Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Alberta should seperate

Updated and Bumped

Professor Leon Craig lays out reasons for Alberta seperation

Alberta, he says, should go it alone.

Almost overnight, we would become one of the most prosperous nations in the world.

But -- and this is his key point -- the main reason to secede is not because Albertans would have more money. Not that there's anything wrong with money.

More importantly, we would create a country that reflects our own political and social beliefs, values and traditions, and our understanding of the common good.

Canada, says Craig, has been so badly governed since the Trudeau era, it has doomed itself to a Third World, banana republic fate.

We will become -- are in fact becoming -- the Argentina of the 21st century.

Political corruption gets rewarded instead of punished, productivity slides, and the opportunistic politics of envy becomes the basis of our whole system of national government.

The only promising place left in Canada, he concludes, is Alberta.

And Alberta owes it to itself, to its future citizens, and to like-minded people in the rest of the country to save itself.

As a sovereign and independent nation, he suggests, our population -- viable to begin with -- would double in 10 years, even allowing for a welcome exodus of Albertans who would be happier back in Canada.

Far more good people move to take advantage of opportunity than flee from it.

Our social policies -- marriage and family matters, medicare, civil and religious freedoms, etc. -- would no longer be imposed by the Supreme Court and a handful of Ottawa mandarins.

We could establish our own laws to deal with crime and punishment, and our own separate relationship with the Americans.

If we don't do these things now, he says, we'll sink with the Canadian ship.

The professor dismisses the idea of "refederating" Canada along its original lines of strong provinces and a small central government.

He thinks the rest of the country is too far gone to change back to what it was.

He even gives short shrift to the "West."

Any attempt to create a new federalism, even in the West, he believes will fail. If other western provinces, or parts of provinces, want to join Alberta, by becoming part of it, they should be welcomed.

All that binds Albertans to Canada, he concludes, is sentiment -- an attachment to Canada's once-illustrious military and pioneer past, and to our own provincial part in it.

We must now face the fact that the old Canada is gone forever and the new Canada is disgusting.

Maybe I'm just an optimist, but I am not entirely convinced that strengthening the provinces won't at least cause something of a check to the current corrupt governing that seems to be accepted as the norm by many Canadians. That said, he does make a strong case, and in at least some regard he is right, and I'm beginning to think that Alberta's seperation (and hopefully-and likely-Saskatchewan along with it) is essentially inevitable.

I will go on the record saying that Alberta will likely be gone within the next five years, and should the Liberals manage to either win the next election or hold the CPC to a weak minority, they will definitely be gone. This is something that I would never have imagined two years ago.


From the Shotgun

What if Alberta were to separate? Would what is left of Canada become more left-wing and interventionist? Would the rest of us go along with the trend toward looking to Ottawa for solutions to problems?

Would Alberta also become more of a nanny state as its gubmnt struggled with how to distribute the largess from its oil resources? [For example, see The Emirates Economist for a multitude of stories on how the United Arab Emirates intervenes in the marketplace, in part to make its nationals better off but without allowing ex-patriots to share in the gains]. Would the Alberta gubmnt start providing more "free" health care, "free" education, "free" highways, "low-cost" housing, "low-cost" insurance, etc? If so, it would lose much of what Craig thinks has made it so successful up until now.

My guess is that if Alberta were to separate from the rest of Canada, the division of oil revenues would lead to gubmnt policies that would slowly erode the rugged individualism that made Alberta the success story it has become.

Another point which would lead towards eventual trouble is the simple loss of the culture of alienation, us westerners define ourselves in a large part by the slights of Ottawa past and present and yet to come, as an idependant nation, we would have only ourselves to blame.