One of the earliest pieces I wrote on this site back in 1999 was a satirical editorial called Why America Should Conquer Canada. I still get occasional hate mail from Canadians who don’t realize it was satire.1
I probably wouldn’t write such a thing again today, even as satire. It’s not because the Canadian and US dollars have been at par for a couple of years now, nor because 32-year old me understands better than 18-year old me how a weak dollar can actually by good for an economy. And — you’ll have to trust me on this — it’s not even because I’m married to a Canadian.
Rather, my sense is that America is already such a thinly held-together coalition of such wildly different economies, values, and legal cultures that I’m not sure it can be governed fairly or effectively using our current federal system, nor even by a parliamentary replacement.
Would a merged Americanada be a stronger economic power? It depends on your frame of reference. For perhaps a decade we would be weakened by the instability and inefficiencies of the merger. It might pay off after that. Or the whole thing could accelerate a devolution into ten or eleven different countries that may have been happening in slow motion for several decades now. It’s an interesting parlour-table game to play. 32 year old me hopes it stays that way.
And I don’t fault them. Good satire starts from a basically sound position, with good points to make; this wasn’t very good satire.↩