Make Vermont Canada's 11th Province?

A group of Vermont citizens disgruntled by the re-election of President George W. Bush have taken to the Internet to sell the idea of having their state become Canada’s 11th province.

The group’s founder argues Vermont and Canada have plenty in common because so many Quebecers moved there in the 19th and 20th centuries to look for work. «But then we started to research things and we were stunned by how much we had in common.» Aminzade recently wrote a letter to the editor of the Burlington Free Press in which he said Canadians, like Vermonters, have always believed in tolerance and progressivism and are troubled by the re-election of Bush, the war in Iraq, the growing power of big corporations and right-wing extremists. »Canada has a foreign policy that would make Vermonters proud,» Aminzade wrote. «It stayed out of Iraq, and it supports treaties that Vermonters support.»

There are other reasons as well. Canada has universal health care, no death penalty and fewer homicides. Canada recognizes the rights of gays and lesbians to marry. Vermont was the first state in the United States to allow civil unions for gay couples.

The website has attracted almost 2,000 hits and there have been a few letters to the Burlington newspaper. «I don’t think it’s taken too seriously,» said Susan Reid, editorial page editor of the Free Press. «But I think people in Vermont feel really close to Quebec.» The movement is similar to another web campaign, which was supposed to encourage Canadians to help Americans escape from the clutches of Bush by marrying left-leaning Canadians. Aminzade said the advantage with this campaign is that Vermonters are an independent lot. For 14 years, from 1777 to 1791, Vermont was an independent state. Source: The Montreal Gazette


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