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Merger of the Century: Why Canada and America Should Become One Country    by Diane Francis order for
Merger of the Century
by Diane Francis
Order:  USA  Can
Harper, 2013 (2013)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Although it may seem to make a lot of sense, the fact remains that the chances of the United States and Canada combining into one country are between slim and none. Undaunted about the possibility of such a union, Diane Francis in her new book Merger of the Century: Why Canada and America Should Become One Country sets forth all the reasons why such a marriage should take place.

Granted such a merger would be fraught with potential landmines that would sabotage it at nearly every step of the way, but if it succeeded the end product would be a geographical, political and economic superpower that would be unparallel in the international clout it carried.

Both countries currently face a myriad of political and financial problems that such an integration would solve. Before setting forth her ideas on why a merger should occur, the author addresses some of the shortcomings such a union would alleviate.

But not only does Francis make a logical case for such a momentous restructuring of the two neighbors, but she also suggests ways that this could be accomplished. 'The aim is to quantify Canada's value to Americans so they realize just how important Canada is to their future, and make Canadians realize America's importance to them along with the need for more integration, if not an outright merger,' writes Francis.

She continues, 'I examine world business and political trends, border conflicts, the vanishing options available for America and Canada in their current incarnations, the synergies of a merger, five ways to structure a deal and how to finance a deal, how political resistance and differences could be addressed, and the options available if there is no merger in the near or far future.'

Even if one doesn't agree with the major premise of this book, there's much to be learned about both countries by reading it. For example, according to Francis, one in ten Canadians live full or part time in the U.S. and over 600,000 First Nations members living in Canada have both U.S. and Canadian citizenship as stipulated by the 1794 Jay Treaty.

As many people realize, crossing the border between the two countries since 9-ll and the imposition of new anti-terrorist measures has become more of a headache for both Americans and Canadians. Not only is this inconvenient but it is also causing trade problems and unnecessary tensions must be addressed.

Granted, a book like this is intended to both raise the consciousness and begin a discussion on both sides of the border. Any union of two countries this large would be complex and fraught with problems but, as the author points out, to not seriously explore the possibility would be foolhardy.

Joined together, the survival of the citizens of both nations would certainly be assured while if they continue to travel their separate ways, the future may well hold some economic, political and social pitfalls that could bring about unwanted and detrimental changes that nobody wants.

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