Change envy

Obama causes 47 per cent of Canadians to feel disappointed with their political options

Shocking news from the world of opinion polling, many Canadians wish they could vote for their own version of Barack Obama.

On the down side, Harper and other Canadian politicians suffer by contrast when compared to the “charisma and style” of Obama, the poll shows. “Canadians are experiencing collective Obama envy,” Graves said.

In all, 47 per cent of respondents agreed with the statement: “Watching the excitement surrounding the inauguration of Barack Obama and comparing it to our own political leadership, I feel disappointed with our options.”

Those struck most hopeful (or least impressed)? The kids. Or at least the less old.

The sense of envy was highest among the very age group that turned out most strongly for Obama in the U.S. presidential election in early November, but has been staying home in greater numbers with each successive federal election.

“Gen-Xers, under the age of 45, who have been absent from the Canadian scene, are much more likely to feel regret over our options,” Graves said.

If you’re under the age of 45—and my math is correct—you never had a chance to vote for Trudeau. Instead, your options since you came of voting age have included Brian Mulroney, John Turner, Ed Broadbent, Jean Chretien, Lucien Bouchard, Preston Manning, Audrey McLaughlin, Kim Campbell, Gilles Duceppe, Alexa McDonough, Jean Charest, Stockwell Day, Joe Clark, Paul Martin, Stephen Harper, Jack Layton and Stephane Dion.