It’s so American to abandon a problem they’ve caused
By Elliot Chan, Opinions Editor
Formerly published in The Other Press. March 17, 2016
Whether it’s meant as fodder for comedy or as a legitimate survey, the American people sounded off. According to a poll conducted by Ipsos, 19 per cent of Americans said they would move to Canada if Donald Trump wins presidency, and 15 per cent would do the same if Hillary wins.
As a Canadian, I first thought this was a compliment, since we do call one of the most livable countries in the world home. Sure, we have our own problems, but compared to America’s, our issues seem so fixable.
Then, I thought a bit more about it, and realized it was not a compliment to Canada. If Americans idolized Canada, America would be like Canada. No, like an angsty teenager threatening to run away from home, Americans are doing the same when they are not getting what they want. Grow up, I say. The problem is not going to fix itself if you just run away from it. Time and time again, Americans are dealt a heavy lesson and seldom do they learn from it. Just watch the American news; it’s the same episode every day. It’s history repeating itself.
I digress. At this moment, less than one per cent of Canada is made up of American immigrants. That is an insignificant amount—and usually we see Canadians crossing the border south rather than the other way around.
Yes, perhaps the Americans feel like victims, but give me a break. Resorting to flight instead of fight is no way to solve a country-sized problem. If a country is your home and you feel passionately enough about the politics that govern it, you’d fight for what’s best.
Instead of trying to piggy back off of us Canadians, why don’t you try to learn from us? In 2015, we went through a pivotal election that ousted the Right Honourable—and backwards thinking—Stephen Harper from his seat as prime minister. During the campaign, the country was divided, but we banded together to do what’s best on Election Day. Some of us might have threatened to move to Switzerland or somewhere else if Harper won, but many took to the polls to vote, not necessarily for the candidate they believed in, but the candidate that would beat Harper’s Conservative party. It was strategic, and it worked.
Democracy is your right; however, welcoming yourself to someone else’s home is not. Americans, known for their arrogance and self-righteousness, often thinks that the whole world belongs to them. They think that Canada is their little brother, who, if their get-rich-fast plan falls through, will let them just crash at their place until they get their footing back.
It doesn’t surprise me that Americans would consider moving up north, but it would surprise me if they actually do. Like government, like citizens—if you talk the talk, then you better walk the walk.