WARNING: Very Conservative - No Hard Feelings..
Note: This is a rant. It is not meant to be offensive. Rather, food for thought for like-minded individuals concerned about the status quo.
Get onboard, lets be the generation to create the glorious Commonwealth of Alberta together. It will be a country to the extent that it will have absolute sovereignty and economic freedom. We’ll be the biggest deal to emerge onto the scene in a hundred years. True north strong-and-free style.
Alberta is already the most vibrant part of Canada. The Commonwealth of Alberta, if it existed, would be the most vibrant (and attractive) economy in all of North America.
What would happen when you take just one of Alberta’s federal bills away? Well if that bill is the equalization payment consider this:
with the money saved from equalization the Independent Commonwealth of Alberta could give every four-person family a brand new vehicle every three years. And that’s only the beginning
First of all, separation is a dirty word, but that’s just because it got a bad rap from socialist mimes. Quebec’s a lot bigger than Alberta too; they’re the second largest population area in Canada. Well, we wouldn’t have to worry about that, Alberta’s population would take around a decade to double. Now if you would please stand and remove your caps for some quick liberal-bashing.
Adscam, the Sponsorship Scandal, the recent proposal for a coalition government. There is a good reason we don’t have liberals in Alberta. It’s extremely frustrating that time after time we get sucked back into the same incessant pattern of flatulence that is the liberal policy framework. And these are just the first three catastrophes that came into mind. If you’re a little older than I am, then the letters NEP are probably still ringing in your ears. The Liberal Party of Canada has repeatedly shown that it is politically acceptable to use any means necessary to secure power. I am insulted to share identity with that Canada. I’m not, nor do I ever wish to be part of that Canada.
I am an Albertan who loves Canada. But this Canada we’ve been participating in has let us down. The fact that the Liberal Party is even still in existence is a good illustration of the insane degree of political apathy expressed by most Canadians east of Thunder Bay throughout the 1990s. These Canadians got exactly the kind of government they deserved. These are the sorts of things that tend to happened when you don’t get out from under your rock.
Repeatedly electing thieves and scam artists, I would argue that these people’s apathy should not be forgiven too quickly. Messing with public funds, fighting for-the-sake-of-fighting, ganging up on a minority government trying to do its job has NO PLACE in my Canada. Neither does an electorate who gives them an opportunity to.
What would make the Liberals want to hold hands with radical, socialist, chain-smoking Blocs? They’re blinded by the illusion of power; it will be a cold day in hell before that would happen with a Conservative party that has any degree of dignity. This coalition ambush makes us disgusted. It’s not just another newsflash, and it’s not just a sound bite, this is a stab at responsible government.
Our reputation as Canadians is at siege, but it needs defending. My interpretation of national unity has been shattered. I feel marginalized for the millionth time, and I feel anger for those who manipulate authority and keep my voice from being heard. Liberals have no place west of Ontario. They lost seats in every western province except one. Frankly, because they can’t lose seats in Alberta, we didn’t give them any.
Separating from Canada sounds pretty crazy, but it’s an idea that most of you have never honestly considered. A lot of people face an immediate identity crisis. Relax. We’re not going anywhere; we’ll still be here, geographically nestled between BC and SK, only we would have the sovereignty we deserve. In fact, Alberta would do incredible things for all of the Western economies, especially Saskatchewan. Plus, we’ve already got programs like TILMA with BC, we’re not evil people, we’d keep it, expand it, and work with them better than we currently do. We will not turn our neighbours away, and we will give them every opportunity to participate with Alberta. We are decent people who are fed-up, not greedy.
Since the Western economies are already driving the rest of Canada, why not take the opportunity to build real own-source revenues for these provinces by putting together a separate Alberta that would, by proxy, give these provinces the resources (people, investment capital, Alberta partnership agreements) they need to build sustainable revenues. Isn’t that what we’re really after anyway?
This has always been the problem. There’s a real disincentive for provinces to actually do something about their money problems…that’s what Ottawa’s for right? That is NOT what Ottawa is for and it is a rather ludicrous take on federalism. Equalization transfers are supposed to be used so the provinces can pay-off their debt, not to pay next month’s rent.
The problem is that provinces are too damn satisfied with what they know they’ll be entitled to. These payments are big; we’re talking over ten billion a YEAR big. Did I mention they were unconditional?
Now I’m not saying the federal government plays favourites, but before this auto-makers crisis, most sectors didn’t even know the word bailout existed. Where was the bailout for fisheries? Or softwood lumber? Or nuclear power? Or agriculture? What the hell is a bailout and how do I get one for my portfolio?
Also consider that the federal government is able to pick-and-choose how resources are classified in equalization and this is another way they inherently play favourites with the provinces. Offshore oil and gas in the Maritimes is free money for those provinces, because the money took from them in equalization is fully reimbursed by off-setting payments, making their resources effectively un-taxable.
This is why today, Newfoundland and Labrador is no longer a ‘have not’ province. It’s hard to feel sorry for the feds gouging Alberta, but let’s just look at Saskatchewan. SK has to pay full equalization costs on all oil they produce. Also the feds changed the classification of potash, which greatly changed SK’s allotted market-share, which effectively put all of its potash revenues into the equalization mix. The problem is that there is no voice telling government what is fair and what is not fair, they act at leisure.
If you’re still reading then you’re probably thinking, sure, it’s a good idea in theory but how would you ever realistically begin the process of separating from Canada. Well it’s not that hard to think about. We should already know that the costs of staying in Canada are fairly high. What does public money pay for besides equalization and liberal politicians? Lets see… how about things like crazy Kyoto and gun registry, or today’s fad – election, after election, after election.
Even considering only transfer savings for Alberta, the money saved would be more than enough to smooth the transition into an independent commonwealth. BAM! There’s $20 billion right there. Lets not even consider that we wouldn’t need two systems of government anymore and we wouldn’t have to pay for a full federal bureaucracy.
Expert economists have already predicted the scenario would be the most competitive tax regime in North America, and everybody would be at this party.
Do you know what the rest of Canada looks like right now? I’d say it's a lot like Old Europe. Stagnant, spiritless, wandering, holding out for the best. Not in my Canada. My Canada is for dreamers, innovators, investors, and competitors. We need to engage the spirit of our people in a movement. It is OK to be proud of what Alberta has accomplished. It is not greedy to want Alberta stay sustainable for a couple of generations. Each province is entitled to fight their own sovereignty battles.
The Canada that Alberta lives in is an endless winter. We are constrained to do so little for ourselves, because someone has to pay to keep Quebec on its leash. I don’t want them. This isn’t a reflection of populism on my behalf either, so don’t start thinking that; they didn’t want me first, they started it.
Quebec has never been satisfied, they still haven’t signed the constitution. There were even reports this week that when the coalition was making its proposal to separatist Quebeckers, they only spoke French and wouldn’t broadcast in front of a Canadian flag. So what if people think I’m being un-Canadian for wanting to separate. Quebec’s bitched about it for long enough that it’s actually probably a patriotic thing to do. Our money is frittering away in this endless winter. We’re giving Quebec another day to complain, and as good Canadians, we should consider ourselves privileged to be so fortunate…
For those of you old enough to have been raped by the Trudeau government in the 80s, you will probably remember a plea by Western Canada that repeatedly fell on deaf ears: “The West wants in..” Not anymore kids. We’ve got our coats on and we’re heading for the door. We’re sick of this shit. The West wants OUT.
I’m sick of Charter interpretations from the federal government that effectively make the provinces their puppets for manipulation. I have a dream. I dream of an over-arching government that could identify Manyberries on a map. I want a government that dedicates its affairs to my business. I want a country I can justifiably be proud of
The best part of this system would be that we could take the decent people from the rest of Canada and give them a home. Subsequently, we’d export most of our liberal/NDP excrement to eastern Canada. That’s what we call a positive-sum game boys and girls. That’s called genuine democracy, where our views matter. I’d rather discuss business, I’d rather discuss jumpstarting Western Canada. I’d rather talk about sovereignty, and if I can do these things without being forced to learn French, even better.
The coalition fiasco is more than a thorn in the side of democracy. Regardless of what the crafty Liberal is telling you, it is because of Conservative leadership that Canada is not doing as bad as many countries going through the credit crunch and ensuing economic crisis. We may not be experiencing growth, but we’re breaking even for the time being.
Elections run around $300 million a pop. I think most people support the Conservatives dissolving parliament because then they can get to work and present Canada with a plan at least. If, at that time, we need to have a confidence vote, we can go down that road. There is no doubt in my mind that the governor-general would grant prorogation. That way, if the three stooges are jumping the gun, they’ll have to pay for it in the polls which is the only place a change in leadership should take place anyway.
Can anybody really picture Jack Layton, deep in discussions with Muslim fundamentalists, enticing them with environmentally-friendly lullabies, as visions of Tommy Douglas dance in their heads??…What is going on here? There is much more lurking in the dark than just Liberal incompetence. This is a case of backwards, third-world politics, I feel uncivilized as a Canadian. I can poke fun at Liberals because I can tolerate them, however this is not the case for the wave of socialism that has plagued parts of Canada. They will have to pry the pitchfork out of my cold dead fingers before I live in a country that is run partly by socialists. Not my Canada.
What we need to do is rally. Alberta is always huffing and puffing about idle threats. That was more our parent’s generation; too strong to stay quiet, but too reserved to take action. This ranting, if nothing else, offers you a picture of what life might look like if a couple people got a little political.
Are you gonna take the blue pill or the red pill?
Why stay? It’s a serious question that deserves serious answers and I would put a bid out to anyone who chooses to do so, to give me an answer that isn’t drenched in rhetoric or heritage-related nonsense. One real reason, that’s all.
But if you can’t think of one, then now has never been a better time for you to start getting excited about living in Alberta.
~ Marty Thurston, 12/03/08
Bernard Z on October 18, 2019:
Born in 1950 , not impressed by the 80's Governing body and the Trudeau salute to Alberta, Why is it taking so long to make the changes needed. I've been ready since the 80's. Lets do this Alberta and give them the boot they have earned. This is our only option that will change all of this nonsense.
mthurston (author) from Alberta, Canada on October 10, 2016:
Credence you're right. BC is a bit of a different story.
Credence2 from Florida (Space Coast) on March 06, 2016:
May I presume that Alberta and Sask are probably the more conservative provinces in the country? You say there is a line that can be drawn dividing west and eastern Canada, at Ontario? I use to believe that BC has a reputation as being relatively liberal, how does that fit in with your assessment?
Thanks for the education regarding competing Canadian ideological stances and subsequent policies and viewpoints.
fred clark on February 23, 2016:
maybe alberta could jion russia
peggy on November 04, 2015:
Glad you moved. So far there are lots of western Canadians who do not agree with you. We will do our best to make sure there will be many more. Enjoy your travels by dogsled.
email@example.com on November 03, 2015:
Go ahead. I'll help you pack.
Carbon-based economies are doomed. If Alberta is going to leave Canada it better do it quick while there's still a market, because in 12-15 years oil sands petro will be outlawed.
Seriously, I spent my life as a native Albertan before I moved to the Yukon, and I'd rather lose Alberta than Quebec at this point.
Dale Stuart on November 03, 2015:
Where do I sign up to separate from the rest of Canada. I'm tired of my tax dollars going to Ottawa just to have them go to Quebec and Ontario. Let's separate and kick all the Muslims out of the Commonwealth of Alberta.
Andrew on April 18, 2015:
Join the group on Facebook called Alberta Separatism.
S Jacob on April 17, 2015:
Anyone that does not like being a Canadian is more than welcome to leave. Please do Leave the rest of Alberta out of your plans to leave Canada.
bill on December 20, 2013:
if you continue to wait for Canada to straighten up, you will end up waiting a long time, Canadian confederacy has been an absolute failure, soon we will be lumped into a north American union and the provinces will have even lees of a say. The only way to get rid of Ottawa is for all the province's to go there separate ways and form there own republics. This is the only way forward.......
Janet Smith on October 19, 2013:
Where is alberta??? Is it a country??
mthurston (author) from Alberta, Canada on June 05, 2011:
To say Alberta wouldn't exist without Quebec is similar to saying North America wouldn't exist without Columbus. To this I say - we were an afterthought in 1905 and very little has changed over a hundred years later.
People like to point out that Quebec is indeed a unique region in terms of language and culture...but if we're all supposed to sit back and be good Canadians than why have we put up with so much resistence from them and furthermore paid enormous amounts of money to keep them on their leash.
Rural Alberta is just as much a unique culture. I come from a language of gravel roads, 'crop checking', have you ever rode your horse into the local tavern? There are no taxis, no public transit. Different options.. Obviously this isn't exclusive to Alberta, but it is a very different culture not unlike the francophone culture. Its the same reason gun registry makes sense in the GTA but is rediculous out here. Its not right nor wrong, just regionally separate.
The name of this game is brinkmanship. I love Canada, but will do everything in my power to protect Alberta. I'm not saying our resources should be isolated, but that they certainly shouldn't be squandered.
As far as the "Queen or Confederacy" goes, they would have no say in the matter. Don't forget that the rest of the country didn't get to vote in Quebec's referendum(s).
Lastly, I really hate the 'mosaic of culture' argument because we are a developed, liberalized nation that is able to show a mature, albeit too considerate, tolerance for minorities of every kind. We are really starting to swing the other way where religious tolerances out-prioritize issues of land ownership and private property.
You say amend the charter...Lot of good that will do when Quebec stubbornly refused to sign on and participate in the first place.
The problem is not the charter (though its far from perfect), and it is not our politics. I've made it clear who I think the problem is.
Proud Canadian Jay on May 29, 2011:
I just wanna say, borders are imaginary lines...and if it wasn't for Quebecois, alberta wouldn't exist, Sir Wilfred Laurier first Premier Ministre Francais establishe Saskatchewan and Alberta and honestly....Alberta doesn't have a chance in hell to leave, you're Canadian get over it yea you get gipped by ottawa hell I'm in Nova Scotia and ottawa sucks us dry of ressources and money but do I wanna separate? no because I AM CANADIAN, all separatists are the Same, Quebec, Alberta, Scotland, Texas, California, Alaska the list goes on, their minds are filled with the thoughts of 'we come from the land between these lines! that makes us special!' no, unless you're different in such a particular way sure leave but you aren't Canada is a mosaiqe of Culture,you're a part of it Canada will never fail only ottawa will so instead of separating (im saying this towards quebec because Alberta won't ever go, the Confederacy won't let it happen nor will the Queen) but re-establish ottawa, amend the constitution, hell become a republic! change our politics change our Nation, not give pinheaded separatist a plot of land, Vive le Canada Uni! Mourrir aux separatists!
Magdelene from Okotoks on February 14, 2011:
Well done Mthurston, I was born in Alberta and have lived in this province most of my life, even so it's rotten cold most of the time, I still like Alberta and am proud to call it home.
Carol on August 18, 2010:
COM'MON Alberta, we know what we have to do to stay on TOP, the rest of the provinces are just bringing us down. Who is NOT fed-up with the Transfer payments and getting NOTHING in return. The rest of Canada is just bringing us down and giving our Oil Sands a BAD rap, 'WHO NEEDS THEM'? Heck they need us. We need to STAND UP NOW and say "NO more OTTAWA, we go it ALONE!
mthurston (author) from Alberta, Canada on July 10, 2010:
good comments people,
I still stand by my conviction that federalism might not be conducive to maximum efficiency. It worked extremely well for our nation in infancy, but we have grown and so has our society. Perhaps the aforementioned 'provinces vs. Ottawa' conflicts are due in part because the system is not in-line with the status quo. I realize every system will have by-products, but I'm not satisfied; we can do better than mediocrity.
Vic Populi on June 12, 2010:
Vive l'Alberta libre!
Jacob on April 12, 2010:
I myself am from the east, Nova Scotia to be exact. I am fed up with ignatieff and his pack of country destroying hounds, the day i see any province of Canada separate is the day I die. We are the most diverse nation on this planet and yes we have different cultures and different problems but that doesn't mean separate, if all these separatists claim to be so strong why do they want the easy way out?(Separation) I'm a Canadian and fuc@ing proud to say it, my priorities are God, Country and, Family. I will fight to my grave to keep my country alive!
Has anyone also thought about how every province has problemes with ottawa? I'm pretty sure it's common sense that is the majority(Canada) knows a problem(ottawa) they get rid of that problem, not create more so come on people let's pick a new gov't, not liberal or conservative and unless you're on drugs it sure won't be the pussy NDP's, let's pick a true party, the Unity party.one that will keep our proud nation and it's people together
Joe on March 26, 2010:
As someone from small town Ontario, all people ever talk about is how damned liberal Canada is getting. There is no free speech to say the least, and do I even need to bring up the media? If Alberta separated, a whole bunch of Ontarion's would be waiting at the door with the conservative dream in mind. Continue the dream my friend, lets create a true north strong and free!
mthurston (author) from Alberta, Canada on November 28, 2009:
I have no doubt indeed that Alberta will remain a part of Canada for a very long time. I would like people to think about alternatives however. Besides satisfying the status quo, why are we fearful of this change? I simply meant that the qustion we should be phrasing is, "What's keeping us here?" rather than, Why should we leave?"
dabeaner from Nibiru on November 27, 2009:
Separation of a part of any country from the main is always fought tooth and nail by the main. The rulers of the main think they "own" the lesser and its people and resources.
Secession is only possible when the main collapses or is severely weakened.
U.S. Civil War (the War of Northern Aggression) -- the south failed.
Hong Kong -- grabbed by China instead of being allowed to become an independent city state such as Singapore.
Taiwan (Formosa) -- any day now China will grab it.
The whole eastern Europe and Balkan states mash-up when Soviet Russia weakened. E.g., Czech Republic and Slovakia got to split after Russia departed.
Many other historical examples -- secession failures and wins too numerous to mention here.
In your case, you will probably be part of Canada for a long time to come. How about that, hey? :)
mthurston (author) from Alberta, Canada on November 20, 2009:
I could have just as easily titled this "Why the west should separate". Our neighbours in BC, Sask, and Manitoba have endured many of the same hardships, and hold many of the same sentiments we do. The underlying point is that our province-to-province relationships would grow and prosper. Addition through subtraction, if you will.
hinotes on November 17, 2009:
Well, Alberta, I am from BC, and would like to see, the entire west separating from the east. What sticks in my mind was, Chretienne, commenting on the west, was, I don't like the western people because they are different. And that should tell the west, why we need to separate. I am fed up with the 9 billion dollars, the west has to funnel down to the east. That is why Harper supports Gordon Campbell, who is a criminal, he wants more than 9 billion dollars from the west. So, Campbell, and his type of low character, is just the ticket, Harper needs. Citizens are wondering if, the USA, Mexico and Canada, will become one country. This is good reason, the west needs to be their own country.
mthurston (author) from Alberta, Canada on September 11, 2009:
Dear Ed, I value your opinion but it does little to sway my concerns. Identity is a serious issue, one that extends beyond hockey. Your comparison to Israel is out in left field. Also, I don't understand the part about feeling the wrath of the world. Are you saying one or more international actors would encroach on Canada's sovereignty? If you read my rant, you'd know that Eastern Canada largely offers the manufacturing sector that, while important, is competing with manufacturing from China and India. The term 'muslim fundamentalists' was used in irony, because they are allegedly the ones who were responsible for the new security paradigm.
I disagree with your identity argument, we're not going anywhere, and our lives aren't dramatically changed, therefore I don't see any significant forseeable identity crisis. This would in no way be a militaristic move - it is insane to believe any violence would result from this.
As for your comments about the Stampede, Texas, Hockey identity, and Israel - YOU sir are the low-brow wannabe...and I thought I was supposed to be the insensitive hick....
ed on September 04, 2009:
What threat are "Muslim fundamentalists" to Canada? What can they do?....Destroy the country? Alberta suffers from an identity and self-esteem issue. Afterall, its industry is fast
becoming the property of foreign ownership, its a low-brow Texas wannabe with no real claim to anything unique. The Calgary Stampede? Created too by an American. It's the village idiot. Any attempt at separation would soon be followed by rapid partition into enclaves of identity, since - despite the myth - most Albertans real identity and self esteen is as Hockey-playing Canadians. Without that, the identity free-for-all would commence rapidly. The states below Alberta do more trade with Eastern Canada and would shun any arrangements with Alberta for their own survival. Alberta would be a pariah along the lines of "israel". It wouldn't be long before the union would reunite and those that incited the atniCanadiamism would feel the wrath of the world.
Mr. Happy from Toronto, Canada on August 09, 2009:
mthurston (author) from Alberta, Canada on August 08, 2009:
Thanks for the feedback. My brash rant was published during the time of proposed coalition government. I think we can probably both agree that Canada is a such a vast, geographically and culturally diverse nation, that it takes a great commitment to federalism to make things work.
Perhaps the concept of separation is a step too far, but, if nothing else, Alberta should pursue many of the firewalls (like a provincial pension fund and police force) that Quebec has been priviledged with for years. Also, senate reform.
Alberta was an after-thought in the 1970s and 80s and the feeling of western alienation is still strong in our province. This was my populist attempt at gauging public perception. Like a failing marriage, sometimes splitting up is a reasonable solution. (two chirstmases for the kids!)
But I do respect our heritage..together..for better or worse. I am genuinely proud to be Canadian, and proud that federalism has served us so well for so long. I just feel that it is always healthy to push boundaries and explore any and all possible options. Thanks for the balanced comment, and realizing this wasn't some kind of cheap-shot at the rest of Canada.
Mr. Happy from Toronto, Canada on August 08, 2009:
I feel you on a whole bunch of issues. This whole "bail-out" thing is something I would have never dreamed of - until it was real. How does it happen that in a capitalistic society a failed business gets the federal government to give them money in order to avoid bankruptcy. It's all garbage! Yet, it is conservative garbage as much as it is liberal garbage - they all made it happen; they all lie. The question is how can we get politicians to do what is in the interest of everyone as supposed to in the interest of "interest groups"?
So, you wanna separate though? Are the Quebecois such a pain to you all the way in the mountains of Alberta? Mais, pour-quoi?
I really thought we are coming to the point where the world is getting "smaller", when we are beginning to realize that we are all the same: two arms, two legs, more or less hair ... I thought we can work on our patience with one another, help one another - come together as supposed to building walls and digging trenches in between ourselves.
Borders are imaginary lines ... they do nothing but hinder our progress as humans and our relationship with the rest of the world.