The Case For Cascadian Independence
In the last few decades, it has become a growing opinion among residents of Pacific Northwestern North America that it would be within the economic and cultural interests of the people to secede from both the United States and Canada. In doing this, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia would all simultaneously secede from their respective countries and form an independent nation. This sovereign state would be known as Cascadia.
It has become a somewhat common occurrence for northwesterners to hold this secessionist opinion towards the current government. Of course the point to be made among secessionists would be that breaking away would definitely in their interest. (Which it is.) However, many people see this idea as a delusion concocted by radicals and environmentalists. The fact is that the culture shared between northwesterners cannot be compared to any other regional similarities. A person from Seattle would certainly relate way easier to a person from Vancouver than a person from Toronto. In saying this, it would also be easier for a person from Kootenay to communicate with a person from Walla Walla than somebody from Montana. The culture is simply tied to tightly between Cascadians that it is unlike any connection that borders can divide. This cultural mosaic surpasses the 49th parallel with sheer cultural similarity.
Secondly, aside from cultural reasons, it would be in the economic interest of the people of Cascadia to secede from their respective countries. Without support from either the US or Canada, Cascadia would have a GDP Per Capita of a little over $40,000 USD. This would put it at 8th globally, a little more than Germany. In addition to this economic facet, many crucial global industries come from the Pacific Northwest. Included in these industries would be agriculture, forestry, entertainment, fishing, technology, tourism and hydro-electric power. These industries would put Cascadia in a cozy position to soak up sweet trade deals with both the US and Canada, who require these industries to sustain their own populace and economy.
In addition to the economic factors surrounding Cascadia, there are political issues that would encourage secession from the US and Canada. It seems that in both Canadian and American elections, there has been a commonality between British Columbia, Washington and Oregon. This political commonality is that all three of these regions are all quite left leaning in how they have voted in federal, provincial/state, and municipal elections. Take for example British Columbia. There has not been a conservative leaning Premier of BC since 1991. Every premier since then has either belonged to the New Democratic Party or the Liberal Party, both of which are fairly left-leaning. Even in the 2015 Canadian federal elections, British Columbia only managed to put forth 10 Members of Parliament representing the Conservative Party, the rest of whom are either Liberal, NDP, or Green.
Regarding the States of Washington and Oregon, both of these have voted very much in favor of the Democratic Party in recent federal and state elections. Washington has not garnered a Republican Governor since 1985. Every governor since then has hailed from the Democratic Party. It seems that the State of Oregon votes quite similarly to both BC and Washington, as the state has not had a Republican Governor since 1987.
This same pattern carries into federal elections as well, within the United States. Both of these states were dominated by the Democratic Party in the 2016 Presidential election. In Oregon, all seven delegates were given to the Democratic Party. Meanwhile in Washington, all eight delegates were given to the Democrats as well. In addition to this, in both of these states, Senator Bernie Sanders had won the Democratic Primary races by a very large margin. In Washington, Bernie Sanders won with 72.7% of the vote, while in Oregon he won with 56.2% of the voters on his side.
What can we draw from these statistics? Well to start, we can see that left-wing candidates are a far more popular choice among voters than their conservative counterparts in both Oregon and Washington. North of the border, we find the same pattern, the pattern that conservatives are quite unpopular choices for voters. Through this, we can extrapolate that if Cascadia were to become an independent nation from both the United States and Canada, it would most likely run on a social democratic system similar to that of former Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.
In conclusion, it appears as a great option for citizens of Cascadia to secede from their respective nations and become an independent nation. After all, it would most certainly be within their collective benefit to do so. However, if this hypothetical secession were to take place, it would most likely happen through a referendum run by the federal governments of the United States and Canada. Unfortunately, It is simply impossible for one to imagine that the most powerful country on earth would allow two crucial states to secede from the union with as much ease as a simple referendum. There would frankly be too much economic loss dealt to the United States to make it a viable option. It seems that for the time being, Cascadia will continue to live on in the hearts of Pacific Northwesterners until the time is right. Cascadian independence may never happen on paper, but the movement’s legacy will live on forever.