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Beyond themselves. Just beautiful.

And while Americans were voting for the far and wide, within the notion of this emigrant's imminent bliss were thoughts of Gold Star moms. You are among the strongest people on Earth.

Yes, along with death and injustice, enough scandal will chase people to the polls. Concurrently, north of the border was felt the day's omen, upon hearing that voters were waiting to get inside ill-prepared voting stations throughout the country. Somehow I just knew those eager voters to be mostly Democrats, Independents and realistic Republicans. The anger...and the desperate need to remedy a disaster. And whether you care to hear this or not-I am so proud of you!

The coast resembles a long-lost friend and the contrast delightfully sobering, but neither a hybrid nor homogeneous group of politicians makes the ideal government. Who's to say how difficult the chore will be in converting or bringing back to life an engine all but destroyed...along with everything that's been in its path? And with the wind shift in the U.S. quick and unnerving, hopes and needs must now include the boat's return to Kyoto, with the momentum granted from each Democratic vote you've cast. It could have an impact on the same focus north of the border.

Before moving to Canada, I stated a mild concern about the influence of American Conservatives on their northern sister party. But the beauty of the Canadian system is that, during the Question Period in the House of Commons, with everyone needing their say, most of them (particularly within the major parties) say it, repeat it and come back to it in small segments with immediate responses. So if you're not in favor of what's being said, you don't have to wait long. Conversely, you hear lovely music presented often. And the progressive equivalent or the New Democratic Party (NDP) has been particularly vocal, to my pleasure. I wonder what effect, if any, a Democratic Congress will have on the House of Commons in their next election. And will this combination/compatibility enable the process of global healing?

Of course, there is war going on and, sometimes, it's tough to know which is direr: Allowing a longer existence for servicemen and women and the time, in this world, they can spend with their families, or helping this planet breathe longer? And would it be impossible to arrange both? If a dream came true in Washington, D.C., then more of the same should not seem so far-fetched.

Far-fetched...and George W. Bush is still in the White House. As I viewed his press conference the day after Democratic victory, the President of the United States went from defiant to naked. After several minutes and a few reporters' questions, he was sh*tting a brick. And with Bush and Cabinet at the microphone, I was counting tails. Who didn't smell the doom before his first meeting with Nancy Pelosi as incoming Speaker of the House? You'd think it had grown familiar to him since the 2000 debacle. Only this time, neither can leave the room.

Canadian Conservative lawmakers have had a more subdued reaction than I would have thought, and, due to Remembrance Week, I've heard no comment as yet from the Liberal Party, the NDP or the Quebec Bloc-the latter two being of particularly like minds. As far as the Conservatives are concerned, it'll be business as usual. Is that possible with the new goals of Congress? At the very least, I can see a conversation with the NDP.

As for the rest of the world, better late than never may need to be good enough, but, at least, this time, America got it right...in spite of the deluge of physical and emotional obstacles. Granted, the home front was certainly on the minds of voters, but I refuse to believe that the rest of you weren't as well. The responsibility of Americans is heavy...and we falter. But this time, the citizenry came through. It's what you needed...and what you deserved.



Rachel emigrated to Canada in the summer of 2006.- She has an M.A. in Teaching ESOL, and her poetry, short stories and articles have appeared in print and online. Rachel is a member of Fair Vote Canada.

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