Albright: Oh Canada
As the presidential primary campaign grinds on, it's been reported that a slew of Americans are doing online research about how to leave this loony country – as they currently see it - for the country of the loony. Google has seen a 1000 percent spike in on-line searches that include the words “move to Canada.” Moving companies are advertising services on-line for such a move - for real. The top ad on my Google search says “Moving to Canada? Don’t Waste Time Calling Around: Get up to four quotes from top movers.” Bona fide news outlets are now supplying, in earnest, information about the process, pros, and cons of relocating to a nation that seems less raucous in comparison to our own - and possibly less embarrassing.
I’m not going wade into the question of just which candidate is said to be the cause of this possible diaspora but I do have some things to consider if you’re feeling tempted to emigrate.
On the plus side: At least one Canadian town really wants you. Cape Breton, an island off Nova Scotia, has put out a welcome mat, boasting that laws there protect a woman’s right to choose, that “Muslim people can roam freely, and the only walls are holding up the roofs of our extremely affordable houses.”
Here’s another bonus: health care is universal even for the unemployed. And that’s good, because Americans who move to Canada often find it hard to find jobs there.
More good news? Poutine, that French Canadian specialty made with French fries, cheese curds, and gravy, is widely available.
More bad news: Poutine, as I said, is widely available.
Clearly, this isn’t an easy decision, and the timing is tricky. If we wait to see who gets elected in November, Money Magazine says we’d have to live in Canada for six years before we could even apply for permanent residency. By then, whatever new president we were trying to flee could be halfway through a second term.
But here’s a thought. Many years ago, when I was a journalist in Maine, we reported on April Fool’s day that Maine’s governor, who was complicit in our prank, wanted the state to break away from the United States and merge with New Brunswick.
Maybe we should consider something similar. It might also solve that vexing health care mess we’re in. And it doesn’t sound any more far-fetched than a lot of other things I’ve heard so far in this crazy campaign season.