Petition aims to 'sell' Montana to Canada

Montana's Big Sky Resort would presumably be part of the bargain if the US state is sold to Canada.
Montana's Big Sky Resort would presumably be part of the bargain if the US state is sold to Canada.

More than 9000 people have signed a petition to "sell" Montana to Canada for $US1 trillion ($A1.4 trillion) and use the proceeds to pay down the national debt.

"We have too much debt and Montana is useless," says the text of the Change.org petition launched last week.

To get Canada to agree, "Just tell them it has beavers or something."

That's the entirety of the "cause," though the slew of comments tacked onto the end by people giving their reasons for signing fleshed that out, as names were being added every three to four minutes this week.

Commenters sing the praises of beavers, welcome Montanans to Canada, and offer them free health care and of course legalised pot. Montanans like the idea because, Canada.

"Will save me the cost of moving to Canada," wrote one commenter.

"MT resident here that will gladly join Canada. The US is a mess and POTUS is an embarrassment," said another, referring to President Donald Trump and the current climate of unease gripping the nation.

"I have my reasons lol but I'll just say Goodbye lol," said another.

Others offered to throw more states into the bargain, or begged to have theirs added.

"Will Canada consider adopting North Dakota as well?" asked one.

"Montana really is useless, and throw in Idaho!" said another.

"Montana will make a beautiful addition to Canada. Let Michigan be next," said another.

Montana's Great Falls Tribune newspaper, which first reported on the petition, had some questions of its own - including, but not limited to, "Would Montana still be named Montana or would we be Southern Alberta? Better Saskatchewan?" and "Does the universal health care start right away or is there a waiting period?"

Question Number 1 was, "How dare you?" and "Can we take Yellowstone National Park with us?"

There would be cultural differences too, the paper noted. For one, would Montanans get to keep their guns? As well as, "What line comes after 'O Canada!' in the national anthem? And then all the other lines."

Clearly there would be a fair number of details to iron out. But with the signatures fast piling up, there would be plenty of people willing to work on them.

The original poster, incongruously, is someone listed as Ian Hammond from Alabama, who submitted the tongue-in-cheek petition under the name "Christian moms against private education."

While the petition's entertainment value is increasing with each signature and comment, it would not make much of a dent in the national debt even if it were true.

Currently the number is a staggering $US22 trillion ($A31 trillion).

Australian Associated Press