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Paul Mitchinson is a part-time writer and a full-time father of two. He writes when he can. » more about me

I see that the good folks at Western Standard magazine are maintaining the same high standards of journalism of their predecessors at Alberta Report and Western Report. [Full disclosure: Our family subscribed to the Alberta Report for years, and my first ever letter to the editor was published by Alberta Report.] Their latest smirk-worthy headline claimed that an “exclusive Western Standard poll shows more than a third of westerners are thinking of separating from Canada.” Or as the Xinhua news agency helpfully summarized: Western Canadians want separation: poll

So, were Western Canadians asked if they wanted to form their own country? Nope. Were they asked if they wanted some watered-down version of sovereignty-association? Nope. Were they asked if they wanted to “explore the idea of forming their own country?” Nope again. (Bruce Garvey is just making stuff up when he writes in the National Post that a third of Westerners say it’s time “to seriously explore the option of getting out of Canada.”) Apparently it’s too difficult for a pollster to pose such simple questions. Instead, Western Canadians were asked to agree or disagree with the following statement:

Western Canadians should begin to explore the idea of forming their own country.

This is laughable nonsense. No self-respecting pollster of Quebec sovereigntist opinion would dare ask such a mealy-mouthed question. (Sovereigntists themselves, of course, ask even worse ones in their referendums. See here and here)

Most people are generally willing to “begin to explore” just about any idea. That’s not the sign of a passionate desire to destroy a country. It’s called open-minded intelligence — which is why it’s disappointing to see that only 36% of Western Canadians were willing to embark on the exploration.

2 Responses to “Western Canadian “Separatism””

  1. As many people know, 2/3 of statistics are made up, and one of the best ways to make up the statistics you want is to ask a question designed for that purpose. It is no surprise that Alberta Report er Western Standard would make such a spurious claim. Let’s not let facts get in the way of a good story as Western Standard Publisher Ezra Levant did recently referring to “Chinese fascism and & Chinese National Socialism” in a recent column. With background knowledge like that how can anything he says have credibility (especially seeing as who picked up on and used his statistics as Paul pointed out)?

    As much as I disagree with western separatism, and abhor the propaganda strategies evident in the Western Standard poll and it’s reporting, western alienation is alive and needs to be addressed for the good of all of Canada. The last Prime Minister (to last . . . a year or more) that came from outside of Ontario or Quebec was Diefenbaker. The 40+ years since the PM was someone from the regions is symbolic of Canada’s systemic preoccupation with the central region. For decades, regional viewpoints, both western and maritime, have been pushed aside leading to frustration and varying degrees of alienation. It’s time for central Canada to open their minds to perspectives from all regions . . . oh, and give us a EEE Senate!

    Derrick

  2. EEE Senate buttonHi, cuz!

    Thanks for the great comment — you single-handedly increased the number of comments on this blog by 50%!!

    About your last observation, I couldn’t agree more. In fact, I pulled out my handy-dandy camera-phone just now and took a shot of this Triple-E Senate button I’ve had for almost twenty years. (Sorry for the lousy quality.)

    Whether Westerners demand Senate reform or not, it’s pretty clear that the Canadian Senate, as it exists today, should cause every single Canadian voter to feel alienated from their government.

    Paul Mitchinson