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The Washington Post notes that the Liberals in Canada became the second victims of their own strategy to use anti-Americanism as an electoral tactic. The Post sees this as a potential tide-turning moment in global politics, where simply insulting Americans does not provide the credentials necessary for election:
Mr. Martin becomes the second G-8 leader in four months to exit from office after discovering that anti-U.S. demagoguery is no longer enough to win an election. Gerhard Schroeder, the former German chancellor, also tried to rescue his political career last fall by parading his differences with Mr. Bush; the result was the victory of Angela Merkel, who has moved swiftly to repair relations with Washington. Interestingly, both Mr. Schroeder and Mr. Martin won previous campaigns by playing anti-American cards, in 2002 and 2004 respectively. While it's not clear that the level of ill feeling toward the United States or its president has changed much in Germany or Canada, it's obviously not the foremost concern of voters fed up with domestic mismanagement -- or, perhaps, political venality.
Neither Merkel nor Harper plan on being American puppets, as both have showed shortly after their election, nor should they be. They should represent the interests of their citizens, some of which will inevitably conflict with our interests. However, the notion that governments of democracies should stoke contempt and hatred for their putative allies has been roundly and rightly discredited by the two elections spotlighted by the Post in today's editorial.Sphere It View blog reactions
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