Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Oxymoron of uniting separatists.

Alberta is fertile ground for spawning political parties and there is no shortage of ones that have a separatist leaning. To name a few; the Western Canada Concept, the Republic of Alberta, the Republic of Western Canada, the Alberta Independence Party, the Separation Party of Alberta, the Western Block Party and maybe one or two that I have missed. These cover both federal and provincial endeavors.

They have a couple things in common:

1) Generally it is the same perennial group of people trying to catch a wave of angry Albertans.
2) They are considered just extreme enough that it is difficult for the general public to take them seriously.

It is no secret I have a soft spot for these guys, however I have a stronger belief in Canada and would prefer Alberta strengthen its position within our country. So it is no surprise this has been the source of many heated discussions in our household.

It only took four short weeks of campaigning, when Cory ran as a SPA candidate, for me to realize the S pill is way too big for people to swallow. Sure others will point to surveys that say 20+ or 30+ percentage of Albertans are willing to discuss or explore independence, but the reality is they will never, en masse, support a party whose sole goal is separation and actually put an X on the ballot for such a party.

I have a strong belief that for those who want to pursue independence and educate other Albertans of the benefits; it should be done through an advocacy or lobby group. That group can then pressure the government of the day to put it forth on a referendum as per the Clarity Act.

When people ask me what they can do towards this goal I make two general suggestions.

1) Contact your MLA; determine their position or in the case of some parties, the party position. Also look at the parties platforms; do they have a position on the Clarity Act and referenda.

2) Direct them to the Alberta Agenda website, which is an off-shoot of the Alberta Residents League.

The ARL has been organized and operating for over six years. They have been successful in developing a network across the province. They actively advertise and educate Albertans on the advantages of the Alberta Agenda items. They have also dedicated a lot of time (and I suspect funds) in solid research of the Agenda items.

Which brings us to the newest kid on the block, the Western Business and Taxpayers Association who in their initial press release announced the; “Separatist Business and Taxpayers Association Created.” They started out saying they might just a group or they might morph into a party. Since then they seem to have dropped the party goal. Bouquets of Gray has done a superb job of following the developments.

I know many of the individuals who are on the WBTA board. I will not comment on their individual strengths or weaknesses, but I would like to call into question why they are trying to invent something that already exists with the Alberta Agenda group? Why not put their efforts behind something that is up and running?

As a CFO for a provincial party, the other thing I must really question is what they intend to do with the funds they raise. They say they will “… fund any and all who share our vision of a new nation.” From this and one of their other points it would appear they will be making funds available to candidates and/or parties. Which begs the question; why would one donate to them rather than directly to the candidate or party and receive the tax benefit of it?

The long and short of this is that we do have separatist leaning individuals in our province; they certainly are not a majority by any means. And until they can “unite” those who want to "separate", it is unlikely to get any traction.

7 comments:

  1. Hi Jane

    I was quite pleased to come across your name when I Googled WBTA. It has been a few years. I hope all is well with you and Cory and please do say hello to Cory for me.

    I always enjoy reading your comments. You are probably aware; the WBTA is not a political organization but rather an association to garner support for a political party yet to be chosen. I thought I should declare this should anyone get the impression that it is a political party.

    You made a comment, which I found quite pertinent regarding strengthening Alberta’s position within Canada. For me there comes a point at which one must look at other options particularly when there is consistent failure in the system. For a stronger Alberta, in or out of Canada this dialog must proceed.

    My rational is Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity, “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.

    I wanted to drop by and say hello, I will be in touch with further updates.

    Warmest Regards
    Dan Doherty

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  2. When people are pushed long and hard enough, it's only a matter of time before such a move is given serious consideration.

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  3. Hi Jane

    I'm not sure if my original post made it through. Here it is again in the event that it did not. I corrected the timeline as I originally posted years when in fact it has been months. I missed it during my editing. My apologies & Warmest Regards.

    Dan



    Hi Jane

    I was quite pleased to come across your name when I Googled WBTA. It has been a few months. I hope all is well with you and Cory and please do say hello to Cory for me.

    I always enjoy reading your comments. You are probably aware; the WBTA is not a political organization but rather an association to garner support for a political party yet to be chosen. I thought I should declare this should anyone get the impression that it is a political party.

    You made a comment, which I found quite pertinent regarding strengthening Alberta’s position within Canada. For me there comes a point at which one must look at other options particularly when there is consistent failure in the system. For a stronger Alberta, in or out of Canada this dialog must proceed.

    My rational is Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity, “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.

    I wanted to drop by and say hello, I will be in touch with further updates.

    Warmest Regards
    Dan Doherty

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Werner and Dan,

    Thanks for commenting. Dan your first one did make it, I just haven't been online much.

    Things are a bit hectic with my daughter being 10 days overdue.

    I will respond in greater detail to your comments, but it might be a few days.

    Cheers,
    Jane

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  5. Jane,

    Diappointing to see you so negative on this.

    I did not really expect anything less from Paul Hinman supporters.

    David Crutcher

    PS I guarantee you this. The WBTA will have more funds, members and organization than the Wildrose Alliance under Paul Hinman ever will. I tried working with the Wildrose Alliance and other avenues and they do not work. It is time to go. And when you realize this feel free to call me.

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  6. Jane

    Well, I suppose congratulations are in order! I hope by the time you read this she will be in her Mom’s arms. My niece in Victoria is due any day although I don’t think she knows if it will be a boy or a girl. Anyway, I could not resist dropping by again and offering you and Cory my very best wishes.

    Stay in touch and email me as soon as she is born.

    Take Care
    Dan

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  7. Two things come clear to mind about Alberta Independence:

    1) 90% of everyone who joins Alberta Separatist organizations (and 100% of everyone who starts one) sort of dreams that they will be the first President/Premier/King of an Independent Alberta. This is why there's so many groups with only 10-20 members.

    2) There are huge numbers of "moderate" separatists who are in favour of leaving Canada. Unfortunately, they are mostly nonpolitical (unless there's a Liberal coup attempt in Ottawa or something). Huge numbers of people I talk to bring up their support for Alberta Independence but never do anything to act on it.

    ReplyDelete