Vice‘s Drew Brown has a convincing article at once amusing and scary predicting how badly Canadian-American relations could go, given the very different personas of the Canadian and American leaders.
Even if the formal machinery of international North American politics holds more-or-less together, the biggest shift in Canada/US relations once Trump is inaugurated will likely be at the symbolic level. Not only can we probably expect an awkward personal relationship between Trump and Trudeau, but both countries have staked out pretty different turf for their national identities.
It will be fun to see Trudeau’s Canada facing off against Trump’s America. The Liberals are in charge of the Canada 150 celebrations this year, and their branding of this country is famously tied to the Great White North being a magical multicultural land where immigrants with advanced degrees can thrive as menial laborers while Laurentian whites nod sagely to one another during Vinyl Café listening parties. Canadian charm will probably go into overdrive sometime around late June.
On the flipside, it’s been barely two months since the US election and it’s already having a profound impact on our political discourse (hello, Kellie Leitch!). It’ll be interesting to see what happens as the Conservative leadership race wraps up and sets the tone for the next two years of federal politics, in much the same way that tracking the progress of Ebola was interesting for people working at the Center for Disease Control.
At a more elemental level, there is the basic clash of personalities. It’s tailor-made for a low-budget TV comedy. Trudeau is the soft-spoken, metrosexual male feminist who cares about your feelings and will do the dishes for you and possibly also give you a foot bath if you indulge that weird sexual thing he’s into that you find vaguely uncomfortable in its strangeness but not particularly threatening in any way, it’s just not your thing but he’s really into it so it’s a bit of a give and take situation and otherwise honestly he’s a pretty good catch all things considered. This is a metaphor for ethics scandals, I guess.
Donald Trump is a big loud oaf who only cares about making deals and bragging about sex crimes and tweeting rude reviews of the burrito stand across the street. What will these two wacky roommates get up to next?!