Election day is next Tuesday and Americans are poised to make one of the most critical decisions in US history. With Obama leading in many polls, Democrats have allowed themselves to be cautiously optimistic. As such, you probably haven’t heard as much of the “If the Dems lose I’m moving to Canada” chatter that emanated from the blue states in 2000 and 2004. In a recent review of Phil Zuckerman’s “Society without God: What the Least Religious Nations Can Tell Us About Contentment,” Salon columnist Louis Bayard discussed why potential expatriates might shift their glances towards Scandinavia if McCain wins.
Zuckerman’s book, as well as Bayard’s column, focus less on Scandinavians’ high life expectancy, healthcare, economies and social mores and instead channel their energies on religion and faith. Scandinavians live in predominantly secular cultures. Bayard notes that,
As few as 24 percent of Danes and as few as 16 percent of Swedes believe in a personal deity. (In America, that figure is close to 90 percent.) In Scandinavia, belief in life after death hovers in the low 30 percent range, as opposed to 81 percent in America. Some 82 percent of Danes and Swedes believe in evolution, while roughly 10 percent believe in hell. Their rate of weekly church attendance is among the lowest on Earth.
Ideally, people who are disenchanted with the outcome of the election will remain in The States and help fight for their causes. If I was inclined to leave my homeland, however, I don’t think I’d head to Scandinavia. I loved my visits to Iceland and Sweden but I’m not so sure that a long, dark Nordic winter would soothe my soul should the American electorate let me down. And Scandinavia’s suicide rate is twice that of the United States’. I wonder if that has anything to do with their high rate of alcoholism.
No, I think I’ll stay here and be part of the solution if things don’t go my way. Or head south. I’m a warm weather guy. Hmm, maybe I should check out the tax laws in Chile.
Would you leave the States based on the outcome of the election? Where would you go? Drop us a line in the comments.