Moving to Canada?

not far enough to escape the empire

related pages:

O, Canada! More Americans Heading North
The Number of Americans Moving to Canada in 2006 Hit a 30-Year High

July 31, 2007 —

Blame Canada!

It may seem like a quiet country where not much happens besides ice hockey, curling and beer drinking. But our neighbor to the north is proving to be quite the draw for thousands of disgruntled Americans.

The number of U.S. citizens who moved to Canada last year hit a 30-year high, with a 20 percent increase over the previous year and almost double the number who moved in 2000.

In 2006, 10,942 Americans went to Canada, compared with 9,262 in 2005 and 5,828 in 2000, according to a survey by the Association for Canadian Studies.

Of course, those numbers are still outweighed by the number of Canadians going the other way. Yet, that imbalance is shrinking. Last year, 23,913 Canadians moved to the United States, a significant decrease from 29,930 in 2005.

"There has been a definite increase in the past five years  the number hasn't exceeded 10,000 since 1977," says Jack Jedwab, the association's executive director. "During the mid-70s, Canada admitted between 22,000 and 26,000 Americans a year, most of whom were draft dodgers from the Vietnam War."


Canada votes in a minority government of neo-cons: Alberta is the Texas of Canada

Tuesday, January 24, 2006
"God Bless Canada"

an excellent analysis of what this means from one of the best Canadian political experts on "deep politics"

Canada's 2006 election shows a country becoming increasingly polarized - it is possible that Canada could split into multiple countries. These divides are deeper than the issues of Quebec independence.

Canadian Immigration

If you want to move to Canada, here's the Canadian immigration test:


Here's a website dedicated to helping "progressives" in the US consider relocation to Canada:

A guide to moving to a variety of places is at


Moving to Canada will probably not be a solution for US citizens seeking to escape the breakdown of American democracy, just like Jews who moved from Berlin to Amsterdam in 1933 didn't go far enough away from the Nazis (they had a few years reprieve, but they suffered the same fate as Jews who stayed in Berlin).

The US has established the "Northern Command," a new military department that has jurisdiction over Canada, chaired by the same General who supervised the (lack of) air defenses on 9/11. "Northcom" will be able to control Canada, especially in the near future as Canadian natural resources become more critical for the empire (water, oil, natural gas). Second, Canada and the US signed a border agreement after 9/11 that removes Canada as a political haven for draft resisters. It would be easy for this agreement to be extended to political dissidents. Most of the close US allies, especially in the English speaking world and those that are members of NATO, have stated they will not harbor US draft resisters (unlike previous policies during the War on Vietnam).

Most Canadian cities would be unliveable in their present configuration without abundant fossil energy to heat the buildings in the wintertime (with the possible exceptions of coastal BC). In the days before fossil fuels, Canada's population was much lower, and lots of firewood was used to keep buildings from freezing. How will downtown Montreal or Toronto or Edmonton stay functional when the natural gas used to heat their buildings runs out?

Worse, there's probably nowhere on Earth that is far enough away from the consequences of the US sliding into full strength fascism.

List of countries that will and will not allow draft resisters:


Canadian complicity in Star Wars

from the Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade (COAT)

Re: Election Issue: Canada DID Join Missile Defense

For a year now, my peace/anti-war activities have centred on opposing what is euphemistically called America's "missile defense shield." And, since February 23, 2005, when Paul Martin cleverly pretended to oppose so called "missile defense," I've focused my efforts on conducting and publishing original research to reveal Canada's hidden role in this massive, weapons-creation and -development program.
What I found is that for years now, Canadian corporate and scientific communities, as well as government departments, agencies and crown corporations, have been busily participating in the creation, development, maintenance, operation, financing and planned deployment of "missile defense" weapons systems.
However, because Canadians are generally unaware of their country's involvement in "missile defense," many immediately praised the Liberal government for its supposed refusal to join this offensive weapons scheme. Now, nine months later, although the Liberal government is credited on a daily basis with having kept Canada out of U.S. "missile defense" plans, the Liberal's have yet to substantiate their hollow pronouncement with even a single, concrete action. And, many Canadians -- including some key activists who oppose "missile defense" -- continue their unfounded applause for the Liberal government's phoney "no" to involvement in the U.S. weapons-development scheme.
This federal election is an opportune time to draw attention to Canada's participation in so called "missile defense" and to hold the Liberals accountable for pretending that they prevented Canada from "joining."
I continue to hope that my efforts to unveil Canada's actual complicity in "missile defense" preparations will help in some small way to resuscitate Canada's nearly-defunct -- but once vibrant -- anti-Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) movement. The peace/antiwar movement can indeed be proud that prior to the government's much-ballyhooed, but totally hypocritical and duplicitous, "no to missile defense," we built a strong opposition to this offensive, U.S. weapons program. It is tragic, however, that as soon as the government made its fake pronouncement, grassroots opposition acquiesced and protests disappeared.
By pulling the wool over our eyes on "missile defense," the Liberal government also managed to pull the rug right out from under our feet! This is the kind of manoeuvre that typifies Liberal governments. They talk from the left side of their mouths, while governing from the right.
Original Research in Press for Conversion!
The results of my research on "missile defense" is contained in three lengthy issues of the Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade (COAT) magazine, Press for Conversion! The full text of these issues (totalling about 100,000 words!) is now available online:

Issue #57: "Canada's Role in so called 'Missile Defense,'
Part II: Sea-based, Theatre Ballistic Missile Defense"

Issue #56: "Canada's Role in so called 'Missile Defense,'
Part I: NORAD, Government Largesse & the ABC's of Corporate Complicity."

Issue #55: "Missile Defense": Trojan Horse for the Weaponization of Space

COAT's next issue, to be published early in the new year, will deal with Canadian complicity in the militarisation of space, the role of Canadian space technology in U.S. warfighting and implications for "missile defense" weapons systems.

Victoria, BC - beautiful mural of traditional canoes and longhouse
First Nations lands are for lease by the "crown"
Canadian treatment of indigenous peoples is not much better than the US government's behavior

Northcom and the North American Anschluss

An influential tri-national panel has considered a raft of bold proposals for an integrated North America, including a continental customs union, single passport and contiguous security perimeter. According to a confidential internal summary from the first of three meetings of the Task Force on the Future of North America, discussions also broached the possibility of lifting trade exemptions on cultural goods and Canadian water exports.

Those last two suggestions were dismissed in subsequent deliberations, say members of the task force, an advisory group of academics, trade experts, former politicians and diplomats from Canada, the United States and Mexico sponsored by the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations. Members said the task force's final report this spring will focus on "achievable" rather than simply academic questions like that of a single North American currency.

Nevertheless, the initial debates prompted a sharp reaction from trade skeptics and nationalist groups like the Council of Canadians, who fear business leaders and the politically connected are concocting plans to cede important areas of sovereignty at the behest of American business interests.

Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow said the summary, a copy of which was obtained by the Toronto Star, was "disturbing" and "shocking."

"What they envisage is a new North American reality with one passport, one immigration and refugee policy, one security regime, one foreign policy, one common set of environmental, health and safety standards ... a brand name that will be sold to school kids, all based on the interests and the needs of the U.S.," she said.

She said the discussions have added weight because the panel includes such political heavyweights as former federal finance minister John Manley.

Is the Annexation of Canada part of Bush's Military Agenda?
by Michel Chossudovsky 23 November 2004
The URL of this article is:

Territorial control over Canada is part of Washington's geopolitical and military agenda as formulated in April 2002 by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.  "Binational integration" of military command structures is also contemplated alongside a major revamping in the areas of immigration, law enforcement and intelligence.
At this critical juncture in our history and in anticipation of the visit of George W. Bush to Canada on November 30th, an understanding of these issues is central to the articulation of a coherent anti-war and civil rights movement.
The purpose of this detailed report is to encourage discussion and debate in Canada and Quebec, as well as in the US.  Kindly circulate this article widely. The Summary can be forwarded by email with a hyperlink to the complete text.


For nearly two years now, Ottawa has been quietly negotiating a far-reaching military cooperation agreement, which allows the US Military to cross the border and deploy troops anywhere in Canada, in our provinces, as well station American warships in Canadian territorial waters. This redesign of Canada's defense system is being discussed behind closed doors, not in Canada, but at the Peterson Air Force base in Colorado, at the headquarters of US Northern Command (NORTHCOM).
The creation of NORTHCOM announced in April 2002, constitutes a blatant violation of both Canadian and Mexican territorial sovereignty. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld announced unilaterally that US Northern Command would have jurisdiction over the entire North American region. Canada and Mexico were presented with a fait accompli. US Northern Command's jurisdiction as outlined by the US DoD includes, in addition to the continental US, all of Canada, Mexico, as well as portions of the Caribbean, contiguous waters in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans up to 500 miles off the Mexican, US and Canadian coastlines as well as the Canadian Arctic.
NorthCom's stated mandate is to "provide a necessary focus for [continental] aerospace, land and sea defenses, and critical support for [the] nation’s civil authorities in times of national need."
(Canada-US Relations - Defense Partnership – July 2003, Canadian American Strategic Review (CASR),
Rumsfeld is said to have boasted that "the NORTHCOM – with all of North America as its geographic command – 'is part of the greatest transformation of the Unified Command Plan [UCP] since its inception in 1947.'" (Ibid)
Following Prime Minister Jean Chrétien's refusal to join NORTHCOM, a high-level so-called "consultative" Binational Planning Group (BPG), operating out of the Peterson Air Force base, was set up in late 2002, with a mandate to "prepare contingency plans to respond to [land and sea] threats and attacks, and other major emergencies in Canada or the United States".
The BPG's mandate goes far beyond the jurisdiction of a consultative military body making "recommendations" to government. In practice, it is neither accountable to the US Congress nor to the Canadian House of Commons.
The BPG has a staff of fifty US and Canadian "military planners", who have been working diligently for the last two years in laying the groundwork for the integration of Canada-US military command structures. The BPG works in close coordination with the Canada-U.S. Military Cooperation Committee at the Pentagon, a so-called " panel responsible for detailed joint military planning".
Broadly speaking, its activities consist of two main building blocks: the Combined Defense Plan (CDP) and The Civil Assistance Plan (CAP).
The Militarisation of Civilian Institutions
As part of its Civil Assistance Plan (CAP), the BPG is involved in supporting the ongoing militarisation of civilian law enforcement and judicial functions in both the US and Canada. The BPG has established "military contingency plans" which would be activated "on both sides of the Canada-US border" in the case of a terror attack or "threat". Under the BPG's Civil Assistance Plan (CAP), these so-called "threat scenarios" would involve:
"coordinated response to national requests for military assistance [from civil authorities] in the event of a threat, attack, or civil emergency in the US or Canada."In December 2001, in response to the 9/11 attacks, the Canadian government reached an agreement with the Head of Homeland Security Tom Ridge, entitled the "Canada-US Smart Border Declaration." Shrouded in secrecy, this agreement essentially hands over to the Homeland Security Department, confidential information on Canadian citizens and residents. It also provides US authorities with access to the tax records of Canadians.
What these developments suggest is that the process of "binational integration" is not only occurring in the military command structures but also in the areas of immigration, police and intelligence. The question is what will be left over within Canada's jurisdiction as a sovereign nation, once this ongoing process of binational integration, including the sharing and/or merger of data banks, is completed?
Canada and NORTHCOM
Canada is slated to become a member of NORTHCOM at the end of the BPG's two years mandate.
No doubt, the issue will be presented in Parliament as being "in the national interest". It "will create jobs for Canadians" and "will make Canada more secure".
Meanwhile, the important debate on Canada's participation in the US Ballistic Missile Shield, when viewed out of the broader context,  may serve to divert public attention away from the more fundamental issue of North American military integration which implies Canada's acceptance not only of the Ballistic Missile Shield, but of the entire US war agenda, including significant hikes in defense spending which will be allocated to a North American defense program controlled by the Pentagon.
And ultimately what is at stake is that beneath the rhetoric, Canada will cease to function as a Nation:
• Its borders will be controlled by US officials and confidential information on Canadians will be shared with Homeland Security.
• US troops and Special Forces will be able to enter Canada as a result of a binational arrangement.
Canadian citizens can be arrested by US officials, acting on behalf of their Canadian counterparts and vice versa.

But there is something perhaps even more fundamental in defining and understanding where Canada and Canadians stand as a Nation.
The World is at the crossroads of the most serious crisis in modern history. The US has launched a military adventure which threatens the future of humanity. It has formulated the contours of an imperial project of World domination. Canada is contiguous to "the center of the empire". Territorial control over Canada is part of the US geopolitical and military agenda.
The Liberals as well as the opposition Conservative party have endorsed embraced the US war agenda. By endorsing a Canada-US "integration" in the spheres of defense, homeland security, police and intelligence, Canada not only becomes a full fledged member of George W. Bush's "Coalition of the Willing", it will directly participate, through integrated military command structures, in the US war agenda in Central Asia and the Middle East, including the massacre of civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan, the torture of POWs, the establishment of concentration camps, etc.
Under an integrated North American Command, a North American national security doctrine would be formulated. Canada would be obliged to embrace Washington's pre-emptive military doctrine, including the use of nuclear warheads as a means of self defense, which was ratified by the US Senate in December 2003. (See Michel Chossudovsky, The US Nuclear Option and the "War on Terrorism" May 2004)
Moreover, binational integration in the areas of Homeland security, immigration, policing of the US-Canada border, not to mention the anti-terrorist legislation, would imply pari passu acceptance of the US sponsored police State, its racist policies, its "ethnic profiling" directed against Muslims, the arbitrary arrest of anti-war activists.

Chalmers Johnson (author of "Blowback") recommends that US citizens buy an apartment in Canada (is there room for everyone?)

2/16/2004: "Chalmers Johnson: the Sorrows of Bush's Endgame

"If you listen to the Bush Ministry of Disinformation, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly -- and millions of Americans do, every day -- you get the impression people opposed to Bush's plan for endless war are Marxist nutbars and shrill hate-America malcontents.
Sure, some of them are Marxists. But most of them are normal people. In fact, some of them are even former CIA consultants.
Like Chalmers Johnson.
Johnson thought antiwar demonstrators during the Vietnam were naive. He voted for Ronald Reagan. In retrospect, Johnson told John Wilkens of the San Diego Union-Tribune, he was "a spear carrier for the empire."
"If you have a little money, I'd prepare your escape route," Johnson says. "You might want to go up to Vancouver and buy yourself a condo."
I thought about this last year. In fact, I was looking at Vancouver. But I don't have the money for a condo and, besides, I think America is worth sticking around and fighting for. But the way things are going it may be a lost battle.
Chalmers makes it sound bleak.
"I fear that we will lose our country," Johnson writes in his latest book, "The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic."
Bush and the Pentagon are bankrupting the nation, dismantling the Constitution, and leading us down the path to endless war. America is afflicted with the same "economic sclerosis of the former USSR," Chalmers explains in a ZNet interview. But at least Mikhail Gorbachev tried to reform the Soviet Union before it imploded. No such luck with Bush and the neocons. "The United States is not even trying to reform, but it is certain that vested interests here would be as great or greater an obstacle. It is nowhere written that the United States, in its guise as an empire dominating the world, must go on forever. The blowback from the second half of the twentieth century has only just begun."
It's not a good sign when former Generals begin casually speculating on the demise of the Constitution and the imposition of martial law, as Tommy Franks did a while ago.
"I fear that [after 9/11] we are going to get even more militarism,"
Johnson told Jeff Shaw of In These Times magazine. "That is, more and more functions -- including domestic police functions -- will be transferred from civilian institutions to the military, and the military will have ever greater authority in our society. We know how that will end. We're talking here about imperial overstretch, and the weaknesses of the imperial structure that will ultimately lead to a collapse... If this attack is an attack on our foreign policy, as I believe it is, we should be looking much harder at what our foreign policy is. If the United States is now going to go out and bomb some innocent people in Afghanistan who have already gone through two decades of living hell -- most of it sponsored by our government and that of the other erstwhile superpower, the former Soviet Union. Then you must say, we deserve what we're going to get."
Since there is no way to fight against the enormous military power and technology of the United States, adversaries will increasingly resort to asymmetric warfare, what Bush and the neocons call terrorism. Realizing they have no choice, Iran and North Korea are attempting to build nukes. It may be the only way they can prevent the United States from invading. Or it may give the US an excuse to bomb those countries in "preemptive" fashion, as the neocons like to call it.
Sooner or later somebody will light the Big Candle -- and that will be the end of life as we know it.
"The only hope for the planet is the isolation and neutralization of the United States by the international community," Chalmers explains. "Policies to do so are underway in every democratic country on earth in quiet, unobtrusive ways. If the United States is not checkmated and nuclear war ensues, civilization as we know it will disappear and the United States will go into the history books along with the Huns and the Nazis as a scourge of human life itself."
Johnson explained the "sorrows" mentioned in his latest book in an interview with Steve Dalforno of Z magazine last November.
"I think four sorrows inevitably accompany our current path. First is endless war... As it stands right now, since 9/11, Articles 4 and 6 of the Bill of Rights are dead letters. They are over... Second, imperial overstretch... The third thing is a tremendous rise in lying and deceit... The difficulty to believe anything that the government says any longer because they are now systematically lying to us on almost every issue. The fourth is bankruptcy. Attempting to dominate the world militarily is a very expensive proposition... The United States, for the last 15 years, has had trade deficits running at 5 percent every year. We are on the edge. If the rest of the world decides not to cooperate with us or just the rich people of East Asia decide the Euro is a better currency to put their money in than the dollar, we become a junkyard almost at once. The stock exchange would collapse and we would have a howling recession. All four of those things are likely to prevail... [The United States suffers from an] inability to reform. I think it is quite easy to imagine the defeat of George Bush as president. I do not find it easy at all that any successor to George Bush would make any difference... That leads me to the conclusion that we are probably going to reap what we have sown. That is blowback."
That is scary.
John Kerry or Howard Dean or whatever vanilla flavor of Republican Lite the Democrats throw out there will not make a lick of difference. Don't waste your time voting for them.
Boycott the elections. Go in the street on March 20th. Make a stink. Bang pots like the poor outside the Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, Venezuela, when the CIA attempted to overthrow Hugo Chavez. Let them know you're pissed.
Or buy a condo in Canada.
And hope the wind is blowing in the right direction on the day Bush launches the nukes.
Unhappy Democrats Need to Wait to Get Into Canada
Wed Nov 3, 2004 01:16 PM ET
By David Ljunggren

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Disgruntled Democrats seeking a safe Canadian haven after President Bush won Tuesday's election should not pack their bags just yet.
Canadian officials made clear on Wednesday that any U.S. citizens so fed up with Bush that they want to make a fresh start up north would have to stand in line like any other would-be immigrants -- a wait that can take up to a year.
"You just can't come into Canada and say 'I'm going to stay here'. In other words, there has to be an application. There has to be a reason why the person is coming to Canada," said immigration ministry spokeswoman Maria Iadinardi.
There are anywhere from 600,000 to a million Americans living in Canada, a country that leans more to the left than the United States and has traditionally favored the Democrats over the Republicans.
But recent statistics show a gradual decline in U.S. citizens coming to work in Canada, which has a creaking publicly funded healthcare system and relatively high levels of personal taxation.
Government officials, real estate brokers and Democrat activists said that while some Americans might talk about a move to Canada rather than living with a new Bush administration, they did not expect a mass influx.
"It's one thing to say 'I'm leaving for Canada' and quite another to actually find a job here and wonder about where you're going to live and where the children are going to go to school," said one government official.
Roger King of the Toronto-based Democrats Abroad group said he had heard nothing to back up talk of a possible exodus of party members.
"I imagine most committed Democrats will want to stay in the United States and continue being politically active there," he told Reuters.
Americans seeking to immigrate can apply to become permanent citizens of Canada, a process that often takes a year. Becoming a full citizen takes a further three years.
The other main way to move north on a long-term basis is to find a job, which in all cases requires a work permit. This takes from four to six months to come through.  

Official statistics show the number of U.S. workers entering Canada dropped to 15,789 in 2002 from 21,627 in 2000. Early indicators on Wednesday showed little sign of this changing.
A spokesman for Canada's foreign affairs ministry said there had been no increase in the number of hits on the Washington embassy's immigration Web site, while housing brokers said they doubted they would see a surge in U.S. business.
"Canada's always open and welcoming to Americans who want to relocate here, but we don't think it would be a trend or movement," said Gino Romanese of Royal Lepage Residential Real Estate Services in Toronto.
Those wishing to move to Canada could always take a risk and claim refugee status -- the path chosen earlier this year by two U.S. deserters who opposed the war in Iraq.
"Anybody who enters Canada who claims refugee status will be provided with a work permit ... it doesn't matter what country they're from," Iadinardi said.
Refugee cases are handled by special boards, which can take months to decide whether to admit applicants. The rulings can be appealed and opposition politicians complain some people ordered deported have been in Canada for 10 years or more.
© Reuters 2004. All Rights Reserved.
Posted on Wednesday, November 3, 2004 at Harper's Magazine
Electing to Leave
A Readers Guide to Expatriating on November 3rd
by Bryant Urstadt

So the wrong candidate has won, and you want to leave the country. Let us consider your options.

Renouncing your citizenship
Given how much the United States as a nation professes to value freedom, your freedom to opt out of the nation itself is surprisingly limited. The State Department does not record the annual number of Americans renouncing their citizenship-"renunciants," as they are officially termed-but the Internal Revenue Service publishes their names on a quarterly basis in the Federal Register. The IRS's interest in the subject is, of course, purely financial; since 1996, the agency has tracked ex-Americans in the hopes of recouping tax revenue, which in some cases may be owed for up to ten years after a person leaves the country. In any event, the number of renunciants is small. In 2002, for example, the Register recorded only 403 departures, of which many (if not most) were merely longtime resident aliens returning home.
The most serious barrier to renouncing your citizenship is that the State Department, which oversees expatriation, is reluctant to allow citizens to go "stateless." Before allowing expatriation, the department will want you to have obtained citizenship or legal asylum in another country-usually a complicated and expensive process, if it can be done at all. Would-be renunciants must also prove that they do not intend to live in the United States afterward. Furthermore, you cannot renounce inside U.S. borders; the declaration must be made at a consul's office abroad.
Those who imagine that exile will be easily won would do well to consider the travails of Kenneth Nichols O'Keefe. An ex-Marine who was discharged, according to his website, under "other than honorable conditions," O'Keefe has tried officially to renounce his citizenship twice without success, first in Vancouver and then in the Netherlands. His initial bid was rejected after the State Department concluded that he would return to the United States-a credible inference, as O'Keefe in fact had returned immediately. After his second attempt, O'Keefe waited seven months with no response before he tried a more sensational approach. He went back to the consulate at The Hague, retrieved his passport, walked outside, and lit it on fire. Seventeen days later, he received a letter from the State Department informing him that he was still an American, because he had not obtained the right to reside elsewhere. He had succeeded only in breaking the law, since mutilating a passport is illegal. It says so right on the passport.

Heading to Canada or Mexico
In your search for alternate citizenship, you might naturally think first of Canada and Mexico. But despite the generous terms of NAFTA, our neighbors to the north and south are, like us, far more interested in the flow of money than of persons. Canada, in particular, is no longer a paradise awaiting American dissidents: whereas in 1970 roughly 20,000 Americans became permanent residents of Canada, that number has dropped over the last decade to an average of just about 5,000. Today it takes an average of twenty-five months to be accepted as a permanent resident, and this is only the first step in what is likely to be a five-year process of becoming a citizen. At that point the gesture of expatriation may already be moot, particularly if a sympathetic political party has since resumed power.
Mexico's citizenship program is equally complicated. Seniors should know that the country does offer a lenient program for retirees, who may essentially stay as long as they want. But you will not be able to work or to vote, and, more important, you must remain an American for at least five years.

Should one candidate win, those who opposed the Iraq war might hope to find refuge in France, where a very select few are allowed to "assimilate" each year. Assimilation is reserved for persons of non-French descent who are able to prove that they are more French than American, having mastered the language as well as the philosophy of the French way of life. Each case is determined on its own merit, and decisions are made by the Ministère de l'Emploi, du Travail, et de la Cohésion Social. When your name is published in the Journal Officiel de la République Français, you are officially a citizen, and may thereafter heckle the United States with authentic Gallic zeal.

The coalition of the willing
Should the other candidate win, war supporters might naturally look to join the coalition of the willing. But you may find a willing and developing nation as difficult to join as an unwilling and developed one. It takes at least five years to become a citizen of Pakistan, for instance, unless one marries into a family, and each applicant for residency in Pakistan is judged on a case-by-case basis. Uzbekistan imposes a five-year wait as well, with an additional twist: the nation does not recognize dual citizenship, and so you will be required to renounce your U.S. citizenship first. Given Uzbekistan's standard of living (low), unemployment (high), and human-rights record (poor), this would be something of a leap of faith.

The Caribbean
A more pleasant solution might be found in the Caribbean. Take, for example, the twin-island nation of St. Kitts and Nevis, which Frommer's guide praises for its "average year-round temperature of 79°F (26°C), low humidity, white-sand beaches, and unspoiled natural beauty." Citizenship in this paradise can be purchased outright. Prices start at around $125,000, which includes a $25,000 application fee and a minimum purchase of $100,000 in bonds. Processing time, which includes checks for criminal records and HIV, can take up to three months, but with luck you could be renouncing by Inauguration Day. The island of Dominica likewise offers a program of "economic citizenship," though it should be noted that Frommer's describes the beaches as "not worth the effort to get there."
Speed is of the essence, however, because your choice of tropical paradises is fast dwindling: similar passport-vending programs in Belize and Grenada have been shut down since 2001 under pressure from the State Department, which does not approve. In any case, it should be noted that under the aforementioned IRS rules, you might well be forced to continue subsidizing needless invasions-or, to be evenhanded, needless afterschool programs.

Indian reservations
Our Native American reservations, which enjoy freedom from state taxation and law enforcement, might seem an ideal home for the political exile. But becoming a citizen of a reservation is difficult-one must prove that one is a descendant of a member of the original tribal base roll-and moreover would be, as a gesture of political disaffection, largely symbolic. Reservations remain subject to federal law; furthermore, citizens of a reservation hold dual citizenships, and as such are expected to vote in U.S. elections and to live with the results.

The high seas
You might consider moving yourself offshore. At a price of $1.3 million you can purchase an apartment on The World, a residential cruise ship that moves continuously, stopping at ports from Venice to Zanzibar to Palm Beach. Again, however, your expatriation would be only partial: The World flies the flag of the Bahamas, but its homeowners, who hail from all over Europe, Asia, and the United States, retain citizenship in their home nations.
To obtain a similar result more cheaply, you can simply register your own boat under a flag of convenience and float it outside the United States' 230-mile zone of economic control. There, on your Liberian tanker, you will essentially be an extension of that African nation, subject only to its laws, and may imagine yourself free of oppressive government.

The boldest approach is to start a nation of your own. Sadly, these days it is essentially impossible to buy an uninhabited island and declare it a sovereign nation: virtually every rock above the waterline is now under the jurisdiction of one principality or another. But efforts have been made to build nations on man-made structures or on reefs lying just below the waterline. Among the more successful of these is the famous Principality of Sealand, which was founded in 1967 on an abandoned military platform off the coast of Britain. The following year a British judge ruled that the principality lay outside the nation's territorial waters. New citizenships in Sealand, however, are not being granted or sold at present.
A less fortunate attempt was made in 1972, when Michael Oliver, a Nevada businessman, built an island on a reef 260 miles southwest of Tonga. Hiring a dredger, he piled up sand and mud until he had enough landmass to declare independence for his "Republic of Minerva." Unfortunately, the Republic of Minerva was soon invaded by a Tongan force, whose number is said to have included a work detail of prisoners, a brass band, and Tonga's 350-pound king himself. The reef was later officially annexed by the kingdom.
More recently, John J. Prisco III, of the Philippines, has declared himself the prince of the Principality of New Pacific, and announced that he has discovered a suitable atoll in the international waters of the Central Pacific. As of publication, the principality has yet to begin the first phase of construction, but it is already accepting applications for citizenship.

Imaginary nations
Perhaps the most elegant solution is to join a country that exists only in one's own-or someone else's-imagination. Many such virtual nations can be found on the Internet, and citizenships in them are easy to acquire. This, in fact, was the route most recently attempted by Kenneth Nichols O'Keefe, the unfortunate ex-Marine. In February 2003, O'Keefe went to Baghdad to serve as a human shield, traveling with a passport issued to him by the "World Service Authority," an outfit based in Washington, D.C., that has dubbed more than 1.2 million people "world citizens." While laying over in Turkey, however, he was detained; Turkey, as it turns out, does not recognize the World Service Authority. O'Keefe was forced to apply for a replacement U.S. passport from the State Department, which rather graciously complied.
Upon his arrival in Baghdad, O'Keefe promptly set the replacement passport on fire. But he remains, to his dismay, an American.

Bryant Urstadt's last article for Harper's Magazine, "A Four-Year Plague," appeared in the May issue.
© 2004
Published on Wednesday, November 3, 2004 by
Ten Reasons Not to Move to Canada
by Sarah Anderson

Ready to say screw this country and buy a one-way ticket north? Here are some reasons to stay in the belly of the beast.

1. The Rest of the World. After the February 2003 antiwar protests, the New York Times described the global peace movement as the world's second superpower. Their actions didn't prevent the war, but protestors in nine countries have succeeded in pressuring their governments to pull their troops from Iraq and/or withdraw from the so-called coalition of the willing. Antiwar Americans owe it to the majority of the people on this planet who agree with them to stay and do what they can to end the suffering in Iraq and prevent future pre-emptive wars.

2. People Power Can Trump Presidential Power. The strength of social movements can be more important than whoever is in the White House. Example: In 1970, President Nixon supported the Occupational Safety and Health Act, widely considered the most important pro-worker legislation of the last 50 years. It didn't happen because Nixon loved labor unions, but because union power was strong. Stay and help build the peace, economic justice, environmental and other social movements that can make change.

3. The great strides made in voter registration and youth mobilization must be built on rather than abandoned.

4. Like Nicaraguans in the 1980s, Iraqis Need U.S. Allies. After Ronald Reagan was re-elected in 1984, progressives resisted the urge to flee northwards and instead stayed to fight the U.S. governments secret war of arming the contras in Nicaragua and supporting human rights atrocities throughout Central America. Iraq is a different scenario, but we can still learn from the U.S.-Central America solidarity work that exposed illegal U.S. activities and their brutal consequences and ultimately prevailed by forcing a change in policy.

5. We Can't Let up on the Free Trade Front Activists have held the Bush administration at bay on some issues. On trade, opposition in the United States and in developing countries has largely blocked the Bush administrations corporate-driven trade agenda for four years. The President is expected to soon appoint a new top trade negotiator to break the impasse. Whoever he picks would love to see a progressive exodus to Canada.

6. Barak Obama. His victory to become the only African-American in the U.S. Senate was one of the few bright spots of the election. An early opponent of the Iraq war, Obama trounced his primary and general election opponents, even in white rural districts, showing he could teach other progressives a few things about broadening their base. As David Moberg of In These Times puts it, Obama demonstrates how a progressive politician can redefine mainstream political symbols to expand support for liberal policies and politicians rather than engage in creeping capitulation to the right.

7. Say so long to the DLC. Barry Goldwater suffered a resounding defeat when he ran for president against Lyndon Johnson in 1964, but his campaign spawned a conservative movement that eventually gained control of the Republican Party and elected Ronald Reagan in 1980. Progressives should see the excitement surrounding Dean, Kucinich, Moseley Braun, and Sharpton during the primary season as the foundation for a similar takeover of the Democratic Party.

8. 2008. President Bush is entering his second term facing an escalating casualty rate in Iraq, a record trade deficit, a staggering budget deficit, sky-high oil prices, and a deeply divided nation. As the Republicans face likely failure, progressives need to start preparing for regime change in 2008 or sooner. Remember that Nixon was re-elected with a bigger margin than Bush, but faced impeachment within a year.

9. Americans are Not All Yahoos. Although I wouldn't attempt to convince a Frenchman of it right now, many surveys indicate that Americans are more internationalist than the election results suggest. In a September poll by the University of Maryland, majorities of Bush supporters expressed support for multilateral approaches to security, including the United States being part of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (68%), the International Criminal Court (75%), the treaty banning land mines (66%), and the Kyoto Treaty on climate change (54%). The problem is that most of these Bush supporters weren't aware that Bush opposed these positions. Stay and help turn progressive instincts into political power.

10. Winter. Average January temperature in Ottawa: 12.2°F.

Sarah Anderson ( is a fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies.
Toronto Star
Oct. 30, 2004. 01:00 AM
Canada at risk from U.S. malaise
Divisive election a nightmare scenario

A crisis of legitimacy is brewing in America. The divisions inside the U.S. between supporters of President George W. Bush and challenger John Kerry are so deep as to be almost irresolvable.
No matter who wins in Tuesday's presidential vote, the outcome seems destined for rejection by almost half the country -- particularly if the results are close.
Each side accuses the other of encouraging voter fraud. Both have hired legions of lawyers ready to contest the results as soon as they are known.
Far too many Democratic voters assume that Bush stole the last election and is out to steal this one.
Far too many Republican voters assume that Kerry's efforts to register blacks, youth and others who don't usually vote are attempts at massive electoral fraud.
Far too many on both sides assume that if their man does not win, America will be placed in mortal danger.
For the U.S., this is potentially tragic. Democracies work only if those who lose at election time accept the outcome.
But for Canada, a legitimacy crisis in America is downright dangerous.
Our relations are tricky enough when the U.S. functions properly. A systemically dysfunctional America promises nightmares.
When Canadians talk about the effect of American elections on this country, they usually are referring to the perennial batch of cross-border trade disputes.
Will the U.S. continue to discriminate against Canadian softwood lumber? Will it reopen the border, partially closed as a result of the mad cow scare, to Canadian beef? Will it continue to rail against existence of the Canadian Wheat Board?
Since the 2001 terror attacks on New York and Washington, these hardy perennials have been joined by an entirely new crop of bilateral Canada-U.S. issues.
Will the Americans expect us to join them in their missile defence adventure? Will they up the pressure to help them out in Iraq? Will they continue to push for a Fortress North America security perimeter in which Canada plays only the most junior of roles?
Will they be nicer to the multilateral institutions, such as the United Nations, in which Canada places so much stock?
At some moments in history, the outcome of the quadrennial American presidential election does matter.
The fact that Ronald Reagan was president in the mid-1980s had much to do with the Canada-U.S. free trade deal.
The fact of George W. Bush's presidency in 2000 forced Canada and the rest of the world to re-evaluate the structure of Western international co-operation that America itself created after World War II.
Is Tuesday's election equally pivotal? Some, particularly those critical of Bush, argue that it is.
However, for a wide range of bread-and-butter issues, it is not clear that the outcome matters that much to Canada.
Theoretically, Republicans are open to free trade. Yet, Bush's record has been one of higher subsidies for U.S. farmers and more protection for U.S. industry.
Theoretically, Democrats are more protectionist. Yet, during his career as a senator, Kerry placed himself firmly in the camp of the so-called Clinton Democrats, fans of fiscal conservatism and open borders.
Kerry has talked during his campaign of getting tough with what he calls unfair trade. But when pressed, he refers not to America's largest trading partner, Canada, but to China.
In truth, Canada doesn't matter much in Washington. To Congress, which has significant authority over economic matters, Canadians are just another lobby group, albeit a particularly ineffectual one that can neither vote nor legally donate money.
Reacting to this, Canadian policy-makers place much importance in the president, and particularly to the relationship between America's head of state and whoever happens to be this country's prime minister.
Yet, even at the presidential level, U.S. domestic politics trumps all. Former prime minister Jean Chrétien had a warm relationship with then-president Bill Clinton and a frosty one with Bush.
That didn't stop the Clinton administration from levying punishing assaults on Canadian softwood lumber. Nor did the alleged Bush-Chrétien animosity interfere with Canada's booming export trade to U.S. markets.
Some Senate Democrats, such as South Dakota's Tom Daschle, are vehemently opposed to opening the U.S. border to Canadian beef. This certainly would make it difficult for a Democratic president Kerry to move on the issue.'If Kerry wins, Canada ... will be under more pressure to go into Iraq'
Stephen Clarkson, University of Toronto But, as U.S. ambassador Paul Cellucci noted recently, such domestic opposition has made it equally difficult for a Republican president like Bush to solve the problem.
Prime Minister Paul Martin calls improved Canada-U.S. relations a priority. Yet, the record shows that foreign leaders who tie their stars too closely to a particular U.S. president do so at their own risk.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair's loyalty to Bush has hurt him at home. Mexican President Vicente Fox, who gambled that he could strike a key immigration deal with Bush, was left crippled domestically once the U.S. leader switched his focus to war.
Many Canadians assume that Kerry, a senator from Massachusetts, would be friendlier to this country than the somewhat less knowledgeable Bush (famously ridiculed four years ago for responding seriously to fictitious statements from an equally fictitious Canadian prime minister named "Jean Poutine"). Yet, there is no evidence of that.
"Canadians should disabuse themselves of the notion that presidents from states close to the border have a better sense of Canada, because it is empirically incorrect," says University of Toronto political scientist John Kirton, a trade specialist.
"This election won't matter much to us as North American citizens," says fellow U of T political scientist Stephen Clarkson, who has written extensively on Canada-U.S. relations. "But it will matter to us as global citizens."
Certainly, most of the rest of the world thinks Tuesday's contest matters. Polls show that in countries around the globe (Russia and Israel being two notable exceptions), most hope Kerry will win.
In Canada, the figures were 60 per cent for Kerry, 20 per cent for Bush. But how much of a difference would a Kerry victory mean in terms of America's relations overall with the rest of the world? If one takes the challengers' campaign rhetoric seriously, the answer is not clear.
Bush says he is committed to the pacification of Iraq and wants to involve other countries. Kerry says the same thing.
Bush says he'll leave American troops in that country until the job is done. So does Kerry, although he says he hopes that task will be accomplished within four years.
Bush refused to sign the Kyoto Protocol on global warming. Kerry has made it clear that he won't sign it either.
Bush opposes the idea of the new International Criminal Court having any jurisdiction over Americans alleged to have committed war crimes. So, it seems, does Kerry.
Bush wants a North American missile defence system. Kerry does, too, although he has been critical of Bush's specific plan and insists that missile defence would not be such a high priority for him.
In a vague and generalized way, Kerry is keener than Bush about mending relations with America's old allies. But as Clarkson points out, this contains its own dangers. If, as president, Kerry makes a bow to multilateralism, he will expect America's old friends to help out where it counts -- in Iraq.
"If Kerry wins, Canada -- like France and Germany -- will be under more pressure to go into Iraq," Clarkson says. "We'll have to do something, or else in a month or two he'll be in as bad a position as Bush."
All of this assumes a normally functioning America. The wild card, however, is the vote itself and the willingness of the majority of Americans to accept the official results - particularly if the Supreme Court or Congress has to step in.
The history here is mixed.
Americans take their politics seriously. Four sitting presidents -- Abraham Lincoln, James Garfield, William McKinley and John F. Kennedy -- have been assassinated. Disgruntled U.S citizens have tried to kill at least two others.
Only once in America's history has a presidential election been overwhelmingly rejected by a significant section of the country. But that particular rejection, of Lincoln in 1860, led to a bloody civil war.
Yet, there have been other less well-known close calls.
In 1876, the business of the Republic ground to a halt for months as the country tried to decide who had won that year's presidential election.
Federal troops were sent to Washington to keep order. One Kentucky Congressman promised a march on the capital of 100,000 men to assure the victory of his candidate.
As in 2000, the 1876 stalemate was the result, in part, of the peculiarities of the U.S. system. The Democratic candidate, Samuel Tilden, won the popular vote decisively. But his Republican opponent, Rutherford Hayes, appeared to have a one-vote edge in the Electoral College that actually chooses the president.
The 1876 contest was further confused by the fact that Republicans and Democrats in three southern states (including, ironically, Florida) elected rival slates of Electoral College members, each vying for the right to help select the president.
That particular stalemate was resolved when Hayes (elected, in part, by the votes of freed slaves in the south) secretly agreed to end all efforts at post-war reconstruction, thereby consigning those same ex-slaves to almost 100 years more of second-class status.
In return, Democrats in the Congress agreed to support Hayes and officially declared him the winner. Since only blacks were disadvantaged by the deal, the results were accepted by everyone else.
It's not at all clear this time that Americans are in as accommodating a mood.
"They'll have huge legitimacy problems no matter who is elected," Clarkson says. "That has to have an impact abroad.
"Back when Quebec was first electing separatist governments, the Americans were worried about instability on their northern border. They moved tanks up to the border during the referendum (on Quebec separation).
"Now, it's our turn to be worried."
Additional articles by Thomas Walkom

Americans flock to Canada's immigration Web site
Fri November 05, 2004 01:30 PM ET
By David Ljunggren

OTTAWA (Reuters) - The number of U.S. citizens visiting Canada's main immigration Web site has shot up six-fold as Americans flirt with the idea of abandoning their homeland after President George W. Bush's election win this week.
"When we looked at the first day after the election, November 3, our Web site hit a new high, almost double the previous record high," immigration ministry spokeswoman Maria Iadinardi said on Friday.
On an average day some 20,000 people in the United States log onto the Web site, -- a figure which rocketed to 115,016 on Wednesday. The number of U.S. visits settled down to 65,803 on Thursday, still well above the norm.
Bush's victory sparked speculation that disconsolate Democrats and others might decide to start a new life in Canada, a land that tilts more to the left than the United States.
Would-be immigrants to Canada can apply to become permanent resident, a process that often takes a year. The other main way to move north on a long-term basis is to find a job, which requires a work permit.
But please spare the sob stories.
Asked whether an applicant would be looked upon more sympathetically if they claimed to be a sad Democrat seeking to escape four more years of Bush, Iadinardi replied: "There would be no weight given to statements of feelings."
Canada is one of the few major nations with an large-scale immigration policy. Ottawa is seeking to attract between 220,000 and 240,000 newcomers next year.
"Let's face it, we have a population of a little over 32 million and we definitely need permanent residents to come to Canada," said Iadinardi. "If we could meet (the 2005) target and go above it, the more the merrier."
But right now it is too early to say whether the increased interest will result in more applications.
"There is no unusual activity occurring at our visa missions (in the United States). Having someone who intends to come to Canada is not the same as someone actually putting in an application," said Iadinardi.
"We'll only find out whether there has been an increase in applications in six months."
The waiting time to become a citizen is shorter for people married to Canadians, which prompted the birth of a satirical Web site called
The idea of increased immigration by unhappy Americans is triggering some amusement in Canada. Commentator Thane Burnett of the Ottawa Sun newspaper wrote a tongue-in-cheek guide to would-be new citizens on Friday.
"As Canadians, you'll have to learn to embrace and use all the products and culture of Americans, while bad-mouthing their way of life," he said.

articles about the corporate takeover of Canada