Here in Canada, there is a sense of excitement as Americans go to the polls to elect a president. There are about 1 million Americans who live in Canada. Many of them work here. There are hundreds of American Mormon missionaries serving in Canada. In my ward, the Newmarket Ward of the Barrie Ontario Stake, there are several members who can vote. Most Americans living in Canada vote by absentee ballot. LDS Church members in Canada are generally excited about the possibility of a U.S. president who is a Mormon.
Because I live close to the American border, we are bombarded with political ads from CNN and the television stations in Buffalo, N.Y. The U.S. election is front-page news across Canada. What happens in America has an influence on the whole world. Being a Canadian, I am not eligible to vote in an American election. However, I have been glued to the television all day on Nov. 6, 2012, as have many other Canadians.
I have a deep interest in family history, and I was surprised to learn the Romney family converted to the Mormon Church while living in Canada in the 1840s. At the time, the Romneys lived around the Tottenham, Ontario, area, which is located in the boundaries of the Barrie Stake. So I live only 15 miles from the place where the Romneys converted to the gospel.
George Romney, Mitt's father, bought a cottage in Grand Bend, Ontario, in 1950. The Romney family has owned the property ever since. Because of this, Mitt Romney has strong ties to Canada.
I don't know Mitt Romney and I have never met him, but I have several connections to Mitt Romney. Two Romney family members served as missionaries in the Newmarket Ward. One of my best friends, who lives in California, attended law school at Harvard with Mitt Romney. My friend and Mitt have been friends for 40 years. Also, I have another friend who lives in Texas who knew Mitt Romney when my friend and Mitt both lived in Utah. On a regular basis, Mitt Romney would take a day off from work and spend 10 or 12 hours delivering food baskets to the needy. My friend was one of the people who helped Mitt.
It has been an exciting campaign, and it will be an extremely close election.
Ken Sisler worked for 19 years in the Premier's Office (similar to the governor's office) in Toronto, Ontario, Canada under five different premiers and three different political parties. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.