Welcome Back America — November 4th Celebration

Oct 29 Update: There are 557 people signed up on the Facebook page, many from Toronto, but there are growing Montreal numbers. If you’re on board with the idea, please help us spread the word by inviting your friends (especially those in other cities) and posting on your blogs. There will likely be a small piece about this in the Montreal Gazette on Monday — my question to our readers is this: do we know where Montrealers gather in public for spontaneous celebration?

If the event below appeals to you, go to the Facebook event page and join, and then invite all your people to join — especially if they’re in a different city. This is not an “organized” event — but we’ve been overhearing people asking “where will you be election night” so why not encourage a giant civic celebration?

If the rest of the planet could vote, Barack Obama would win the American 2008 election in an unprecedented landslide. It’s safe to say that much of the world is waiting anxiously for the Obama victory — think of the 200,000 people that saw Obama speak in Berlin last July.

The United States has lost moral support and sympathy around the world over the last eight years. The Obama win is a chance for a new start and to patch up both its reputation and its international relationships. We need to send a big fun signal of good faith that we’re ready to have them back. Let’s do that by gathering together in our public squares to celebrate this new era and show our American friends they are not alone in the world.

Here’s how it will work: When CNN declares victory (since it’s the news organization most internationally available) head to your city or town’s main square where public celebrations usually take place. If it’s a square with a big video screen maybe they’ll broadcast results so you can go early, or watch the victory speech after. Like when your sports team wins, it’s better to celebrate in public with everybody else.

In Toronto, the natural place to head is Dundas Square. It’s got the space, those big TVs, and after every hockey championship, it is naturally filled with people. Where is Montreal’s natural gathering spot?

Though planning this before results are in risks a “Dewey Defeats Truman” scenario (let’s all knock wood) it’s worth the risk. We may not agree with everything the United States does or even with all of Obama’s platform, but let’s put all that aside and, for once, celebrate America’s new start. Welcome back America!

Invite other to join and share this group. Start threads on your local blogs or forums.

Download and use this graphic:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/spacing/2964300895/

29 comments

  1. Hey,

    Last Election, ‘Americans in Mtl’ or some other such organization got something going at Champs (St-Laurent). Anyone know about something comparable going down this time round?

    Americans, lead us, we will follow.

    Ck

  2. Toronto celebrates other cities’ hockey championships?

  3. Josh: not sure what your point is: no hockey was mentioned, but if you’re referring to Canada celebrating an American president, it should be noted that we are seriously affected by the US’s decisions (we wouldn’t be in Afghanistan otherwise).

  4. I did mention hockey. Team Canada — whichever iteration of it — celebration abound. The Leafs — I saw it once in the first round of the playoffs. It’s all Leaf fans have, so don’t be too hard on them.

  5. Barack Obama est contre le marriage gay. Il est aussi rétrograde que tous les autres hommes politiques américains.

  6. Jasmin> True, on a number of points. The thing is, the United States is an extremely conservative country. Anyone too far of centre is absolutely unelectable. Just the way it is.

  7. He is not for gay marriage, but he is for civil unions which is effectively the government recognizing same-sex couples as being married. The problem is with the word “marriage.” It has a very religious connotation. Contrast the GOP who want to ban all same-sex couples from recognition and you have very different policies. Not to mention, the Dems would not pass laws that leave out or discriminate against gays and lesbians. The GOP would.

    I think that once the Place des Spectacles is built, that will become Montreal’s major civic meeting place. Hopefully the QDS does get some jumbo screens for news and info. But Montreal is weird about visual “pollution”…. it sure would be nice though.

  8. Ahh.. If Americans want to celebrate their president, that’s cool, but I see no reason why I should be out there. The line between the ROC and the USA is becoming fuzzier and fuzzier with each passing day.

    I’m absolutely certain that QDS will NOT be incorporating info screens or cheesy American Idol/beer/Scary Movie15 ads. The last thing that we need is a Dundas ‘Ad Nauseum’ Square-type abomination.

  9. Is it not true that the US Democrats are generally to the right of the Canadian Conservatives?

    The US needs a Democratic President for two terms. 8 years from now, must of the GOP oldtimers would be long gone. Then one of the better Republicans can run like Condoleeza Rice.

    The US economy needs regulation right now, and it won’t be the laissez-faire Republicans who do it. Evidently an immediate pullout of American troops from Iraq will help the country coffers considerably.

  10. RedTory: no the Dems are like the Liberals with a bit of the former PC in them.

    Protogenes: same place as celebration, I suspect. And I do think there will be a few riots in the US if McCain wins. But I don’t think the Republicans want to win this election: let the Dems run the country when there is a war and financial crisis going on. I think they’ll be pleased to hand over the wheel of this sinking ship.

  11. I believe a fair number of mcgill students will be congregating at three bares park, in the centre of campus. A fair number of americans go there.

  12. As of November 1st I’m without a TV, so please spread the word if there’s any further news of a (hopefully celebratory) watering-hole gathering on the 4th. Thanks for your tip, Will, but I’m lookin’ for a bar stool (in the spirit of the event I might actually have one of those appalling Yankee beers:).

  13. Can’t we do like the soccer game and all run to rachel / st-denis or something?

    But then again at midnight in november it’s a bit cold ;-)

  14. I’m an American; I just sent in my absentee ballot today after having given an excessive amount of money to Obama over the last year. So yes, I’m pretty damn anxious about the election.

    That said, “We need to send a big fun signal of good faith that we’re ready to have them back,” sounds pretty condescending coming from a country that just gave Harper another government. I’ll skip the vicarious back-slapping, and curl up with a computer, TV, rabbit tail, block of wood, and champagne.

  15. I doubt the 38% who voted for Stephen Harper will be out celebrating — so I don’t think it’s so condescending.

  16. I really do hope that Obama wins. I’m looking forward to seeing him walk on water; cure the disabled, turn water into Courvoisier etc.. Don’t think he’ll do much for Canada though, although our Camerican friends in Toronto USA may disagree.

  17. There isn’t one single place where Montrealers gather. Federalists picked Dominion Square for their pro-Canada demo a few years ago. Nationalists would be more likely to use Place Jacques-Cartier or maybe Emilie-Gamelin Square at Berri-UQAM. I suspect McGill will see a gathering, as noted, because some of its students (profs too, probably) are from the U.S.

  18. How about Parc des Amériques on St-Laurent and Rachel? It’s aptly named anyways, close to bars where people may watch election results, and in the heart of Montreal’s “little America” (ie McGill student roaming territory.)

  19. The usual spot for demonstrations here is on boulevard René-Lévesque between Federal and Québec government offices (Guy-Favreau/Hydro-Québec building), just around the corner from the US consulate. The latter is an armed fort – a USian friend described the rather chilling experience to go in there to renew her passport.

    And protogenes, Riots? Nah, perhaps the odd flag-burning. Though the last time I saw someone try to burn a US flag (a Chilean refugee I knew) it didn’t work – they are made of synthetic fabric now that doesn’t really burn, not cotton as in the anti-Vietnam-demo era…

    I’d rather Obama wins than McCain and Scarah Palin, but no, I won’t be joining in the celebrating.

  20. Hehe, go pour le Parc des Amériques, je suis en face!

    Mais uhm, ca va être dûr de faire un meetup avec un horraire aléatoire selon les canaux… :/

  21. hey where in montreal is the gathering happening? is it at at Parc des Amériques on St. Laurent Blvd., at the corner Rachel St.? please let me know. i’m kicking myself for not being able to go to dundas square in toronto, my home city. have fun guys, make us proud *sigh* how i wish i could be there.

  22. LOL @ todd spurrell’s comment. well i have to, my fiance is american from pennsylvania, one of the swing states and he’s a diehard obama supporter so i lend help and support. i have to.:D also i’m a journalist so i have to look into big events around the world that are newsworthy. personally i don’t love obama but as an option to the senile mccain and scarah palin (thanks maria gatti :D) he is the best man right now. moreover our canadian economy is so badly pegged to the american one, we can’t help but be influenced by events in the US.

  23. I would really like to celebrate Obama in a group tonight.

    Nous sommes allés faire de porte à porte au New Hamshire avec des amis américains et aimerions être avec eux ce soir mais c’est impossible.

    Le parc des Amériques ? Le Carré Dorchester ?

    NOus y serons

  24. Quelqu’un y est allé?
    J’ai vu quelques cyclistes dans le parc vers 1h am, mais aucunes foules…

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