the Sweet Smell of Burning Fur (plonq) wrote,
the Sweet Smell of Burning Fur

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We're not your consolation prize

Last night as the results of the US presidential election was starting to become inevitable, the Canadian Citizenship and Immigration web site crashed. It was essentially hit by a DDOS by people looking for an easy escape from the disaster that was unfolding.

It has become a common refrain in almost every election of late. Regardless of who is running, persons on the other side of the spectrum declare that they are "moving to Canada" if the results do not go their way. It's not that we would not welcome immigrants here - we have a fairly generous immigration policy, especially when it comes to people with marketable skills. The thing is that it's not a simple matter of loading up the car with the kids and driving up here to a new life.

Given the casualness with which people toss this out every time there is a domestic crisis, one gets the feeling that they think it involves the same kind of logistics as moving to the neighbouring county to get away from a new school tax. I know that the vast majority of people who say they are going to move here when they don't get their way are just venting, and only a few actually even bother to investigate it. Well, enough to bring that department's web site to its knees last night.

Of the ones that investigate it, most never pursue it because of the cost and work involved, or because they find out that they might not even qualify.

I suppose on the one hand it is slightly flattering that so many people think they want to move here, but on the other hand, it's a bit insulting that people assume we will just welcome them in because they're not happy with their election results. It's like having the guy across the hall assume he can just march across to your place and flop on your couch if he has a fight with his roommates. I mean, if he's in real danger then only a heartless person would refuse him refuge, but nobody wants to have him barge in your front door every time his buddy squeezed the toothpaste from the middle rather than the end.

Obviously I am not comparing the electoral disaster to a minor roommate squabble, and I don't mean to make light of the the true fear and despair that people are feeling right now, but when your house is a mess, you need to clean it up. Don't just assume you can move in with the neighbour.

The implied notion that we are some kind of consolation prize for people who did not get their way gets a bit old. It may surprise them to learn that we're not just another state that they can pack up and move to. We're a sovereign nation with our own, Byzantine laws governing immigration and refuge. We have our own politics; we're socialists. We have our own culture (it may not seem like it because we look and act so much like you, but atara will attest to the fact that we are actually different). A good percent of us actually speak another language from you.

What I am saying is that you are welcome to come here. We are accommodating and friendly. But unless you are fleeing for your life, then make sure you are bringing something to the table when you come. Show us that we have a reason to let you move in. "My roommates are jerks" is not a good enough reason.

Here is one of our modern, socialist medical devices.

Behold the glory of a socialist sunset. All hail the balance of colours.
Tags: election
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