Friday, November 09, 2012

Funniest thing

I’d love to comment fully on the elections and where US politics should go from here, but I have too much work to do. But one thing is so funny to me that I just have to comment on it: Republican supporters who declare they’re going to move to New Zealand, Australia or Canada.

It’s not funny that they’re saying it—historically, backers of whoever loses an election say that, but they seldom mean it and even fewer actually follow through. Moving countries is a very big deal, after all.

It’s funny because it shows how little America’s rightwing understands about the world. So here are a few things they probably want to keep in mind before ringing up international moving companies:
  • New Zealand, Australia and Canada all have national healthcare that goes far beyond “Obamacare”. None of us are looking to change.
  • Canada has had full marriage equality since 2005. New Zealand is about to adopt marriage equality, but has comprehensive Civil Unions in the meantime. Australia is moving inevitably to follow the lead.
  • You have to leave your guns at home: All three countries have strong restrictions on guns.
  • Evolution is taught in schools, the reality of climate change is accepted as fact, especially by Australia and New Zealand (I simply don’t know where Canada is on that).
  • New Zealand, Australia and Canada are monarchies, not republics. We don’t elect our hereditary Head of State (the Queen), and we only indirectly elect our Head of Government (the Prime Minister). All three countries have vibrant left wing parties that make the US’ Democrats look like conservatives.
  • Speaking of prime ministers, Australia’s Prime Minister is a female atheist who is not married to the man she lives with. New Zealand’s Prime Minister has been described as a “church going atheist”; his wife is Catholic and his mother was Jewish (which makes him ethnically Jewish, if not religiously so).
  • New Zealand is staunchly secular, even if many describe themselves as Christian. We have less of a presence of US-style fundamentalists than either Australia or Canada, and such people have little political influence in this country. A large number of New Zealanders describe themselves as atheist—a much higher percentage than in the US,.
  • We have prominent politicians who are female, LGBT or from racial and ethnic minorities. New Zealand, for example, was the first country in the world to elect a transgendered Member or Parliament and also the world’s first openly gay person elected to a first term. Mind you, New Zealand was also the first country in the world to give women the right to vote, so that’s not surprising.
  • New Zealand is nuclear free.
There are plenty of other things that conservatives should learn about New Zealand, Australia and Canada before thinking about moving here, but those are probably enough to make them consider a country more in line with their politics, like Russia or Iran.

And that’s not funny.


Roger Owen Green said...

one on Facebook said that they're moving to Australia because the guy who is president is a Christian. Teehee.

Roger Owen Green said...

...and it went viral.

Arthur Schenck said...

I saw that! And much merriment ensued in THIS part of the world, too!

Mark from Slap said...

On election night, I did a Twitter search for "I'm moving to Canada." 'Twas a good laugh. My favourite was from a girl who said her dad was online looking at Canadian houses for sale.

Arthur Schenck said...

I'm not surprise, Mark. As you've said before, it happens every election. But I'd say that at least when Democrats said it, they at least knew something about Canada!