November 5th, 2004

A Fair Trade

I know I generally stay away from politics these days, but given that we have a significant Canadian readership, I thought the following news item merited some attention:

The number of U.S. citizens visiting Canada’s main immigration Web site has shot up six-fold as Americans flirt with the idea of abandoning their homeland after President Bush’s election win this week.

“When we looked at the first day after the election, Nov. 3, our Web site hit a new high, almost double the previous record high,” immigration ministry spokeswoman Maria Iadinardi said on Friday.

On an average day some 20,000 people in the United States log onto the Web site, www.cic.gc.ca — a figure which rocketed to 115,016 on Wednesday. The number of U.S. visits settled down to 65,803 on Thursday, still well above the norm.

Bush’s victory sparked speculation that disconsolate Democrats and others might decide to start a new life in Canada, a land that tilts more to the left than the United States.

To which I say, don’t let the door hit you on the way out. Then again, rather than foisting these heartbroken transnational progressives on Canada, we probably ought to work out a fair and equitable exchange.

So, Prime Minister Martin, in the spirit of Pierre Lacroix, here’s the deal I’d like to offer your fair confederation:

To Canada:

Gore Vidal, Noam Chomsky, Paul Krugman, Alec Baldwin, Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon, Peter Jennings (he wants to go back anyway) and the combined law school faculties at Harvard and Yale;

In exchange for:

Granting permanent resident status and eventual citizenship to every Canadian-born player in the NHL. Oh yeah, and we want Larry Walker too (20 years ago we would have asked for Leo Rautins).

If that isn’t enough, I promise to throw in the Sociology department at Berkeley.

Come on, you know you want to make this deal. Admit it — some of your leaders would absolutely jump at this chance. We’ll even let you keep Margaret Atwood.

UPDATE: Comments are officially closed.

13 Responses to “A Fair Trade”

  1. Ninja says:

    Eric, if I were you’d I’d be thinking about relocating as well. Its no fun living with a target on your back. Just ask NYC.

  2. Lawrence says:

    If you look closely, Ninja, that target isn’t new, and has nothing to do with the recent election.

  3. David says:

    Today I’m wearing my NYC target with jeans and gray sneakers, can’t say I looked much at the fall/winter fashion trends yet.

  4. PETE says:

    Absolutely, Lawrence – 9/11 happened mainly because we thought it couldn’t happen here. If Canada wishes to be a spectator to her own fate that is her perogative, but it seems a majority on this side of the 49th don’t feel the same way.

    As for the trades, some good ideas, though it is likely our ‘naturalized’ Canadian hockey players would return to their country of birth for international tournaments like the Olympics. Gotta give Wayne Gretzky another chance to plant a loonie under the ice surface.

    That has always amused me – how the rules of citizenship get bent into pretzels for these competitions, much like the ridiculous distinction between amateur and professional still does in certain sports. But that is another discussion…

  5. Mike M says:

    Can we have Bruce Springsteen too?

  6. PETE says:

    Sure, if we get Anne Murray and a PTBNL.

  7. John Bigenwald says:

    Whatever we give them, I want the Canadian anthem in return. I can actually sing that one.

  8. Nick says:

    How about the important question — who gets Bob & Doug McKenzie?

  9. ted says:

    I would love it if the US national hockey team were stronger, but I think Eric’s Coulterish charicatures are leading him to trade away some of the wrong people.

    I can’t speak for Harvard Law, but at Yale you might want to hang out to some of the brilliant conservatives, including Bob Ellickson, George Priest, Dan Kahan, Al Klevorick, Kate Stith, John Langbein, Ruth Wedgwood, Jim Whitman, Ralph Winter, Akhil Amar, Jan Deutsch, etc.

    I don’t know what to say about the Michael Moore, International ANSWER crowd… but I can’t really blame gay and lesbian citizens for wondering if this is a place to make a life. Faced with what seems to be a concerted effort to keep you as a second-class citizen, how would you feel, Eric?

    Jim Coburn says the “gay agenda” is the greatest threat to freedom in America. (Greater than over-regulation? Greater than over-taxation? Greater than Al Qaeda?) What does it mean when a man like that is in the United States Senate?

    Anyway, if we’re leaving, we should be going to New Zealand, not Canada. Better weather (on the leeward side), better wine, less frenchies.

  10. Beau says:

    I’m just hoping the “Christian Exodus” movement takes off so the Coburns of the world will take off themselves. I’m (gasp) religious, too, but theocracy ain’t American.

    Come on, Eric — without Robbins and Sarandon, we wouldn’t have the best sports movie ever made. Are you sure you want to advertise the fact that the country’s brightest and most creative people can barely stand to live under your guy’s administration?

  11. Mario says:

    I have a better trade offer. And perhaps more equitable for the good ole USA: To the Canucks–Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, Paul Wolfowitz, Ramesh Ponnuru, Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, George W. Bush, and Rich Cheney.

    In exchange, we take–Any combination of thieves, felons, arsonists, cat molesters, and door-to-door scam artists of elderly pensioners.

    I would take that bargain in a heartbeat. I can assure you that our country’s prestige, reputation, success, and solvency would be far better off with the cat molesters than those other nutcases and their adherents in the fact-immune community in which you apparently belong.

  12. Lawrence says:

    Many fine movies are being filmed in Toronto these days, Beau, so I really don’t see the downside if some hysterical actors decide to take off.

    If the Democratic Party wants to know why it’s having such a poor showing at the polls lately it doesn’t have to look much farther than its supporters like Mario and silly cries that America is turning into a theocracy under the Bush administration.

  13. Beau says:

    Lawrence — Vancouver is a popular movie spot, too.

    But somehow, I don’t think the Democrats lost because some of us worry about the theocratic movement within the GOP. Imagine the conversation:

    “Hey, Ed! Didya hear that the Democrats think Bush will take the country to the verge of theocracy next term?”

    “They did? Well, we’ll show them! I wasn’t planning to vote Republican, but now I will!”

    Doesn’t make any sense.

    Bottom line is that the guy with more than 270 electoral votes will be president. That’s America. The other 49 percent of the electorate (including the smattering of Nader voters and the refreshingly strong Libertarian vote) will watch this guy carefully over the next four years, make fun of him and scream bloody murder when he does something that irritates them. When Bush goes really overboard, that group will include the Specters, Chafees and McCains of the world — not just the Marios — and that’s great. That’s also America.

    It’s easy to forget that in the wake of an election and the oversimplified analysis that comes from the White House and the media. That’s why people are looking at the Canadian site. They’ll get over it.

    And eventually, Eric will realize he backed a guy who is in no way a free-market guy, and HE’LL be screaming bloody murder. :)