I think it's time for another classic wmtc discussion.
Lately I've heard from many Americans who are in the middle of the application process to emigrate to Canada. This is the wave of people who started downloading forms immediately after the 2004 "election," and are now in various stages of planning and waiting.
I recall how, in early November, various mainstream media were asking, Are people really moving? Is there really an exodus to Canada? Many didn't even bother to do enough homework to learn that disaffected Americans couldn't just pick up and move to Canada. Here we are, almost mid-year in 2006, and that exodus, no matter how large or small, is still waiting for the green light.
Among the people who have recently contacted me was a family who has concerns about how Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party may be changing Canada. They are leaving a community in which they have deep roots, and they want to feel more sure about what they're getting in return. They want to know, to use an easy shorthand, Is Canada becoming more like the US?
Of course, that question can't be fully answered until we see how this minority government fares, how inclined the Bloc will be to prop up a government that seems (to me) not very popular.
But even beyond that, I'm still not worried. I dislike Stephen Harper and most of what he stands for, but I wasn't panicked after the election, and I'm still not. I admit that could be my own ignorance, or a blind spot, wanting to see my choices affirmed. (Which they are, by the way - every day.) But I think my eyes are wide open when I say it's hard for me to get overly concerned.
I still see the current government as a brief time-out while the Liberals regroup. Canada remains more secular than the US, less invested in military intervention (an understatement), and more committed to the welfare of its citizens and residents. It is, and I believe will remain, a more open society, less restrictive of individual choices, more committed to personal liberty and diversity - and to the responsibilities of individuals to make that possible. At the same time, Canadians' deep-rooted concerns about their country being swallowed up by the 800-pound gorilla to the south help keep it on the right track.
What do you think?