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This father/son blog is dedicated to the furtherance of the independence movement in Alberta. It has been made abundantly clear that Alberta is the victim of tyranny by the majority. There is no indication that this will ever change. It is time to leave, to go our separate ways. In this blog I will focus on issues relating to Alberta Independence such as why it is necessary, what an independent Alberta might look like and how we can go about forging our independence.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Lessons Learned In Canada

As Alberta moves towards independence and liberty, I think that it is important that we carefully consider the lessons learned from our Colonial Era within Canada so that we don't repeat them in our new nation.

  1. The Democratic Majority is nothing but a giant Thug.
    For some reason people seem to think that if the majority voted for it, it must be right. I don't understand why, but that's the way it is - maybe it is humanity's herd mentality or maybe it is just our depravity, I don't know. I think people do feel guilty for stealing from a minority, but they assuage their guilt by saying that it is 'sharing' or it is for the 'public good' - whatever that is. The point is that Ontario and Quebec have no problem plundering us if they feel it would help them. Also, the Liberals need to plunder us to buy the votes they need in various parts of the country.
    Don't think Alberta would be immune to this sort of activity either. Who knows what situations may arise, but I can imagine this could very easily happen even within Alberta. For instance, I could see a political party figuring that Ft. McMurray has far more money than they need, and they could promise to share that wealth with Edmonton, Lethbridge and Medicine Hat in order to win the next election. We can't be so arrogant as to think that wouldn't tear us apart as well!
    We need to set up a government that cannot plunder its people like this. I'm not completely sure how this could best be accomplished, but it is absolutely imperative that we create a limited government that cannot abuse one group to benefit another.

  2. We Need To Remember Our Place in the World.
    Ottawa always seems to forget where our growth and protection come from. Even worse, they seem to forget who our friends and enemies are. Canadians are often jealous and petty with regards to America, snubbing them and mistreating them whenever the opportunity arises. And then we call them a bully for slapping tariffs on our goods!
    Alberta cannot make the same mistake. We will be a small country. We are going to be prosperous and we are going to experience great economic growth, but we are still going to be a small country on the global scene. Right now we do business either locally or with the US, with only a small percentage of inter-provincial trade (I can’t remember the actual numbers, but it is significantly slanted towards US trade). I expect this to become even further North-South based when we become independent. As a result, we need to be friends with America. We also need to be friends with Canada, UK, Japan, China, Germany, Italy, Australia, Mexico, India and others. In short, our continued growth and prosperity is going to be closely tied to the strength of our international relationships. I believe that we should follow Switzerland’s example and stay out of international conflict while working to build strong economic ties with everyone. Let’s take Thomas Jefferson’s advice: “Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations – entangling alliances with none.” Others may prefer to follow along with America’s global excursions. I would personally find this to be less preferable, but the key point is that we remember our place in the world.
  1. Politicians are Corrupt.
    Power tends to corrupt. Absolutely power corrupts absolutely. Everyone’s heard this age old quote from Lord Acton many times because it rings so true. We all know the Librano$ are as crooked as an Italian tower in mud, but what makes us think our true and pure Albertan politicians would ever be any better? People generally believe that humans are too amoral, unwise and depraved to have complete freedom. For this reason we implement a government to protect us from ourselves and then somehow think that those same humans, when running a government, are going to all of a sudden be virtuous, wise and selfless in their lawmaking. This is of course an inherent paradox that we will never be able to overcome. But let us consider this carefully when we form our new nation. We should look into ideas such as term limits, recall, accountability and checks and balances to minimize this. It seems to me that this was practically ignored in the founding of Canada. The American Founding Fathers worked hard to ensure that the corruption of men and women in power would be as limited as possible, and even so, corruption is only slowed in the United States. My opinion is that our best hope for minimizing the corrupt use of power by politicians is to limit what powers they have as much as possible.

  2. Government Grows Bigger and Bigger and Bigger - Always.
    Time to call on Jefferson again: “The natural process of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.” This does indeed seem to be the natural process of things. It is clearly the case in Canada where I cannot remember a time when government was small and didn’t interfere with our everyday lives. Then again, I’m the younge whippersnapper. Maybe my olde gaffer can remember such a time, but I doubt it – and not because his memory is failing (sorry Dad, couldn’t help it), but because it has been growing since it began. There are several ways government tends to get bigger, even if people want it to stay small:
    1. It provides us only with things that we are already providing ourselves with, but which we don’t really like paying for. You can win votes as a politician for offering some service or other for free. Politicians don’t offer services that no one wants to buy, only those that nearly everyone does, and wishes they had for free. Healthcare, education, welfare and pensions are perfect examples. We’re now seeing childcare fit this description. Who knows what will be next?
    2. The politicians and activists who support small government – except for their pet issue. Imagine the unbelievable situation where all our MPs want a small government, except one issue. Each MP has a different pet issue. The only way for them to get any of their special programs implemented is to promise to vote for other MP’s special subsidy. As a result, ALL the special programs, regulations, subsidies, handouts, aid, relief, care, etc. gets passed. Now consider the real situation we have where most MPs want big government and have many pet issues and you get Canada!
    3. Rational Ignorance. This is the concept that people are too busy trying to survive, feed their families and pay their taxes to keep on top of everything the government is doing that might hurt them. As a result of this, it is impossible for citizens to stop the laws that make government bigger and bigger.
    4. Special Interests. Imagine if you were one of a small group of producers of a certain product – say corn for instance. If you can get a tariff slapped on American corn, you can jack your prices up a bit and it will greatly benefit you. Meanwhile, the tariff costs the average Canadian only a few dollars a year – no big deal, nothing to get too worked up about. You would be willing to spend a lot of time and money to ensure that such a tariff gets introduced while probably no one would spend anything to stop you.
    5. The False Choice. Even if people generally want smaller government, there is nowhere on your ballot to check off “Small Government.” You get to choose from a mishmash of various parties that each have a few policies you agree with and a few more that you don’t. Your only option is to choose the one with the most policies you favour or the one with the fewest you abhor. The parties tend to implement their policies and then when they get overthrown, the next party adds their policies to the mix, and you get both!
    6. Convoluted Bookkeeping. Since the politicians want to keep their power, they hide their massive spending in crazy complicated budgets no one can understand or question.
    7. Hidden Taxes. People don’t see most of the taxes they pay, so they don’t fight them as much as they would if a CCRA guy came to your door at the end of the year and demanded them all at once.
    8. Ministries make their own laws and regulations. The vast majority of regulations and laws that are enforced on us are created not by Parliament, but by the various programs they’ve set up and given authority to make their own rules relating to their field of influence.

We need create a country that keeps the politicians from growing our government and taking over our lives. My personal favourite idea in this respect is to require that no politician vote for a bill they haven’t read in entirety. Imagine our politicians sitting in parliament listening to the reading of one of those 1000 page acts they pass every day! We could require every law that is passed to expire in five years, and force the new politicians to read those before they re-enact them. We could only allow parliament to sit for one or two months per year, limiting what they can impose on us. Whatever we do, we need to guard our freedom, and not let the same thing happen to Alberta as happened in Canada.

Remember, we aren't becoming independent just because we are angry with Ottawa (although that is clearly part of it), but because of the serious problems (which always seem to harm us and help Ontario) this country has that we cannot fix no matter how hard we try. So let's make sure we actually solve these in our new nation, rather than perpetuate them in our own way.

Free Alberta!


At 8/31/2005 9:56 PM, Blogger Helen Gardner said...


At 9/01/2005 11:26 AM, Blogger Senator Catalyst said...

Oh no, it's genetic!

At 9/01/2005 5:23 PM, Blogger ABFreedom said...

Very good points. Basically, you want to eliminate the democratic deficit and allow for a recall mechanism. divide the province into 12 sections with equal powers to create a bit of a balance between rural and urban, and allow for referendums. Very basic, but it's a start.

Biggest areas that seem to cause a lot of the problems, are special interest, immigration, and healthcare. With respect to healthcare there is a lesson in the southern states to be learned. Mass migration, with a free healthcare system requirement will bankrupt you.

At 9/01/2005 5:50 PM, Blogger younge whippersnapper said...

abfreedom, I think the ideas you listed are starting points and should absolutely be implemented, but I think we need to go a lot further than that if we really want to eliminate (or minimize) these problems in our new nation.

With regards to Immigration and Health Care, I think you can solve both of them with relative ease, but I doubt the solutions I propose would be very popular...
1. Get the government out of healthcare, period. Stop the collosal failure before it gets worse. We can take care of ourselves with out mamma government's "assistance"
2. Get rid of welfare.
3. Open the borders - wide open.

The reason this would work is that if people can't get a free ride on health and welfare, they will only move here if they plan on working hard and contributing to society. The loafers would never move to such a place!

At 9/02/2005 5:58 AM, Blogger ABFreedom said...

You still have to have some mechanisim for helping the needy. What I've heard proposed is 15% of your total tax contribution would go to the charity of your choice. Then I've heard proposed a flat consumption tax with no income tax. So the question again, there's always one, is how do you get your 15% calculated? Just a question... ;-)

You still have to have some form of free health care, but it should be based on being a citizen of the country.

At 9/02/2005 10:27 AM, Blogger Ed said...

How about this: make one of the forms of checks and balances be an upper house that can only pass laws with a 2/3 majority, and a lower house that can strike down laws with a 1/3 minority.

At 9/02/2005 10:34 AM, Blogger Justthinkin said...

YWS...Nice spot you guys got here.
Your take on all politicians as corrputable is so true.The two qualities that nowadays make people run for office is that they are either meglomanics or they are socipaths.Either way,it is trouble.At one time,people ran simply for the reason they thought they could help out and maybe better the place.Th only recourse I see to prevent this is to implement impeachment procedures and to hold politicos responsible for their decisions.For example,take the Gun registry(please!!).The Ministers responsible for implementing this piece of crap should be immediately removed from office and lose all pensions and perks,plus all the bucks they made while said program was still running.
Another problem is special interest groups.this is a relatively easy fix.Any politician who implements anything that helps less then 50% of the population,and/or recieves monetary support or monetarily helps(grants) said groups,would be send to jail for influence peddling.As well,the leaders of these groups would share a cell with them.This may seem draconian,but how can you have a true democracy when you allow 5% of the people to control the other 95%?
The rest of your points are great starting points.

At 9/02/2005 1:24 PM, Blogger younge whippersnapper said...

Good points all!
Ed: Your 2/3 to pass 1/3 to strike down idea would make it *very* hard to pass any law! Incredibly hard! I love it!

justthinkin: you are absolutely right about the types of people who are in politics. I personally disagree with you that they once we all noble and pure, the state-written history textbooks make them sound that way so we'll think more highly of our current batch of politicians. I think the only way to get into power in the first place is to be the biggest egotistical, power-hungry, vote-grubber of all - and if you want to stay in power, your only hope is to drop any moral fibre you once had. That's just how Democracy works.
I personally like the ancient Greek (Athenian) method of dealing with these types of people. Every year they would have a big election to determine who the most popular politician in the city was. Then they'd banish them from the city for ten years! It was a great honor to be selected, and it helped keep the most power-hungry politicians out of the sphere of influence.

At 9/02/2005 9:44 PM, Blogger the olde gaffer said...

Very thoughtful piece.
One of the issues you identified; that of managing government size seems nearly impossible. Traditionally, it's a classic case of the fox guarding the hen house. I really like the idea of doing it differently. It has to be bullet-proof, though, so that politicians can't change it under ANY circumstances. We all know that there will be emergencies where the government will want to save the day 'just this once'. Canadian have become so accustomed to government controls, hand-outs, subsidies, welfare, in its many and varied forms that weaning us will be a huge challenge. We cannot even remember (or imagine) what it was like before the social safety-nets were in place. We have this picture that people starved or were homeless or were victims of violence. (If fact the frequency of these eventualities is great now than ever despite the programs designed to alleviate them). We forget that people actually helped each other. Families stood by unemployed family members. Churches and communities supported those who needed help with the unwritten expectation that when the unfortunate person got back on his feet he would give a hand up to someone else.
We have bought into the concept of entitlement. We think, “Why should I help my unemployed brother/friend/neighbour? That’s what EI is for. Don’t concern yourself with those who cannot work. The government welfare programs with look after them. After all that’s why we pay the high taxes.”
Government has been incredibly successful in generating demand for itself. They have convinced us that we are uncaring and can’t be trusted to look after each other. I personally find it insulting that I am being told that the government must look after Canadians from cradle to grave because we are incapable of looking after ourselves.
A huge benefit of a naturally developing welfare system through family, friends and community is the sense of accountability that accompanies it. I don’t tend to feel too concerned about my responsibility when I get EI cheques from the Feds. If my brother loans me money to get me through a rough spot I’m likely to have an entirely different response.
I’m getting carried away here. It would take a much longer response to properly defend this thinking. Suffice it to say that I have a much higher opinion of Albertans than the typical government view that we need to be coddled and cared for because we are either too greedy to help one another or too stupid to know how to manage our own affairs. The big government, Liberal view is unspeakably offensive to anyone with a sense of compassion or intelligence.
Oh, by the way whippersnapper, you’re right,. Even though I’m the olde gaffer I don’t remember a time when government was small and big brother government didn’t interfere with my everyday life.
In the new Alberta however…

At 9/03/2005 11:41 AM, Anonymous Mike said...

"2. Get rid of welfare.
3. Open the borders - wide open.

The reason this would work is that if people can't get a free ride on health and welfare, they will only move here if they plan on working hard and contributing to society. The loafers would never move to such a place!"

As I've opined on the thread you started on projectalberta.com, I don't believe this for a moment.

Open borders to immigration may seem like a fine idea under a Libertarian government, as you are describing. As you said, with no welfare, what would drive them here unless they want to work?

But realistically, an open border would lead an overwhelming influx of immigrants who are not equipped to work - don't speak english, no skills, etc. - but are looking to come to our nation to count on the charity of individuals to provide them welfare.

As long as the country maintained a Libertarian government that wouldn't cave in to demands to provide welfare for all the new immigrants, this might be fine. But these new immigrants would now form part of the voting base. It is quite likely that they will support a socialist party running in the next election in order that they no longer have to convince individuals to provide welfare, but just have it handed to them by the government.

This is one reason why I believe that a government based on purely libertarian philosophies could, and would, lead to eventual chaos.

At 9/03/2005 3:11 PM, Blogger Jon Koch said...

Great observations.

Good suggestions to always keep in mind.

At 9/03/2005 8:10 PM, Blogger ABFreedom said...

Wow, what a discussion, see if I ever go to work again...

How about this"
No special interest groups allowed, contributions are entirely up to the individual, not the collective.

Open borders, subject to having the ability, such as a trade etc., and/or employment placement before entering. Immediate deportation for violation of any laws.

At 9/07/2005 7:50 PM, Blogger Sycorax said...

GREAT site!

At 10/21/2005 8:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you really think oil& gas stop at the Saskatchewan border? Let them come with us. Half of them are our relatives anyways....
Punt the NDP out of Sask, start drilling, and be the North American Economic POWERHOUSE.

At 11/16/2005 7:55 PM, Blogger Sierra said...

Interesting... A little idealistic perhaps but interesting...

well written and well reasoned... I can't say I agree with every point, (I know most conservative leaning people dissagree but private healtcare in the states from my personal experince is even MORE broken than our public one, and education best belongs right where it is)

but who knows... with the way things are going the new freaky bloc guy may actually convince Quebecers that giving up Alberta transfer payements is a good idea. if Quebec leaves... the possibilities are endless

At 12/25/2005 10:43 PM, Anonymous Bizzo said...

Very fantastical and unrealistic views.You are very stupid and weak.Whats with you Canadians eh?I moved here from the USA and nobody would dare talk about separatism, if they tried the miltary would be in there in 2 minutes.Why can`t y`all recognise that you have a very great country, very similar to the USA, for goodness sake man be proud of your country, we are proud of the good ole USA with its many problems, we have them y`unno, but no-one`s gonna break up the country,we sink togther or we swim togther.Whats wrong with you people.Weak and stupid.


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