Political Mandate and Identity Shift to a Proposed Novacadia Independence Party

During the course of “marketing” my independent candidacy in Central Nova in 2007 I became affiliated with the fledgling Atlantica Party. Our point of mutual concern and interest was the notion of Maritime Union for the Atlantic provinces. However, we disagreed fundamentally on the political motives for Maritime Union to such an extent that I felt it was in everyone’s best interests to simply withdraw my support.

The Atlantica Party is somewhat soft on Maritime Union, placing it well behind its other policy initiatives of political and electoral reform. As a bioregional secessionist, I hold that Maritime Union must be at the philosophical and political forefront. The political equation is simple: Maritime Union precedes regional secession.

Furthermore, the Atlantica Party’s premise for Maritime Union is to foster greater economic prosperity for the Maritimes. Again, the premise for Maritime Union of the proposed Novacadia Independence Party is diametrically opposed to that of the Atlantica Party’s position. Due to the social and economic consequences inherent in the approaching era of Peak Oil, it is imperative to prepare the public for a drastic economic downturn. The extent of the economic depression that is foreseen by some Peak Oil advocates will make the Dirty Thirties seem like a stroll through the park. It will be a depression brought about by the dictates of nature, as opposed to the bursting of a humanly-vain speculative bubble. It will not be a matter of merely “riding it out.” The so-called “good times”, i.e. the accumulation of petrochemical byproduct stuff, are about to end…and they’re not coming back.

It is this latter economic meltdown that is one of the prime factors that will generate an implosion of social institutions, the institution of the large industrial nation state inclusive. Secessionism is thus the assumption of political responsibility to meet and address social hardships of unforeseen proportions. Secessionists do not will secession; they merely pluck it off the tree of history like an overripe fruit. The political challenge for North American secessionists is to steer through several decades of crisis and hurt in order to come out on the other side of this pending societal collapse and catharsis, somewhat bruised and battered, but coming out nonetheless. We owe it to ourselves to offer the public a vision of hope, if not directly for ourselves, then at least for our children’s children’s children.

Taken within the context of economic mandate, the Atlantica Party is identified by the public with the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies (AIMS) which is a strong supporter of the commercial designation of Atlantica. If this public perception is valid or not does not really matter. What matters is that it is held. As a result, along with the identity to AIMS itself there is the public perception that the Atlantica Party is a political front for an extreme right wing, corporatist agenda. The constant denial of Jonathan Dean, the Atlantica Party leader, that the party is not affiliated with AIMS hardly negates the fact that it is one of the first questions asked of him by both the public and the media.

Rightly or wrongly, the perception of affiliation exists. Again, rightly or wrongly, the perception of the Atlantica Party being a shill for AIMS straddles the party with a major liability before it is even out of the gate. Although the “marketing baggage” for the Atlantica Party at this stage is minimal, it can only increase rather than decrease. Of course, if the economic policies that are eventually created by the Atlantica Party lean markedly towards the neo-con, radical right, then the above concerns are all moot.

It is for these reasons that it was necessary to cut bait, i.e. distance and differentiate, from the Atlantica Party. We maintain an alliance for being champions of Maritime Union, although we are diametrically opposed on the historical rationale for being such. Now the regional secessionist initiative has been taken to the fore; it has been elevated to the political high ground. The secessionist imperative for Novacadia is now positioned for the public to clearly see, contemplate, and decide to support, or not. The ethical tactic of “no secrets” is much stronger than that of a “hidden agenda.”

No doubt, this splitting of a couple of political small fry that are not even registering on the radar will, in time, make for some interesting years on the Nova Scotia and Maritime political fringes. The Green Party should take notice that the Novacadia Independence Party and the Atlantica Party have every intent to become players. There is certainly nothing wrong with some good, old fashioned competition.

Personally, I am confident that, over time, support can be and will be weaned from both the Atlantica Party and the Greens. If I did not believe that the Novacadia Independence Party will come out on top after several years of ideological street fighting, then I would not have bothered putting this initiative into play. Beyond the fringe, however, the grass becomes somewhat thicker, more complicated and a much greater challenge.

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