|Montréal, 3 février 2001 / No 76||
by Scott Carpenter
There is an old saying:
The founding convention for the party – which took place on the 20th of January – received a bit more support than party leader, Corey Morgan, had anticipated. At the onset of his inaugural speech Morgan stood stunned in front of a packed convention hall of supporters in the central Alberta city of Red Deer.
Morgan began by apologizing for his speechlessness:
Fueled by a feeling of political alienation and the notion that the fundamental rights of all Canadians are being thoroughly violated by a distant and tyrannical government – Westerners met to support the birth of the new independence party and to voice their frustrations with their role in Confederation.
The party – which began two years ago but died out due to a concerted effort to elect an Alliance government federally – has seen vigorously renewed support amongst both the public and some mainstream politicians. In attendance of the inaugural event were senators in waiting Ted Morton and Bert Brown. Brown briefly addressed the party executive and the hall of supporters, wishing them
Canadian Alliance MP's from Alberta and British Columbia were also on hand to witness the birth of the official independence movement in Western Canada. In an interview with the Edmonton Journal Wild Rose MP, Myron Thompson, stated that:
Party Executive and Director of the Southern Alberta region for the AIP, John Koch, reiterated Thompson's sentiment:
A Confederacy of Sovereign States
During an open mike session Westerners cheered the young executive and applauded their courage in acting as a focal point for a movement that seems to have sprouted wings on its own. Delegates from fledgling movements in British Columbia and Saskatchewan urged the party to form alliances with similar movements throughout the West.
Jamie Gates, a Saskatchewan resident and the publisher of the new North West Independencer newsletter brought
Questions by the media and those in attendance about the seriousness of the Party's intentions were quickly put to rest by Morgan. When asked
Other executives stated that it was time for the provinces and their people to stop kowtowing to Ottawa and to get on with the task of establishing an independent west. Party president, Valerie Clark stated that although she was a proud Canadian and did not want to see the country divided that whether she liked it or not, in reality, independence was the only way to solve the problems that federalism posed for Albertans.
Party members agreed that individual and Albertan Independence must be the goal and that if necessary secession would be the means used to achieve that. The party's interim constitution was amended to reflect this consensus. Libertarians will be pleased to hear that the party plans on implementing a more voluntary system of taxation. Executives of the AIP state that their policy of taxation is
In the development stage
The Western Independence Party of B.C. is currently in its development stage as well. Some executives have commented that a working alliance between both provincial parties would be desirable.
The AIP is planning a general meeting later this spring where it's policies and constitution will be further debated and amended. Until then they will focus on establishing several candidates to run in the next provincial election which is expected to be called some time during the next few months.
Interested parties from across the country are welcome to buy memberships and participate in policy formation. This may be a good opportunity for libertarians to get involved at the grass roots level of a movement that is suddenly gaining steam.
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