Thursday, 19 February 2009

"Alaska First - Alaska Always."

The title of this post is the motto of the Alaskan Independence Party. What does the party stand for and what role does it play in Sarah Palin's political career?

Here's what we know as facts: Todd Palin was a member of the AIP from 1995 until 2002. Sarah Palin sent a video message of support to the AIP for its annual convention in 2008.

So to what extent do Sarah Palin's policies and initiatives reflect the AIP's agenda?

Let's look at some of the positions held by the party:

  • To seek the complete repatriation of the public lands, held by the federal government, to the state and people of Alaska.
  • The AIP supports the development of Alaska's natural resources. It supports mining operations in Alaska.
  • The AIP remains steadfastly opposed to environmental regulations and actively promotes the private ownership and widespread development of Alaskan land.
  • Joe Vogler, a vocal former chairman, criticized how Alaska had to pay claims to native peoples who were resettled as part of the oil-inspired Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 (ANCSA). He also argued that the lands set aside for native tribes or wildlife preserves are unfair deprivations constituting "discrimination" against Alaska by the federal government.

These are some of the issues the AIP is passionate about.

What is Sarah Palin passionate about?

  • She may not seek the complete repatriation of federal lands, but she definitely wants to open them up (ANWR) to develop the natural resourses.
  • Her position on the environment is well known as she's in the habit of challenging the federal government over endangered species through costly lawsuits. Also not averse to dumping toxic waste in Alaska's waterways if it benefits private industries, such as the oil and mining companies.
  • Sarah Palin's attitudes towards Alaska Natives range from indifference to outright contempt, as discussed in an earlier post.

These are the points where Sarah Palin and the AIP agree. There are disagreements, big ones!

  • The AIP supports the complete abolition of the concept of sovereign or governmental immunity, so as to restore accountability for public servants. When a bureaucrat, government employee or elected official does you harm there is no recourse for the individual because they hide behind the concept of "sovereign immunity." The AIP abhors this concept and believes that all are responsible for their actions. If they are acting as a government official they can't act without taking responsibility.
  • The AIP supports the direct popular election of the attorney general, all judges, and magistrates. Alaska's constitution calls for the apointment of judges, magistrates and the attorney general. If the AG was elected he would be responsible to the people. An elected AG would have no choice but to stand up for Alaska or answer to the people of the state.
  • An open book is what the AIP wants the government to be.

There we have it. Agreements and disgreements. Does Sarah Palin lean one way or the other?

What do you think?

Source: AIP
Image: Suzzanne Bennett-Sempers


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