August 09, 2008

Ralph Nader is bringing his campaign for the U.S. presidency to Canada.

Nader draws to within 44 points of Obama

Ralph Nader is bringing his campaign for the U.S. presidency to Canada.

According to the Nader for President campaign, the U.S. consumer activist plans to appear Monday at Queen’s Park, home of the Ontario government, “to discuss the U.S. Presidential election, and what’s at stake for Ontario and Canada, including a North American green electricity grid, NAFTA’s renegotiation, stickiness of borders, and dealing with climate change.”

Canadians can be forgiven if they were unaware Nader was once again a candidate, since it hasn’t attracted much attention in the U.S. either. Why he thinks appearing in Toronto will boost his campaign is a bit of a mystery, though perhaps he noticed all the attention Barack Obama got by speaking in Germany and is hoping to attract a similar crowd. (Message to Ralph: Maybe Germans still like to gather in huge numbers and chant the names of political saviours, but Canadians don’t go in for that. It might suggest we had strong opinions, which runs counter to the Canadian character. We’re better at nodding politely and pretending we agree.)

Nader’s campaign platform is largely an assault on Evil Corporate Interests, which have seized control of the U.S. government and are running it for their own nefarious purposes, kind of like Ernst Stavro Blofeld. His web site includes a video, apparently shot on a budget of $3.85, not including parking, excoriating Evil Corporate Leaders for the housing meltdown and sub-prime lending crisis. Both John McCain and Barack Obama are in league with the corporate cabal of course (all good conspiracies reach right to the top).

“Our democracy has been the target of a hostile corporate takeover,” Nader says. “In every aspect of American governance, corporate power and abuse have invaded law and policymaking to serve narrow and too often predatory interests.”

Nader attracted 0.38% of the poll in the 2004 race. A poll this week showed him with 3% of national support, 40 points or more behind both McCain and Obama. While he may not win, Nader is closing in on the Harold Stassen Award for most attempts to capture the U.S. White House by a candidate lacking a hope in hell.

Stassen, the onetime Governor of Minnesota, sought the Republican nomination nine times between 1948 and 1992. Nader is in his fifth race for president, meaning he can catch Stassen if he campaigns in every campaign between now and 2024, when he would be 90.

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