“Le Canada, ce n’est qu’un pays imaginaire,” former Parti Québécois leader Pierre-Karl Péladeau famously (and notoriously) said – Canada is nothing more than an imagined country, a fiction – and he’s got it absolutely spot-on.
Like the European Union (EU), “Canada” is merely an artificial construct. In fact, “Canada” is even a tad more dysfunctional than the EU: each province has more independence than each EU member-state, nor is there any free trade between and among the provinces.
As Richard Martineau, Québec’s best and brightest columnist, writes:
[…] l’Européen est une invention de l’esprit, une création abstraite conçue par des parlementaires. Il n’y a pas d’Européens. Il y a des Allemands, des Italiens, des Français, des Belges, des Portugais, des Anglais… Chaque groupe avec ses valeurs, son histoire, ses ambitions, ses intérêts, ses rêves.
Precisely. There are no “Europeans”, just as there are no “Canadians”. Instead, there are Quebecers, Ontarians, Albertans, British Columbians, etc.
Seeking independence and control of one’s own domain has nothing to do with xenophobia or racism or any other form of narrow-mindedness. While such people do exist, and it is obvious that many Britons – misguidedly – voted to leave the EU solely for the purpose of curtailing immigration, it is nonetheless a healthy mind that will try to do everything possible to protect one’s family, one’s home, one’s country. It is, after all, a fool who dumps (sh**s) on his own nest.
This is particularly prominent in Britain, because as a common law country where Parliament reigns supreme, it simply won’t do to have European (non-common law) rules and regulations imposed on your country. For that one reason alone, leaving the EU was the only correct, sound, sane and reasonable decision to take.
The dire lack of true democracy in the EU was another reason to shut the door. One only needs to think of past referenda on European treaties that the corrupt (and often outright criminal) cabal in Brussels forced to be repeated until a “good” result had been obtained – sorry, but this is not how democracy works. You take a vote and accept the outcome, but you can’t demand one do-over after another against the will of voters.
There’s no need for a “political union” or “superstate” on the European continent. Let countries trade freely with each other across free market economies, unfettered by any government control or interference. What is more, let people move freely in search of work and other opportunities.
The latter should not only apply to Europe, but everywhere on this planet. It’s ridiculous that country A shouldn’t be able to fill an x amount of jobs because it lacks people with the right qualifications, while country B experiences disastrous unemployment and doesn’t know what to do with its people.
In fact, immigration could be so much simpler and more productive than any of the systems in place today. Everyone should be allowed to move anywhere of his/her choosing – and it will be the “pudding test” that decides who gets to stay and who doesn’t.
The proof of the pudding is in the eating – in other words, if a migrant manages to support himself/herself through gainful employment or entrepreneurship, proves after, say, three years that he/she has mastered the language of the land, has kept up with his/her (tax) obligations as a resident and has never committed a single crime or misdemeanour (yes, including shoplifting), then he/she should be naturalized and welcomed to stay on. It should also be noted that migrants should become eligible for any type of government (welfare) support only after such trial period of three years (or whatever amount may be fixed).
Taking this approach would benefit countries immensely, and would also cost substantially less than immigration schemes currently operating across the world.
As an added bonus, migrants wouldn’t cluster in, and financially and socially overwhelm, a handful of countries as they do today – in search of the most profitable welfare handouts and/or because other countries for which one would be a better fit have immigration requirements that are too restrictive.
I’ve always been a firm believer in common sense – nothing else matters: left, right, liberal, socialist, conservative … who cares? As such, though, “Canada” doesn’t make good common sense, “Europe” doesn’t make good common sense, and modern-day immigration systems are for the birds (who actually have more common sense, and make better use of their brains, than most humans).
So, let common sense rule, and we’ll be able to build a much better world.