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Saturday, October 22, 2005

Renaissance and Reformation Revisited

Is there an Albertan culture? And if so, what is it?

What are the profitable elements of this culture, and what are the destructive? (I do not subscribe to view that all cultures and cultural elements are equally 'valid').

Federalism in Canada foundered years ago in its attempts to engineer a Canadian culture from the top down.

Are there those in Alberta who will do the 'heavy lifting' of creative leadership in all aspects of society? Currently, Alberta excels at economic ingenuity. This is the bulk of the Alberta Advantage. Yet dependence upon the Motherland has allowed us to be lazy in many other areas of life. Do people expect that a separated (or refederated) Alberta will be able to replace these dependencies ex nihilo (out of nothing)?

Alberta is changing with each passing month. New people arrive. New businesses are started. New jobs are assumed. But along with these new arrivals, many problems arise. Many people who are arriving have differing worldviews from the majority of Albertans. These differences can be very helpful for the sharpening of our collective thinking. But if there is no cohesive and practical thought about Alberta's virtues, goals, taboos, and protocols, then many competing agendas will fill that void.

The governing party in Alberta is to be commended for their past convictions regarding short term pain for long term gain in the realm of fiscal responsibility. Albertans are enjoying those benefits today. It is now time for new initiative and leadership to be exercised in neglected areas (eg. Firewall, democratic reform, ending politically correct censorship, etc. Not a heap of Nanny-state programs).

One of the percieved problems with the separatist movement in Alberta has been its short-sightedness. All that many separatists can see is being free of Ottawa's leash. But what of this freedom. If there is no preparation, then Alberta will leave one tyrant for another. Instead, there needs to be a philosophical infrastructure furnished for the establishment of better government, and the encouragment of cultural, not merely political independence.

I fear that Alberta is more influenced by the globalist (cf. WLMackenzie's term) socialist impulse of Ottawa than we care to admit. If that is true, then the benefits of independence could be derailed soon after they are won.

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Would it be right to say that dependencies are only going to be sought out by those who are dependent. The longer we rate the more of a dilution in what we believe will transpire.

The whole problem on the separatist front is the pace at which it moves. A lot will be determined next weekend in Reddeer, and once the board is set up on the institute, it will start to move as well. We've all been waiting for the legal aspects of all this to be done, and it sure can be trying on the patience.. :-(

Fair enough commentary...

However when I think of separation with Canada for Alberta I don't think so much in terms of independance but more on terms of applying to become the 51st State...

The 51st state would be the easy way out. None of the separation parties are advocating that, but instead want to become a totally separate country.

You raise an interesting issue, socialisation in Alberta. You're in part assuming that Alberta will continue to rely on immigration --and it may well be so. But Perhaps it's time that the Albertanists start to do their reproductive duty. This is one thing about which we don't want to emulate the Quebecois and the rest of Canadians.

I don't have the book with me so I can't quote from it, but in Western Visions, Western Futures:
Perspectives on the West in Canada
, Gibbins and Berdahl point out that Alberta is the place that assimilates immigrants the fastest. Typically, it seems, in about two years or so, from their research, new-comers are westernly "alienated."

You might say that there is a difference in being socialised into ideas and false myths (like the RoC), and being socialised into palpable realities. Speaking for myself, the love of nature and the land is also more real and more appealing than subway trains and yuppie cafes.

When I think about it, many of the most serious Albertanists I know, or I know of, have been born elsewhere in Canada or outside the country. There is a strong socialising culture here.

None of this is to deny your point about the greater need to have more and more clear articulations of what it means to be Albertan, though. I think you've hit the nail in the head on that one.


"One of the percieved problems with the separatist movement in Alberta has been its short-sightedness."

Since the bulk of the social programs, though directed federally, are delivered provincially, most of the infrastructure is in place. We are missing a provincial police force as well as a military; we have a revenue dept, I'm sure, so just need to put the infrastructure in place to collect the taxes here rather than waiting for cheques from Ottawa. (I'm sure there's something else I'm forgetting.)

The chance of becoming the 51st state is slim; I doubt that Albertans would support it, nor do I think the US would welcome us with open arms.

Why on earth would we want to go from being an economic engine in a small country (with zero impact on said country's policies) to being "one of" the economic engines with zero impact on said country's policies?

Thanks for the comments Candace, CIV, Sierra and ABF.

A few thoughts for each in turn:

1. Re: ABF. The elimination of the dependency on Ottawa would address much of the fed's influence on our culture. As you noted however, a 'dilution' of our identity and resolve is happening. I'm just wondering about a way to build both our identity and resolve.

2. Sierra. Alberta won't become the 51st state because it weilds more clout than most of the States do already due to the Oil Sands. There is no sense in becoming another Montana. But Alberta could operate as a small Nation with big influence like, say, Switzerland?

3. CIVITATENSIS. I think immigration or migration from ROC (however one sees it) is likely to continue due to the needs of our economy.

As well, people are so mobile these days that they will go to where the pay and lifestyle are best. Alberta wins, hands down.

You point is well made on 'socialization' and the resulting creation of 'Albertanists'. Is there a way to create more of them, I wonder?

4. Candace. As you noted, the political infrastructure is there for the implementation of firewalls and other reductions in dependency.

I'm also concerned about 'cultural institutions' in Alberta such as the universities that are dominated by socialist/globalist worldviews, with little tolerance for differing perspectives.

With the rare exception (UofC PoliSci dept) there is no truly 'Albertan' University.

Universities are an example of 'cultural infrastructure' that I'm thinking about.

Let me know what you think.

I have been waiting for Albertians to catch up to the realization of the discord that is Canada. A political party with strong leadership has always been the key to Alberta's future. Most know that Alberta is more than capable of going it alone, and that scares them. Albertians are becoming educated on points that in the past have concered them. Mainly through QandA on sites like these. To address a few points here, 1. the greatest obstruction is the media, they control and maipulate public preception. C.B.C. is bad! they will always play to fear. To their credit Albertians have not bought this, but the ROC has 2.Alberta will not become the 51st. state. Many feel for what ever reason the fact that Albertians and Americans share many core values that it would be a nature fit. I think they are wrong. 3 As long as Alberta remains open and welcome to immigration any short coming to growth will be meet. Finally remember this, control, manipulation and money, money, money. Qttawa will need it Alberta has it. The rest is smoke. How long can Alberta put up with this?

Candace... "The chance of becoming the 51st state is slim; I doubt that Albertans would support it, nor do I think the US would welcome us with open arms."

Alberta has the second largest...(and one report I saw today says largest) Recoverable Oil Reserve in the world... if you think the US wouldn't welcome an opportunity like that with open arms?..

oh and I think we would be more like another Texas... not another Montana...

of course my view on things is a little bias since given my company policy if Alberta became part of the US I'd automaticly get a 25%~30% pay raise....

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  • 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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