So, on my television this morning, we had the leader of the Atlantica Party explaining (vaguely) his idea of the benefits of Atlantic Canadian union. He indicated that the idea for the Party originated when he returned from Out West, and “fell in with a bunch of freethinkers”.
I am somewhat troubled by his reference to ‘freethinkers’. In a democracy, aren’t we all theoretically free thinkers? Granted, not everyone avails themselves of the right to intelligently dissent, but the label ‘freethinker’ strikes me as being elitist and arrogant on first blush. The name also gets applied to purveyors of useless ‘alternative’ or ‘new age’ medicines who claim to know things THEY don’t want you to know about – the THEY being those parts of the government charged with the safety of consumers. How dare they impose on the freethinker’s useless ideas?
The idea also carries baggage in reference to the proposed union of the Atlantic Provinces, implying that this is a new idea – far from it, it’s a concept that has naturally been discussed over the past few hundred years. The similarities of industry, culture, geography, demographics and so on have prompted this discussion every fifty years or so – I guess it’s time. I would argue, however, that time has marched on, and the idea is outdated and simplistic.
I decided to visit their website, and I found it interesting that they see Atlantic Canada as having ‘no future’ and being ‘impoverished’, something that uniting the provinces would supposedly rectify.
Taking the ongoing demographic change in Atlantic Canada as but one example, I would expect that people would leave Atlantica about as fast as they are leaving the individual provinces, they’d just have a bigger province to come back to when they retire.
Anyway, as intriguing as this all is, the Party is holding an event on March 31 at my local library. I plan to attend, if only to gather more blog fodder. Consider me your humble correspondent, and I expect a few of my compatriots from the ‘Kog will join me in my quest for…whatever I seem to be questing for. If a total of four people show up for this meeting, as was the case at the last meeting, I think ‘Kog writers will for once constitute a political majority. We need to enjoy that while it lasts.
What will we encounter when we confront the Freethinkers? Truth? Maybe. Entertainment? Definitely. Stay tuned.