STORY BY BROOKLYN FELL
Ever dream of making a trip to Disneyland, or maybe Hollywood Boulevard?
It may a little bit easier with the social media phenomenon of #CalExit.
CalExit began as a campaign for California’s independence from the rest of the United States in 2019 in a state-wide referendum, but has quickly spun into the possibility as joining Canada as another province.
This campaign originally was inspired by news of the Scottish referendum in 2014 to separate from the United Kingdom, and has gained traction since the election of President Donald Trump.
With the overwhelming Democratic support on the West coast in the election, California has spearheaded many protests opposing President Trump including the Women’s March last month, which was the country’s largest protest to date.
“As the sixth largest economy in the world, California is more economically powerful than France and has a population larger than Poland. Point by point, California compares and competes with countries, not just the 49 other states,” says the Yes California website advertising the campaign.
However, California is not alone.
Other states to hop on the “join Canada” bandwagon include Oregon, Washington and even Nevada, prompting other clever hashtags like #WashExit and #OreGone and maps to include those states as a part of Canada.
According the Seattle Times, the American West coast has long been working with our West coast to combat climate change.
“I think that would require many assumptions: first that California would leave, second that the federal government would let them leave, and last that we would take them,” says Sheridan professor Nathan Mallett.
“California has a huge population and a great economy, but we would have to weigh out whether we’d like to double our population and how that would effect us. We also need to think about the last time states wanted to leave the Union 150 years ago which developed into a four-year war with over 600,000 killed.”
“I don’t think it’ll work on an economic standpoint because California has many different factors that affect them that don’t coincide with Canadian factors,” said University of Toronto Economics graduate Andrew McGuille.
“I also think geographically they may feel excluded to Canadian culture due to the space between them.”
There has been no official word from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about the phenomenon however it hasn’t stopped people from tweeting him.
Though the movement is entirely hypothetical it has prompted Canadians to wonder “What if?”
“I think it hypothetically may work due to the overwhelming distaste for the current president may result in some form of Canadian patriotism,” said Sheridan Business student Prableen Kaur.
“Canada is an inclusive country. I know from experience being an immigrant myself and I think that given the situation that we would welcome those states with open arms.”