February 5, 2005


CANADA AND THE ANGLOSPHERE: IN, OUT, OR INDIFFERENT? (David G. Haglund, February 2005, Policy Options)

The war in Iraq marked a major point of departure in Canadian foreign policy in that Canada did not support the US and Great Britain, and found itself aligned instead with France and Germany in opposition to the American-led invasion. “What was truly remarkable about the Iraq war,” writes David Haglund, “was how out of step Canada could be with its two long-standing partners in the ‘English-speaking’ world...Never on a matter of such import did Canada distance itself from both of its so-called ‘Anglo-Saxon’ partners at once.” Instead, Canada found itself “so closely aligned with France's (position) as to become virtually identical to it...namely that Canada would only join in military action against Saddam if the UNSC approved, it was obvious that what really stood in the way of Council authorization was the threat of a French veto. If Paris decreed the war to be justified, Ottawa would snap to attention.” While the UK and Australia might have found themselves supporting the US for larger strategic reasons, Canada's proximity to the US, in both geography and commerce, as well as being under the US security umbrella, paradoxically made it easier to stand aside. Canada doesn't need to get closer to the US in “the Anglosphere.” Furthermore, opposition to the war was virtually unanimous in Quebec, which may have influenced policy outcomes in Ottawa, particularly in the middle of a provincial election campaign pitting the Liberals against the Parti Québécois.

Canadian independence can be tolerated only so long as it's no more than a minor inconvenience.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 5, 2005 6:09 AM

The correct policy towards Canada is the staunch encouragement of Quebec independence. An independent Quebec would be some kind of laughable marriage between Scandanavian socialism and French disorganization, far more comic opera than republic.

The rest of Canada would be left struggling for reasons to remain separate and apart from the US. Much of the West would join us, other than the area west of the Cascades, because it makes complete economic sense to do so. Pretty much anywhere that was Alliance territory would join the US. The Maritimes would have to join because otherwise they'll just depopulate even further. This would effectively leave industrial Ontario, which could serve as a kind of museum, just as Quebec is little more than France for the slow-witted, Industrial Ontario could be Great Britain for the indolent and cowardly.

Posted by: Bart at February 5, 2005 8:52 AM

Who cares if the Canadians joined us? It's not like they have a military. They're barely even a country.

Posted by: Bob at February 5, 2005 9:56 AM

Especially without hockey.

Posted by: TimF at February 5, 2005 3:39 PM

Time to end the annoyance.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at February 5, 2005 5:06 PM

Hey, when have we ever been anything other than a minor inconvenience? We'll try and be good, but it's hard to please those crazies of yours who think tourists wearing shorts with dark socks are a major inconvenience, if not an outright security threat.


One of the things I admire most about American conservatives is their steadfast fidelity to principle, whatever history throws their way. For example, many of you have been pointing out the fragility and illogic of Canada and predicting her demise since 1776. Two hundred and twenty-nine years later, you don't miss a beat.

Posted by: Peter B at February 5, 2005 5:45 PM

Canada was kept together by the force of British arms until 1869.(Does the name Louis Riel ring a bell?) Since that time there has been a careful balancing act, not unlike Belgium which has engaged in a similar balancing act since 1830.

The reality in Quebec is that the majority Francophone community votes for independence by a 60-40 margin at least. As Jacques Parizeau said last time, it was only the ethnic vote(i.e. Jews, Italians, Portuguese, Blacks) that kept Quebec in Canada. Once Quebec pulls out, and, between provincial legislation mandating French and demographics, that is a 'when' and not an 'if', the existence of a Canada separate from the US makes little cultural and even less economic sense, as I outlined above.

Sure, there are a few sections of Canada like industrial Ontario and the region West of the Cascades which will want to remain separate, and if the region West of the Cascades were to join with the parts of the US from SF to Seattle west of the Cascades, that would be addition by subtraction. (Looney Toon-istan?)But it is tough to justify to Albertans and people in Western BC why they should be taxed and regulated to satisfy the whims of Easterners.

Just as the European map is changing due to unity, ours will change due to economic reality.

Posted by: Bart at February 5, 2005 5:58 PM

Why would Red America want Canada to join the US? It would be just adding electoral votes to the leftist/Democrats.

Posted by: ray at February 5, 2005 7:25 PM

Anyone have a plausable guess how electoral votes for for B.C., Alberta, Sask., Manitoba & Ontario might have split in this last election?

Posted by: Dave W. at February 5, 2005 7:37 PM

What was truly remarkable about the Iraq war, writes David Haglund, was how out of step Canada . . .

Now, that's provincialism.

Posted by: David Cohen at February 5, 2005 8:18 PM


My sides are still aching! :-)

Dave W

Dems across the board with maybe the old college try in Alberta. Sorry.

Posted by: Peter B at February 5, 2005 9:08 PM