(The Globe and Mail – Alan Gottlieb and Colin Robertson)
Allan Gotlieb, a former Canadian ambassador to the United States, is senior adviser to Bennett Jones LLP. Colin Robertson, the first head of the Washington embassy’s advocacy secretariat, is vice-president of the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute and strategic adviser to McKenna Long and Aldridge LLP.
U.S. The U.S. Congress has undergone another sea change as a result of Tuesday’s midterm elections and the Republican wave with a Tea Party crest. What has not changed is the requirement for vigilance in defence of Canadian interests. Those interests are our economic prosperity, our need for a wider and enhanced international trading system, and an open border between our two countries.
From the standpoint of our interests, Congress is the organ of government of greatest concern to Canada. In the U.S. system of checks and balances, the three branches of government are said to be co-equal, but they’re not, by constitutional design of the Founding Fathers. Congress, not the presidency, is primus inter pares.
When the levers of power are divided between the two principal adversaries in Washington, there’s a better chance for bipartisan rule-making than when power is monopolized. This is because without a deal, there’s no legislation. Such is the potential for economic benefit or harm caused by decision-making in an economy the size of the United States, slowness of response may well be preferable to hasty action and, if gridlock or paralysis is a result, it might well be preferable to bad legislation.
The world is likely to be better off through avoidance of monopolization of the levers of power by one party in Washington. But foremost of the countries that would benefit would likely be Canada, because our dependency on the economic health of the U.S., even if diminishing somewhat, has no equal. Read more here.
Related: U.S. election is good news for Canada (Montreal Gazette)