Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Friday October 25, 2019
Wexit and Brexit
Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party was re-elected Monday night and that has some Alberta residents calling for separation.
The Liberals were elected as a minority government but did not win a single seat in Alberta or Saskatchewan and lost the popular vote 34 to 33 per cent to the Conservative Party.
Alberta proved once again to be a Conservative stronghold with all but one of the province’s ridings going blue — NDP candidate Heather McPherson won in Edmonton-Strathcona — and the party capturing 70 per cent of the vote.
As it became evident on Monday evening the Liberals would be re-elected, #Wexit and “separation” began trending on Twitter.
Mount Royal University political scientist Duane Bratt said he expects Alberta’s separation movement to heat up.
“You have this large cohort of Conservative MPs. How does the government function? How does the Trudeau government function? What is (Alberta Premier Jason) Kenney’s response?” Bratt said. “I think this is a real danger to national unity.”
On Oct. 20, the Facebook group VoteWexit.com had just over 2,000 members. By Tuesday evening, the group’s membership had skyrocketed to more than 165,000 members. According to Storyful, the group’s membership grew over 8,000 per cent in a 36-hour period.
The group is calling for the separation of western Canada from the rest of the country.
“We’re going to be free from the blood-sucking, parasitic relationship we have with eastern Canada right now,” Wexit Alberta founder Peter Downing said. (Global News)
Meanwhile, Under normal circumstances, Boris Johnson would be celebrating. But nothing is normal in Brexit Britain.
Despite not having a parliamentary majority, his brand new legislative agenda has just been approved by the House of Commons. Instead of popping open the champagne and getting ready to crack on with governing, Johnson is gearing up for an early general election.
On Thursday afternoon, the Prime Minister said that he would give lawmakers more time to scrutinize his Brexit deal, but only if they agreed to an election on December 12. “If they genuinely want more time to study this excellent deal they can have it — but they have to agree to a general election on December 12,” he said in an interview with the BBC.
A formal motion requesting the vote will be placed before Parliament on Monday. It will be Johnson’s third request for an election, and it stands considerably more chance of being granted than the previous two.
Much has happened in Brexitland of late. Having failed to get his deal approved by Parliament on Saturday, Johnson was forced to ask the EU for an extension to the Brexit process beyond October 31, to avoid the UK leaving without a formal deal. (CNN)