Public: Country: Changing Borders
Redraw the lines   (+5, -4)  [vote for, against]
Resolve the status of Quebec *and* the U.S. Presidency

(Nobody's been angry at me for a while. Let's change that.)

Canada, it has been clear for a while, is a nation with a hard-to-reconcile divide between English- and French- speakers. The United States, the past 12 years has made clear, especially over the last few days, is a nation with a hard-to-reconcile division between Clinton/Gore and Bush/Bush lesser-of-two-evil backers. So, here's the idea.

1. Draw a line following the southern boundaries of Maryland, the District of Columbia, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Missouri and the western boundaries of Missouri, Iowa and Minnesota. Everything in the U.S. south and west of that line that doesn't have a Pacific coastline becomes a country.

2. Canada lets Quebec leave, already.

3. The rest of Canada joins with the northeastern quadrant and Pacific coast of the United States.

The result: three countries, all geographically contiguous and all with populations more or less on the same page politically. The Greater Confederacy can be a conservative pro-life pro-death penalty nation and have low taxes, low services, unchecked pollution, lots of guns and the Confederate flag. Greater Canada can be a liberal pro-choice anti-death penalty nation and have higher taxes, public services, clean water, gun control and fun trying to decide on a new flag. Quebec could do whatever it wants to do as an independent nation; I'm not clear on the details of their plans.

The Greater Confederacy can have George W. Bush as president. Greater Canada might not be able to have Al Gore as president (if they even have a president- what if they stick with a prime minister system?), as he would not have been born in the country, but I'm certain either Jean Chretien or Joe Lieberman could fill the role as soon as they figure out what it is (I'd say a Canadian-style legislature and an American-style executive would work as a compromise).

Obviously, it's not perfect: poor New Mexico is stuck in a country where the next-most-liberal state may be Florida; Alaska is stuck in a country where the next-most-conservative state/province is either Indiana or New Hampshire. Lots of other details would need ironing out. But on the balance, it might be cool.
-- Uncle Nutsy, Nov 10 2000

clean water?
in waterton? [LoriZ, Nov 10 2000, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Why bother with country lines? Everyone knows that it's all corporations now. Try the same thing with Nestle and Nike...?

Better yet, kill the World Trade Organization, put some ultra-ideological moron in charge, and watch everyone do exactly the same thing anyway.
-- Detly, Nov 11 2000

Count me in. These are probably pretty good common currency areas and so on too. As far as electoral systems go, we'll take yours. Ours is much sillier. Quebec could opt in or out; they've voted not to leave in two referendums so far, but the last one was something of a squeaker.
-- Monkfish, Nov 13 2000


Software can't run without hardware, and corporations can't exist without nation-states.

Corporations have no existence without the nations that protect the markets they operate in. Support may be bought, but only by a consensus (and isn't that what politics is all about?). Defense and law enforcement are still very much related to geography, and corporations are still very much dependent on markets that work and consumers who can buy their products.

You may fantasize about a Libertarian/Gibsonian "paradise" of private corporate armies and Stephensonesque "burbclaves", but it ain't here now, and IMHO it will never happen.
-- egnor, Nov 13 2000

This might cause a lot of uproar about who goes where. It might be better to provoke a natural splitting up. Consider: Congress passes a bill which outlaws a southern institution, in much the same way the emancipation proclamtion would end slavery. At the moment the best example I can think of would be to prevent them marrying their cousins.

In the resulting uproar the southern states secede from the union, only this time they are let go. A couple of states break in half (like virginia did) where they cant agree where they want to be (eg: North and south Florida). Otherwise a perfectly ammicable split...

Problems: The Greater Confederacy *would" be a banana republic, and probably have only a small fraction of the US's GDP. But hey, so long as they can marry their family they'll be happy.
-- imagooAJ, Nov 13 2000

Actually, imagooAJ has identified one of my ulterior motives. The 25 states of the Greater Confederacy include at last count 22 states that are a drain on the national treasury. The 25 states added to Greater Canada include 22 states that are net contributors to the national treasury. As a resident of the future Greater Canada, I want to get the ungrateful leeches out of my pocket.

Excluding Florida from these calculations, it's worth noting that George W. Bush, associated with more extensive tax cuts, carried only seven states (New Hampshire, Ohio, Indiana, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and Alaska) that pay more in taxes to the federal government than they receive back in federal spending, but 22 states that are essentially on the federal dole. Gore, by comparison, carried 18 net contributor states and only two net debtor states- Maryland and New Mexico.
-- Uncle Nutsy, Nov 17 2000

I'm guessing that's because the net contributor states are states with large urban centers of economic activity, and urban areas tend to be more Democratic than rural areas.
-- egnor, Nov 18 2000

Egnor: That's a part of it, but some non-urban states are net contributors too- South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont are all net contributors. Meanwhile, despite the presence of major urban centers of finance and industry, Texas, Florida and Georgia are three of the biggest net debtors.

Consider Iowa and Mississippi. The two states have roughly the same population, area and rural/urban balance. However, Iowa is a net contributor and Mississippi is a net debtor. That's because Iowa has what it takes for a modern economy that generates the kind of revenue distribution to raise taxes from, while Mississippi is stuck with a few rich people (who don't pay taxes if they're smart) and a lot of poor people (who don't have much to pay taxes with).

Since Lyndon Johnson's Great Society programs, the United States has been pouring money into the south in an effort to bring it into the modern age. I think we have to acknowledge that that part of the Great Society, on the whole, has been a failure.
-- Uncle Nutsy, Nov 18 2000

Good idea to get rid of Quebec. Good idea to get rid of the South. This is what i propose: USA: Florida, N. & S. Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Lousiana, Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma or kicked out of the US so that the rest can ban guns. Alaska is given to Canada in exchange for the Canadian lands south of the St Lawrence river. Canada: Quebec gets the boot and can run crying to France. UK: The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland becomes the United Kingdom of Great Britain, and the St Patricks cross is finally removed, eighty years to late. New Zealand and Canada join with Britain, due to their love of the Queen etc. The USA joins due to the great trade benefits with Britain and Canada, the Commonwealth, and the rest of europe due to the UK's membership with EU. Australia my decide to join after referendum. Thus creating an Anglophonic Super Power that beats a big drum.

[I think i've said enough]
-- [ sctld ], Apr 01 2001

How about dividing the globe up every 20 degrees?
-- rjswanson, Apr 15 2001

how about getting rid of all the lines and boundries bollocks and start acting like species which fancies being around in 500 years instead...
-- solomungus, Apr 15 2001

I don't know how "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed" can be misinterpreted, but believe it or not, the Vermont constitution is *even more clear* that guns cannot be banned. Speaking for Vermont, I would tend to say "heck no!" to this idea of a) banning guns, and b) becoming subjects of the British monarchy again.

I would imagine that if such a radical realignment were to be attempted, we would have to go our own way, and re-form the Republic of Vermont. Of course, towns in north east New York or western New Hampshire that would like to join us would be welcome.

*historical note: Vermont was the first modern republic, the first republic to ban slavery, and in the 1790's was growing as towns in NY and NH were voting to join Greater Vermont. Unfortunately, a vulnerability in the design of Vermonts legislative body at the time (badly thought out quorum rules) made it possible for a few towns that didn't like the new comers to vote them out, and then another sub-faction voted to seek statehood.
-- JakePatterson, Feb 24 2002

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