bee out of confederal Canada and into the waiting arms of thernUnited States.rnLament envisions a “Pacific alhance whose other membersrn[include] Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington,”rna postindustrial economic powerhouse rich in raw materialsrnwith a gross annual product of some $280 billion. An independentrnCascadia would be the ninth wealthiest nation on earth—rnbut that is not on the agenda. “In short,” writes Lamont, “Cascadiarnor Pacifica, as the new region was variously tagged,rnconstitute [s] a perfect vehicle for the gradual assimilation ofrnCanada’s drifting provinces into the American matrix.” Lamontrncites a story related by former Canadian Prime MinisterrnJohn Turner. At “a raucous dinner in 1992,” at a restaurant outsidernVancouver, one of the businessmen present turned to thernPrime Minister and said, “only half in jest, ‘John, tell us how torncut a deal with the United States. We’re ready to join.'”rnUnlike the Quebecers, says Lamont, Britisli Columbian separatismrn”is a mind-set grounded not in bitterness but in optimism”rnanimated by a need to break free of feuding Easterners.rnMuch of the enthusiasm, however, seems to be coming fromrnthe other side of the border, where potential deal-makers arernchamping at the bit. The center of Cascadian regionalism isrnthe ostensibly free market-oriented Discovery Institute, headquarteredrnin downtown Seattle. Endorsed by Steve Eorbes,rnCeorge Gilder, and other free market luminaries, this quasilibertarianrnthink tank has set up a “Cascadia Task Eorce” whoserntask is to blur if not completely eliminate the American-Canadianrnborder and whose agenda throws the free market completelvrnoverboard. The Institute savs its purpose “is to discoverrnand promote ideas that can chart the future in the commonrnsense tradition of representative government, the free market,rnand indi idual liberty,” but this is true only if by the free marketrnthe Discoveryites mean plenty of government subsidies forrnbusiness. A major activity of the Cascadia Task Eorce is lobbyingrnfor “renewed and continued expansion of Amtrak servicernfrom Vancouver to Eugene,” as well as improving “intermodalrnconnections through public-private partnerships.”rnFunded by the cities of Seattle and Surrey, British Columbia,rnas well as the Port of Taeoma and the Henry M. Jackson Eoundation,rnthe Cascadia project is pure mercantilism. A helpfulrnmap of Cascadia posted on the Discoery Institute’s website revealsrnthe scope and possible evolution of their ambition; it definesrn”Main Street Cascadia” as Portland, Seattle, Victoria, andrnVancouver. This is surrounded by a shaded area deemed “Cascadia”rnproper, which includes two states, Washington and Oregon,rnand all of British Columbia. An even larger swath of territory,rnstretching from Alaska to Idaho, and including Montana,rnis designated the “Pacific Northwest Economic Region,”rnclearly meant to delineate the outer reaches oi the Cascadianrnempire.rnIn a policy paper issued by the Institute, “Cascadian Adventures:rnShared Visions, Strategic Alliances, and Ingrained Barriersrnin a Transborder Region,” Professor Alan F.J. Artibise of thernL’niersity of British Columbia makes the case for Cascadia inrncultural as well as economic terms. There is, says Artibise, suchrna thing as a “Cascadian culture,” the first principle of which isrnthat “for Cascadians, environmentalism has become a sort ofrnsecular religion.” In the absence of such cultural signposts as arnCascadian literature, Cascadian art, or even Cascadian folkrndances, the author informs us that “the Cascadian region is alsorntied together by sports” and that this constitutes “a sharedrnsports culture.” Bruce Chapman, Discover’ Institute president,rnexults in the fact that “When it comes to baseball, thernMariners have the only major league team in Cascadia . . . onrnaverage, 10 to 13 percent of [Mariner] advance sales are fromrnB.C. and roughly 8 percent from Oregon.” Another major aspectrnof Cascadian high culture is an emphasis on “the quality ofrnlife”: as Artibise puts it, “the ‘lotus land’ stereotype associatedrnwith Cascadia is, in fact, quite accurate.” So here we have it: arnculture of nature worshiping, lotus-eating Mariners’ fans. Getrnready for the Cascadian Renaissance.rnIn its weakness and lack of content, Cascadian “culture”rnseems very Canadian, i.e., virtually nonexistent. But in theserndays of the New Wodd Order, this is considered a virtue: itrnmeans no resistance to the global monoculture and no barriersrnto its corporate tentacles. “In the new global economy,” declaresrnProfessor Artibise, “national borders are less and less important.”rn”Regions,” he claims, “are on their own,” and “thernmessage is to think globally, but act locally (or regionally). Inrnshort, the modern world—especially technology—has transformedrnnotions of territory, space and nation.”rnIn other words, the victory of Cascadian regionalism is an inevitablernconsequence of technological development. Cascadianrnpatriots on both sides of the border can therefore afford to berndiscreet. Instead of pushing their agenda all that loudly, orrnpublicly, they work quietly, and doggedly, to accomplish theirrngoals gradually. One of their projects is the Pacific NorthwestrnEconomic Region (PNWER), what Artibise describes asrn”a public-private partnership” run by a bipartisan DelegaternCouncil and administered by a secretariat located in Seattle.rnPNWER has established nine working groups, where planners,rnbusinessmen, and government officials design regional policy.rnApart from PNWER, there is a whole constellation of businessrnand intergovernmental alliances, partnerships, and forums,rnwhich, adds Artibise, sponsor “a host of cross-border studiesrnand research initiatives on such topics as the environment,rntourism, the economy, the border, transportation, and governance.”rnIf Lamont is right, and British Columbia is admittedrnto the American Union tomorrow, then the bureaucratic infrastructurern—the cross-networking of business and governmentrnin literally dozens of organizations, agreements, alliances,rnand informal “public-private” working groups—is already inrnplace.rnUnion with British Columbia would change the demographicsrnof the Pacific Northwest forever. Two million immigrantsrnfrom the Third World will pour into Canada this decade, manyrnof them Asian. More than 150,000 have so far settled in BritishrnColumbia, whose Lieutenant Governor is the first Chinese-rnCanadian to hold such a post. Across the border, Gary Locke,rnthe first Chinese-American to be elected governor of a state, reflectsrna similar demographic trend; in Washington, the percentagernof Asians and Pacific Islanders has increased nearly 60 percentrnsince 1980, from 214,570 to more than 342,900, the largestrnincrease of any ethnic group. Cascadia is already, in large part,rna colony of the Chinese diaspora; in the event of a mass exodusrnfrom Hong Kong, as people and capital flee a communist crackdown,rnit could become a new (and safer) Taiwan on the eastrnside of the Pacific Rim. Vancouver is already known as “Hongcouver”rnbecause of the influx of wealthy Hong Kong entrepreneurs;rnthe city’s population is now 20 percent Chinese.rnEconomically as well as ethnically, British Columbia isrnincreasingly linked to the Ear East, with 60 percent of its exportsrndestined for China, Japan, and Korea.rnlULY 1997/25rnrnrn