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Aka if you have no idea what you're talking about don't publish it in the Houston Chronicle.

Yesterday brought an interesting & ridiculous article in the Chronicle - What if Canada falls apart and no one hears about it?

Yes folks, according to the resident military & foreign policy "expert" at the Chronicle Canada could really fall apart and Alberta could join the U.S of A.

I call bullshit.

Here are some of the pearls of wisdom Texans woke up to:

A political specter haunts North America -- the specter of the world's next failed state.

We can still call it Canada, at least for a couple years. And who knows, like news of Mark Twain's demise, my pessimism may be greatly exaggerated.

Our northern neighbor's polyglot populace of beer drinkers, peaceniks, Mounties and socialists may yet dump their crooked politicians and craft a new, more robust deal with Quebecois separatists.

Oh geez. Your pessimism MAY be exaggerated? Really, ya think? And gotta love those GOP talking points thrown in for no good reason - peaceniks, socialists... and that's a bad thing I take it? Oh right, you're from Texas Austin Bay (yes, that's his name).

So what is the issue that will bring down the government and drive Quebec out of confederation?

If you don't know about Canada's crooked politicians, you're not alone. Democracy and free speech are breaking out in Beirut, but they're both taking a beating in Ontario. The Canadian government has a press clamp on an investigation into the ruling Liberal Party's "Adscam" kickback scheme. A "judicial publication ban" is the term. It may soon rank with Watergate rhetoric like "modified limited hang-out." Canadian Prime Minister and Liberal Party leader Paul Martin is implicated in the Adscam fiasco, and he's starting to look like the northland's Richard Nixon.

Okay, this is where I lose it. Forgive any profanity but this sucker has it coming. No more Ms. Nice Canadian here...

Democracy & Free Speech are taking a beating in Ontario? What the fuck are you talking about? There is an official investigation underway into improper use of tax payer funds and potential fraud. If you really were a foreign policy "expert" you would know that historically Canadians hold these types of hearings in private and release findings later - ya know, so we don't create a fucking media circus before all the facts are out? So this is nothing new and certainly not anything close to Watergate (umm, yeah, a few politicians and ad agencies took kickbacks or overcharged during the 1990's while Canada was trying to woo Quebec back into the fold - and this warrants more space in the Houston Chronicle than Tom DeLay's corruption? Fucking asshole).

And Paul Martin compared to Richard Nixon is plain insulting. I'm no fan of Martin's but I demand a retraction. That's just ignorance and re-writing history.

I mean, this guy can't even get his facts straight on what Canadians are calling the scandal (God forbid he reads Cdn news, rather he relies on a reporter from Colorado to fill him in??):

Linda Seebach of the Rocky Mountain News, in a column about Morrissey's coda of Watergate's Woodward and Bernstein, observed that there's "hardly any coverage of what the Canadians call `AdScam' in the U.S. press, although something that could cause the Canadian government to fall ought to be of interest to that country's southern neighbor ... "

Actually Linda & Austin, we're calling it the Sponsorship Scandal in Ontario, not "AdScam".

And it just gets better... now we're on to speculation about what the country would look like if Quebec left (which is always a possibility but one that has been with Canadians for the last 30 years and we've muddled through so far).

What might a grand Canadian breakup look like? Jim Dunnigan and I, in the 1991 edition of A Quick and Dirty Guide to War, played speculative cartographer and redrew Canada's political map.

Here's a thumbnail sketch of that analysis: Say Quebec does become a separate European-style nation-state -- a "people" with cultural, linguistic, religious and historical identity (never mind the objections of Mohawk and Cree Indians living in Quebec). Quebec has the people and resources to make a go of it, though the economic price for its egotism will be stiff. British Columbia also has "nation-state" assets: Access to the sea, strong industrial base, raw materials and an educated population.

Well yes, technically PQ could make a go of it, but as all Canadians know Quebec relies heavily on subsidies & industrial investment from the federal government - take away the aerospace subs alone and PQ is in big trouble. It can be done but at a cost most Quebeckers aren't willing to assume at this point. They yell and demand things their way which is cool (and not unexpected) and are rightly upset about the Liberals, but that does not equate separation as of yet. And calling it egotistical is pretty harsh; people have a right to decide their own destiny (at least that's what Canadians think).

Now this next gem is where the real purpose of this article lies IMO - plant the seeds to get more oil. Fucking bastard, I can see through you.

Oil-producing Alberta might join the United States and instantly find common political ground with Alaska, Louisiana, Texas and Oklahoma. Canada's struggling Atlantic provinces might find statehood economically attractive and extend the New England coastline. A rump Canada consisting of "Greater Ontario" -- with remaining provinces as appendages -- might keep the maple-leaf flag aloft. As for poor, isolated Newfoundland: Would Great Britain like to reacquire a North American colony?

Really, common ground with those bastions of progressive thought and religion LA, TX & OK? Man, you really have no clue about Canada dude. Our Conservatives are your Joe Liebermans, not your Bill Frists.

BTW Mr. Bay, you may have wanted to check out the latest opinion polls from last week where after the Liberal deal with the NDP (farther left party) on redistribution of $4.6 billion in the budget from corporate tax cuts to social services, the crisis seems to have passed. The Liberal's support is rising again as is the NDP's (32% & 19% respectively in ON) & the Conservatives has dropped (30% in ON).

(all emphasis mine)

Originally posted to spiderleaf on Sun May 01, 2005 at 12:51 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Ya know (4.00)
    I have no issue with the US taking notice and reporting on developments in Canuckistan (actually a welcome change), but for fucks sake get your facts straight.
    •  Patience & Understanding! (none)
          You have to take things slow and easy with our Redistan fellow citizens.  They think that a Canadian Liberal is the same thing as a US Liberal which is of course pretty much the same thing as a communist.  They also think that a Canadian Conservative is like a US Conservative Republican.  If you told them that Canada's equivalent of the New Deal was actually implemented by a Conservative Premier (Bennett) their heads would explode from cognitive dissonance expanding outwards at a speed just under that of light...
           Actually, my image of Canada is that of Nelson Eddy in a Mountie uniform singing to Jeanette Mcdonald.

      Their greed will be their downfall -- Capt. John Aubrey

      by angry blue planet on Sun May 01, 2005 at 01:05:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  MSM in Blair ~ Bush Mode (none)
      Canuckistan must be an oil producing nation with a dictatorship, US military bases, friendly foreign relations and perhaps regime change soon, through an invoked orange revolution.

      Please keep us up dated!

      In 2005 - Be liberal: Support our Allies of Democracy on Human Rights, the Environment, Gay and Minority Rights & EU and UN Third World Development Programs & Our Friends

    •  To be fair (none)
      he did get one thing right... I'm gonna go grab a beer right now. ;)
  •  Austin Bay showed his ignorance (4.00)
    Anyone who uses the phrase, "Our northern neighbor's polyglot populace of beer drinkers, peaceniks, Mounties and socialists," even with tongue firmly planted in cheek, doesn't know a damn thing about Canada. I'll bet that he'd give you a blank stare if you asked him the ingredients of poutine, who Tim Horton was, or whose picture is on the C$2 bill (trick question).

    In politics, sometimes the jackasses are on your side.

    by Dump Terry McAuliffe on Sun May 01, 2005 at 01:06:44 PM PDT

    •  Hehe (none)
      ya mean the twoonie? ;)

      My fav poutine quote comes from the 2000 election in the US -- Mr. Bush Prime Minister Poutine of Canada wishes you well...

      •  Jean Poutine (4.00)
        That incident happened in my hometown the day before the Michigan primary. It was hilarious watching Rick Mercer fool both George W. Bush and Governor Engler, neither of whom caught the "Jean Poutine" reference.

        In politics, sometimes the jackasses are on your side.

        by Dump Terry McAuliffe on Sun May 01, 2005 at 01:12:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  A kossack after my own heart... (none)
          Actually knowing the name of Rick Mercer.

          What a small world that it was in your hometown!

          •  Rick Mercer (4.00)
            Here's the best thing I've ever seen from Rick Mercer:

            On behalf of Canadians everywhere I'd like to offer an apology to the United States of America. We haven't been getting along very well recently and for that, I am truly sorry.

            I'm sorry we called George Bush a moron.

            He is a moron but, it wasn't nice of us to point it out. If it's any consolation, the fact that he's a moron shouldn't reflect poorly on the people of America. After all it's not like you actually elected him.

            I'm sorry about our softwood lumber. Just because we have more trees than you doesn't give us the right to sell you lumber that's cheaper and better than your own.

            I'm sorry we beat you in Olympic hockey. In our defense I guess our excuse would be that our team was much, much, much, much better than yours.

            I'm sorry we burnt down your white house during the war of 1812. I notice you've rebuilt it! It's Very Nice.

            I'm sorry about your beer. I know we had nothing to do with your beer but, we Feel your Pain.

            I'm sorry about our waffling on Iraq. I mean, when you're going up against a crazed dictator, you wanna have your friends by your side. I realize it took more than two years before you guys pitched in against Hitler, but that was different. Everyone knew he had weapons.

            And finally on behalf of all Canadians, I'm sorry that we're constantly apologizing for things in a passive-aggressive way which is really a thinly veiled criticism. I sincerely hope that you're not upset over this. We've seen what you do to countries you get upset with.

            Thank you.

            Rick Mercer

            Sadly, the "not like you actually elected him" part may not still be true. But that's not Mercer's - nor Canada's - fault.  

          •  Lots of fans of Air Farce and " This hour (none)
            has 22 minutes" in Vermont where even if you don't have cable you can get the Canadian TV.
  •  His Bio tells you all you need to know (4.00)
    "Austin Bay writes both novels and non-fiction. Bay's A Quick and Dirty Guide to War: Third Edition (an assessment of current and potential armed conflicts, co-authored with James Dunnigan) was published in August 1996 by William Morrow. His third novel, The Wrong Side of Brightness, was published by Putnam/Jove in 2003. Austin is currently working on his fourth novel.

    Bay writes a national security column for Creators Syndicate. His commentaries run on National Public Radio's Morning Edition. He has appeared as a guest analyst on CNN,
    C-SPAN, and ABC News Nightline.

    Bay, who has had two commercial wargames published, served for four years as a consultant in wargaming at the Pentagon. He holds the rank of Colonel (Armor) in the U.S. Army Reserve. In 1999 Bay served as deputy commander of a Hurricane Mitch recovery operation in Guatemala.

    Bay is now retired from the US Army Reserve, but was recalled to active duty and served in Iraq in 2004. For this tour of duty in Iraq, he was awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious service."

  •  Likely Happening (none)

    At least eight new states, most of them Blue.

    Another 20 Senators and about 40 new Representatives, most of them Blue.

    I do not think the Pubs would ever risk absorbtion of Canada.

    Placing Canada into 'free and sovereign' status, just like Iraq, is far more likely.

    Oh, and if you think Iraqi insurgency is bad news, just try occupying a country that can fight back.

    DeLay Republicanism = Destroyed Republicanism. I'm cool with that!

    by cskendrick on Sun May 01, 2005 at 02:29:15 PM PDT

  •  So the NDP saved the Liberals? (none)
    I'm interested in the last part of your diary - I haven't been following the news from Canada much this last week (I usually watch the Vancouver broadcast of CBC's Canada Now, mainly because the anchorwoman is a hottie). I knew that Layton offered Martin a deal and Martin took it - but this seems to have eased the situation a bit, you say? If so that's good news. Are the Conservatives still considering a no confidence vote in May or June?

    I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

    by eugene on Sun May 01, 2005 at 02:54:14 PM PDT

    •  Link to CBC story on details of the Deal. (none)

      Basically, the Liberals increase spending on social programs, foreign aid and the environemnt out of Budget surpluses, grant a tax cut on small business and mid-low income, and in exchange, keep corporate tax rates at current levels, in exchange for NDP support in preventing a vote of Non Confidence.

    •  Thanks to LWF for the link (none)
      and yes, the Conservatives are still harping about the vote (hehe, Harper...), but the Canadian populace has turned against them... much better to increase social spending and keep the gov't intact for the time being than call a rash election based on "just wanting the other party gone & yourselves in power" (actual quote from CBC today).
  •  Sheesh. (4.00)
    Bringing down the government in Canada means we have an election. Big whoop. If that happens I doubt things will get any worse than the Conservative Party winning a minority govenment.

    Alberta join the US? Gimme a break. Even Conservative premire Ralph Klein is avoiding an "American Style Healthcare Syetem" in his bid to privatise Alberta's health care (It's what they'll get, but oh well).

    As for Canada breaking apart, unless I've been out of the loop too long, the Issue of Quebec Separation is off the table for now, BC and Alberta separation calls still count as fringe groups. Canada has a budget surplus (even after the Sponsorship Scandal), and has been buying back Foreign debt. Since 2002, the Canadian Dollar has risen from 62 cents US to 80 cents US. Alberta has paid off it's provincial debt completely with oil money. We also haven't exported all of our industries: I can still buy Canadian-made clothing at local chains (Marks especially)

    Given the financial and political direction of our two nations, the states of Maine, Vermont and Washington are more likely to join Canada when the US goes belly-up than the other way around.

  •  So... (none)
    We get a new state. We can name it North Texas and rename the existing Texas - South Texas.

    Wassa problem?

  •  This is Texas (none)
    Texans are as ignorant of Canada as people in Canadian border states (such as Ohio) are of Mexico (aka Spain if you are an Ohioan.)  This guy's article just reeks of ignorance.
  •  Y'know? (none)
    The last time we tried to take Canada, they kicked our butts.

    Doesn't Alberta still sort of relate to the UK? Like Australia?

    •  As a whole Canada is still technically (none)
      part of the British Empire, but only nominally so... it's kinda like, well we really don't want to hurt your feelings by leaving, so just stay out of our business & we'll all be good. ;)
      •  Hmmm... (none)
        Was also thinking about all of the "big brothers and sisters" we might manage to piss off if we tried again to take Canada.

        That whole, "You mess with my family, you mess with me" thing comes to mind.

        •  That would absolutely come into play (none)
          good point. I can't imagine anyone in the world for that matter not being on Canada's side...

          I'm going to post a diary in the next couple of days about the Aga Khan's vision for the world which is based on Canada's pluralism as the leading example.

  •  Haha (none)
    Charles Krauthammer, back when the whole Quebec secession thing was brewing, wrote a totally silly editorial comparing their situation to ours.  He haid the we were in more danger because out sections "cannot separate cleanly" like theirs could.

    But he ignored the fact that being able to separate cleanly was the PROBLEM, not the solution. Since all the French-speaking Canadians live basically in one place, secession is actually easier.  The whole thrust of the argument was based on the preposterous idea that having segregated sections of the country would actually be a good thing, demographically.  Apparently, it never occurred to him that Canada wouldn't have a "secession problem" if the French-speakers were dispersed among the general population.

    I see they still haven't learned.

    All your vote are belong to us

    by Harkov311 on Sun May 01, 2005 at 03:58:00 PM PDT

  •  Liberal Envy (none)
    The reason right-wingers hate Canada, France, etc. is because these are liberal states and they're doing BETTER than we are.  This proves the republicans are wrong and they just hate that.  Instead of trying to copy their successful policies, they'd rather insult them.  There's a word for it, it's of the seven deadly sins.
  •  There's an easier way to get more states (none)
    Let's split up Texas into several states - and do some real gerrymandering!  (When Texas joined the U.S., they reserved the right to split into up to 5 states.)
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