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West coast regionalization rears its head in ‘Cascadia’

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It’s a disturbing development that this meme has cropped up in the media now, considering the first steps to West Coast cross border integration were taken hours before the Olympics. Might North American integration come about through piece-meal application of cross-border trade law, and manipulation of regional sentiment? It seems as though the process is already well underway.

Flashback: B.C., 3 US states sign accord for ‘Pacific North America’ hours before Olympic kickoff | Think-tank calls for United States of Great Lakes | Toronto part of ‘transnational mega-region’

Peter Preston, The Guardian
February 28, 2010

There are calls for Oregon, Washington and British Columbia to split from the US and Canada. Cascadia is not a bad idea

One (Olympic) flame dies — but maybe another flame flickers back into life. All hail Cascadia, the nationalist dream of a new, free land that puts the environment, culture and liberal values first? Don’t laugh (though don’t get too carried away either). The name may sound somewhere between patent water softener and Prisoner of Zenda. The logic of the idea, however, has plenty of hard thinking behind it.

In a sense, Thomas Jefferson started things rolling long ago. He saw no particular reason why any fledgling US should stretch to the Pacific. He was quite happy to countenance a separate republic way to the west. And so, of course, were the people who built the distant country where Oregon, Washington and British Columbia met. They dreamed of their own Cascadia, after the range of Cascade mountains that bound them together. They felt — as many still feel — that rule from Washington or Ottawa is governance simply too far.

What? You hadn’t heard about the Cascadian Nationalist party and its entirely civil pursuit of separatism? That’s not entirely surprising. When al-Qaida tore down New York’s twin towers, it also put up walls of bureaucracy along the border that made driving from Vancouver to Seattle heavy duty security business. Stop, as I’ve done, at the Blaine frontier post where Highway 99 meets Interstate 5 and you’ll find rather more hassle than at Dover to Calais.

But there is, nonetheless, some practical power here. Portland, Seattle and Vancouver are an almost continuous metropolitan belt. Think Leeds to Manchester to Liverpool. The maze of islands and promontories around Puget Sound make one natural entity. And the values of politics, almost of instinctive belief, are consistent too. Abortion, euthanasia, co-ops, gay marriage — even socialism as a word that may sometimes mutter its name? Cascadia might sit quite happily just outside Stockholm. Bush, Cheney, Fox News and Tea Party Texas are a world away.

Now, of course, Cascadia isn’t going to happen anytime soon. Indeed, except in a freedom lite version, it will probably never happen. But there are plenty of reasons for warming over the embers.

One is simple physical logic. Cascadia is a fit, a world top 20 economy waiting to happen, as well as a meeting of minds. But even talking about it puts a country and a political system we ought to talk about constantly high in the frame. For Americans, too much of the time, are patronisingly racist about Canada (think Irish or Polish jokes) and much too prone to play the Nafta bully when trade push comes to shove. The British press may not have saluted Vancouver’s Olympic organisation, or weather, with quite the humility necessary for 2012 — but too many American journalists strode fresh off the plane with a bad case of curled lip.

Yet why, pray, is the Canadian way — or the Cascadian way — any more outlandish than the Mad Hatter’s tea party antics currently transfixing Washington DC? And why is constitutional change, as opposed to rightwing rage, such a forbidden American subject?

Britain talks constitutional upheaval constantly: devolution, voting systems, local government, the lot. Europe embraces historic upheaval. But America, stuck with a duff legislative balance and party system prone to deliver only mush, pork barrels and impotence, can’t find a way to adjust. That’s what makes Cascadia such an alluring prospect.

Why should Portland have to put up with San Antonio’s tunes? Who needs manic fundamentalist rows that don’t resound across Puget Sound? Cascadia may never join the UN, but it’s an idea of cohesion and radical progress whose day ought to come. At the very least, there’s a region here, a region that ought to count — and it would light a flame under much DC beltway baloney if it did.

Source | See Also under SPP: Precedent setting meeting called as Canada’s premiers attend Governors Association in Washington DC | B.C., 3 US states sign accord for ‘Pacific North America’ hours before Olympic kickoff | A New Generation of ‘North American’ Citizens | A North American Security Perimeter Coming Into View | Canada warms to idea of a tougher ‘perimeter’ | Jim Prentice: Implement A ‘North American Climate Change Regime’ | Canada commits to continental wilderness deal | Passing on the Mantle of Deep North American Integration | The time has come for North American monetary union | Montebello police provocateurs called before ethics panel | Harper’s Washington itinerary includes Obama photo-op, private meeting with CFR | Think Tank Report: Obama Will “Press The Reset Button” On North American Union Agenda | Harper to meet Obama, Calderon in August | Obama should rename the SPP, set up two speeds on integration with Canada and Mexico, says new report | How to fix the mess at the Canada-U.S. border | Happy North America Day? | John Manley to ‘bridge divide’ between business and government as new CCCE chief | RCMP and US Coast Guard to integrate as Canada signs border pact with Homeland Security | After Three Amigos rendezvous, White House confirms there’s no plan to reopen NAFTA | Harper promotes NAFTA superhighway corridor hub in Manitoba | Get close to Obama on economy and security, paper says | Press for Truth confronts Paul Martin on Bilderberg and the SPP | Homeland Security Assuming Broad Powers, Turning Swaths of U.S. into “Constitution-Free Zone” | CD Howe Institute backs Canada-EU deal, deep integration | Architect of North American integration urges reboot | Canada’s made in America energy policy | Canadian ambassador to address fourth annual North American Forum in Washington | “North American Parliament” Meets At Integration Forum | New bridge slated for Windsor-Detroit corridor: sources | Student Mock Parliament to be held in Montreal Parallels Integrationist Aims of SPP | South American union is created | Business group sets and gets its agenda | Continental Business Lobby Releases List of Priorities for Government to Address at SPP Talks| North American ID card in the works through SPP | CBC-TV’s mini-series Trojan Horse is a very clever warning to Canadians about the North American Union agenda | New Documents Reveal North American Union PR Campaign | Canada, U.S. agree to use each other’s troops in civil emergencies | Consider a continental currency: Jarislowsky | Vicente Fox Admits Plan For Single NAFTA Currency | Military To Crackdown On North American Union Protesters | North American Union plan headed to Congress in fall | Fraser Institute: The Case for the Amero

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3 Responses to “West coast regionalization rears its head in ‘Cascadia’”

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