"Seriously, don't you think American elections are more fun?" the American man asked the Canadian woman.
"American elections are different," she said. They are more like a football game."
The two were watching Canadian election returns projected on a large sceen at the National Association of Broadcasters' building last night. The party, hosted by the Canadian Embassey for Canadian and American journalists. As the Liberals were the clear victors early on in the evening, it seemed the only suspense would be how large their majority would be.
The crowd was subdued as the visiting journalists wandered between the two rooms, eyeing the results of the large screen in one, and sampling from the buffet of cold cuts and meatballs in gravy in the other.
Only last May, there had been another such gathering, in the same place -- Canada being close enough to beam its television broadcasts to the United States and the National Association of Broadcasters being kind enough to provide their building with its large screen for just such an event.
Of course, the outcome of that last election had been quite different.
Conservatives led by Joe Clark, squeezed past the Liberals in a surprise upset. This time the polls had predicted a Liberal sweep, and low and behold, the polls were night.
"Pierre Trudeau is in for four years now," explained public affairs chief George Ellitt. He said that as many as 82 percent of Canada's eligible voters vote in a general election -- a much higher turnout than Canada's neighbor to the south. "We love to vote," he said.
No, he said, he has not heard any Margaret Trudeau jokes.
"The results don't make any difference at all to me," said another Canadian. "I'm a civil servant and our jobs are not affected."