Has it simply become the political version of ‘it’s my ball and I’m going home’?
While it’s nothing new, the talk of ‘exits’ seems to dominate the political landscape a lot lately.
Brexit. Wexit. Grexit. Exit, stage left Snagglepuss.
Every time a certain group of voters sees things not going their way, the sabre-rattling begins.
“What if we started our own country?”
“We should leave.”
“We’ll show them all.”
Our friends at the Ladysmith Chronicle even coined ‘Viexit’ this week, noting proponents of Island separation have been around for awhile as well.
“Viexit has historical precedent. The early 1900s saw wealthy Vancouver Islanders petitioning for the Island to become an independent British colony.”
So it’s nothing new.
In 2016, the Vancouver Island Party was formed, wanting to become its own province (at least it still wants to be part of Canada).
The list goes on. And nothing ever comes of it. Nor should it.
Canada prides itself on its diversity, embracing a myriad of different views. Part of our democracy includes sometimes being governed by groups whose political ideology may not perfectly match up with yours.
That’s also how life works.
Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister, who’s not in favour of western secession talk, said it very succintly and very well recently: “My wife and I have been together for 35 years and we don’t get stronger as a couple by threatening to leave every week.”
Of course, anyone is well within their rights to disagree with someone else and if you feel bolting Canada is for the best, you’re welcome to those feelings. That’s part of our democracy as well.
But what does it accomplish?
Suggesting we’d be better off as a fractured Canada than a united one seems counterproductive.
If only we felt the way about politics as we felt about sport.
There weren’t too many folks who weren’t excited Canadians when Paul Henderson scored in 1972. Or Sidney Crosby scored the golden goal in 2010.
Our differences are part of makes us so unique, and so strong as a nation.
In an era where polarization and division have become the norm, more than ever we need our political leaders – and the rest of us to work together.