|Montréal, 6 janvier 2001 / No 74||
by Scott Carpenter
Tough questions call for creative answers. Those interested in creating a separate nation here in western Canada had better keep this in mind. Indeed, secession isn't the simple or glorious task that many keyboard revolutionaries believe it to be. On the contrary – it's messy, divisive and almost impossible to coordinate. We need look no further than the Quebec experience to understand this.
In fact – to my knowledge – there have been few successful attempts at
secession in North America in the past three hundred years. The American
Revolution was one. These however, are different times and the enemy we
face today is not nearly as bold or tangible as the enemy that the colonials
faced almost 250 years ago. These days, more than anything, Westerners
seem to be rebelling against a rather abstract philosophy (to put it mildly).
In this sense certain tactics must change.
But all pessimism aside, the concept of secession is not as impossible and far fetched as much of the media and academic world would have us believe. Secession is a viable answer to the problems that federalism poses – but it is only possible if we are willing to look the tough questions straight in the face and work out some realistic solutions. Ignoring the opposition is not the answer. Listening to them is.
A definable goal
What is it we want to achieve? This is probably the inquiry with the largest question mark behind it. Various websites have sprung up since the last election in an attempt to answer it. Some have promoted the idea of retaining the monarchy and establishing a new constitutional democracy of some sort.
Others – perhaps more prevalently – advocate the establishment of a republic or promote the possibility of merging the western provinces with our American neighbors to the south.
All of these are ideas that hold various merits and pitfalls. All are worthy – to some degree – of consideration. But what matters more than structure is principle.
Are we simply rebuilding the same old power structures here in the West or are we doing something different?
If this is simply a relocation project then I want little to do with it. I am not interested in reestablishing the same system of domination politics that has existed for the past 133 years in this country in a new
Whether we call this renaissance a
Indeed, once the fundamental building blocks of liberty are understood and established it will become clearer as to which political structure is most appropriate for its maintenance. Liberty has its own set of requirements structurally speaking. It can not flourish in a monarchy and is subjugated by the whim of the majority in a social democracy. Of course, these are lessons that both time and history may teach us....
A cacophony of voices
At this point there are a million and one questions to be asked about the movement and how it will affect our lives. The best thing we can do is this: Listen.
Get used to this term. It is an important word in more ways than one.
First. We will make mistakes. And we will hear about it. Listen to the criticism – ignore the insults. Learn from those mistakes.
Second. Who not to listen to more than once: Those who say it cannot be done. There may be truth to that statement. It may not be possible to establish a free nation in the West. But it is not impossible. Secession does not require us to defy the laws of physics, it simply requires us to act wisely and expediently.
The truth is this: we may be squashed. We may succeed. How well we do depends on many factors – some we control, some we don't. But by not acting at all we are doomed to remain in a state of colonialism. Without hard work, determination, wisdom and hope we will fail. By minding these virtues and staying the path we create the possibility.
Third. Who to listen closely to: People with questions. There will be a lot of them and we must be prepared to field their inquiries (especially the tough ones) honestly and reasonably.
Tough questions will require creative and fair solutions. Don't give in because there doesn't seem to be an answer that appeases all. You will never make everyone happy. Be consistent in the application of your principles.
The right to secede is as old and legitimate as the existence of man himself. It is a form of national and personal self defense. However, be that as it may, you should still prepare to be dragged through the mud for putting your principles into action. You will meet resistance and it will come from every direction – family, friends and even those you thought were your allies.
Restructuring a political system is not a pretty and benign process. To put it bluntly – it pisses people off. Your most difficult opponents to face will not be some government spin doctor or some nightly talking head – it will be the people you live amongst and care most about.
Liberty is funny that way. It is as natural to man as the air we breath but it is difficult (at best) to hold on to and nearly impossible to rescue once let go.
Indeed, prepare for the journey ahead. It promises to be a rocky one.
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