Some Westerners are concerned that a federal political party advocating Western independence will “split the vote” with the Conservative Party of Canada, thus ensuring that Justin Trudeau’s Liberals will be re-elected once again. Therefore, they argue that Westerners should continue to support the Conservatives, like they’ve been doing for years. The Conservatives are better than the Liberals, after all.
It’s true that the Conservatives are better in the sense that their policies are usually less harmful to the West than Liberal policies. But we really need to think about the logic behind the “splitting the vote” argument. Since the Conservative Party of Canada was formed in 2003, the people of Alberta and Saskatchewan have been voting for it in overwhelming numbers. Yet, look where we are now. The West is still being ripped off by the East.
The subordination of the West’s interests will continue under new Conservative leader Erin O’Toole. He has committed his party to abide by the Paris Agreement on climate change. Soon after his election as party leader, Erin O’Toole was interviewed by Vassy Kapelos of the CBC. After reading from O’Toole’s policy platform where he talked about lowering GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions, she asked him point blank: “I just want to know unequivocally, does that mean that a government led by Erin O’Toole will adhere to the goals set by the Paris Agreement?’ O’Toole replied, “Yes, that will be our intention.”
In other words, if he becomes prime minister, Canada will continue to pursue policies aimed at undermining the West’s fossil fuel production. On this point, it doesn’t look like O’Toole would be much of an improvement over Justin Trudeau.
Voting for the Conservative Party in election after election isn’t working. Something new is needed, and that must involve supporting candidates advocating independence for Western Canada. The Conservatives have had their chance and they failed. Only if Westerners support a party committed to the independence of the West will anything change.