"Hillary Clinton" is a name that Canadians have become well acquainted with over the years. But for the longest time, it never bore any real significance to them...
That's because "Hillary Clinton" could be the name of the Oval Office's next occupant. "Hillary Clinton" could be the name of the next leader of the most powerful nation in the world. "Hillary Clinton" could be the name of the first woman in history to become president of the United States of America.
With over 30 years of experience in politics and government, one would think that she's the clear choice for the honourable role. But a shaky career, tainted with high-profile scandals and conspiracies, has made her mission to gain the acceptance of the American people nothing short of a herculean task.
So while her name is already historic, its association to controversies like a failed health care plan, shady charitable operations, the Benghazi incident, and a highly publicized email scandal also made it legendary for the wrong reasons.
Still, Mrs. Clinton may hold various advantages over her ferocious, papaya-tinged adversary. Her prior roles as the secretary of state and US senator have made her more knowledgeable of the customary interplay between our country and hers. With that said, one could argue that she has a deeper understanding of the US-Canada relationship, as well as the exigent need to keep it robust.
But more than this, she has an undying perseverance that even her biggest haters could admire. People can attack her, unfairly criticize her, or even threaten to vote against her just to spite her; but through it all, she remains steadfast and untriggered. Such demeanor speaks volumes of her temperament.
But is temperament enough? Some might say so. One cannot distinguish Clinton and Trump on the basis of untrustworthiness alone because, whether people choose to believe it or not, they're both crooked - albeit, to different degrees; but nevertheless still crooked in some way. Similarly, they cannot be distinguished on the basis of their platforms because they've both put forward promises that, well, don't seem so promising.
So, it arguably comes down to character, and in that respect, Hillary may have the slight edge. In recent polls, including a Washington Post-ABC News Poll, Clinton leads in approval ratings for personality and other related qualities among voters. Throughout the campaign (and her career), she has demonstrated that she is more than capable of keeping her emotions under control; even in moments of extreme pressure. It's perhaps the one time when being calculated and overly-rehearsed is expedient.
As the race for the presidency quickly nears its end, several people are still concerned of the outcome, including Canadians. Would a Clinton victory be beneficial for our country? Is she the lesser evil? Read the following predictions and decide for yourself:
Hillary's stance on global trade has gone back and forth over the years. When she first ran for the presidency in 2007, she was highly critical of deals like NAFTA and the TPP, which both allow free trade between their participant nations. Such is a stark contrast to her prior support of the deals - she once even referred to the TPP as "the gold standard."
Now, she may be receptive to the idea of free trade once again. A recently leaked document indicated that her "dream" is to establish a "hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders." Of course, the Trump campaign capitalized on this, raising concerns of a potentially weaker national security as a consequence of the open borders Hillary so desires.
But Hillary's vision of a common world market is somewhat in line with Trudeau's - the Canadian Prime Minster has been vocal about his support for free trade in past summits. In that sense, Hillary's perspectives on trade could work more in Canada's favour rather than against it. If elected to office, she might look to make amendments to NAFTA and the TPP, but would still be in support of their enforcement overall. Such would provide financial relief to our importers and exporters; considering she doesn't call for any drastic changes.
Nevertheless, Hillary would face issues with Congress, which is known to be more protectionist by nature. If she were to become president, she would still need the support of Congress in order to put her free trade initiatives into effect.
2. Climate Change
Hillary has indicated her opposition of the Keystone XL pipeline extension, despite having supported it back in 2010. Hillary's objection of the pipeline project is likely motivated by the recent backing she received from her former Democratic opponent Bernie Sanders, who also rejects it.
In terms of climate change, Hillary is looking to 1) invest in clean energy jobs, 2) dissolve government grants to fuel companies, and 3) set limits to reduce emissions. As a starting point, she would likely continue Obama's clean energy policy which is currently under legal negotiations. These initiatives are all in line with that of Canada's Liberal Party, which hopes to work with the US on a comprehensive clean energy plan for North America.
Hillary's previous stint as the US secretary of state hints at her more aggressive approach to foreign policy. Her national security plan looks to increase airforce offensive measures against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, while Canada has chosen to withdraw its jets from the effort altogether.
Under a Clinton presidency, Canada could also be required to increase its overall defence spending. Currently, all members of NATO have pledged to dedicate 2% of their GDP to their defence budgets; however, Canada is only contributing 1%.
Where Hillary's platform aligns with Canada's is on the issue of immigration. Under a Clinton administration, the US could increase its number of Syrian refugees from 10,000 annually to 65,000 annually. Hillary could work closely with Trudeau and Canadian officials to create a private sponsorship system for America.
All in all, it seems as though Hillary Clinton would be the lesser evil for Canadians. Despite her controversies and lackluster proposals, she appears to be more in line with Canada's interests compared to Donald Trump.
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