What do Canadians think about American pledges to flee north after the election?

November 1, 2012

Screenshot from Slate Video on moving to Canada.

A great tradition of American politics is that, every four years, democratic voters threaten to pick up and move north to more-liberal Canada if the Republican candidate wins. In 2004, American visitors to Canada's immigration Web site increased by a factor of six the day after George W. Bush's reelection. Slate published a moving-to-Canada guide.

Of course, it's not just Democrats threatening to change their citizenship in protest. The Supreme Court's decision to uphold health-care reform legislation had some outraged Americans promising to migrate north in protest, though Canada employs a universal health-care system.  

Oddly, the population of Canada remains only about one tenth of its southern neighbor's, with 9,000 or so Americans moving north every year, regardless of who holds office. Far greater numbers of Canadians move south.

As the American pledge season resumes in the run-up to the presidential election, I'm curious what actual Canadians think of this ritual. Are Canadians flattered by it? Offended? Politely amused?

Do they (or you, if you're Canadian) like the idea of American hordes crossing the border and boosting the country's population and economy, even if this is unlikely to actually happen, or is the whole idea kind of upsetting? Could Tim Hortons even handle all that increased business?

Let me know what you think, what you've read or heard or seen, and anything else that comes to mind. Articles, tweets, anecdotes, stray thoughts. Comment here or find me on Facebook and Twitter. I leave you with this:

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Max Fisher · November 1, 2012