The United States of North America?

U.S. politics and the Iron RangeThe massive land tracts of the United States and Canada haven’t been attached to the same nation since before the Revolutionary War. Now one idea percolating in the think-o-sphere includes the eventual merger of these two very large North American nations — an aging superpower in the United States and a natural resources-rich social democracy in Canada. The United States of North America? Canamerica?

A new book “The Merger of the Century” by Canadian author Diane Francis suggests just such a possibility. This was a recent topic of discussion on MPR’s Daily Circuit. Francis argues that pressure by foreign nations encroaching on Canadian natural resources, coupled with economic decline in America, will create an environment where a merger would be in the best interests of both nations.

Such a proposition would be incredibly difficult. It’s hard to imagine many Canadians rushing to become a small minority of a much larger nation. And Americans are not known as an accommodating lot, which would make the diplomatic process of joining together rocky at best. Melding the two health care and social service systems would provoke hard questions on both sides of the border (though might eventually address shortcomings in both systems).

Still, looking ahead one wonders the alternatives. If Canada does not become more closely related to the U.S., it would likely become more closely related with the European Union or its successor. In this scenario, if the U.S. ever becomes isolated (not unthinkable) we’d find our perch here in northern Minnesota’s border country to be a potential hotbed of international intrigue.

In a nutshell, either my grandchildren one day see the U.S./Canada border erased, or they make a living running the gravy blockade. Interesting both ways.

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