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Wall Street guru, Americans and Canadians love Bernie Sanders

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 15/03/2016 Diane M. Francis
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I vote in both countries and the border relabels everyone. I'm a "conservative" in Canada, concerned about "liberal" profligacy -- which puts me left of the Democrats. So to me, a Democrat like Bernie Sanders in the White House would be good news all around.
This is because, to my way of thinking, America needs a little more "socialism" and Canada needs a little less.
And capitalist Asher Edelman, a Wall Street guru, agrees with me and believes a Sanders presidency would be a boon for the American economy on CNBC interview today.
It's apparent, since Michigan, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are defying all odds. Their popularity is rooted in the same three issues: fixing the "rigged economy," ending campaign finance corruption and being more protectionist.
They are supported because both are beyond reproach: Sanders has raised more independent money than any candidate in the history of elections and Trump is self-financing his campaign so far.
They are also unequivocal. Sanders attacks the one percent agenda, and Trump explains why big shots get favors for donations. "Hillary Clinton, I said, be at my wedding, and she came to my wedding. She had no choice because I gave to a [Clinton] foundation," he said bluntly in the first GOP debate in August.
Americans are fed up with political payola. Ever since 2010, when the Supreme Court opened up campaign contributions, their government has been auctioned off to the highest corporate and billionaire bidders. The result is that politicians and policies are not aligned with public opinion on everything from same-sex marriage to marijuana legalization, gun controls, health care. In these matters, Americans and Canadians are in sync.
For instance, a January poll showed that 80 percent of Democrats and 25 percent of Republicans support a single-payer system like Sanders is proposing, known there as "extended Medicare." Endorsement grows.
For Canadians (and Americans), the worst outcome would be a Donald Trump victory. He would build fences against both neighbors, actual or virtual. He's pledged a bigger wall with Mexico and says Canada wouldn't require one, but the warning is obvious. For example, a Trump Presidency would react decisively if smuggling resulted from legalization of marijuana in Canada. Perhaps we would face a "Cannabis" toll at border crossings or, certainly, a more clogged border for our goods.
It's also not a leap to expect that Trump would revise trade deals in America's favor and also invoice Canada, along with Japan and Germany, to pay for America's military umbrella.
But fear not.
The Republican Party is imploding around him, mostly because the Bush regime ruined everything. The odds favor another Democrat and, if so, Canada will continue to feel the love.
The trend toward Democrats is well-established. Since 1992, 21 large states, along with the District of Columbia, (mostly states bordering Canada or contiguous to border states) voted for the Democratic candidate at least four out of five times, while 22 smaller states consistently voted for a Republican. The remaining seven states were Nevada, West Virginia, Ohio, Arkansas, Florida, Colorado and Missouri. Since 2008, most voted Democrat and will again.
The most influential leader is Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. He has rollicked from nowhere to the top-based on the Canadian/European "socialist" policy playbook: Single-payer medicine, low or no post-secondary tuition, high minimum wages and a more nuanced foreign policy. Even Hillary is migrating toward his positions in the hopes that he won't become the 2016 Obama to her 2008 Hillary campaign flop. She's in trouble.

Excerpts published in National Post

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