Let’s join the USA!

Last Wednesday the United States of America reopened their government and averted debt default.

But that only happened after a lot of demented wrangling and sixteen days of government shutdown that had approximately 800,000 federal employees using the word “furlough”, and took $24 billion out of the economy according to the financial ratings agency Standard and Poor’s.

This paralysis of government was all a product of a screwy political divisiveness that has many Canadians happy to be on the outside looking in. But that’s the wrong attitude. Canada should allow itself to be absorbed by the United States to produce a saner world superpower.

Now before you go screaming in protest for nationalistic or anti-American reasons, think about it. It’s the right thing to do. If Canada joined the United States it would tip the political scales in that country in favour of the Democratic party and produce a more progressive America. However you cut Canada up into states, only Alberta would be a potential victory ground for Republicans. I know our Conservatives are in power currently, but this is only due to the vote split between our more progressive parties. We all know how it would go if the choice was between the two parties of America.

Okay, maybe suburban Toronto would toss in a congressman Rob Ford. Whatever.

The point is: our population of 34.8 million would give control of congress to the Democrats and keep that party in the White House. The influence of the Tea Party and the far right within the expanded USA would be greatly diluted. A Republican party that is already facing the necessity of change will really be forced to recompose themselves as a less loony brand of conservatism. The Democratic party will be able to embrace a more progressive stance with confidence of wider support. Think of what that will mean in terms of both domestic and foreign policy. The world will be a better place.

So swallow your ego Canada. Do the right thing. It’s not that much of a loss anyway. We haven’t even been a nation for very long. We haven’t come up with anything to define ourselves other than a love of hockey and a desire to say we’re not Americans.

Sure, individual regions of the country have distinct identities, but the country as a whole never really gelled. For instance: the maple leaf as a national symbol? Those big sugar maple trees only really grow from Nova Scotia to Ontario, don’t they? Yeah, I just looked it up on wikipedia. Most of the growing region is down into the States! I rest my case. We are not maple leaves. To quote a Canadian (soon-to-be-American) songstress: “We are stardust”. And we’ve got to get ourselves onto the flag.

Here’s the new provinces becoming states breakdown as I see it: Yukon, NWT and Nunavut all join Alaska, already the largest state by land area, to become ‘Jumbo Alaska’ or maybe ‘Allavut’.

British Columbia has always been a stupid name, and now that it’s even less British, I propose we rename it ‘Northern California’. The people share a similar relaxed west coast attitude and many British Columbians already speak in surfer accents.

Alberta: ‘North Texas’, obviously. They’ve long wanted to hook up via pipeline, but regardless of how that issue plays out I think we all agree they should share a name.

Saskatchewan and Manitoba should merge and become ‘Saskatchewan and Manitoba’ or ‘Further North Dakota’.

Ontario and Quebec could revert back to being ‘Upper Canada’ and ‘Lower Canada’ respectively, to keep that name alive. Or maybe Quebec should be called ‘French America’. That sounds cool.

Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and PEI merge and some art school student in Halifax can come up with a state name. No Latin garbage though. We’re Americans now.

Newfoundland and Labrador stay the way they are. Let’s just leave them alone. With a population of 526,702 they will narrowly bump Wyoming (576,412) as the least populous state, but challenge New Jersey for loud-talkingest.

I’m not the only one to advocate Canada’s uniting with the United States these days. You may have heard author Diane Francis making the media rounds recently to promote her new book Merger of the Century. Her case for a European Union style merger of our nations is largely economic. That’s fine. But the more pressing case is a political one, a social one, a moral one.

History is watching. What will it see? A continued quagmire, or a sober superpower? Meaningless nationalism, or a profound step of global citizenship? Inconsequential smugness or heroic sacrifice?

My fellow Canadians: ask not what you can do for your country, ask what your country can do for their country.

Ross McCannell is the arts editor at the Spectator Tribune. He spelled ‘favour’ with a ‘u’ in this article… for now. Follow him on twitter @RossMcCannell