A More Perfect Union

The border between Canada and the United States pits two great countries against each other. Les Horswill makes the case for a greater North American federation.
  1. On February 19, 2009, Barack Obama touched down in Ottawa for his first international visit as president. “All eyes are on Ottawa right now—you don’t hear that every day,” a CNN anchor quipped. Discussions concentrated on trying to better manage the status quo between the two countries, including co-operation on clean energy, economic recovery and cross-border trade. The agenda reflected what experts agreed was possible, but by skirting the extraordinary public force of the president’s appeal, it was less ambitious than what Obama’s celebrity might have allowed.

    During his campaign, Obama’s insistence on citizen participation was intended to empower Americans. His call to action—to renew American democracy—electrified Canadians as well. Today, during a vicious health care battle and a resurgent culture war, American politics look rougher and less attractive than they did last fall. But on election night last year we cried for Obama. Was it simply a TV moment, or does the charge we f...

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