TORONTO — Americans should have a conversation about campaign financing once the “dust settles” on the presidential election, says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
U.S. presidential candidates raise billions in financing and court special interests, something Trudeau says Canada does not allow.
In response to questions about Donald Trump during Monday’s town hall meeting with the Huffington Post, Trudeau said many Americans are angry with their politics and “seem to be acting out or lashing out.”
Trudeau said he had “faith in Americans and in their approach to their politics,” but was pushed repeatedly to denounce the controversial Republican candidate.
“One of the things that we did over the past decades was change the role of money in our politics,” he said when asked to discuss the differences between Canada and U.S. politics.
That includes a cap on individual donations, and no corporate or union donations, he added.
“That changes the entire structure around politics and the obligations of fundraising for incumbents and the power of special interests and lobbyists,” Trudeau said.
“When the dust settles after November, however it settles, a conversation about the role of campaign financing in establishing a successful democracy is, I think, going to be merited.”
Trudeau was reminded about controversial statements the billionaire has made about Muslims and Mexicans, among other things. For the most part, Trudeau refused to be drawn in, saying he would work with whoever wins the White House in November.
“I’m not going to pick a fight with Donald Trump right now. I’m not going to support him either, obviously.”
Trudeau, who is headed to the White House for a gala state dinner Thursday hosted by U.S. President Barack Obama, said he will be watching the presidential race “very, very” closely.
He said he’s anxious to see how the country “deals with what is obviously a very real set of issues around frustration towards the body politic that we’ve seen in various iterations around the world.”