To say that the outcome of the current Canadian federal election campaign could have a direct effect on the United States would be an understatement.
Under Prime Minister Stephen Harper's minority Conservative government, Canada's economy has endured the global economic crash with less damage and is recovering faster than any other G8/G20 nation.
But all of that could be for naught depending on the election outcome.
In a minority situation, the opposition parties have a larger number of combined seats than the sitting government, which makes it a tenuous situation. Harper deserves credit for keeping his party in power as long as he did - longer than any minority government in our nation's history - given the fact the other three national parties are all on the political left.
So far, the campaign has been the usual list of promises and soundbites. Promises of more jobs, a stable economy, more money to health care and education fill the platforms of all parties involved.
There is one policy put forth by the left wing parties, however, that could potentially devastate the Canadian economy. It's repercussions would spill over the border and leave it's mark on our neighbor to the south.
I'm sure Americans are familiar with the concept of Cap and Trade. Both the small 'l' Liberals and the far-left socialist New Democrats have versions of it in their respective platforms.
Basically, it amounts to more and higher taxes on our energy sector by having the federal government assume greater control. It would directly impact the jewel of Canada's oil industry: the Alberta oil sands.
At a time when the United States is looking for reliable sources of oil and natural gas that don't involve dealing with terror-sponsoring nations, the enviroNazi-vilified oil sands is a sound and ethical source of black gold from America's closest ally and neighbor.
When you cut through the Greenpeace hysteria and lies you will find the most safe, secure and abundant source of crude.
If Canadians decide to lean to the left, that well could dry up quickly. Not only would that put the U.S. in a position of having to continue its dealings with unsavory nations, but the economic ramifications of such a mistake would surely impact the entire North American economy.
The truth is, Canada has tried this before. In the late 1970's, quasi-communist P.M. Pierre Trudeau believe the best way to deal with a floundering economy was to nationalize our oil industry with something called the National Energy Program. In reality, it was nothing more than a thinly-veiled attempt by Ottawa to raid Alberta's economy. It was a program of wealth distribution, plain and simple.
Not only did the NEP turn out to be the expected failure, it destroyed the Albertan economy to the point that it took the oil-producing province more than a decade of tough cuts and rollbacks to recover. The negative impact hit other regions of Canada as well, as most of the nation's revered social programs were funded by Western Canada's oil revenues.
Fast forward to today, and we see the Liberals have not learned from their past mistakes and are proposing what amounts to be the NEP II. This time the left's favorite excuse for everything they do, the environment, is the explanation.
May 2nd is election day. The failure of Canadians to return Stephen Harper's Conservatives to power with a majority could very well signal the beginning of another disastrous attack on Alberta.
With the economies of our two nations so deeply intertwined, the shock-waves would reach all the way to Washington D.C.