If Mitt Romney wins, it's time to head to Canada – or is it?

Nov 5, 2012
Nigel Horne

US liberals threaten to head north if Romney succeeds but have they kept up with Canada's turn to the right?

IF MITT ROMNEY can defy the eve-of-election swing state polls and take the White House for the Republicans tomorrow, will Canada see lines of Americans at its border crossings, begging for asylum?

As the New York Times reports, it's a refrain heard every four years: "If [insert Republican name] is elected president, I'm moving to Canada."

It happened when George Bush replaced Bill Clinton, and it's happening again now, says the Times, with many left-leaning Americans, led by celebrities such as the actress Susan Sarandon and comedian George Lopez, saying they can't live in a country run by Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.

Cher led the charge back in May when she said she wouldn't be able to "breathe the same air" as Romney and "his Right Wing Racist Homophobic Women Hating Tea Bagger Masters".

Many Romney-haters see Canada as a haven of liberal commonsense. Their neighbours to the north enjoy a universal health care system not unlike Britain's NHS, no death penalty, strong banking regulations, and an impeccable reputation when it comes to attitudes to gays and ethnic minorities.

But have American liberals been keeping up with the realities of modern Canada?

"We've got a right-wing government up here too," Matthieu Aikins, a Canadian journalist who lives in Kabul, told the Times. "And our prime minister's policy on Israel and Palestine makes Romney look like Jimmy Carter."

He is referring to Stephen Harper, who led Canadian Conservatives to victory in the February 2006 general election following an astute merger between the Progressive Conservatives and the right-wing Canadian Alliance.

The Toronto Sun calls Harper "a more ardent supporter of Israel than many Canadian Jews". He's "comfortable" with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "on everything from confronting a nuclear Iran to maintaining Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories".

Then there's Canada's economy. "People would have to come with their eyes wide open," said Stockwell Day, former leader of the Canadian Alliance. "We're engaged in a programme of significant fiscal restraint."

Rufus Wainwright, the musician who was raised in Montreal but now lives in New York, told the Times that Canada was now in one of its most conservative periods in decades - "which I hate".

Writing about Romney v Obama at the weekend, the Toronto-based Globe and Mail columnist Margaret Wente began: "Most of my Canadian friends believe that Romney voters are either callous capitalists or dupes and fools – mouth-breathing Tea Partiers, country-club Republicans, closet racists, or working-class types who've been tricked into voting against their own interests."

She then devoted most of her column to the thoughts of her American friend Jim, who was thrilled, she said, to have helped elect the first black president in 2008, but was now swapping his allegiance to Romney.

Jim believes universal health care is a moral imperative and hated the Bush regime's reckless foreign misadventures. BUT he now sees that Obama isn't "the post-partisan, centrist bridge-builder" he told us he would be.

"Obama is, in fact, a lefty," says Jim, "and given a free hand we really would become a debt-laden, sinking, entitlement-heavy, socialist basket case."

Jim, in short, will not be leaving the United States for Canada if Romney wins tomorrow. He's more likely to head north if Obama keeps the presidency.

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Do your homework, Media Watch! Yes, Harper is attempting to subvert everything that is "Canada" from historic parliamentary procedure, to the fundamentals of Canadian democracy. And this is not "Canada": this is just a man whose party has grabbed power with 39.6% of the popular vote: so more than 60% of Canadians definitely are NOT on his bandwagon. And I suspect also that he's lost some of his "base" since that fateful election -- so the percentage of us who are NOT with this neo-fascist outfit is growing. Give our LIberal party and our New Democrats half a chance to merge and they'll wipe him out. So any Susan Sarandons out there can still expect to find a happy home here. But please, to the US Left: stay home and fight the rot that is taking over your country. Don't give up the ship, for God's sake!!

I enjoyed this article because both sides have been saying for years that they would flee to Canada of the other side one but no one really thinks about the politics in Canada. Politics change in every country but Americans have had this view of a cheap healthcare, inexpensive living, leftist country that doesn't exist anymore. Canada has gone into a fiscal withdrawl because they were headed down the same path that we are now: Greece. The Greecian economy collapsed because the government was trying to take care of everyone and give them everything on a silver platter instead of allowing them to create their own life. Canada is on the right track economically and that is the most important thing we need to fix. People can talk about Romney's social ideas and how right-wing he is but his plan is for economic stability first and social issues later which will decrease our debt and make us better off financially so we can afford to improve healthcare and social issues later. Obama blew our economy out of the water by pushing a socially driven presidency on Americans right off the bat. His policies have done more harm than good because the changes he made cannot be sustained long-term and have cost us trillions in more debt. Most leftist people want social change now and they seem to forget that there is a high monetary cost that comes with those changes. Romney will make us financially sound for my generation and that is what is important, not healthcare and gay marriage.
Romney Ryan 2012!

The "luvvies" said they would flee London if Boris were elected. They are still there & paying less taxes.

omg if only this would come true

I live in Canada, having moved here from Glasgow decades ago. It is not the same country it was. The Harper government is following some kind of Evangelical Christian agenda. They have sacked dozens of scientists and cut funding to research. They have tried to re-open abortion issues. They have appointed a Creationist as the head of the Science Ministry and got rid of non-Christian pastors in the prisons. This is in additional cutting funding to groups which cater to women, have a list of gays, and numerous other policies targeting the weak and under-represented. They are not the Tea Party yet, but given another term, who knows what they will do?

I have no problem with Americans coming here as long as they bring their money.