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.