Whazzit, Alberta?

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Disptaches from the 148 by Fred Ryan

Most of us here in

Disptaches from the 148 by Fred Ryan

Most of us here in
"central Canada" have heard of contemporary separatist efforts out west. They’ve been around at least since Trudeau the First and his so-called assault on the West, and certainly they’ve ramped up their presence within social media during the Trump years. In fact, many of their efforts refer to Trumpian tropes and myths, although BREXIT in the UK seems to have been the major stimulant for the
separatists; so much so that the strongest of these movements has called itself The WEXIT Movement, Inc.
The Saskatchewan separatists have themselves separated from the separatists and have named themselves the Buffalo Party. No kidding. The name brings to mind First Nations hunters stampeding hundreds of the big beasts over a cliff, but presumably that’s secondary to the image of the rugged, lonely, determined buffalo.  We also think of buffalo as big, ragged, dumb, easily panicked … and smelly.
The best political image?
That name, Buffalo Party, tips us off to the novice nature of this Western effort.  They could use more sophisticated help than what they get from the Trumpite agents here in the Great White North. Perhaps Quebec can help. After all, we’ve had over fifty years of very active, almost-successful separatist efforts here in Quebec – think of Quebec as a laboratory of sorts for the WEXITeers, and as such, there must be advice we could offer. If anyone knows about separatists and anti-federalist politics, it’s Quebeckers. Alliance Quebec might finally prove its utility, had it continued to exist.
Before looking at a couple of big puzzles, we should repeat that the name "WEXIT" is not a winning handshake. Most Canadians, given our national political sophistication, would not even recall what BREXIT means, or meant. "WEXIT" may not be as negative as the Buffalo Party, not as smelly, but still hardly enough to pull supporters away from the O’Toole-Kenney dinosaur party. Kenney’s an artist at
formulating anti-federal messages on his own; he’s fighting a rearguard action for a return of the dinosaurs. Our first suggestion would be a new name – the WHAZZIT PARTY (not Wexit).  Whazzit? asks a question; they’re asking voters to think more deeply – about today’s talk of separating the land-locked West from Canada. That’s pretty deep, in Canadian terms. Since most party supporters of any stripe hardly manage more than a knee jerk salute to their party’s principles,
we want, we need, western Canadians to think a little further – whazzit? "Whazzit?" is also short for another question, "What were they thinking?"
Thinking? They think
the world’s climate change movement is a hostile attempt to hurt the people living in Canada’s oil and gas producing provinces. Coal, too, to be consistent. Climate change, for the Whazzit Party, is about as clear an attempt to derail the West as is the other present-day hysteria, COVID-19. Whazz’eers know Coronavirus has
been around and is just another form of flu; we should all recognize, the Whazz’eers continue, that COVID’s the perfect weapon
against hard-working, hard-drinking, hard-driving … Westerners.
Wexit folks add another big public deception, the 2020 presidential election; obviously a fraud. Or, to be exact, that the election was mis-tabulated and is
being used to remove the only president who has ever helped oil and gas, er, helped ordinary folks … in resource areas. So those would be three first Whazzits? questions for the new Western party.
Just as we asked our own Lemon Party, and others, we in Quebec might also ask what this western sovereignty might look like. That’s a crucial question for any separatist because it exposes the absence of a consistent view of the world and how globalization works. Three independent provinces (plus a couple of states?) … would make for nothing independent except in rhetoric. We learned that in Quebec in the ’90s. The only independent nations on the planet are of two types: those so poor and obscure no one bothers them; and the opposite, the big three or four of the world who throw their weight around and spend obscene amounts on weaponry.  Do the Whazz’eers really think that creating a northern banana republic will bring both posterity and an improvement in the planet’s conditions? It might bring a few more pipelines. Or perhaps they’re shooting for the 51st state or to join Alaska?    
Reality is much more complex than this, with a level of detail both astonishingly trivial and critical. Quebec’s advice for "the West" is not what Westerners might expect: stop blaming your problems on "central Canada" and Quebec. It’s the whole planet that’s now objecting, everywhere.