Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Fake separatism will not work

There is a recent column of Link Byfield in the Calgary Sun advocating Alberta separatism. The article has gotten a mixed reaction. An interesting one is offered by M.K. Braaaten, who decides against separatism but recognizes its potential advantages:
However, I guess there could be some benefits of having a separatist party - and it’s precisely not to separate but to use it as leverage against the federal government. I mean, look at Quebec, they have done it for years and they have yet to separate. Quebec has used the threat to extract huge sums of money and power from Ottawa. If Alberta had a credible separatist party I’m sure Alberta wouldn’t leave because it would be given enough clout in confederation that it wouldn’t want to leave (similar to Quebec). If only we could find a separatist party leader that promised to never actually separate but to only use for power, then Alberta would be set.
And here, of course, is the problem with the whole endeavor. Alberta Separatists cannot seem to make up their mind whether they are really separatists or whether they are only pretending to be separatists in order to get leverage in Ottawa. But in saying that their goal is leverage, they give away the fact that they don't want to separate and destroy any leverage that they ever could have had.

Let's indeed look at Quebec, which has had some leverage. Whatever leverage they get out of separatism is due to the fact that their separatists seem to be sincerely interested in separation. They don't muse aloud about the fact that all they want is leverage in Ottawa.

1 comment:

Psychols said...

Klein tried to play the separatist card and it backfired. Albertans are just plain disinterested in the separatist nonsence, even if some think it may be used as some type of leverage.