J. Dana Stuster is amused by a new Diane Francis book, Merger of the Century: Why Canada and America Should Become One Country:
What would a united Ameri-Canada look like? In terms of acreage, it would be the largest country in world — surpassing Russia, even all of South America, in size. Its economy would be larger than the European Union’s. Since each country is the other’s largest trading partner, trade deficits would shrink. Canadian oversight at the Fed would bring stability to American banking. With all its energy needs met domestically, Ameri-Canada would be a lucrative petrostate, exporting oil to the developing world.
For all the benefits — energy self-sufficiency, secure borders, a cross-border maple syrup pipeline if we’re lucky — the merger would not be without consequences. Francis bets that the long-term economic incentives would outweigh the baggage Canada brings with it. But is that really the case? Would it be worth grappling with how to integrate U.S., Canadian, and Québécois laws, or trying to standardize health care across the two countries? Would Washington ever want to inherit First Nations land disputes, Quebec separatists, or Justin Bieber? And would Canadians want Washington, especially after such a case study in dysfunction this week?