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Thread: North Atlantic Union

  1. #1 North Atlantic Union 
    Forum Professor marcusclayman's Avatar
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    I started a discussion group on facebook

    The topic is a hypothetical union between New England and Quebec. The possibilities of which would be based entirely on the realities of today. For example, what the government would be like, to unite a wide array of cultures and what the economy would be like. What would the pros and cons for each particular area be, and the Union as a whole?

    Anyway, I sense the discussion will be rather lacking in participants on facebook, so I'm going to have links from here to there, and vice versa.

    It is an invite only group, so if you want to participate, just let me know. No special knowledge of the area is necessary, just an interest in social sciences, and an ability to do basic research.

    http://www.facebook.com/?ref=logo#!/group.php?gid=338924633928&ref=nf


    I'd like to start the discussion on something relatively solid; That is, the hypothetical economy of the NAU.

    So here are links to the wiki articles on the economies of Quebec and New England(as a whole)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quebec#Economy
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_England#Economy


    Dick, be Frank.

    Ambiguity Kills.
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  3. #2  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
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    1- Why a Union?

    Why would one state/region/province want to be shackled to others, be unable to legislate according to its own people's democratic choice without the consent of others and add another layer of bureaucracy on top?

    If a town or state wants to legislate to ban the use of toxic pestide that should be the end of it, but with NAFTA and globalizing treaties cooked up behind closed doors everyone looses democracy wise you have to fight to be able to do this. Has there been any public debate about the SPP? Any media coverage? Any vote? Any democratic process whatsoever? No.

    When California wanted to enact improved emission standards for cars (that are no big deal compared to EU standards) the federal government initially stepped in to throw a monkey wrench and puff about jurisdiction. When state police and prosecutors find cause to bring fraudulent banks to justice on more than one occasion, the OCC (in the pocket of banks) steps in, claims jurisdiction, and thats the last we ear of it.
    In Austria, if you look at the Worgl experiment, the regional gov/town of Worgl elaborated a great system based on local currency which delivered results, but the Austrian Central bank came in an derailed their local currency.

    I prefer to empower local state governments that are closer to the people, there on the ground, and have coordination and support mechanism only at the federal/broader/union level instead of an overarching authority.

    ====

    Decentralized arrangement where soverein states would cooperate on a strictly voluntary issue-by-issue basis, where local currencies (inspired by the Worgl experiement) are allowed and have state banks like North Dakota (i think), and with the option of leaving that union if it becomes detrimental(not to have to repeat the US war of independance from the Bristish Empire), then it might be worth examining (from a hypotetical perspective, given that states are only free to join but not free to leave the union as seen in the civil war, unlike the evil USSR empire which allowed soviet states to becore more free and independant, if they were able to let go who knows... I'm off to watch Braveheart now )


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  4. #3  
    Forum Professor marcusclayman's Avatar
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    Well, this would be a very big decentralization. That is, the hypothetical union would be geographically much smaller than either the US or Canada, so it would indeed be localizing government.

    No one has said anything about what the NAU's government(s) would be like, so implying that it wouldn't center around local democracy and volunteer cooperation in the union, is not valid.

    Keep in mind that the word "union" means absolutely nothing in this title. Maybe Quebec and each New England state would be sovereign provinces, united like the US states or Canadian provinces, or something looser like the European Union; or maybe all the states and Quebec would become one state, with one state government, housed by representatives from each population district. I do not know, and make no assumptions. This is a "what if" discussion, not "how to" or "why so."

    Also, I'm hoping to avoid discussion why or how this would happen, and focus more on the economic and social possibilities if this were to happen.

    Consider it a political thought experiment, not a debate over whether or not this should or could happen.

    ______________________

    Here's comparison of some of the most obvious characteristics

    Quebec's Population in 2009
    7,782,561 (5.63 /km)

    New England's Population in 2008
    14,303,542 (198.2/sq mi)

    New England's total population is almost double, and density is a little more than x35 that of Quebec. Policy might would likely be needed to prevent mass migrations, or a great deal of cultural conflict would undoubtedly arise. Not to mention degradation of Quebec's vast wilderness.


    ____

    Quebec's GDP in 2008
    $302? billion

    New England's GDP in 2007
    $636 billion

    Quebec per capita, has a much better economy, but New England has more than twice as much money. Generally, the standards of living must be higher in Quebec; and/or there is a greater gap between rich and poor in the US... maybe both?
    Dick, be Frank.

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  5. #4  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
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    I dont understand why the hypotetical scenario has Quebec join NE though, instead of for example New Brunswick?

    Quebec has almost more in common with northern europe than it has with north america (I would not be surprized if most would sooner join a union with social democracies like Sweeden, Norway and Finland than any other state, im exagerating there but not much)

    "or maybe all the states and Quebec would become one state, with one state government"
    around half the population wants Quebec to be free and independant not going from the fire into the frying pan, fusing to form a single new country in which they are a minority is a show stopper I assure you(thats like suggesting NE states joins China has new provinces, even if you had some representatives you would flush you sovereignty down the toilet because theres no way China budges on any issue the way NE would prefer, at that point democracy is diluted into irrelevancy, if the rest of China wants to invade somalia its tough luck you are now chinese citizens and your country's going to war). And would French be an official language in this NAU or what? They also have the French civil code not English common law.

    "Consider it a political thought experiment, not a debate over whether or not this should or could happen."
    Ok :wink: I had not understood that part, sorry

    Ill get back to you with thoughts in that perspective :wink:
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  6. #5  
    Forum Professor marcusclayman's Avatar
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    lol, it's all good, i foresaw this coming

    But you do raise a good point, why Quebec and New England, and I don't really know.

    Anyone have better suggestion?

    New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Maine might be fun to think about uniting. They are more geographically and economically similar. Plus they are much smaller, and so would be easier to research and compare.
    Dick, be Frank.

    Ambiguity Kills.
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  7. #6  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Wasn't there a small spot of bother the last time someone tried to secede from the Union? :wink:
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  8. #7  
    Forum Professor marcusclayman's Avatar
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    no, i think i skipt over the chapter on the US civil war, and all other civil wars for that matter, when i studied hystory
    Dick, be Frank.

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