Thursday, December 10, 2009

Indian move inspiration for Canada?

People in Northern Ontario, Cape Breton Island and Upstate New York have been agitating for their own autonomous regions for years. It looks like they may have gotten some inspiration: India, after years of protests, has agreed to carve out several districts from the north and northwest of Andhra Pradesh and create a new state called Telangana. The reason for the agitation: Complaints that the state government has ignored them.

How familiar this must sound. Northwest and Northeast Ontario: Their timber, gold and diamond resources are exploited by the south and most of the north is still covered by substandard two lane highways (most places in other countries and at similar latitudes have full dual carriageways). Cape Breton Island: They've complained that the mainland part of Nova Scotia has taken advantage of them for years, "Down with the Causeway!" is a familiar refrain. And, yes, Upstate New York: Similar issues to north Ontario -- except that they're more conservative as opposed to their mostly socialist cousins, plus there's that nagging issue that tax dollars and toll revenues are diverted to subways in New York City while the rest of the state suffers, not to mention that the NYS legislature is arguably the least efficient and most corrupt state body in the country with the possible exception of the legislature in Louisiana. (Imagine a constitution 120 pages long -- that's even longer than India's for heaven's sake!)
We tend to be a much more peaceable bunch in Canada and secession of this type is extremely rare -- New Brunswick separated from Nova Scotia in 1784, the Yukon from the NWT in 1898 and Nunavut was created ten years ago, also severed from the NWT. But hey -- if the areas north and west of Algonquin want to leave and form their own province, go ahead. They just might do a better job managing the resources than we do. Just don't come crawling back if you screw it up.

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