The Shotgun Blog
Sunday, August 28, 2005
Western Alienation 101
Candace, of Waking Up On Planet X has pulled together a retrospective of news items covering the National Energy Program and the creation of Petro-Canada.
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Great note for those of us who need to be reminded. It should be noted that when the Liberals ( Federal)collect too much money in taxes it is called fiscal prudence. As the blog notes this is then used to secure the vote of the people who generated the tax revenue in the first place. When Alberta's government generates royalities from the oil and gas industry and pays off its debt it gets nervous.Big brother (Ottawa) has a history of raiding it's coffers. This gets real interesting when one considers the noises being made by Premier McGinty.The Federal Lieberals need to fight off the NDP and CPC in vote rich in order to win a majority. My guess is that Dalton's whining is not falling on deaf Federal ears. With the recent resurgance of anti Americanism ( DENIED PUBLICLY , FOSTERED PRIVATELY)Mr Klein and Albertans have cause to be nervous. The federal Lieberals are truly making Albertan's feel like a minnow in a tank full of sharks. This can only continue to spurr calls for Western Separation.
Posted by: EL | 2005-08-28 10:50:28 AM
Thanks for the link!
Posted by: Candace | 2005-08-28 11:55:21 AM
There is no such thing as western "alienation." "Alienation" requries one to be removed from a the "pure" source, as one finds for instance in exile literature. Westerners certainly don't consider themselves exiles from the east, no matter what their cousins they left behind think.
Instead of "alienation," I suggest using the term, "indignation." Or "righteous indignation," if you prefer.
Posted by: Tom | 2005-08-28 1:32:17 PM
Tom: you are quite right.
Alberta cannot be alienated from Canada since we were never Canadian. To the east, we're just mountain people, hillbillies and rednecks (forgive the racist term) - in need of *AHEM* their help and some civilization.
Well, they can stick their civilization where the sun don't shine - Hans Island. Keep your greedy mitts off Alberta's property. Start changing your ways before you ask us for help.
Posted by: Scott | 2005-08-28 2:18:05 PM
Let's assume for a second that Paul Martin is serious about Senate reform as they need to win votes in the West in order to form a majority government. From a Liberal strategist's perspective, this could be my Senate reform blueprint:
BC – 12
AB – 12
SK – 6
MB - 6
ON – 12
QC - 24
NB - 6
NS - 6
PEI - 3
NF - 6
Territories - 3
If implemented, what impact could this have on Liberal fortunes west of Manitoba?
Posted by: Doug | 2005-08-28 10:00:41 PM
If Canada is to become a constitutional republic then its president must be DIRECTLY ELECTED as a a constitutional head of State like those of the Irish Republic, Switzerland, Germany and the Czeck Repubic. All major political and constitutional positions - including the Supreme Court - must be elected(Not appointed) by the Federal Parliament for a fixed time.
As a true republic Canada cannot even consider remaining in the Commonwealth, most certainly not with African 3rd world dictatorships and corrupt governments still being "tolerated" by many Commonwealth members solely for diplomatic expediency!
Along with an elected Presidency must come total constitutional reform including a Triple E Senate, elected and equal Supreme Court and an elected and far smaller balanced government (from the Commons) that truly represents the 5 regions rather the political parties.
West Vancouver, BC
Posted by: Bob Tarplett | 2005-08-29 12:02:18 AM
Doug, you've missed the point. "Equal representation" wrt Senate means "EQUAL" - why would Quebec get 24? Because the constitution (either BNA or Charter) says so?
But to change the structure of the senate, we have to amend same. Which requires signatures from, if not all, then the majority of, provinces. Which Quebec and Ontario will never ever do.
So quit wasting ours and your time with hypotheses that will never, ever see the light of day.
Posted by: Candace | 2005-08-29 1:51:31 AM
One major milestone in western alienation was absent:
One of the most important "clips" would have been a recording of the meeting of the western Premiers and PET for the monumental event held in Calgary in 1973, the Western Economic Opportunities Conference (WEOC) meetings. It was a milestone in the evolution of western Canada’s relationship with the federal government…...but you won't find clips readily available (if any), even though it was televised, it was an obvious federal bribe of the western premiers which failed...good Liberal historical revisionists have hidden these tapes deep in the vaults and hope they never see light again...for good reason…no Fed-Lib flunky wants to remember the day PET and Liberal welfare state nepotism were sent packing by the western leadership.
Pierre Trudeau came west in 1973 fresh from a massive electoral loss in the west and now planning to showcase the federal government’s “assistance to the West” but was met by solidarity among western premiers determined to address longstanding confederal/constitutional grievances and force the federal government to dramatically change its policies toward the region. The Western “opportunities?” meeting was a "deal" which PET and Ottawa hammered together to approximate the Atlantic Opportunities pact....we all know what that was......a regional Fed payola trough in exchange for expanding Fed powers/taxation in the region...essentially the pact made Atlantic Canada a perennial economic basket case and reliant federal welfare client. The western primers unanimously declined this Liberal “olive branch” offer of welfare state reliance and second-class province serfdom.
Dave Barrett of BC, Peter Lougheed from Alberta, Allan Blakeney of Saskatchewan, and Edward Schreyer from Manitoba were wary of Pet’s bribe...they all had developing resource industries with massive revenue potential and they had to decide if taking some short term revenues from the Feds in exchange for allowing the feds into control and tax in their jurisdictions would deplete the provinces of full resource-based prosperity down the road.... much like the feds destroyed the Atlantic economy with their resource grab/mismanagement. They decided against the cheap bribe and focused of trying to resolve regional economic irritations like the Crow rate and federal wheat marketing monopoly.
By the end of the conference, a frustrated Pierre Trudeau banged the gavel and announced the end to the “one and only” Western Economic Opportunities Conference. With this symbolic gesture, Trudeau concluded a conference that failed to meet the federal government’s goal of spreading its message and impressing western voters. From the West’s perspective, this signaled a 32 year ideological vendetta the Fed-Libs ran against the west….this has actually escalated to economic malice with the National wheat board, NEP, Kyoto, nepotistic revenue transfer formulas etc.
However, more importantly to the modern west’s evolution, this conference signaled several things that remain at the core of politics in today’s west:
1) The failure of PET to address western concerns in the WEOC precipitated the first meeting of the now annual western premier’s conference.
2) It enunciated a profound hunger for change to Status quo Federalism as practiced by Ottawa.
3) It was another monumental snub by the arrogant PET and Fed-Libs towards the west which spawned an atmosphere of self reliance in isolation within the western region.
4) The WEOC failure represents a dire need for decision-makers and citizens alike to endeavor to break the pattern of dysfunctional, often hostile, federal-provincial relations that has burdened the less populous regions of the country for the last 32 years.
5) At the conference, these prototype western leaders enunciated for the first time the representational void within the federal system which sits at the core of today’s so-called “western alienation” …these were; ineffectual regionally disproportionate senate, obtuse party discipline, undemocratic appointment powers and non-linear application of constitutional jurisdiction. These were the core issues of Reform, CA and now CPC…these are the key complaints of the Alberta separation movement….we need not spend million to have MP Stronach investigate “western alienation”…the key contentions were amply expressed in Trudeau’s 1973 western conference and these issues remain unchanged, unresolved irritants of the west to this day.
Posted by: WLMackenzie redux | 2005-08-29 11:29:18 AM
...more fuel for western alienation...
Re. Ottawa Sun column
Dear Ottawa Sun Editor,
I am shocked by columnist Val Sears'
description of Alberta as a "porcine province" as
procine means "piggish" or "like a swine". It
is troubling that this comment was inserted into
an otherwise reasonable critique of Stephen
Harper and Conservative politics. Comments like
this would spark national outrage if they were
directed at any other province. I believe Val
Sears owes Albertans an apology or at the very
least a correction to say that he meant
"Alberta's government" is porcine.
Posted by: Ian | 2005-08-31 8:47:16 AM
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