For millions of people around the world, Canadian citizenship is a sought after prize. Not so much for Texas Senator Ted Cruz, or rather Canadian-born Texas Senator Ted Cruz. For the 43-year-old Republican, his Canadianness presents an embarrassing political stumbling block.
Mr. Cruz has not yet revealed whether he'll be running for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016. (Like any self-respecting Canadian, his indecisiveness verges on art.) And technically, because his American mother's nationality automatically made him an American at birth -- he was, ahem, born in Calgary – there's absolutely nothing in the U.S. Constitution that bars him from seeking the presidency.
Still, he says, he'd rather not be Canadian. Not even a little bit. "Nothing against Canada, but I'm an America by birth and as a U.S. senator; I believe I should be only an American."
No offense taken, sir. Your fellow Canadians are unflinchingly polite. We sincerely apologize for inconveniencing you with our citizenship. And we don't hold grudges – why, not even against someone willing to shut down Washington in an attempt to kill Barack Obama's plan to make U.S. health care more affordable and fair (i.e. Canadian).
Listen, if you want to forfeit your right to a Canadian passport, and distance yourself from this land of socialized medicine, gay marriage and gun control, we understand. But, future former citizen, what's the hold up? As one immigration lawyer said: "Unless there's a security issue that hasn't been disclosed, unless there's a mental health issue that hasn't been disclosed, there's no reason for anything other than a lickety-split process to occur."
Before you act, listen to Conrad Black, who offered you this sage advice: "He's making a mistake; he'll never go higher in the U.S. electoral system than he is now, and Canada's a better governed country than the U.S."
Mr. Black gave up his Canadian citizenship to accept a peerage. And then what happened? Things went south, and not just metaphorically, taking him from the House of Lords to The Big House. It's not too late for you, Mr. Cruz.
And if you decide to renounce your claim to Canada, watch your step on the way out, and don't slip on the ice.