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Canada COMMENTARY: Barack Obama — and other non-Canadians — should stay out of our election

18:30  19 october  2019
18:30  19 october  2019 Source:   globalnews.ca

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Barack Obama on Wednesday endorsed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in his re- election bid. Obama ’s support comes in the wake of a turbulent month for Trudeau, who has apologized on Trudeau responded by thanking Obama and saying, “we’re working hard to keep our progress

Barack Hussein Obama II (/bəˈrɑːk huːˈseɪn oʊˈbɑːmə/ (listen); born August 4, 1961) is an American attorney and politician who served as the 44th president of the United States from 2009 to 2017.

Justin Trudeau, Barack Obama are posing for a picture: U.S. President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau walk down the Hall of Honour on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa, June 29, 2016.© THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson U.S. President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau walk down the Hall of Honour on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa, June 29, 2016.

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

I don’t doubt that Barack Obama and Justin Trudeau have shared ideology, a mutual admiration and perhaps even a friendship of sorts. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the former is rooting for the latter to prevail in Canada’s federal election (well, maybe a little surprising, given the latter’s blackface scandals).

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Barack Obama endorses Justin Trudeau days before Canadian election . Former President Obama endorsed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Twitter Wednesday afternoon The world needs his progressive leadership now, and I hope our neighbors to the north support him for another term."

Barack Obama decisively won the presidential election due to many factors Obama won the 2008 presidential election in part because he consistently exhibited wise No one doubted that Joe Biden was fully prepared to become President of the United States, should that terrible occasion have arisen.

It’s also true that Canadians generally admire and respect the former U.S. president, whose dignity and grace stand in stark contrast to the current president’s petulance and narcissism.

Despite all of that, however, I’m not sure Canadians — with the exception of diehard Liberal partisans — will appreciate Obama’s 11th-hour insertion into our electoral process. Frankly, we should bristle at the idea of non-Canadians telling Canadians how to vote.

READ MORE: Barack Obama endorses Justin Trudeau in Canadian federal election

With less than a week before Canadians head to the polls, Obama took to Twitter on Wednesday to share his endorsement of Trudeau, saying "the world needs his progressive leadership."

For their part, the Liberals were rather coy on how this all came about. They wouldn’t say whether they asked Obama for the endorsement, and Trudeau slyly noted that “nobody tells Barack Obama what he should do.”

Of course, no one is suggesting Trudeau demanded that Obama endorse him. It’s also unlikely Obama simply decided on a whim to do so. Otherwise, the exact nature of how this all came about will remain murky for now.

READ MORE: Trudeau won’t say if Liberal campaign asked Obama for endorsement

If, indeed, the Liberals sought this out, it would certainly smack of desperation on their part. It’s unlikely they would be so eager to hear the thoughts of former U.S. presidents if Obama had suddenly developed and professed a fondness for Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer. I’m sure there would have been all sorts of howls if, back in the day, Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush had seen fit to endorse a Canadian leader or party just days before a vote.

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“TORONTO — Barack Obama is urging Canadians to re- elect Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, an apparently unprecedented endorsement of a candidate in a Canadian election by a former American president. Obama tweeted Wednesday that he was proud to work with Trudeau and described him as

Barack Obama spoke at a rally in Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois, after winning the race for the White House Tuesday night. If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still

Obama may be a friend to Trudeau, but in many ways, he was not a friend to Canada. He vetoed the Keystone XL pipeline, resisted a deal on softwood lumber and included “buy American” provisions in his American Jobs Act. He was the American president, of course, and as such, his loyalties and obligations were to his own country. But if the interests of Canadians were not a priority for him then, why should we believe they suddenly are now?

Obama doesn’t live here, doesn’t pay taxes here, isn’t trying to keep or find a job here and doesn’t rely on or benefit from any government service here. Beyond his admiration for Trudeau, what is at stake for him in this election? He has no meaningful vested interest in the outcome of this election beyond what he sees as the broader cause of progressivism.

There’s certainly nothing untoward about like-minded political movements in democratic nations looking for ways of co-operating. That happens quite often, in fact. Former Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper, for example, has devoted himself to such efforts as serving as chair of the International Democrat Union (IDU), an international alliance of right-of-centre political parties.

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This year, in this election , we are called to reaffirm our values and our commitments, to hold them against a hard reality and see how we are measuring up, to the legacy of our forbearers and the promise of future generations. OBAMA : And fellow Americans, Democrats, Republicans

A moment of opportunity – President Barack Obama 's address on Middle East and North Africa Our opposition to Iran's intolerance – as well as its illicit nuclear program, and its sponsorship of terror – is well Just as EU membership served as an incentive for reform in Europe, so should the vision of a

The Liberals even cited one of Harper’s own pronouncements to counter criticism of the Obama endorsement: his January Tweet that India "needs the courageous and visionary leadership" of Narendra Modi.

One could call that an endorsement, and it’s possible that Indian voters were uncomfortable with a former Canadian prime minister telling them how to vote. Mind you, Harper’s tweet was several months before the Indian election, not a few days before election day.

As for Obama, this wasn’t even his first intervention in a foreign election: in 2017, he endorsed Emmanuel Macron in the French presidential election. At the time, the endorsement was described as “highly, highly unusual” for a former president but perhaps justified by the spectre of far-right candidate Marine Le Pen prevailing.

COMMENTARY: How Justin Trudeau’s persona feeds the polarization he laments

Of course, Canada’s Conservative Party is nothing at all like the French National Front, and Andrew Scheer is certainly no Marine Le Pen. The stakes may have been high in France in 2017, but that’s hardly the case in Canada in 2019. There’s no reason why the “highly, highly unusual” should now become the norm.

Even if one accepts Obama’s argument about climate change as a “big issue,” is that to say his endorsement is based on his own analysis of all the various parties’ climate change policies? Does he even know who Jagmeet Singh and Elizabeth May are?

This is all a far cry from the sort of meddling that rises to the level of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election or other sorts of sinister, clandestine interference and disruption from adversaries that our intelligence agencies have been warning about.

Still, it crosses a line. With all due respect to Mr. Obama, he should butt out.

Rob Breakenridge is host of “Afternoons with Rob Breakenridge” on Global News Radio 770 Calgary and a commentator for Global News.

COMMENTARY: Justin Trudeau won the election but now must regain Canadians’ trust .
Voters have put Justin Trudeau in the penalty box, says Sean Simpson of Ipsos. "He will need to regain the trust and respect of the citizenry."On election day 2015, which saw the defeat of the Harper government, an Ipsos/Global News poll of over 12,000 voters revealed that just 36 per cent thought things in Canada were headed in the right direction. On election day in 2019, which saw the incumbent Trudeau government reduced to a minority, just 35 per cent believe things in Canada are headed in the right direction. This is not exactly a ringing endorsement of the past four years.

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