Wexit is now a thing as Alberta threatens to separate from the rest of Canada
Wexit began trending in Alberta not long after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took the stage early Tuesday morning in Montreal to celebrate his re-election.
Driven by frustrated voters in Western Canada, and especially Alberta, the term Wexit — a Western Canadian play on Brexit — began trending as the top topic on Twitter in Canada.
Western Canada - especially Alberta - is basically the victim of an abusive relationship with the rest of the country. Too scared to actually leave but what’s the benefit of staying? Not sure what the answer is but I’m worried about the next 4 years 😞 #wexit— Lyndel (@lyndelemen) October 22, 2019
It has remained the top trending topic throughout the morning.
Some observers, rightly, pointed out that the name Wexit is kind of dumb.
If you call it #wexit, people are gonna laugh at you.— David Pumpkin Spice Moscrop ☕️🎃 (@David_Moscrop) October 22, 2019
It's also not new. "Wexit" is a term that has been bandied about for months, and apart from Tuesday's social trending has largely remained a rallying cry for right wing activists.
Nevertheless, Canada's Western prairie provinces voted overwhelmingly in favour of the Conservative Party of Canada on Monday.
#BREAKING longest serving Liberal Ralph Goodale has lost. Will not represent Regina-Wascana for first time since 1993. Shock at Saskatchewan Liberal Headquarters. #elxn43 #cdnpoli @CTVNews pic.twitter.com/tH6Dbg03mV— Peter Akman (@PeterAkman) October 22, 2019
The Conservatives won all 14 ridings in Saskatchewan and captured all but one seat in Alberta, giving them 33 MPs from the Wildrose province. The one riding that did not go Conservative, Edmonton Strathcona, elected an NDP MP.
Nobody who is advocating for #wexit thinks it will be a panacea or without repercussions, but the status quo is untenable. We in the west are accustomed to doing the hard things.— MJN (@ManusJNardus) October 22, 2019
While the likelihood of Alberta separation remains low, one in three of the province's residents supported the idea of forming their own country, according to one August survey.
That's not radically different from contemporary support for Quebec sovereignty, which also saw a boost on election night with a resurgent Bloc Québécois.
Feeling the shock and serious sadness at tonight’s election results. What’s next for Alberta? I’m guessing separation. #wexit #albertaseparation @WingsNiners @dean_felt pic.twitter.com/GcwEtIqWFR— Shannon (@Scherrybombz) October 22, 2019
Research by the Environics Institute released earlier this year found that 57 per cent of residents in Saskatchewan and Alberta feel the federal government is irrelevant to them.
Meanwhile, for the first time in thirty years of polling, a majority of people in Alberta and Saskatchewan agreed with the statement “Western Canada gets so few benefits from being part of Canada that they might as well go it on their own.”
oh hell no Alberta we are NOT making "Wexit" a thing— Moebius Stripper (@moebius_strip) October 22, 2019
Still, the idea of separation seems to have gained little practical traction at the ballot box. In Alberta's 2019 provincial election, the Alberta Independence Party — which advocates for the province's separation from Canada — received less than one per cent of the popular vote.
Can albertans stop being the biggest fucking babies on the planet and stop acting like we’re victims because we’ve spent 40 years electing cons who failed to diversify our economy. Oil isn’t a fucking identity. We did this to ourselves. We aren’t victims #wexit— mermaid princess (@AlahnaMK) October 22, 2019
One resident of British Columbia, Canada's westernmost province, was quick to remind people that Wexit doesn't quite work because BC isn't really all that interested.
Dear Albertans: Stop calling it “western alienation”. There’s a whole province further west than you. You don’t speak for British Columbians. We’re pretty happy with Canada. It’s not #wexit it’s #axit— Penny Thompson (@postition) October 22, 2019
And an Indigenous man reminded Alberta voters that the land they live on isn't exactly theirs to separate from anything.
You can’t separate from a colonial state with land that doesn’t belong to you. #wexit— Terrill Tailfeathers (@Terrilltf) October 22, 2019
He's not wrong.
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