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Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Martin, Gibbins and the Myth of Influence

National Post On Martin's Visit with Canada West

NP reports on Prime Minister Paul Martin's visit to Edmonton where he sat down with the Canada West Foundation.

Martin's hope is to address western alienation, so he chose the centrist, pro-West think-tank Canada West Foundation.

Roger Gibbins of Canada West told Mr. Martin that issues like senate reform needed to be dealt with before the mood in the West would change.

However, Mr. Gibbins has underestimated the dissatisfaction of Albertans. One issue like senate reform will not be enough. Albertans are looking at wholesale changes in how they allow themselves to be governed.

Mr. Gibbins believes national leadership from Alberta is the way to go. But what Mr. Gibbins' statements show is the myth of influence is still believed by a naive generation.

Sadly Mr. Manning's experiment failed. As a result, the myth of influence lost its only possible kernel of truth. Had Manning's efforts succeeded, Albertan's would have more difficulty in jettissoning their belief in Ontario's benevolence toward the West.

But sadly Manning failed. And those who continue to believe in the myth may enjoy the fleeting experience of influence from time to time (see Canada West and Paul Martin), but the myth remains seated in unreality.

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