prime minister of the past half century, Pierre Elliot Trudeau, leader of the Liberal Party routed the odious incumbent, Stephen Harper, and Canada is once again returned to the ranks of liberal nations.
And what is most impressive about the Canadian election is that the niqab, the veil Muslim women wear, became a major issue in the campaign, when Harper made a big issue of trying to prevent a women wearing a niqab from taking the oath of Canadian citizenship. This cynical act completely backfired, and last night Canadian voters decisively rejected Islamophobia. Hurrah for Canada! If only American and Israeli voters can someday do the same. O Canada, please stand on guard for the rest of us!