The Current

Americans in Canada debate Clinton vs. Trump

Two Americans living in Canada, each a supporter of Clinton and Trump respectively, reveal their thoughts on the upcoming U.S. election.
An American flag and Canadian flag fly side-by-side.
Two Americans living in Canada, each a supporter of Clinton and Trump respectively, reveal their thoughts on the upcoming U.S. election. (Stefan Ataman/Shutterstock)

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The upcoming presidential election in the United States has seen its fair share of Americans vowing to move to Canada should a certain candidate win, but there's already a number of them here. 

Two of those Americans living and working in Canada are Krista Leben, who works on Parliament Hill and is originally from Colorado, and Tom Velk, who is currently in Vermont and is the director of the North American Studies program at McGill University.

Leben is a Democrat who was a Bernie Sanders supporter, but will be voting for Hillary Clinton in the general election, and Velk is a Republican who was a Marco Rubio supporter, but has since embraced Donald Trump as his candidate.

Though both Leben and Velk have shifted their support in terms of candidates, they don't feel the same way about their second picks — for Leben, the driving force is her feeling that "the country is best steered by a Democratic Party," while Velk is enthusiastic about a potential Trump presidency. 

Personality vs. policy

Leben says she believes that personality has overtaken policy in this election, and is concerned of such an impact when Clinton and Trump, "two candidates that are very divisive," face off in November. While Velk agrees that the issue of likability is a major one in this election, he points to the media's focus on Trump's hairstyle and vulgarities detracting from the candidate's "policies behind-the-scenes."   

Canada vs. America

Living in Canada has given both Leben and Velk a new perspective on American politics. For Velk, he says it's reminded him that democracy in the States is "in some sense, the most advanced and interesting form" in the world. For Leben, she says the distance has allowed her to look back and compare her country to others.

"The one thing that I think is most disheartening for me, is to look back at the U.S. and feel dismayed with the direction that the country is headed in," she says.

If you're voting in the upcoming U.S. election, we'd like to hear from you.

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This segment was produced by The Current's Ines Colabrese.

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