Quirk: Which Republican candidate would be best for Canada?

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January 16, 2012
Phil Lind Chair in US Politics and Representation, Department of Political Science, University of British Columbia

As a proud new Canadian citizen, I will suggest that the best Republican for Canada's interests is Mitt Romney, by a furlong.  Any of the Republicans will be better than President Obama--or any other Democrat--on trade.  And any of them will be pro-energy development and, compared with Obama or any other Democrat, more relaxed about environmental issues--indeed too relaxed, if  significant progress is to be made on limiting greenhouse gases and other environmental concerns.  There is not much to choose among them on these issues.

Neither Ron Paul nor Jon Huntsman need detain us, as neither is a remotely plausible prospect to win the nomination.  

Where Romney differs from the other plausible candidates (Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and Rick Perry) is that, however much he denies it during the nomination campaign, he is more moderate.  He will be better able to work with Democrats in Congress, and more able to contemplate realistic, balanced policies for dealing with the country's long-term fiscal problems.  These abilities are important to Canada because Canada needs the U.S. to remain--or become again--a going concern.