The Null Device

Don't like it here? Then leave.

Increasingly many Americans are looking to move to Canada. The reasons range from dismay with the neo-conservative political monoculture since 9/11 to canny consumers shopping for a better social contract (i.e., health care, decriminalised marijuana, tougher gun laws and/or gay marriage), or just for more pleasant weather (and not everybody agrees that "good weather" means "hot and sunny").

Which makes me wonder: now that Howard is hell-bent on remaking Australia in his own image, transforming a formerly liberal, pluralistic social democracy into a warlike, xenophobic, censorious, paternalistic corporate cowboy state, are Australian small-L-liberals emigrating en masse to anywhere? Is New Zealand going to be full of left-leaning Australian expatriates in 10 years' time, for example? Or are those who don't fit in in Howard's Australia going to be either squatting in Earl's Court and pulling pints in pubs (in the hope that Phony Blair pretends to not be a complete and utter Tory) or else building some kind of neo-Whitlamite Port Watson somewhere on the beaches of Thailand or Papua New Guinea?

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