We’ve heard him say and do some pretty breathtakingly idiotic things. He claimed Barack Obama’s birth certificate was a fraud. He declared that he would build a wall across the southern United States border. He’s made racist remarks on a national stage seem as casual as another 30-second sound bite.
The most important thing about Donald Trump though is that he’s also galvanized enough attention to become the official Presidential candidate for the Republican Party ahead of this year’s U.S election. All the while gaining support, many Americans and U.S residents have pledged to flee the country for Canada if or when Mr. Trump gained office.
It begs the question, could a Donald Trump-like candidate, or Trump himself, ever achieve this level of power in Canada?
To this a recent Abacus Data poll confirms the solemn integrity of Canada’s democracy. Abacus Data surveyed 2,000 Canadians online over the age of 18 from a random sample of over 500,000 Canadians. The moral of the story is simply that if the U.S election were to happen on Canadian soil, Canadians, nation-wide, would adopt an, “anything but Trump,” mantra when taking to the polls.
They found that if it were between Hilary Clinton, the likely Democratic nominee, and Trump, Hillary would dominate the polls, capturing 80 per cent of the popular vote. Even if it were hopeful Democratic nominee Bernie Sanders, Canadians would still reportedly vote Trump down with only 18 per cent of the vote. Among Conservative voters in Canada—those most likely to align their political affiliation with the Republican Party—Abacus Data reported that Trump would receive only 39 per cent of the vote if Clinton were the opposing nominee.
In the data there are some predictable explanations for the lack of Trump-fandom North of the border. More than 80 per cent of respondents doubted that Trump would make the world a safer place with the majority also thinking that he is “certainly,” or “probably,” a racist when it comes to his views of some minority groups.
It truly does make you wonder what’s going on with our country’s closest ally. In many ways, Canadians regard Americans as one with our own way of life. They share our customs, culture, traditions and multiple sporting leagues. Americans are so much like Canadians in many cases that the only way in diffentiating them in many cases would be to simply ask.
Yet, here we are: five months away from watching Trump, a candidate Canada would apparently never elect, gain power in what’s arguably the world’s most influential office. At one time it seemed unthinkable to suggest Trump becoming the president was even in the realm of possibility.
Despite the data from the recent survey, it would be naïve to assume Canada, a country Americanized in so many ways, is immune to this thinking forever as well.