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November 7, 2019
“The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails.” - John Maxwell
For the record: I have lived in Alberta for over twenty years, and I love this province dearly. However, this does not automatically imply that I wholeheartedly support the idea of separation. Do not get me wrong – I have acquired a fair share of frustration and disappointment with the way the relationship between East and West has been going.
I do have every reason to advocate for separation. I now have lost everything that I earned over the years of hard work. I was not even directly involved with the oil and gas industry, yet I experienced the tremendous effect of its downturn. However, once bitten, twice shy.
It could be my knowledge of history that makes me cautious about following any self-nominated leader promising the positive changes. It could also be my overall skepticism in having a party as a leader. Most definitely, my idling on the issue comes from not yet having seen a wholesome plan of separation anywhere.
During the hardship, people become desperate to find their way out, and they can become easy prey for anyone with unverified agenda. They are most likely to follow anyone who claims to have a solution. They do so without proper evaluation of the validity of such a claim.
I am not trying to point fingers at anyone in particular, but merely attempting to express my concerns and to share a couple of modest suggestions.
First of all, no one had looked into some important details, yet the pressure to hold the separation referendum is rapidly growing from all groups supporting the cause.
I joined a few groups on social media to get equipped with better knowledge on the subject of possible leadership. I asked the members and admins of those groups some basic questions. However, until this very minute, I have not yet found any credible answers.
I further searched through other available sources but still could not find any procedural definitions. For example, I was looking to find the information on who would determine the eligibility criteria for voters. I was interested to see what factors would determine such criteria.
It appears as a one-sided approach to rely entirely on a career politician to act in the interests of the fed-up with politics people in this province. We do not know the hidden agendas and can only speculate that there might be some federal plans in the future. But showing the strength of determination and consistency in actions, we could achieve an understanding by the current government, that with our exit the federal arena for conservative concepts will cease to exist. Regardless of the future formations having the provincial government tune in to the actual demand will help us through the process one way or another.
I learned that some of the parties and groups began collecting money through memberships and calls for donations. It is absolutely up to the donors to decide how they wish to spend their money. But they do have the right to know where the money is going. The current situation creates very favorable conditions for dishonest enrichment. I am not stating that any of that takes place, but I would suggest thoroughly researching the financials of the cause before parting with your money.
My next concern is those parties and parties-to-be completely miss the point of why the separatist movement got a new life post-federal election. The province wants to gain full economic independence. It is quite clear that the attitude of the federal government and the East added fuel to the engine. But the success depends on strong leadership capable of putting Alberta potential above all factors and help develop our own, unique economic attitude.
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Alberta did live through a similar disaster in the ‘80s. Time went by, and the province regained its strength, and the separation talks went to the back burners. In my searches, I did not come across any solid plans to boost other industries in the province. I am not talking about diversifying the existing but strengthening them. All industries have to receive equal attention from a potential leader to defeat the fear of another economic collapse.
There is a clear need to establish an executive committee to oversee the fundamental aspects of the separation. We need the source of credible professional opinion and free access to all data. Similar to the jury, such a committee must be free of any ideological dependence. We need an organ that can reveal all possible risks and be upfront about them.
The counties and municipalities must conduct polls to determine the localized levels of interest in the referendum on separation. We can not afford to spend time on speculation talks if we do not have a clear picture where we all stand. The results from the local polls will help with making the next step.
I am just a concerned Albertan deeply in love with the province.
Someone suggested setting the criteria similar to the provincial elections. But that does not apply to the issue of the referendum. Why would Canadian citizenship play a role if the province is attempting to establish its independence from Canada? Many Canadian permanent residents have resided in Alberta and paid local taxes for many years.
I am also quite concerned that many still see a party as a traditional form of government. The foundation to such lays in the simple fact that parties build their platforms primarily on political interests. The conflict of allowing the politics to interfere with the economy has already caused a tremendous amount of grief, and not just in Alberta. I want my voice to be heard without having to join a party.
Perhaps it could be quite useful to look for alternatives when establishing the new governing authority?
In a situation that has the potential of creating many undecided votes, it becomes crucially important to provide other options. The first step towards creating a healthy atmosphere for choices would be a clear economic program. People want to be able to participate in the critical to their wealth decisions. Such participation is only possible with the provision of a politically unbiased, fully transparent economic plan.
The separation notion creates a unique opportunity to achieve success by giving the center stage, not to politicians but credible professionals in economic and judicial fields. If we are seriously planning to pursue our independent future, we should use this opportunity and get things done right the first time. We might never get a chance for a second try.