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Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Western independence revisited

Those of you who have been wondering what exactly is behind our new cover story, "A Nation Torn Apart," which is teased on the home page of our Web site, can stop wondering. We've just issued the following news release:

Exclusive poll finds record support for Western independence
36% of Western Canadians consider separation an option

(August 3, 2005) ~ So now the West wants out? An exclusive poll by the Western Standard newsmagazine finds that support for Western independence is at a record high, especially among young people and Albertans. Contributing to the rapid growing support for separation, say respondents, are the federal Liberal party actions in the last few months.

Thirty-six per cent of respondents agreed with the statement, “Western Canadians should begin to explore the idea of forming their own country.” Forty-three per cent of Albertans agreed with the statement, with the greatest level of support coming from the youngest age group (18 to 29 year olds). The poll sampled 1,448 adults in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba and had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

“This poll is groundbreaking,” says Kevin Libin, editor of the Western Standard. “These numbers are the kind we expect from Quebecers. This shows that we have a very serious problem with east-west relations. And things are getting worse – not better.”

Among the contributing factors westerners cited for their growing alienation was the sponsorship scandal and the unorthodox methods used by the Liberals to win their confidence votes. Western Standard is an independent magazine that covers stories that the mainstream media misses. The magazine is published 24 times a year and features columnists such as internationally acclaimed Mark Steyn who writes exclusively for the Western Standard in Canada.

Posted by Terry O'Neill on August 3, 2005 in Canadian Politics | Permalink


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36% of Western Canadians consider separation an option - including 43% of Albertans. (Poll results hosted by Nealenews.)... [Read More]

Tracked on 2005-08-03 12:59:05 PM

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I’m newly Albertan but not a separtist. If the Liberals pull tricks next election I may change my mind. I’m Canadian as long as there is chance to put my boot up those thieving bastards asses. Thats democracy. Take that away and there is n... [Read More]

Tracked on 2005-08-03 3:09:41 PM


Speaking as an Albertan, I think we need a fire wall first. All the other steps that Quebec has taken should be implemented as well.

It's time to talk about what kind of a society we really want to live in and how it should be framed.

All the above will take some time.

Posted by: Speller | 2005-08-03 12:58:23 PM

Kanuckistan, why bother!


Posted by: ghollingshead | 2005-08-03 1:02:13 PM

Given this groundswell of discontent with the status quo, perhaps now the Liberals will start to take Western interests seriously.

Given the reasons cited, the Liberals have no one but themselves to blame.

Posted by: Johnny Librano | 2005-08-03 1:08:20 PM

Western separation or alienation, whichever you prefer is only going to increase as long as liberals control Ottawa.

Next the message must be communicated that Western Separation will cost Toronto far more than Quebec separation.

Posted by: Brian Walsh | 2005-08-03 2:36:52 PM

Can I say I told you so? Can I -

Nah, this much has been obvious for a long time now - why would the west stay in a political system that only extracts their hard earned wealth for use in vote buying in central and eastern cda., denies them any influence or say, belittles, holds them in contempt and uses them as a political foil during elections to scare the Ontario sheep, a system of gov't that not only will not allow any western participation (aside from paying the bills), but actively interferes with areas of responsibility accorded to the provinces but selectively of course (ie private health care delivery OK tacitly OK in Quebec, verboten in Alta).

Only an idiot would stay within such an arrangement - soon those few idiots that remain will be joining their Ontario bretheren as a free and independent economic power-house rises in the west and the sun sets on the economic basket cases of the former canada (a natural result of the removal of the provinces that are paying the freight in confederation).

As a refugee from Ontario now living in the USA, it cannot happen soon enough.

Vive western indepedence (to paraphrase that turd De Gaul)!

Posted by: SEchappe | 2005-08-03 2:37:49 PM

I agree with Speller, lets start with our own pension plan and police force first.

Posted by: ld | 2005-08-03 3:10:27 PM

First! Sorry for my english...

I am from Québec... And i always belive Western Canada gone a be separate before Québec...

I think is gone a be liberal people breaking the contry ! They whant to keep the power centralise to have regard on everything, even if it's should be provincial affaires... They always want more money to generate more biggest scandale and take out lots of money from the publics asset to private pocket...

Federal gouvernment should leave the place to provincial management and take care about coast to coats interest only... Like transportation, comunication and Healty research...

For now is gone be same separate or not... Politics are same people everywhere... Small contry same shit... But they gone a build a cuntry for theyre ass... Not yours...

Posted by: F | 2005-08-03 3:48:15 PM

Good effort F. I understood you very well. I hope to read more from you.

Let us be Masters in Our Own House.

Posted by: Speller | 2005-08-03 3:55:36 PM

"Among the contributing factors westerners cited for their growing alienation was the sponsorship scandal and the unorthodox methods used by the Liberals to win their confidence votes"

Total crap. Talk about push polling.

Posted by: Parliament | 2005-08-03 4:00:01 PM

This is one of the brighter point in the year so far. Let's get on with it Alberta.

Posted by: WLMackenzie redux | 2005-08-03 4:12:22 PM

Anyone else remember when Paul Martin said fixing Western Alienation was one of his 473,823 top priorities? What a riot! But then again, he has done such a horrible job of governing that maybe the CPC can win the next election and give this country what it desperately needs ... a good federal government that does not play regions against one another to stay in power.

Posted by: Alex | 2005-08-03 4:16:32 PM

I agree with F in the following sense. If we don't radically decentralize instutionalized state power in Canada, then I think she's gonna' blow. The regions are simply too independently powerful now for the old Central Canada imperialism to hold.

Posted by: Tony | 2005-08-03 5:19:53 PM

To those in favour of Alberta creating its own version of the CPP - do you have any idea how much this would cost? The unfunded liability that Alberta would take on would be massive. And since all of the other provinces, other than Quebec, and the Feds would have to a change to the plan, what do you think the odds are that Alberta will get a fair deal?

Yes, there would possibly be benefits and in the long run, because of Alberta's younger population, higher workforce participation and higher income, it may be Alberta could eventually have a lower cost plan. But that is a long way off. Also, anyone who thinks that the pension plan funds could be successfully invested in "economic diversification" projects, as directed by government, is not a student of recent history in this province or any other.

Posted by: Strong and Free in AB | 2005-08-03 7:25:08 PM

Tony - i think you're right that radical decentralization (or more accurately, the lieberals/ federal gov't actually respecting the division of powers provided in the constiution) would stop or stall (at least for the moment) the growing Western independence moment.

But what chance is there of that? THe liberals like a "strong" (ie big spending) central gov't because that means there's lots of lucre to dole out to the "investors" (backers of leadership candidates) in the liberal party. And the liberals are the prime beneficiaries of Cda's structurally flawed government (no effective checks and balances on the PM and his ethically-challenged buddies), asking them to give that up is pointless - they won't , their whole involvement in gov't is the advancement of themselves and their friends - there is no chance they'd abandon their investment in the leader of the liberals. So they'll never give up the "centralized" power - the flawed governing structure.

How is all of this manifest (aside from the blindingly obvious and yes, systemic, liberal corruption)? Look only to the liberals' holding to their orthodoxy despite a mountain of evidence that it impairs the common interest - let's see - maybe gov't healthcare rationing by barring competition by private delivery is a sop to the healthcare and govt worker unions. Or how about passivity in the war on terror. Or fill in the blank - its because they serve their narrow special liberal interest, not the common interest. And the structure of the cdn polity ensures it. Thus political structure determines political conduct. Big surprise there.

So asking for a radical devolution by the liberals is like asking Paul Martin to truly divest himself of all direct and indirect interest in Cda Steamship Lines - you might as well ask him to cut off his arms, it won't be done.

Time to sell the old Ontario homestead and move to the new (soon to be) independent west. The second, and indeed most legitimate, quiet revolution is afoot in Canada. Its about time- for too long has the deck been stacked in the liberals' favor, not even geting into their longstanding illicit funding of political campaigns with stolen monies. Only the rise of an independent west will put an end to it (thus even those loathsome liberal lovin' Ontarians will benefit from an independent west, if nothing else, they'll break their patholigical devotion on the ruinous liberals).

Posted by: SEchappe | 2005-08-03 7:34:48 PM

I think my views on Alberta independence are known well enough to avoid repetition.

If we are going to secede, we accept that it will not be easy and it will draw enormous criticism from all sides, even our own. Independence means taking responsibility for our society and economy into our own hands. It will not be an easy task. In fact it will be the hardest thing one can ever do.

They ask how much it will cost. I say it will cost a lot, but it's worth it.

We cannot allow the federal government and the rich people in Ontario to manipulate our economy for their purposes, even if (especially if) they wrap it in the national flag. We have it good in Alberta, and it is in our best interest to preserve what we have for future generations.

Posted by: Scott | 2005-08-03 7:45:46 PM

Does this mean the August 28th Separation Rally in Edmonton might have more than 20 attendees? I mean, this kind of sample size, maybe it might be worth it to, I don't know, advertise the event or something

Posted by: Lars Ormberg | 2005-08-04 3:59:29 AM

Separate from this murderous place? Brought to Canada by the Librano$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Boy shot in night of drive-bys
Man killed, five others mowed down in shootings

Family Members of shooting victims speak to police at the Finch Humber hospital last night. Six people were shot in two incidents. (Stan Behal, SUN)

A FOUR-YEAR-OLD boy was among four victims gunned down outside a townhouse near Jane St. and Finch Ave. W. during a bloody drive-by shooting at 9:50 p.m. last night.

The shocking shooting followed an earlier drive-by murder in a crime-ridden area of Rexdale just before 8:30 p.m. that claimed the life of a man and sent another to hospital with a gunshot to the leg.

No one was injured in a third shooting after midnight at Jane St. and Stanley Rd., where four rounds were fired, including two slugs that hit a convenience store.

A veteran officer said he was disgusted by the violence, which he said should "wake up" people to the problem

Posted by: maz2 | 2005-08-04 7:04:26 AM

Out of four western provinces, we have two with NDP governments, and one that is seeming every day more like the provincial version of the federal government.

Separatism wouldn't solve anything. Federal respect for provincial constitutional boundaries, and a little humility by politicians generally about governments' capabilities might help.

Posted by: Owen | 2005-08-04 7:47:50 AM

Owen, turfing Ontario out of Alberta would solve a lot of problems for Alberta.

Even IF the entire west left Canada,(not likely) each province should form their own independent country.

Man., Sask., and B.C. should learn the big lesson of the 20th century, communism is a bankrupt philosophy. Communism bad, Capitalism good. Once they learn that, and develope their own economies, we'll talk.

The Western Canada Concept has been dead a long time. Considering Alberta is the ONLY conservative province in Canada, forming an new confederation with socialist welfare junkies would be counter productive.

Posted by: Speller | 2005-08-04 8:16:26 AM

maz2: you know, things like that wouldn't happen if George Bush wasn't distracted by the War on Terrorism. If he cared about humanity in the slightest, he'd pass stricter gun laws and reduce crime worldwide. Uh, yeah. Yeah that's it. That's the ticket.

After all, it's not Toronto Mayor David Miller's responsibility to manage affairs in his city. If it's not clear enough already, Miller is a moron and he's using "the evil Bush and the USA" as a scapegoat and distraction away from his own incompetence. Miller is using Bush in the same way Martin is using Hans Island - to divert attention from their other activities.

The people of Ontario deserve to see their cities destroyed by crime. Their carelessness and irresponsibility brought this upon them. How many children will die before you get the hint? Do something about it.

Posted by: Scott | 2005-08-04 8:17:49 AM

Wrong thread, Scott and maz2?

Posted by: Speller | 2005-08-04 8:32:33 AM

Speller, I have to disagree.

It is important to understand why we want to leave Canada. Secession means taking the enormous responsibility for our own affairs, society and economy.

So why exactly?

Because Canada is no longer willing to do so even for people it considers most important: Ontario. The rise in gun violence there is only the tip of the iceberg. Racism, poverty, low wages, etc. They would rather blame others, especially the United States, for their problems than take that challenge themselves.

Alberta - and the West - should take heed of this example and realize what happens when a society stop caring for its people. The "Left" likes to condemn the right-wing for the "heartlessness" of laissez-faire concepts of social and economic policies. Yet the irony is they are doing exactly that with their carelessness. For the sake of future generations, we have to do better, even if it means seceding from Confederation.

Posted by: Scott | 2005-08-04 8:58:37 AM

What was the name of the "Queen" when the "Alberta Act" and the "Saskatchewan Act" were drafted in 1905?

Section 9 of Canada's Constitution Act, 1867 states: "The Executive Government and Authority of and over Canada is hereby declared to continue and be vested in the Queen".

How does "Rupert's Land and the North-western Territory" sound?

Posted by: David Wozney | 2005-08-04 10:58:55 AM

Scott, I agree that indifference is a big problem in Ontario. Smugness, complacency, egocentrism. Not caring is bad, but caring too much about the wrong things is very bad too.

Albertans need to talk about the things we believe will make our own society better. We need to look to other countries and import their successes rather than the failures. Recognizing what the real failings are, instead of imagined ones, is crucial.

If Alberta were to become a nation of it's own I would like it to be a mix of what makes America great as a nation and Switzerland great as a people.

Both the people of Switzerland and the US have the right to bear arms. Free speech is the cornerstone of democracy, but must be gaurded by armed citizens because it is the government which can remove the right of free speech.

The 20th century was the most violent in human history. The majority of people who were murdered, were killed by their own governments.

In Switzerland military service is an obligation and people there have military weapons in their homes. 'Gun violence' is rare.

In the US, the constitutional right to bear arms seems to lead to a lot of gun violence, but the connection is spurious. The US is nearly 230 years old, yet only recently does there appear to be a problem with violence.

All violence comes from cultural failings, societal dysfunction is the cause.

What are the causes of this recent societal dysfunction?

Are there laws which encourage organized crime? Are there new social and economic conditions which frustrate some to the profit of others? Could it be the weakening of the family unit, changes in the penal system, new religions, a different racial dynamic?

Are people too preoccupied with sports, rampant consumerism, or sexual tension?

Who cares?

Posted by: Speller | 2005-08-04 11:13:52 AM

Can you please publish the survey questions (as you're obligated to do with polls of this sort) so we may gleefully debunk the pseudo-scientific merits of your admittedly push-poll, self-serving research?

Posted by: Nunnayurbizness | 2005-08-09 12:15:16 PM

Yaah. Even though my own observations and conversations with fellow Albertans points to the same kind of results, that's because my eyes can only open and blink in a pseudo-scientific way, and and my ears only work in a self-serving way.

Ti, er, Nuunayu etc., you're not from Alberta, are you?

Posted by: EBD | 2005-08-09 1:11:22 PM

I've lived in Alberta most of my life. But paying lower taxes doesn't mean I have to shut off my brain. Or ignore standard polling principles.

Posted by: Nunnayurbizness | 2005-08-09 1:22:01 PM

I'm with Nunnayurbizness. This study is completely useless without an explanation of your methodology and a list of the questions asked. Granted, once we have those we'll likely see just how deeply flawed your study is.

Come back when you have a methodology and survey you can stand behind publically, kiddo.

Posted by: Canadian First | 2005-08-10 12:29:15 AM

Yes. Flawed study. West love Liberal.

Posted by: Liberal First | 2005-08-10 12:57:09 AM

As a Québec separatist, I am please to see that Québecers are not the sole to see that something is wrong is this federation.

Like you we(40-50% of Québecers) feel the same way all the time. We feel that for the fed. government, Ontario is the only thing that exist because this is were the vote is.

When elected, this government tend to favor Ontario because this is were most deputy have been elected. We're not going anywere with that.

If Québec is unhappy with the rest of Canada and west Canada also is unhappy with the rest of Canada. Who left that are not unhappy?

Ontario and atlantic region...

I stopped long time ago to beleive in Canada. The only way that things could get better is only if proper changes are made. The fed. must give a real voice to each regions of the contry and give them more power. The fed should also stop trying to dictate them what to do in the home field of competence.

This is why I want my province out.

Posted by: Jacques St-jean | 2005-08-10 2:18:59 PM

I live in Alberta, and I am only 15, and I can notice that the gov't of canada is almost "muoching"
And i beleve that Nunnayurbizness, Canadian First, and Liberal first, don't live here. I know many people that think that western canada would do better on its own. And i am very proud to be canadian, but if we formed our own nation state we would be able to try a new gov't and show our own way of getting soverenty.

Posted by: MFB | 2006-10-13 12:12:05 AM

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