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Thursday, September 15, 2005

Generation Gap in Alberta Separatist Movement?

If you read the message boards discussing Albertan independence, one thing becomes clear.

There is a generation gap.

Often such a phenomenon is seen as a problem. But in the case of the Alberta separatist movement it must certainly be a welcome one.

Having a generation gap means that there are multiple generations who are involved in the same cause.

The 'cause' on Albertans' minds these days is separation. And it has attracted a crop of young, tech-savvy, intelligent, wit-meisters.

The older generation of Alberta separatists must see the new blood as a token of vindication for their longsuffering in the separatist cause.

Many of the older separatists were involved with the Western Canada Concept. Others helped start the Reform party but left when "The West Wants In" was ignored. Still others were involved in numerous grass-roots efforts advancing the cause.

Now these veteran separatists have suddenly gained an audience among Albertans who are newbies to the independence movement. The separatist rookies are full of zeal and idealism without the pain of loss and failure which the vets have carried for decades.

The rookies are learning quickly and the nascent tension between the separatist generations may escalate.

A case in point is being played out in the leadership contests for the two separatist flavored parties in Alberta: the Alberta Alliance (not separatist officially, but with numerous supporters who would vote in favor of it once the AA is in power) and the Separation Party of Alberta (officially separatist).

Many new members have entered these parties, and some of the older stalwarts are assembling their strategies to challenge for party leadership.

The challenge for the stalwarts will be whether or not they can provide that remarkably rare quality for a leader---namely leadership. Unfortunately, the past track record of the separatist leadership has not brought any significant or lasting success.

Will these past failures now quickly be reversed by leaders from the older generation? Possibly.

But what about the rookies? Are they capable of challenging for leadership positions? Probably not.

So the dilemma facing the separatist movement is how to keep the generation gap from widening, with the movement splintering into myopic factions.

The older generation needs to listen to the younger. The rookies need to learn from the vets.

But if some of the old stalwarts aim to merely cash in on all the 'late-comers to the party', their hope of vindication will be short-lived.

If the separatist movement is entering into a new era, then the rapid-learning curve which the rookies are on will make them difficult to ignore as they strive for leadership.

The need of the hour for the separatist movement is not merely a leader---but real leadership. And that quality of leadership must be exercised by many, both veteran and rookie, with wisdom and resolve.

To move forward recklessly will only end up in another de-railment for Albertan's freedom.

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  • I'm Albertanicus
  • From Foothills, Alberta Rocky Mountains
  • I wish to serve my neighbors in a democratic society by reflecting on issues related to Albertans. I speak from the viewpoint of a Confessional Evangelical. I am also promoting what I call, "the New Albertanism".
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