The United States and Canada are partners in trade, national security, and environmental management. The political state of affairs between Canada and the United States is a constant source of concern for Canadians whose prosperity and security to a large extent depend on this relationship. From the American point of view, Canada is a neighbour, a partner in NAFTA, and a diplomatic ally in several key security arrangements, including NORAD and NATO. Much of American policy and many laws enacted in the United States Congress have a direct or indirect impact on Canadians. Despite the importance of this relationship, there are few studies using objectively measured indicators to shed light on how legislators perceive these shared interests. In order to fill this void, we previously undertook a quantification of the sentiment held by Canadian Parliamentarians towards the United States as expressed in debates that took place in the House of Commons from 2001 to 2009.
In What Congress Thinks of Canada, we turn our attention to the American national legislative body in an attempt to analyze how members of the US Congress perceived Canada in the period from 2001 to 2010. The goal is to provide an objective interpretation of the views espoused by US lawmakers in the Senate and the House of Representatives about Canada and Canadian policy and law. We measure if the views of US lawmakers towards Canada can be regarded as favourable, negative, or ambivalent.