Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Rodney Dangerfield was an Albertan

Constitutionally, from an Albertan's point of view, Canada is still stuck in 1905. Since that time, Alberta has grown significantly in population, spirit, and GDP. There's no doubt the oil booms have helped grow the economy, but there are many other industries that get ignored--for example: forestry, farming, I.T., housing, investing, construction, engineering, medical research, etc.

This poll is indicative of the feelings of the majority of Albertans who feel they do not receive the respect that's deserved from the rest of Canada, that Albertans are lucky because we sit on a pile of oil.

While I believe a monkey could balance the Alberta budget with the amount of oil revenues that come in, in the 90's, the province's economy proved it could run without government spending above inflation as it does now.

However, prior to that, Trudeau's National Energy socialist Program (NEP) nearly flattened economic growth, not just in oil and gas, but in other sectors as well--investment loses in real estate were staggerring, jobs were lost, and the suicide rate increased. While premier Lougheed at the time tried to stop it, Trudeau went ahead anyway. You wonder if the senate was more effective, it could have put a stop to it.

With that said, Albertans "don't get no respect" not because of the oil and money, it's the fact that the province is underrepresented in the senate. As long as Ontario has the big population, it will continue to have more representation in government. Granted, the current prime minister is from Calgary, as are several cabinet ministers from Alberta, but that's based on an election, and is not indicative of a permanent need for fair constitutional representation.

The need for senate reform is ever apparent even if Alberta didn't have such wealth, as it also applies to the other western provinces. Ironically, Canada might not have been formed if the senate wasn't created as it still is, but even then, the desire for a triple-e senate existed, and the west wasn't even settled yet.

Why Nova Scotia and New Brunswick get 10 senators each and Alberta gets 6 is beyond me.

Over one hundred years later, and you'd think Alberta and the other western provinces would get more representation.

We can elect all the senators we want, but without provincial equality, Canada will continue to struggle with unity, alientation and separation will always be a buzz-word in the west, we'll never progress into a mature and democratic country, and the west, especially Alberta, will never get the respect it deserves and continue to be a treated more like a colony, not a province in a great dominion.

No comments: