Stampede to loosen ties with Ottawa

It appears there are at least three political parties running candidates in the April 16 provincial election who favour autonomy for Alberta.

Checking out the party websites last week, that ‘autonomy’ thing was high on the list of the principles for the Freedom Conservative Party, the Alberta Advantage Party and the Alberta Independence Party.

Whether that’s outright secession from Canada, or just looser ties isn’t specified. But they want an end to the equalization payments thing. They want Alberta to control immigration. They want to reduce government regulation.

Come to think of it, the United Conservative Party wants those things too, or versions of them. The right to kick out an MLA during the term if you don’t like their performance is also favoured by these parties. That was a big one also in the Reform Party platform back in the day, some will recall. It’s one of those things that sounds very good when you’re on the outside looking in, but becomes much less popular once you are in office.

The same goes for electoral reform generally. Those in power – having got there by the current system – suddenly (or maybe gradually) lose their appetite for changing things.

Why all these parties need to exist when their platforms are so similar is a good question. They all want lower taxes; they all want more autonomy; they all want the right of recall; they all want government to leave people alone. They all despise the carbon levy. They all think the NDP government went too far in gay-straight alliance membership being kept secret from parents. And so on. And yet there they are all competing with each other. Isn’t politics fun?

However, in terms of Lesser Slave Lake, the Alberta Advantage and Freedom Conservatives are irrelevant. They don’t have candidates here, or didn’t when this was written. The Alberta Independence Party does, so if you have questions about this autonomy from Ottawa idea, Suzette Powder is the one to ask. She says she’ll definitely be at any candidate forums.

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