At first, it might seem outrageous to even consider — perhaps even preposterous — but contemplate for a moment a plausible (albeit far-fetched) scenario of geopolitics: Imagine that Canada’s thirteen provinces joined the United States of America as thirteen sovereign self-governing States of the Union with full Congressional representation, but newly devoid of the monarchial legal construction of ‘The Crown’.
Supporters of the concept — dubbed a proverbial ‘invasion’ — would require referendums in each province with constitutional conventions in each province soon to follow.
Canadians don’t enjoy the equivalent of the Bill of Rights or the legal concept that power emanates from the people. Freedom of speech, a right to bear to arms, and many mechanisms of the constitutional separation of powers are absent from Canadian law. The political enlightenment that occurred in the United States and France in the late 18th century never occurred among Canada’s governing class, perhaps for lack of revolutionaries, placated by the patronage that flows from loyalty to the Crown.
Economists predict that Canada’s private sector economy would boom in the absence of its federal sales tax, federal carbon pricing, and other heavy-tax schemes. Lower taxes coupled with newly seamless access to the American marketplace could greatly accelerate the economic growth of Canada’s provinces, giving Canadian manufacturers extraordinary new access to the largest economy in the world. It would also give Canadian consumers access to much cheaper consumer goods.
It’s presumed that Canada’s automobile and steel industries would particularly benefit. While Canada’s major banks would face new competition, they are well-capitalized and would be positioned strongly for growth in the much larger American marketplace.
Critics would argue that Canada’s tradition of universal single-payer healthcare would make such a political union unworkable. But the American constitutional construct of States’ Rights would empower Provinces to maintain their universal healthcare systems, without Ottawa acting as a middle-man.
Increasingly, Canada’s Conservatives are warming to the idea of North American economic and political integration. In part, it’s due to the Liberal Party of Canada’s seemingly beholden posture to Chinese institutions that act as intermediaries to the Communist Party of China. For Canada’s western region, an electorate that is resentful of Ottawa may very well prefer to play their hand in Washington.
Under American law, the indigenous governments of Canada (who are currently governed under the harshly assimilative, economically-prohibitive, and expropriative legal constructs of Canada’s Indian Act) would enjoy the recognition of their inherent sovereignty, which has long been enshrined in the American jurisprudence. That’s no small distinction for Canada’s indigenous people, whose assertions of sovereignty Canada has long denied.
Self-determination and self-government have driven catalytic economic and quality of life improvements in indigenous communities in the United States since the Nixon administration’s reversal of assimilative tribal termination policies, a fact that is made particularly apparent when contrasted with the lack of progress made by Canada’s First Nations governments in recent decades, which act as agencies of Canada’s federal government.
The United States Constitution has a much higher regard for Indian Treaties than the Canadian Courts — specifically recognizing Treaties as the Supreme Law of the Land. Canada has a more narrow construction of aboriginal treaty rights.