Would you trade Stephen Harper for Barack Obama?

Andy Radia
Politics Reporter
Canada Politics

Due to the impending NHL lockout,  hockey fans aren't going to be able to talk about trading players anymore — at least for the foreseeable future.

So the media has gone on to the next best thing: talking about trading politicians?

That's what Sun News Network personality Brian Lilley has done.

In a very well written tongue in cheek column, Lilley asks if  Canadians would trade Stephen Harper for U.S. President Barack Obama.

The right-leaning Sun News columnist obviously 'declines the offer' but we thought we'd do our own analysis:

Employment: Nod goes to Harper

Canada now trumps the U.S. when it comes to employment levels: Our unemployment rate is now  7.2 percent, compared to America's 8.2 percent.  Moreover, an estimated 9 million people in the United States have left the workforce because they couldn't find jobs.

Debts and deficits: Nod goes to Harper

Canada's combined federal and provincial debt to GDP ratio — the ratio used to measure a country's ability to repay debt — is 57 per cent compared to the United States' ratio of over 100 per cent.

While Obama inherited a mess, he hasn't been able to curb spending by any significant measure. The Democratic president has added $4.3 trillion to the U.S. national debt and quadrupled the country's budget deficit.

The environment: Nod goes to Obama

Scientists and green groups have railed against the Tories for withdrawing from Kyoto, undermining global climate negotiations in Durban last year, passing Bill C-38 which essentially repealed the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, gutting the Fisheries Act, promoting development of the oil sands and for cutting science funding.

Aside from raising fuel efficiency standards and attempting to introduce a cap and trade system, Obama hasn't done a whole lot to help the environment either.  He did, however, nix the Keystone Pipeline deal, at least for the time being.

Popularity: Nod goes to Obama

Canadians love Obama.

According to a recent poll by Angus Reid, 65 per cent of Canadian respondents said that if they could, they would cast a ballot for Obama.

By comparison, a recent Abacus Data poll suggested that only 35 per cent of Canadians had a favourable view of Harper.

Foreign affairs: Nod goes to Harper

In his column, Lilley argues that Obama fumbled and mumbled his way through the Arab Spring. Clearly, Obama's hands-off foreign policy has made the U.S. into a declining world power.

Meanwhile, buoyed by our economic performance, the international community has taken notice of Canada.

"Canada's reputation has grown in the past three years, people have become more aware of what we've done, and the things we've done right," Ian Lee, assistant professor at Carleton University's Sprott School of Business told Embassy Magazine last year.

And, remember, Harper just won the Statesman of the Year award.

So, a one-for-one Obama for Harper trade doesn't look like a good deal for Canada.

Maybe if the Americans threw in Hillary Clinton?

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