Every four years our neighbours to the south hold an election for their President. And every four years, people threaten to pack up and leave the United States if their preferred candidate doesn’t win. Usually, that distant country where everything is better if the opposing candidate wins is Canada. The idea gained momentum in 2004, when many Democrats were infuriated that President Bush defeated Senator John Kerry and received a second term. Canada, with its universal, single-payer healthcare system, a sound economy, and a commitment to progessive social values, is like a Shangri-La for Democrats.
With Mitt Romney’s defeat on Tuesday, many Republicans are absolutely devastated. Like Democrats in 2004, they thought they had this one in the bag. From Donald Trump’s Twitter rants calling for a revolution, to Sarah Palin being “perplexed”, or Bill O’Reilly’s surprisingly racist lament that the “white establishment” no longer controls the United States, and Karl Rove’s meltdown on Fox News, things are grim for Republicans right now. With four more years of brutal tyranny under a Kenyan Communsit Fascist Marxist Socialist Atheist Muslim Terrorist, there’s just no way that they can stay and watch America become a decent country. They’ve got to move. Where? Canada, of course.
The problem, of course, for those hard-right Republicans that actually want to move, is that Canada is pretty much the antithesis of what they want in a country. Here’s a few reasons, some re-iterated from above.
- Canada has a universal, government-run healthcare system. As in more government than Obamacare.
- Same-sex marriage has been legal in Canada since 2005. It’s as you’ve feared – we’ve all turned gay and descended into a hellish pit of fire amd brimstone. It’s one hell of a party down in the seventh pit of Hell though.
- On the note of religion, we take the separation of Church and State pretty seriously. It stays out of public life for the most part. I know only 8% of your population is atheist, and you somehow think those evil atheists are trying to get rid of Christmas. Well, it’s just going to be worse up here. 16% of our population is non-religious (a number that is quickly growing) and even the ones who are don’t find religion very important at all.
- Guns…we’re not as cool with them as you are. Absolutely, you can have ’em. You can have ten if you want. But that fully-automatic assault rifle that you’ve got? Nope.
- We embrace multiculturalism. That should scare you right there.
- While we believe strongly in individual freedom and human rights, we also generally see the government as a force for good (whenever it actually gets around to it).
- The second largest party in the country right now is socialist. Nightmare fuel right there.
- It’s cold and snowy. Like eight months of the year. At least down there November is still part of fall.
So maybe Canada isn’t for you. Actually, when you look down the list, nearly every country in the world would have something that Republicans couldn’t live with. Maybe Pakistan? They allow you to own pretty much any gun that you want – hell, even RPGs, mortars, and anti-aircraft guns. Pretty religious there too. But if really want to get away from big, bad government, Somalia is your best bet. This coastal nation has been without a government since 1992, I’m sure the people there love it.
Some Americans, of course, have realized that Canada isn’t their best bet. One unfortunate teenager tweeted that she would move to Australia…
…unfortunately, she was wrong on all counts. 1) Australia has a Prime Minister, not a President. 2) The Prime Minister is a woman, Julia Gillard, who recently made headlines with her passionate speech on sexism, and 3) Gillard is an atheist. Ouch. The ensuing Twitter storm of bemused Aussies eventually led the girl to delete her Twitter account.
An election campaign is a very emotional thing for all those involved. A lot of passion is put in, by both sides. Yeah, it sucks to lose. I’m a registered Liberal in Alberta, I know the feeling. However, the notion of getting up and leaving when people don’t vote your way is pretty childish. Despite the rhetoric of angry Democrats in ’04, only a handful moved to Canada. All the Republicans who are angry and defeated this week will probably hunker down and grumble – but ultimately they’ll realize that things aren’t that bad and certainly not worth moving…not that we’d really want them here anyway (hey-oh! Partisan jab).
Although I wouldn’t mind if Donald Trump moved to Somalia.
Graeme Archibald is a fourth-year Political Science student who has threatened to move to Sweden.