Patriotic Canadians are furious with former President Obama’s decision to endorse Justin Trudeau in Canada’s parliamentary elections taking place next week.
Traditionally, former US presidents refrain from endorsing candidates in foreign elections, preferring to keep their dignity and allow the citizens of sovereign nations to make their own democratic decisions.
However, Barack Obama has chosen to disrespect presidential etiquette yet again and has chosen to tell Canadians who to vote for.
Obama has a history of running foreign interference. He endorsed Emmanuel Macron in France in 2017 and also attempted to intervene in the British referendum on leaving the European Union, however the majority of British voters ignored his advice on that occasion. Nelson Wiseman, a political science professor at the University of Toronto, said he doesn’t think Obama’s endorsement will help Trudeau either.
“In fact, some people may feel this is an unwarranted foreign intrusion in Canada’s election,” Wiseman said.
And he’s right. Elections Canada has ruled that Obama’s intervention does not constitute illegal interference (because no money changed hands) but Canadian patriots are outraged with Obama’s attempt at meddling in their election.
Justin Trudeau is in a tough re-election scrap before Monday’s parliamentary elections.
Robert Bothwell, a professor of Canadian history and international relations at the University of Toronto, said that might have something to do with Obama’s last minute intervention.
“Trudeau is in real danger,” Bothwell said. “If I were a Liberal (party) campaigner I would quietly point with pride to Obama’s endorsement. I don’t know if I’d run around toting it as a major political issue.”
Bothwell said you would have to go back more than 100 years to find an American president intervening in a Canadian federal election.
He said Theodore Roosevelt, who was president from 1901 to 1909, visited Toronto in 1917 when Canada was having an election about conscription and spoke in favor of it.
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