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Thursday, November 04, 2004

A Canadian guide for American exiles

I see Reuters has explained that Unhappy Democrats Need to Wait to Get Into Canada. In a post below, Kate posts "Before people get too carried away with the "blue state vs red state" debate..." Unfortunately, I just love to get carried away.

It occurred to me that all these American celebrities and liberals, while waiting to head to Canada to live out the Bush White House years in exile, might find our politics a little bit confusing, especially since we colour-code our political maps the exact opposite to them. In the US, the conservatives are shown as red, and the liberals in blue, whereas in Canada the conservatives are blue and the liberals red.Exilemap

So what I've done, as any good host would, is to switch the Canadian colours around so these exiles will know where they should go. First of all, you'll notice that you should probably best stay out of Western Canada, lots of red there. Ontario (just to the right of the red blob) is your best bet, though you certainly can check out the eastern seaboard, which is much like your northeastern seaboard. New Yorkers in particular should feel right at home in, say, Labrador. That's what I would recommend.

You'll also notice a lot of liberal blue in the far north. This region is distinct for being very sparsely populated; there is lots of room and all that room is liberal. You will be very free there, especially from Big Tobacco (well, lots of northerners smoke, but there's plenty of outdoors, as I said). To be honest, I don't really know how the Inuit poll on issues like abortion and gay marriage and the war in Iraq, but you might give it a go. In this column by Greg Weston in the Ottawa Sun, he talks of turning Canada into the Las Vegas of gay weddings, though it's hard to say whether our northern citizens would warm up to this. I fear they may call it another act of cultural genocide. But the Supreme Court will certainly straighten them out (oops, unintentional reverse pun) on that. Yellowknife would be a great honeymoon spot. Activities include snowmobiling and caribou hunting.

That light blue area, that's Quebec. Perhaps it should be colour-coded dark, dark blue, but then, maybe not. Not to worry. Somebody will probably explain that to you--again and again and again and again--when you get here. Welcome/Bienvenue!

Posted by Kevin Steel on November 4, 2004 | Permalink


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Kevin Steel has provided a handy map, along with advice for disillusioned Democrats. First of all, you'll notice that you should probably best stay out of Western Canada, lots of red there. Ontario (just to the right of the red... [Read More]

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Yikes! This is what I get for being an American conservative who can speak French (Quebeccer dialect even!) who listens and watches CBC (as well as many CHUM outlets) from across Lake Erie. Sadly, I think I know just as much about Canadian federal politics as I know about American politics.

I find the battles in the Canadian House of Commons always more interesting, though. :-)

Posted by: Stephen Michael Kellat | 2004-11-04 12:45:38 PM

Typical ignorant southerner doesn't know how to spell "caribou".

Posted by: CB | 2004-11-04 3:29:39 PM

Hey smart guy, that's not all I don't know how to spell. Just wait until I start writing about poller bares and pengwins. (But thanks, fixed.)

Posted by: Kevin Steel | 2004-11-04 4:13:11 PM

Alternatively, we could simply merge the Red with the Red, the Blue with the Blue, leave the Light Blue as a standalone...

The Red gets to keep the big Military (which will include the Northern units that wish to join) as it is composed mainly of people from the Red areas, the Blues can take what's left, and exercise lots of soft power.

And, regarding the light blue - they should only get to keep the original bit - the Inuits or other tribal entities should be able to keep what was theirs (an argument, I recall, when Quebec last considered secession).

Going to some of the blue areas (not many, but some) sometimes feels like going to a foreign country anyway!

Posted by: John of Argghhh! | 2004-11-05 4:50:09 AM

Hmmm.. Saskatchewan is red? True, we elected the Conservatives but we do have something called the NDP provincial government here.

Posted by: Todd | 2004-11-05 4:23:07 PM

Todd: Ssshhh! Whisper, please. Americans might be listening. We Westerners are trying to get them to go over there, over there, to Ontario. Be vewy vewy quiet.

Posted by: Kevin Steel | 2004-11-05 4:53:21 PM

The "fact" that Vancouver is red shows that tha K-Dogg is wack or perhaps on crack. :) :) :) I suppose it would too tough to remark upon the rural/urban split in Canada, given that one is trying to impress outside masters. :P Western Standards are apparently retarded ones.

Posted by: Andy | 2004-11-06 1:22:03 AM

Americans moving to Canada looking for "good government" are in for a big shock. Unelected Senate, enforced Bilingualism to appease the one province where its AGAINST THE LAW to post an English sign...

"Free" Health care? Remember you that you always get what you pay for.

Unless you could paying half of what you earn in various taxes as "paying" for health care. Then you realize you're being ripped off.

I left Canada five years ago and I am in no hurry to go back!

Posted by: ldt | 2004-11-08 3:21:13 AM

Being an ignorant American (but in the upper tier of States, so I speak a similar tongue) I don't know how your Provinces are subdivided, but if you look at the American -county- map, it will be considerably more instructive.

We have a very serious rural/urban split, and a large number of despairing family farmers in the upper Midwest (Saskatchewan del sol).

I wonder if it might be similar, though different (America having been founded by Roundheads refighting the English Civil War), in Upper and Lower Canada?

Posted by: Puzzled | 2004-11-09 12:40:29 PM

Dear Puzzled; Don't take my post or my map too seriously. Here is a more precise map of the 2004 Canadian General Election. Remember, the blue/red colour codes are reversed. Orange is NDP, politically left of the Liberals. You will notice a goodly amount of blue (Conservative) in lower Ontario.


We too have our despairing family farmers, right across the country actually, and something of an urban/rural split. However, in the main our split has been more regional-- West / East / Quebec / Maritimes / North.

Posted by: Kevin Steel | 2004-11-09 1:12:10 PM

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