War Between Democracies in the 21st Century

This WorldChanging post was written by Jamais Cascio in July 2005. As part of our WorldChanging Canada editorial retrospective, celebrating two years of WorldChanging Canada, we're also re-printing a few particularly stimulating pieces about Canada from the global WorldChanging blog


It's a truism that democracies tend not to go to war with each other. And it's hard to imagine what sorts of conditions would lead to two long-standing democracies with relatively pacific characters to come to blows. But Denmark and Canada are in a dispute over territory, a dispute that is taking an ominous turn. Hans Island, a half-mile square rock roughly midway between Canada and Greenland, is claimed by both nations; a recent visit to the island by the Canadian Defense Minister triggered a protest from Denmark. As a result, both Denmark and Canada have taken their struggle over the Arctic island to... Google Ads.

Toronto resident Rick Broadhead googled the matter and found an ad that touted Hans Island as Danish. [...] Internet users clicking on the ad were directed to the Danish Foreign Ministry's Web site.

So Broadhead paid for his own Google ad and created a Web site to promote Ottawa's sovereignty. His Google ad leads users to a fluttering Maple Leaf flag and plays the national anthem.

A quick check of Google shows that Broadhead is not alone in this now. Is this the flip-side of the decentralization of warfare?

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