John Leo

 Some 10,000 to 20,000 Americans, unable to come to terms with the re-election of President Bush, are believed poised to leave the United States and become Canadians. Many, of course, will remain permanently in the poised position, just like Alec Baldwin, who has apparently been on the tarmac for four years awaiting a plane to some other country.

 But suppose the disaffected 10,000 to 20,000 actually depart. Will they find happiness? Will they achieve peace of mind north of the border? No, they won?t. Instead they will find the following:

Strange and maddening football games.
For reasons nobody can fathom, Canadian football is played on an enormous field, with 12 players on a side and only three downs, so every third play tends to be a punt. Canadian football alone is said to have driven an estimated 2 million Canadians across the border to become U.S. citizens. Many believe Bush could not have won without the disaffected Canadian football vote.

More Canadian music than you can imagine.
Radio stations must play Canadian music at least 35 percent of the time. Strict rules determine what music is Canadian enough to fill the quota. Though Celine Dion is Canadian, her hit ?My Heart Will Go On? was insufficiently Canadian, since the lyricist, the songwriter, and the recording were non-Canadian. As a result, thoroughly Canadian pop music stays on the radio long enough to drive many Canadians to distraction, drink, and even Canadian football.

Except for murder, a rate of violent crime as disgraceful as that of the United States.
Many U.S. newspapers salute Canada for its low crime rate. But according to the International Crime Victimization Survey, the rate of certain ?contact? crimes (robbery, sexual assault, and assault with force) is over 1.5 times higher in Canada than in the United States.

A national political leader every bit as hard to look at as George Bush.
People who detest President Bush?s syntax or cocky gait must consider Prime Minister Paul Martin?s disastrous smile. Martin?s speechwriter said the PM?s ?fake smile leads one to assume that Martin?s foot is being stepped on by an antelope.?

Perplexing food decisions.
Never ask a grocer in Canada for ?American? cheese or ?Canadian? bacon. Un-Canadian anger may ensue. Also, approach the famous national dessert, the Canadian butter tart, with extreme caution. It is made with brown sugar, eggs, flour, vanilla, and lead. Strong men have been known to eat two at a single sitting, though, because of the lead content, they are usually unable to move for several days afterward.

John Leo

John Leo is editor of and a former contributing editor at U.S. News and World Report.

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