I know people who took classes with Jennifer Welsh at the University of Toronto. She's a globalist who believes we are "citizens of the world". She also wants us to lower our health and safety regulations to the U.S. level, and literally merge our economy with the U.S. economy. She doesn't believe in nationalist of any kind, even positive nationalism:
Are we ready to be citizens of NAFTA?
The idea of a North American passport may be premature, but there's already a de facto concept of citizenship among Canada, Mexico and the U.S.
Special to the Sun
Saturday, March 19, 2005
LONDON - Eleven years after the North American Free Trade Agreement, the $14-trillion North American economy is the world's largest trade bloc, and the near-doubling of intracontinental trade flows surpassed the hopes of even the most optimistic proponents.
Building on these successes, the three signatory governments -- Canada, the United States and Mexico -- agreed one year ago in Monterrey to a North American initiative to enhance productivity and create common markets in selected industries. They began developing a regional strategy for managing energy and science and technology.
But any future efforts to deepen integration must contain a political dimension if NAFTA is to maintain its legitimacy.
North American integration cannot be neatly compartmentalized into economic and political categories, because success in the former generates pressure for the latter. NAFTA has created consumers, firms and (to a much lesser extent) employees on a North American scale, but the North American citizen has been left behind.
Cultivating a notion of "citizenship" with respect to NAFTA (and any other continental institutions that may appear on the horizon) is essential to ensuring the success of further economic integration.
"Citizenship" in its broadest sense includes not only the right to equal treatment before the law, but more positive political and social entitlements such as the right to vote and stand for public office, as well as access to publicly funded social services.
We most commonly associate it with swearing-in ceremonies and passports, but its most substantive purpose is to give people a voice in the affairs of the institutions that affect their lives -- which, as NAFTA demonstrates, are becoming increasingly continental in character.
One need only look to the experience of the European Union to understand the importance of citizenship in continental integration.
The 1980s were marked by significant strides to deepen economic integration -- including the free movement of goods, capital and economically active citizens -- that culminated in a single European market in 1992. But it became clear in the 1990s that the channels of political participation were not keeping pace.
As a result, the Maastricht Treaty allowed EU worker-citizens to vote in and stand for local elections in any member nation in which they reside, irrespective of their nationality. This helped transform a "businessmen's Europe" into a "people's Europe," giving the European common market added legitimacy.
The recent draft treaty establishing a constitution for Europe goes even further by enshrining the notion of citizen equality and involving national parliaments in the legislative process of the EU. It also includes concrete provisions for engaging European civil society.
But lessons from Europe can only go so far in a North American context. First, it must be remembered that Europe's integration project was initially fuelled by the political desire to prevent another major European war. NAFTA, by contrast, was a product of business and economic forces, and its institutional footprint has always been small.www.canada.com/vancouver/vancouversun/news/editorial/story.html?id=808429f9-1bf1-4a80-a9fa-c689660c4e4e