Lone Primate sent me this link about some smart Canadians.
America and the U.S. government are less popular in Canada today than any time since polls were first conducted in this country in the 1930s. To find similar anti-American sentiment, you'd probably have to go back to the federal election of 1911, when Wilfrid Laurier's espousal of trade reciprocity with the United States cost him re-election.Back in February, I posted a photo of smart Germans, and of course I used to blog about smart New Yorkers all the time. Today, here are some smart Argentinians, protesting against W before the fourth Summit of the Americas in Mar del Plata, Argentina.
The public-opinion trends do not augur well. In 1981, the year Ronald Reagan was inaugurated, seven per cent of Canadians told us they had an unfavourable opinion of the U.S., while 10 times that proportion (72 per cent) reported a favourable impression of our southern neighbour. Today the proportion reporting an unfavourable impression is 48 per cent, and the proportion reporting a favourable opinion is down to 50 per cent.
We are talking here of America as a country, not the administration of George W. Bush. Favourable opinion of the United States has been eroding gradually over the years, but its decline accelerated sharply when W. was first elected in the fall of 2000. And if his Republican administration was unpopular in 2000, it was anathema in 2004.
In 2000, 29 per cent of Canadians would have voted for Mr. Bush had they had the opportunity. Forty-eight per cent would have voted for Democratic candidate Al Gore. By 2004, Mr. Bush was down to 15 per cent in Canada, and John Kerry would have garnered 70 per cent of the Canadian vote. George W. Bush is probably the least popular president of the United States in Canada since James Madison led his country in the War of 1812.
If you look carefully, you might catch a glimpse of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez among the crowd. Chavez promised to leave the summit in between sessions to participate in an alternative People's Summit. Along with the former Argentinian football star Diego Maradonna, Chavez will lead a protest march against W. Story from The Independent (UK) via Common Dreams. The Independent writer asks, "Can you imagine one of the leaders at the G8 summit slipping out between sessions, through the security cordon, to join in a street demonstration of bearded anoraks against the summit's most powerful participant...?"
The People's Summit was held from November 1 through 5; it ended yesterday. You can read some reports about it here (a Canadian site).