|A Steampunk Vision of the New World Order|
It is, in the end, rather odd that the significant English-speaking nations are not united, especially given their proven talent for creating federations. You will laugh, of course. The idea of a united Anglosphere died with the United Empire movement in the 1920s, didn't it? Instead, we all broke up into independent states.
I imagine, though, the preference for independence may have had something to do with always having the good fortune to have one of our number at our back as the world's leading nation. This so, there was little need to unite, and some advantage to complete self-government.
Suppose, though, that China does get close to surpassing the US in economic or military power. What then? Might things then look a little different? Just as Europe, after centuries of fierce fighting, saw the wisdom of unity over being superceded by Russia and America?
Speaking of which, of course, there is also the awkward fact that Britain has already committed itself to a different union, the EU. But then, isn't the EU starting to look a little frayed? Some are actuallty speaking of it coming apart over the current sovereign debt crisis. Even if it does not, if the rest of the English-speaking world began to coalesce, could Britain stand to be left on the sidelines?
So why not a grand federation, with an Imperial Parliament, after all? It might have been impractical in the 1920s. Improved transportation and communicatrions make it much more doable now. As with the EU, members might retain most sovereignty, but speak with one voice on trade, in defense, and in foreign affairs.
I theorize four qualifications for membership in this federation, with prospective members needing to meet three of the four.
First, English should be either the majority language or the de facto lingua franca. This for the sake of social cohesion. It more or less automatically implies some shared culture: a shared legal tradition, some shared history.
Second, the nation should be a functioning democracy with respect for basic human rights. We want to avoid a dictator's club, for all the reasons the United Nations is ineffective. Moreover, given this requirement, the union could serve as a guarantee of democracy and human rights for all member citizens.
Third, the nation should be an island or peninsula. This is important for defensibility, with the assumption that the union would be primarily a sea power. Otherwise, a military union might get itself into commitments it could not afford to keep.
I would add a fourth qualification, personally: that a majority of the citizens of any member state should be declared monotheists. I think this is important as a guarantee of shared values, without which the federation as a whole would lack direction, principle, or cohesion, and is the practical bare minimum in this regard.
Who would be in the federation? Britain, of course: if it could be teased out of the EU. Ireland too, on the same condition. Just as the EU protects it from undue influence from the UK, so would this alternative. Australia and New Zealand plainly qualify. The USA fits, but for not being a peninsula. Canada, with or without Quebec; an assortment of Caribbean islands, from the Bahamas to Trinidad. It looks to me as though the Philippines could get in, and ought to be welcome. Singapore seems to qualify as well. India looks like a marginal possibility.
A pretty formidable nation, if it were fully coordinated. One on which the sun might never set.
I hold out for Detroit as capital. Defensible, on the border with Canada, and lots of cheap real estate.