Wednesday, October 05, 2022

What Is The Goal of the Alberta Sovereignty Act?

Since Danielle Smith first started advocating for the so-called "Alberta Sovereignty Act", much digital ink has been spilled over how it's unconstitutional, if not downright illegal under Canada's laws today. 

In general I agree with this perspective, but I also do not think the intent is "to play within the rules" here. After the CPC lost the 2015 election, and Harper effectively "rage quit" elected politics, I suspected that we had not seen the last of his shadow in Canada's politics. 

To be sure, he has remained a controlling influence in the CPC, and I'm fairly certain that his machinations led ultimately to the hamstringing and downfall of both Andrew Scheer and Erin O'Toole. When Poilievre stepped back from running to replace Andrew Scheer, I wondered what was up.  There was no question in my mind that he had more than a good chance of defeating the rest of the field of candidates - I concluded at the time that Poilievre's sudden "step back" was coordinated by someone close to Harper who rightly figured that the odds of defeating Trudeau were slim, a matter of "keeping one's powder dry" so to speak. 

In 2015, I commented to a sibling that now that voters have made it clear that Harper wasn't going to "rule over them for life", that conservative backrooms were now trying to figure out how to "blow Canada up" politically.  

Since then, we have been bombarded by a series of initiatives. That has been everything from the formation of the UCP (Harper was heavily involved in organizing this) in Alberta, to increasing the coordination across conservative Premiers (it's been fascinating to watch them all start singing from the same song sheet during the COVID pandemic), to a series of political pseudo-separatist initiatives like the so-called "Buffalo Declaration" and the "Free Alberta Strategy". 

The intent is basically to drive division in Canada.  Play up old grievances from the Prairies - which are nursed and fed in Alberta to this day, claim that Ottawa is out to screw Alberta over, and so on. The underlying goal all stems back to Harper's anger over being defeated in 2015 - he was angry at that, and as one might expect, there's a certain amount of "If I can't have Canada, nobody can" thinking going on. 

This looks a lot like the classic domestic abuse strategem - isolate the victims, and convince them that only their abuser actually "understands" them.  

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The Alberta Sovereignty Act: A Pas a Deux With Danielle Smith and Stephen Harper

I’m not going to use the full title of that act - partly because it’s ridiculously long, and like many things out of the UCP, utterly devoid...