unpopularity, no contest

"The last time Canadians so disliked a U.S. president, the Americans were shooting at us," says pollster-author Michael Adams.

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.

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.
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.


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).


Expat Traveler said...

I think one of the hardest parts about being an expat is explaining where you are from. I've taken to a few different answers and well I usually try not to mention one word about the states. I plan to keep it that way too.

Wrye said...

Americans abroad get all kinds of usually unjustified grief, as they are assumed to buy into all things American (Gun Policy, say)...and are often forced into having to explain stuff they probably don't support to beguin with.

Nigel Patel said...

Sucks that they get on Americans, instead of the Republican junta, since we didn't actually legitimately elect him either time.
Our country's been stolen and is it any wonder that the neighbors are complaining about the new management's upkeep.

L-girl said...

Well said, Nigel Patel!

Right-thinking Americans have to wear these everywhere.

mkk said...

Cute shirts, Laura, but didn't you mean to say that they are for left-thinking Americans? ;-)

G said...

Speaking of Argentina ...

I just had to do this.


L-girl said...

Left is right. :)

andym said...

Chavez is either a very brave man, or a very stupid man, or a very well-protected man. Whichever it is, he has been a lone voice of opposition to the Bush steamroller.

On a personal note, L-girl--I missed you, too.

L-girl said...

Hi Andy! Maybe brave people are always a little stupid - or a little foolish, anyway. Maybe those who are too concerned with safety and "smarts" cannot be courageous.

In any case, I hope Chavez is very well-protected. I admire him.

freewriter said...

on a more trite note: those argentinians are good protest sign makers!