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Why Is Anyone Surprised?

To those Albertans who are already pro-independence, the latest actions from Ottawa are not surprising. They are another example of Canada being Canada.

One critique that Canadian federalists have of is that our argument is simply one of economics. While we certainly have an economic argument for independence and our  lives and those of our families would improve dramatically, that is not the primary reason for our independence.

Canada is broken. It is a balkanized country, with different regions against one another. And each of those regions have different populations. In Alberta's case, our smaller relative population has had several effects.

First, it means that we do not have a voice in the outcome of federal elections. Only once has Alberta's vote even counted, and by that I mean the composition of the party and the status of that government would not have changed with or without Alberta. There is but one exception to this in the past 40 years.

It means those areas with greater population make the rules. Albertans are not masters in our own house. That is why legislation antithetical to Alberta gets passed. That is why the Reform Party becomes Easternized and eventually turned into the Conservative Party who clamors for Ontario and Quebec votes like any other political party (outside of the BQ).

This tyranny of the majority is usually prevented in civilized countries by one of two mechanisms: a bicameral legislature, where the excesses of the majority can be rejected by a House of Lords or a Senate. The second mechanism that can prevent the excesses of majoritarian rule is with a Constitution overturning legislation that is not constitutional.

Canada's Senate is not effective, because it roughly has Senators based on population. And it has been nothing but a means by which the federal government reinforces its power, as opposed to the Provinces appointing Senators to protect regional interests in a federal system.

Alberta is not protected by the Constitution, as Alberta has been looted several times, despite Alberta having sole control over her natural resources.

So if there are no political tools to fix the problem, what is the point of staying? You see the result of the political system being slanted against Alberta every day in terms of federal economic policy harming Alberta. And the latest attempt by the Liberals, NDP and BQ to form a coalition is nothing more than them taking advantage of the shortcomings of Canada, and it will likely harm Alberta.
What Credible Steps Can Be Taken?

I've had many letters asking what can be done to further Alberta's independence, and those letters have increased in their frequency lately.

The most important thing you can do is reject Canada sentimentally. The arguments for Alberta gaining her independence have been made strongly, and as Leon Craig notes, strongly enough where even the opponents of Alberta independence admit that Alberta would be better off from an economic, political and cultural standpoint. Federalist Roger Gibbins admits that Alberta would be better off economically as an independent country.

We've attempted to show on that Alberta would be better off economcially, where our per capita would rise to the world's 2nd best behind Luxembourg. We argue that we'd be better off politically, where Albertans would no longer be treated as second class citizens. And our government would be ours, not an entity run by a different people than us several thousands of miles away.

The rational case for independence is clear. The sentimental case for independence is not. And this is a necessary pre-requisite for Alberta rejecting Canada.

Note that we do not talk about Ottawa wronging Alberta on We talk about Canada wronging Alberta.

It is Canadians that are electing officials that continue to rob billions of dollars from Alberta on a yearly basis, not just those from Ottawa.

It is Canadians that elected tyrants like Trudeau that looted Alberta with the National Energy Program, forced bilingualism, a high debt load, an unfunded pension and other programs harmful to Albertans. This was done, as Marc Lalonde mentioned, to keep the political power in the East. And it was Canadians that continued to re-elect Trudeau time after time, even when he was giving the West the finger, both literally and metaphorically.

Albertans will not seek independence until they reject Canada, until they reject themselves as being Canadians and consider themselves Albertans instead. Our hope was that listing the historical wrongs that Canada has perpetrated would tend to break the subconscious attachment to Canada. AFter all, Canada has no attachment to Alberta except as recipients of a check from Albertans.

If you have family in Canada, keep in mind that you probably have family elsewhere in the world that you are able to visit, even though you may not be in the same country as the United States or Germany, where they may reside.

Think of the things you consider to be Canadian, and you may actually discover that they are actually Albertan characteristics, like walking through the badlands, or hiking through the mountains or foothills. And as you go through that imaginary hike, note that you will not find a Maple Leaf like the one on the Canadian flag, but you will find plenty of Wild Roses.

Only once you shed the emotional baggage of being a Canadian and become an Albertan can independence occur. Then we can start enacting programs that make independence possible, like the Alberta Firewall, and eventually secede by referendum.

But first things first.