Western Seperatism won’t fly

By Peter Schaub

Re: “A Separate Future?,” Nov. 14, 2002.

Thank you for the interesting piece on Western Separatism. One thing that alarms me is that for the most part, those in Alberta taking up the separatist cause are using it as a vehicle to promote a kind of extreme right-wing reactionism that makes Rush Limbaugh look like a communist. Relying on frustratingly vague arguments, they speak of how enforcing “Christian family values” will preserve our “European Heritage,” and of how the environmental movement is evil and must be stopped.

Yes, I do believe that politically the West is getting shafted, and that eastern politicians do not understand us–but, really, I can’t support any movement that seriously believes that a woman’s place is in the home, that abortion is evil, or that environmentalists should be silenced. In Alberta, it has come to pass that supporting separation now essentially implies being at least three fingers to the right of Ralph Klein.

What if I’m a proud Westerner that is in favour of abortion on demand, and in favour of the creation of new parks off-limits to industry? I refuse to trade away tolerance, parkland, and an egalitarian income distribution–all just for the sake of a new flag.

So, yes–I do think the West is getting shafted, but as long as the majority of Western Separatists are right-wing extremists preaching inequality, hatred and religious fundamentalism, forget it.