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Western Alienation in Canadian Politics - Essay Example

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In the paper “Western Alienation in Canadian Politics,” the author discusses western alienation, which is founded on the belief that the interests of western provinces: Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba are not served by the Canadian political climate…
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Western Alienation in Canadian Politics
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Download file to see previous pages The history of western alienation dates back to the forming of the dominion of Canada and Canada confederation in the year 1867. The conservative party prime minister J. Macdonald implemented a national policy with regard to manufactured goods and trade policies. In doing this, he was responding to the high tariffs that were in the United States. The western farmers were forced to compete with international markets when trading grains (Surhone and Miriam2010, 53). This created dissatisfaction. Western provinces thought the tariffs were freight rates were discriminatory and favored the central provinces. Western Canadian politics and culture are extremely pervaded by sentiments of an asymmetrical relationship between the two central provinces and the West (Ferguson and Simon 2009, 70-74). The feeling of being exploited is not limited to westerners. Many Canadians in Atlantic Provinces feel the same alienation (Mackenzie 1984, 29). Western alienation is both a regional and political ideology in with regard to discontent. Western alienation represents a common and shared set of political beliefs. It is viewed as both intellectual articulation and cultural expression. The alienation has a recognized constituency and history. It is got representatives and hence fundamental element of the western political culture. For many years now, Western alienation has been a vital component in the Canadian political field. The emotion and attitudes behind the term can be traced back to mid 1800s. This is pre World War I period. The term western alienation is relatively recent. Many believe Canadian political system is the main cause of this phenomenon. The federal political system is dysfunctional and unrepresentative according to many western Canadians (Alberta 2000, 41). A large portion of the literature reveals western alienation revolves around political concerns. The federal political system is accused of alienating the western provinces in Canada. The alienation has caused ongoing struggles to defend the interest of the western Canadians (Ibbitson 2012, 2). The oil discovery in the province of Alberta, in the year 1947, led to a conflict between the province and the federal government of Canada. The premier of Alberta, Lougheed, said the province should utilize the profits from oil to propel its economy. There was a threefold agenda to complete a transcontinental railway, to create a manufacturing base and to settle prairies. The manufacturing base was to be in eastern Canada. According to J. Macdonald, this would be the solution to the problem of uniting Canada both economically and geographically. In contrast, the national policy ended up becoming a source of significant western discontent. This policy left a legacy of discriminatory freight rates. To the western Canada, the policy enhanced a resource based economy that propelled the growth of financial and manufacturing sectors in the central Canada (Mackenzie 1984, 29). It should be noted the last half of the 20th century has witnessed enormous growth and change in western Canada. The provinces of British Columbia and Alberta have been impacted tremendously. The discovery of oil in Leduc, Alberta in 1947 changed the economy of the province although it created increasing conflict with Ottawa. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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