Alberta Premier Jason Kenney (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

VICTORIA – At least some in the Alberta NDP must have been offering up discreet prayers of thanks last night.

Premier Jason Kenney, threatened with a vote of confidence yesterday by his rebellious United Conservative Caucus members, bluffed the lot of them into silence.

Alberta Opposition Leader Rachel Notley, the province’s capable former premier (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

The gathered MLAs, so the stories go, folded like a canvas lawn chair when they realized some of the premier’s supporters weren’t about to allow a secret caucus vote. 

In other words, they would have to let their colleagues in caucus know where they stood, and that was enough to stop the idea dead in its tracks. After all, eventually how they voted might leak out to the general public, including many voters who would not be happy whatever they decided to do. 

Quelle horreur! 

Let’s just say these Conservative legislators are not made of the same stuff as the Canadians who took Vimy Ridge!

It is a truth universally unacknowledged by Alberta’s Opposition that they are better off with Mr. Kenney, who has proved to be a catastrophe as premier during the drawn-out disaster of the COVID-19 pandemic, as the leader of the government party.

After all, every day, more small-c Alberta conservatives, the sort of folks who have long voted for the Progressive Conservatives and later for Mr. Kenney’s United Conservatives with the force of habit, are quietly confessing to themselves and their friends that for the first time they’re contemplating voting for Rachel Notley’s NDP.

At least Ms. Notley, they’ll admit when pressed, was competent during her term as premier from 2015 to 2019. 

Bonaparte in his thirties, as seen by Jacques-Louis David, 1748-1825 (Image: Public Domain).

Mr. Kenney, pretty clearly is not. At least, it’s extremely difficult to make a case he had no choice when it came to how he responded to the pandemic, or to claim he couldn’t have chosen a better course on any number of issues. 

Sometimes you have to lose something – or someone – to realize how good you had it. A lot of Albertans are starting to pine for the quiet competence of Ms. Notley. 

The admission Mr. Kenney is good for the Opposition because he is so bad at being premier is a difficult one for the NDP to acknowledge because it would also mean admitting that some other Conservative leader might be harder to defeat. It could even be spun to suggest anyone who feels this way hopes for more of the disasters that Mr. Kenney has perpetrated. 

Plus, of course, it’s simply fun to watch the disunited United Conservative Party tear itself apart because its remaining components are so incompatible with one another. 

The UCP’s Calgary Caucus quite reasonably fears the wrath of its voters if the party continues to bow to the lunacy of their anti-vaxx rural brethren. 

Rural MLAs who may privately acknowledge the validity of science and the effectiveness of vaccines rightly fear what their many Q-influenced constituents might get up to if they listen too closely to their Calgary colleagues.

Both camps are terrified of what would happen if the other side manages to pick Mr. Kenney’s successor.

They obviously concluded yesterday they’re better off with the devil they know than the devil they don’t. Anyway, with an election scheduled to be held by May 2023, there’s plenty of time to comfort themselves with the thought everything will still somehow work out. 

As for Mr. Kenney, the former federal MP seems like a politician confident he really can fool all of the people all of the time. Anyway, even if he doesn’t, he’ll soon be eligible for his full Parliamentary pension from the Government of Canada, also in May 2023. 

Meanwhile, the UCP MLAs supposedly agreed yesterday to go ahead with a planned leadership review in the spring of 2022.

Mark my words, come 2022, Mr. Kenney will do his best to wiggle off the hook again, no doubt by arguing it’s too close to the Spring 2023 election for the United Conservatives to be airing their dirty laundry in public, or even behind closed doors through which the grunts and slaps of conflict will be muffled but still audible. 

The UCP boil, un-lanced, will continue to grow more inflamed. 

Maybe there will be some defections or resignations, maybe there won’t. But it’s hard to see how it won’t become increasingly obvious to Alberta voters that the UCP is an unhappy union of two bitterly opposed camps, incapable of managing its own affairs, let alone those of the province. 

Meanwhile, the Opposition must continue to oppose. As it does, though, it should also keep in mind the sage advice attributed to Napoleon Bonaparte: “Never interfere with your enemy when he’s busy destroying himself.” 

Join the Conversation


  1. I can only imagine the thoughts of the UCP insurgents when Kenney called their move. First of all, who could take over and second who would want to try fix this mess now? Perhaps there are a few competent candidates who might be able to try, but at this point do they really want to?

    Perhaps better to wait until COVID recedes and the UCP is not quite so at war with itself and so divided. If there is almost a civil war now in the party, who really wants to try to be Lincoln? So perhaps better to let Kenney stay for now and try clean up his own mess. If he can’t, then a new leader can take over mid next year or so when hopefully the pandemic threat finally diminishes considerably.

    Now, of course for Kenney it is a big retreat to allow the party to move up the leadership review, but it still does buy him some time. It is a bit of a long good bye and perhaps even gives him the opportunity to try turn things around. If not, he can do like Scheer and resign sometime before the leadership review.

    So, Kenney Houdini has not escaped from his self created horrible situation, but he has loosened the chains a bit, to make it slightly more comfortable. However, this is a fragile truce and there is no guarantee the party will not get rid of Kenney sooner than this if they feel they need to. Kenney hasn’t been given a work plan for improvement, but the execution has been put on hold, at least for now.

  2. It will be a sure thing the the UCP are obliterated. They will ensure that by how they govern, with is dismal on every front, from how they look after Alberta’s finances, to how they are looking after the Covid-19 pandemic in Alberta. These pretend conservatives and Reformers cannot be trusted to ever do the right thing. If Albertans listened to people, when they said the UCP would be bad, we wouldn’t be in this catastrophe right now. They didn’t listen to people who said that Ralph Klein was bad, and look at where that got us.

  3. Since you’ve gone back to the 18th Century, David, a time when the very ideas of conservatism and liberalism were in great froth, let’s review what passes for conservative thought today out here on the flats.
    By any standard one wishes to use, the UCP do not qualify as conservative.
    As you note the rural rump are anti-vax and anti-science nutjobs. At best one could categorize them as libertarian, even that stretches credibility. This group has difficulty accepting they are a group of anything and take some sort of perverse pride in their individual POV regardless, perhaps especially because of any attachment to reality.
    The downtown types are more akin to loyalists of yore; they are entirely in thrall to the corporate set, specifically the petro-corps. Ironically and despite appearances, this mob are entirely anti-democratic. Even farther removed from democratic impulses than their libertarian kin.

    Across the land, not a conservative ideal to be found. For generations truly liberal thought has to be hidden and only whispered. What treachery lurks?

    1. Actually most of them are a strange cross between corporate & commercial libertarians, who see all government regulation as an evil to be defeated, and social conservatives who want to impose Gileadean — aka Taliban-for-Christians — morality on all of us. There is a word for this … oh, let me think, what is it … it’s on the tip of my tongue …

      Oh, yeah: it’s FASCISM. They’re Fascists. Not Nazi, mind you, but probably more aligned with Franco’s Falange.

  4. If Rachel Notley had handled the Fort McMurray fire with the same level of competence Jason Kenney has handled Covid, she would have had the water bombers pour gasoline on the flames.

  5. You have written an excellent summary, David.

    I have wondered about what approach a Kenney successor would take toward Covid. I think that everyone who is calling for Kenney’s resignation assumes the successor will approach the disease with the same philosophy they have, so one faction will likely declare that the successor is even worse.

    If a Drew Barnes type were to become leader, I have wondered if there would be enough Covid-responsible MLAs in the UCP (Unvaccinated Covid Promoters) that they could form a coalition with the NDP.

    Meanwhile, in the UCP’s Covid denying base of rural Alberta, they too are suffering from the effects of Covid. Even those that aren’t getting sick are having their surgeries indefinitely postponed. There is nothing like being told to continue enduring your knee pain because of no hospital capacity to make you reconsider your decision to put your faith in Danielle Smith instead of scientists.

    I have many happy childhood memories of visiting my grandparents in Big Valley, just south of Stettler, and it is a town that punches way above its weight on the red neck scale. I read last week that its school has been closed because more than 10% of its students are away sick.

  6. Federal conservatives in Ontario have begun calling for an early leadership review of Erin O’Toole, just as Kenney managed to defer the ravening pack until the spring of 2022. Coincidence? Looks like the little guy from Oakville could be making a run for leadership of the CPC after all. Maybe it’s easier for the UCP this way: shift their problem to the national level, without all the self-evisceration. Rick Bell is comparing the UCP caucus to a cheap tent that folds easily.

    As for the “united” in UCP, turns out it’s just there for looks.

  7. To paraphrase Otto Von Bismark, if you give your followers enough perks and benefits for their loyalty, they will be unlikely to want to turn on you. Or something like that.

    In any case, any concerted effort to oust Kenney will require that the various UCP MLAs and cabinet ministers be prepared to lose their lavish gigs and perks of office.

    Kenney sees the world as a transactional universe, and everyone has their price. More importantly, no one wants to come on the losing end of an argument. But at some point, Kenney must turn around his (and everyone’s) fortunes, whether through a monsterous oil boom or Trump 2024. Kenney believes that time is on his side, for now.

    Who knows? Maybe Erin O’Toole, desperate to save his leadership from the coming challenges, will welcome Kenney back into the Ottawa fold. Kenney was always a loyal soldier and attack dog for Harpo. Maybe the O’Toole will find him useful in a supporting role, for the right price, of course.

  8. I find it particularly disturbing when political calculations get in the way of saving lives. Let’s not forget that Kenney placed political expediency above the lives of Albertans – he sacrificed lives to assist the CPC election chances. If Erin O’Toole or the CPC was in on this scheme as well, then a pox on both their houses. On Monday, Alberta Health reported that 29 people died from Covid. Duane Bratt, interviewed yesterday afternoon on CBC, was in tears over this grim number.

    Kenney, Shandro and many others in the UCP have amply demonstrated that they do not have the competence or moral compass to manage the pandemic in the best interests of Albertans. It is true that the NDP cannot effect change in the UCP, but whether it is a good idea to stand on the sidelines to watch the UCP implode under the weight of its own incompetence is debatable. Everyone, including any UCP members with a shred of sense and decency, need to consider what is in the best interests of Albertans. The matter is urgent. We need to do whatever it takes to get rid of these clowns who are literally killing Albertans by the busload every day as soon as possible.

    Let’s hope that Albertans never forget that Kenney and UCP placed their political survival as well as that of the CPC over the lives of citizens they were supposed to govern.

  9. By the time Albertans will vote again
    Dear leaders’ covid problems
    will be seen as a one of a kind, never again, bit of bad luck by the base
    I have lived in Alberta 70 years
    and these “folks” never admit they are ever wrong
    Being wrong once would put every decision ever made in question
    not a viable situation when denial is so easily available.

  10. The UCP caucus obviously have the courage of their convictions. Now if they only had convictions of any worth besides staying in power at any cost. Expedience seems to rule their day.

  11. Doesn’t matter what the NDP says. Kenny is not going to change. Other provinces did a pretty good job of dealing with COVID. there were scientists and doctors galore in the world who could tell him what to do, but Jason pandered to his base.

    It is truly unfortunate the UCP M.L.A.s have put their own fortunes ahead of those of the children of alberta. They still aren’t vaccinated and not by choice. Today’s news informed us a teenager had died of covid in Alberta. Not a good thing. Managing COVID isn’t that difficult but some politicians just don’t want to.

  12. It should be noted that UCP MLA Searle Turton was the one who spoke to the CBC concerning the caucus meeting.

    Turton described the discussions within as frank and candid, but good for the caucus in the end.

    I suspect that Turton will be appointed to cabinet shortly.

  13. Napoleon Bonaparte: “Never interfere with your enemy when he’s busy destroying himself.”

    Fuck Napoleon! What if your enemy is also killing 15-20 people per day, do you still sit by and watch him destroy himself too?

    Hate to say this, but Alberta you deserve this – all of it. Next time a well educated, ethical, competent, and compassionate woman leads this province don’t vote her out of office for a closeted sociopath.

    1. People have been talking about a general strike against the UCP since the second wave of Covid. Hard to get people to risk their jobs, or arrest, until a LOT of folks feel the pain personally.

      I confess I’m not inclined to join a picket line, myself. Not yet. If, against all reason, Kenney wins another election, then I’ll be looking for the nearest protest.

  14. So was it the old PC vs Wildrose rump animosities, or do we credit Kenney with giving them all a “whiff of grapeshot” ?

    And, like Napoleon, how likely is Kenney to be “looting” and lining his own pockets whilst the rest of us are distracted by the cannons?

  15. “Sticking close to Nurse [despite his incompetence, vindictive nature and stupidity] for fear of Something Worse [i.e. the Other Guys’ choice of leader].” This is why Kenney didn’t face a confidence vote from his own caucus.

    Interesting that a few UCP urban MLAs have begun publicly calling for more restrictions to save our hospitals. Has anyone heard such statements from rural MLAs? At this point, Notley’s best tactic is to needle both sides; if possible, get them fighting amongst themselves. It’d have to be subtly done, or the yahoos (rural and urban) might realize they’re being played. With an external enemy to fight, they might ignore how much they hate each other.

  16. Internet rabbit hole produces:

    ‘Napoleon believed that fear of plague caused it to spread even more rapidly. He is attributed as saying, “During the Egyptian campaign all those whose imagination was struck by fear died of it. The surest protection, the most efficacious remedy, was moral courage…The best way to preserve the army from the disease was to keep on the march and occupied. Diversion and fatigue were found to be the best prevention.” (Malus 1892).’

    Diversion and fatigue…Hmmm. I wonder if Kenney has been studying Napoleon more than,as claimed, Churchill?

    1. After his conquest of Egypt, Napoleon, like Alexander the Great, sought to conquer the Levant and enter Damascus. During this campaign through what is present day Israel and Lebanon, his army marched straight into an outbreak of the Plague. Urging his men on, Napoleon encouraged his tired and ill soldiers on my saying they walk in the steps of Macedonian conquerors. Needless to say, things went from bad to worse. As for Napoleon, he heard that the government in Paris was about to fall, so he abandoned his devoted soldiers for the next step on his career path, the First Consul of France.

  17. Sometimes in politics (unlike what Machiavelli thought) things are what they are. In this case Kenney cares only for himself. He is quite ready to kill Albertan wholesale, and destroy his party. The victory will be pyrrhic I think. The caucus is frozen in fright. This is tragedy. The caucus seems hypnotized by false beliefs. How many more must die? And yes it was a horrific mistake to elect this party.

  18. Lets not forget that Notley’s support of the charter blasting vaccine passport has pushed quite a few moderates over to the right. You saw how the federal election went. Notley doesn’t have a hope in hell of running Alberta ever again.

    1. One need only read Section 1 of the Charter to understand there is nothing “Charter blasting” about vaccine passports, drivers’ licenses, airbrake tickets or any other such reasonable limitation on any activity that can affect other people’s lives and health. However, for folks like BP here, it is probably helpful to their aspiration to keep competent leaders like Ms. Notley out of power that even reading the first section of the Charter, let alone the rest of it, is too much work, makes their lips too tired, or whatever.

    2. “Charter blasting vaccine passport?” “Moderates pushed to the right?” These moderates, were they just slightly to the left of Augusto Pinochet in your little echo chamber world? I saw how the election went. I saw a prime minister who for the most part is not that popular and could garner only 32% of the popular vote, but I also saw people in Halifax, Montreal, Winnipeg, Toronto, Vancouver stay away from the CPC and their policies. There is feeble support for the CPC outside Alberta, Saskatchewan and areas surrounding Ontario’s Golden Horseshoe. Who would vote for the CPC with the disastrous handling of the COVID-19 pandemic by Jason Kenney in Alberta and us knowing he, Stephen Harper and Erin O’Toole are joined by the hips? Why do we want to return to accessible firearms which can be easily converted to automatic under the oxymoron, “Responsible Gun Owners?” Have there not been enough mass shootings in Canada for you? You register your car, why not your rifle? Seriously, Florida or Texas sounds like the place you ought to be. As for Rachel Notley, yeah there’s probably enough low information voters in Alberta that once Kenney announces he’s not seeking re-election in 2023 will think all is well again. If COVID doesn’t get them first.

    3. You’re wrong about the charter. The charter allows freedoms to be limited, by a government body, as long as the limitation is reasonable and as little as possible. So please forget that losing argument. Before you say, human rights, being unvaccinated is a choice not a human rights ground so businesses are able to restrict entry. I’m pretty sure Albertans would like Rachel Notley to lead them again.

    4. The vaccine passport does not blast the charter at all. And let’s be honest here, anyone who is against a vaccine passport is not a moderate, they are right wing whack jobs.

    5. Hey yeah BP and I saw a number of Conservative seats federally switch hands. So the natives are getting restless, and the used car party will be one and done. The voters know stumblebums and clods when they see them Welcome back Premier Rachel Notley.

    6. Not true.

      Notley has always been in favour of vaccine passports, as have all logical and intelligent people. Prioritizing public health does not violate the Charter – look it up!

  19. I agree: Kenney’s instinct is to hang on for as long as possible, despite everything that’s befallen him and Alberta. He’s survived this particular caucus meeting and, as much as many would like to see him gone, leaving a governing party so close to ungluing at this critical point of Covid’s arc risks making it worse. Insofar as Kenney’s the only one who could put the UCP together in the first place and probably the only one keeping it together right now, by hook or crook, Alberta appears stuck with him, at least for the present.

    At 29 months old, the UCP is 60% through its first mandate with strong indicators that it won’t win incumbency. It’s bungling of Covid is of course the strongest but we shouldn’t forget a litany of other sins that preceded it, from ineptly calculated policy to pointlessly spiteful reaction; these will be recalled and automatically replace whatever Covid pegs get knocked down over the year and a half remaining before the next scheduled election. Prospectively outstanding is the simple fact that, at a time of so many unanswered questions, there isn’t one at all with respect a government-in-waiting. And that it isn’t only UCP bungling on Covid that recommends it: Rachel Notley’s NDP has already proved itself superior in government, not least through a number of crises it handled well during its own first mandate, some of which compare directly with Kenney’s pre-Covid approach (to bitumen policy, for example), and compare very favourably at that. It might seem remote right now but, one day, most of those issues will be back on the front burner, none likely to give the UCP much comfort.

    (The Alberta right was right when it said election of an NDP government would be a disaster— not for Alberta, as it turned out, but for itself. Now, while Dippers contemplate Bonaparte, the UCP consternates Boswell while discretion is watchword for both…)

    Kenney’s stance on Covid appears even more stupid in this light: the doggedly persistent mess in the USA will remain the handy reminder that K-Boy also defiantly substituted partisan politics for cogent epidemiological policy even as disaster neared, just like tRump, and as long as that comparator exists, whatever progress he makes in turning Covid around will be small consolation (not to discourage, but one isn’t given a medal for helping to put out the fire after intentionally letting it burn out of control for so long). Since it’s the only thing Kenney can do to acquit himself in any way, small or hyperbolic as it might be (depending whether it’s a rural or urban point of view), he’s darned if he does and darned if he doesn’t. In the perversity of UCP politics, it’s the reason he’s secure in the office from which he screwed up so badly and should, in a saner world, be terminated forthwith. It’s a bizarre balance-point, but if all resources are concentrated on Covid, it will do for now. The difficulty is that, no matter how well they do, reward isn’t likely and that has to be especially frightful to UCP MLAs.

    It’s Kenney’s nature to look smug, like he planned it this way—the Peewee Herman “I-meant-to-do-that” rejoinder meant to show invulnerability to embarrassment—but given his SoCon determination and alleged career aspirations, I think it unlikely. I don’t doubt his sincerity in those respects, but his bluster has always been as hollow as the moon and his rockets inevitably fall back reeking to Terra Flatus.

    It would show more if his caucus members weren’t so afraid to be hoisted on their own petards. As weakly as I understand it, a caucus vote to remove a leader is secret: while those present would be known, exactly who voted for what would not. (Interestingly, HoC rules require the most senior, continuously serving Member preside over the vote, but almost all of the UCP caucus, being a new party, has the same seniority—certainly a one-time thing); but forcing the vote might, I suspect, require signatures (min 20% in federal caucuses) which would eventually become public record. I might be wrong, but if that were the case, it would understandably explain UCP MLAs’ reluctance to push Kenney out in this way. Anyway, it probably wasn’t too hard for a couple of stalwarts to scare challengers off: fear permeates the whole UCP family and there are slightly less frightening alternatives, easy ones like sandbagging— Lieutenant Governor willing. But if it needs K-Boy cowed, I doubt he’ll let it show.

    At present, the focus should be on Covid, without distraction, as morbidly fascinating the train wreck of late-stage neo-right conservatism is.

    PS: my significantly more pithy other suggested Kenney and O’Toole simply switch places. “Oh, Dearest—heh-heh—there are rules…I mean, that’d never—uh—happen…could it?” (Smirk and raised eyebrow is what I get…)

  20. Regarding this quote from Napoleon…

    There is some confusion surrounding the origin of this quote, though many do believe that Napoleon did say something along those lines. As for when it was said, popular culture claims the quote was a comment regarding the erred deployment of the Austrian forces at the Battle of Lodi. But there was also a quote that has been attributed to Napoleon concerning his victory at Marengo … “By 4:00 PM I had lost the battle .. but I won it back at 7:00 PM.” If there’s one thing that can be said about Napoleon, he was good at PR and spinning a good tale.

    If one looks further into Napoleon’s later career, that’s when things come crashing down to earth. The battles at Smolensk and Borodino, though were called tactical victories, were strategic failures that assured complete disaster for Le Empereur. The Battle of Nations (Leipzig) in 1813 saw Napoleon crushed, leading to the invasion of France and a series of inconclusive to outright failures on the battlefield, that lead to Napoleon’s first abdication. The 100 Days Campaign and his final defeat at Waterloo sealed his fate and would place him in exile until his death.

    What can we learn from the life and career of the great Napoleon?

    He was largely full of shite and talked a good line to distract from his monumental failings.

    Kenney is, like Napoleon, an opportunistic megalomaniac who creeping closer to his comeuppance.

    More popcorn?

  21. Our conservative friends including retired doctors and nurses know Albertans have shot themselves in the foot. They have literally told our health care workers they don’t care about them. Trying to elect reformer Erin O’Toole when the doctors and nurses considered him to be one of their arch enemies , a reformer pretending to be a conservative , who has had nothing but praise for Kenney’s treatment of our doctors and nurses . Where is the intelligence in that?

    You can bet there will be a massive exit of doctors and nurses , like we saw under Klein. Some of our senior friends have already lost their doctors to early retirement thanks to Kenney and they can’t find another one. Nurses, 13% percent have been telling us they are leaving and you can bet this election has made many more join them.

    We will likely end up with a worse mess than we had even under Klein. People dying in the backs of ambulances, 11 hour waiting lists, cancer patients dying waiting for operations. The list goes on and on, but Albertans have no one to blame but themselves.

  22. It is doubtful voters in Alberta will get kenny to leave prior to an election, and even then I’m not sure they will “unelect” him. Yes, Kenny mishandled the covid crisis, butt the pandemic now is one of the unvaccinated and you can’t cure stupid, so those who survive will most likely still vote for him.
    It is hard to comprehend people who won’t get the jab. It maybe that many people today have never lived in a time when common diseases killed people. Most of the population never lived through a time when polio killed, put you in wheelchairs, or left people in iron lungs. I remember polio before vaccines and when the vaccine was developed for covid I was ready for it. Today about the only disease which kills in all age groups, is cancer. That is a very big change since the 1950s My take on it, today lots of people think they’re invincible. Wait until they get covid and vote for people like kenny.

  23. As a friend says “ If the covid doesn’t kill you the reformers will” they don’t give a damn about what they have done to our doctors and nurses or how many have died.

    Want to bet doctors and nurses will leave by the bus load because of what they have been through and how Albertans voted against the doctors and nurses who were calling these Reformers their arch enemies?

    1. ALAN K SPILLER: You sure have it right. You can see that the UCP wants private for profit healthcare in Alberta. That’s why they hired Janice MacKinnon, to be part of the UCP’s Blue Ribbon Panel. Janice MacKinnon was an NDP MLA in Saskatchewan, who was under premier Roy Romanow. She was mimicking Ralph Klein, with her cuts, and got all the rural hospitals in Saskatchewan closed down. Ralph Klein was instrumental in closing down rural hospitals in Alberta, as part of his heartless and unnecessary cuts to healthcare in Alberta. Ralph Klein wanted to have private for profit healthcare in Alberta. I know these pretend conservatives and Reformers just don’t care about anybody other than their rich corporate friends. If you have relatives, or even siblings, who are in their 80s and 90s, they will tell you how we had rural hospitals in Alberta that were set up for the good of the people. Peter Lougheed expanded on that. These pretend conservatives and Reformers want to wreck as much as they can and have an American style healthcare system in Alberta. In America, people who can’t afford to pay for their healthcare, out of their own pockets, end up financially destitute. Where’s the sense in that?

  24. Who were the socialists who organized prairie farmers? How did we lose our way in such profoundly unfortunate ways? Why do we have a minimum wage? Days of rest? Any benefits from years of labour? Universal (sic) Healthcare? I’ll hit the public funded road now, in search of the aspirational freedoms my dim cousins do go on about!

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