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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Alberta Separatists: Polarized Or Merging?

The growing pro-independence movement in Alberta seems to have three main outlets.

  1. Ted Morton-led Alberta PC party.
  2. Alberta Alliance
  3. Separation Party of Alberta

The state of the Tories today have left many would-be supporters with a bad taste in their mouth. Only the potentially longshot candidacy of Morton could bring those supporters back from their intended separatist course.

The Alberta Alliance seems to have the electoral success of one seat. This is viewed negatively as being evidence that they are unelectable, or positively as them having a foothold for further growth. The AA seems to have some political experience in the machinery of the Legislature, which some people would be attracted to. Also by virtue of age, they may have at least the appearance of stability.

The Separation Party of Alberta does not have a seat in the Legislature, but it does seem to have momentum from voters disaffected with TROC. Whether this momentum can be channeled into electoral wins will be determined in the next election. SPA is knocked by some as being a 'one-issue' party without developed platform for achieving power and implementing change. Its strength is in the clarity of its stance which maximizes on Alberta voters' desire for decisiveness.

Most Albertans who are sympathetic to the aims of independence are looking for strong leadership that can build political consensus in moving Alberta from province to nation.

Are these Albertans willing to delay the gratification of separation in favor of electing MLA's who will implement Alberta-first policies which could lay the groundwork for independence? Or is such thinking a capitulation to the status quo, and a resignation to continued futility?

Clearly, the Alberta independence movement needs to begin thinking and planning about what joint-ventures can be established, and which ones would be deemed as compromise.

For the Alberta independence movement to neglect such a strategy is to see itself consigned to the realm of wishful thinking and unrealistic expectations.

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