The United States is struggling. Increasingly bitter cultural and racial divides hobble the country. The political system is all but rigged with gerrymandering and unlimited special interest money. The health care system is broken, and even modest reforms risk repeal. A good education can mean a lifetime of debt. With no hope of any gun control on the horizon, there is now on average one mass shooting a day. Climate change is already wreaking havoc, but decision makers pretend it doesn’t exist. And, overseas, America’s international reputation has never been worse, even among traditional allies.
Canada has its problems too. Our falling birth rates and insufficient immigration numbers are putting significant limits on our potential long-term growth and prosperity. Our economy lags behind other OECD countries in terms of innovation and our entrepreneurs tend to be very risk-averse. We remain a resource economy. And then there is the weather. Our winters are simply hell.
Now, what if I told you we could solve all of these problems, both Yankee and Canuck, with one simple step? Interested? Well, it’s true. I propose that we formally offer certain American states the opportunity to join Confederation and become Canada’s next provinces.
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Over the last three or four decades, the cultural, social and political values of large swaths of American have become indistinguishable from those north of the 49th parallel. While other states have reverted to Dixie, other regions have become more liberal, more multicultural and more communal, in short more Canadian. It is a simple fact of the 21st century that a New Yorker, in the way she lives her life and sees the world, has more in common with a Montrealer than she would with someone from rural Arkansas. It is time we recognized this truth, and seized the opportunity to do something useful and historic with it.
For many states, the benefits of annexation are obvious and immediate. Canadian campaign finance restrictions would eliminate the power of big pharma, the NRA and the oil industry overnight. Congressmen-turned-parliamentarians will no longer have to raise millions in donations and would be able to focus on the welfare of those they represent. Gerrymandering would instantly disappear as American districts are transformed into ridings. No need for gun reform debates, as we settled that argument decades ago making it seven times less likely you will be shot in Canada.
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In regards to racial harmony, Canadians still have a long way to go. But there are no tiki torch marches. (Nonetheless, American Indians may want to consider this offer very carefully. Becoming a member of Canada’s Indigenous community will mean less money for educating your children and official neglect in general.)
Every new southern Canadian would instantly have full health insurance and two extra years would be added to their life expectancy. Higher education would be accessible to all, and more importantly, affordable. As an added bonus, our schools teach evolution and use metric. Wall Street would be delighted, as our corporate tax rates are better, and if you open a branch plant in Quebec, Ottawa will automatically shower you with subsidies, no questions asked.
As for Canada, we would get all of our comedians and actors back, and think of the cheap booze and cigarettes. No more worrying debates about immigration levels—we’d become the 12th biggest country in the world by population. Our economy would be the fourth largest by GDP. And, with a little intermarriage, the next generation of Canadians would be unfailing polite and innovative risk takers, double threats at hockey and baseball.
Therefore, I propose that the Prime Minister immediately extends an offer of annexation. Of course, this would not be available to everyone. Obviously Puerto Rico would make the cut. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if they’ve already asked. The western seaboard would be another perfect candidate for annexation. The cultural and economic ties that stretch from Vancouver to San Diego are already strong and the economies are well integrated. One important consideration, however, is whether or not to leave the Vestigial States of America (VSA) their own Pacific port. (The president, for example, will still want somewhere to ship in his Trump brand hats and ties from China.)
On the Atlantic coast, New England is already basically a client state of Canada’s, so they would get an invitation. Then the Acela corridor as far south as Baltimore would make sense. New York is already lousy with poutine and tens of thousands of Canadians work and live there right now. As for Washington, it is a very liberal city and Canadian in many ways, but it seems rude to annex the VSA’s capital. And it has a really muggy heat. On the other hand, they have good BBQ. And they could finally have a political representative of their own. We will need to think that one through.
Not only do I expect no opposition to this proposal from the Vestigial States, I suspect they will even welcome it with enthusiasm. Red America will finally be rid of those godless coastal elites and free to MAGA to their heart’s content. They will be able to put a gun in every hand, ban birth control, and start a new land war in Asia without any tiresome debates or late night monologues. And they can build their wall. In fact, New Canada (Canada 2.0?) and Mexico may even help if they promise to do it on all the VSA borders. We might even pay!
In conclusion, although I still need to work out some of the details, I assure you that Canada’s annexation of Blue America would be a win for everyone. We are a very friendly and welcoming people. We have lots of room for everyone. We do have some rules, no gunplay for example, and we spell it “neighbour”. Otherwise, make yourselves at home.
MORE FROM SCOTT GILMORE:
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- Changing the future for Canada’s conservatives, one dinner at a time
- A movement of ‘radical moderates’ takes shape in Halifax
- How are gay rights and climate action not conservative values?
- Confessions of a self-loathing Tory
- On Quebec and Andrew Potter: Tread carefully, Canada
- The Divided States of America
- A refugee flood? Pull yourself together, Canada