Lessons in Secession for the Quebec Election

Separatism was a hot topic for the latest Quebec election. Quebec’s separatist party was defeated, but regardless of the outcome secession will remain one of the most important controversies underlying Canadian confederacy.

Hoppe writes:

Secession increases ethnic, linguistic, religious, and cultural diversity, while in the course of centuries of centralization hundreds of distinct cultures were stamped out.

There are also economic reasons to favor secession. Although Quebec receives transfer payments from Ottawa, these ultimately make Quebec’s economy weaker. This kind of provincial welfare creates an environment where people have stronger incentives to get money from the government (because there is more loot up for grabs), either through welfare or cronyism, rather than serving one’s fellow man in the market and truly benefiting society.

Furthermore, smaller countries have a stronger incentive to favor free trade, and reject protectionism. It is surely correct that if Quebec maintained its same economic policies post-separation, it would be a disaster for the citizens. But there would be far greater pressure to actually liberalize the economy if there was less subsidization available. Additionally, any of Quebec’s wealth that is currently sucked into the black hole of Ottawa would remain in Quebec.

It would be an advance in Canadian civilization for the country to split. But it would not be enough to stop there — there should be hundreds, or thousands of Canadas, which would create a land of amazing prosperity and happy coexistence. There can still be a “Canada” — but Canada should be a coalition of cooperating territories, not a exploitative system where some groups use Ottawa to rip off other groups.

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LOL Justin Trudeau

Ok, so it is very possible that Justin Trudeau is an annoying, spoiled brat who hungers for power. Let us be charitable and see if we can find anything good about Justin Trudeau.

Now the leader of the Liberal Party, Trudeau spent his first day in the House of Commons attacking Harper over proposed tax hikes on imported goods, including iPods. That’s good! Of course, the NDP was also attacking Harper over these tariffs. Obviously the opposition is purely political. After all, just a few years ago the NDP was in favor of iPod taxes (and the Conservatives were opposed — politics makes me sick).

If Trudeau devoted himself to arguing against raising taxes, that would seriously be great. I would probably become a fan. Unfortunately, that will never happen. Trudeau actually loves taxation in general, because it is that on which the Canadian system of West-to-East transfer-payments depends. He must realize that the tariffs he is arguing against will in no small part pay for stuff in Quebec.

Speaking of which, people seem unclear of where he stands on the separatism issue. The Tory attack ad makes him seem to favor Quebec separation, but Trudeau had said he would only favor Quebec independence if “Harper succeeds in imposing his values on Canada,” or something.

I find that interesting. Firstly, since Trudeau blames Canada’s problems on Alberta, I am sure he would love to punish Alberta if he had an opportunity to impose his values on Canada. Would he then favor Alberta separatism if Albertans objected to his values? Of course not. Secondly, if Harper’s values are so bad for Canada (and they are), wouldn’t that justify Alberta independence as well? Again, Trudeau would say no — because even with Harper in charge, he would not want to jeopardize the essential status quo of the Canadian power structure, which depends on the extraction of wealth from any “have” provinces like Alberta (but they won’t be for long, because its government is quickly grinding them to ruin).

Basically, Justin Trudeau is a hypocrite and a jerk. I suspect he would happily argue in favor of tariffs doing so would benefit him politically. I also suspect he would never seriously support Quebec’s secession if the issue came up in real life.

Everyone should support free trade. It’s not even a question. But everyone should also support the freedom to choose separatism, because it is the ultimate check on centralized power.

Yet power-hungry politicians always want more territory under their dominion, not less. Trudeau really doesn’t support separatism at all. He wants a united Canada so that Ottawa can continue subsidizing the politically connected elite. He would never really support the independence of Quebec beyond a few oracular assertions, because then Quebec would actually have to cut its spending.

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