Then Wildrose leader Danielle Smith in 2014, shortly before her defection to the Progressive Conservative benches; she is now widely expected to be named unelected premier of Alberta tomorrow (Photo: Dave Cournoyer, Creative Commons).

Barring a miracle, Danielle Smith is about to deliver the Big Gamble that Preston Manning, the erstwhile Svengali and Godfather of the Canadian right, always wanted. 

Bonaparte, as Napoleon I, portrayed by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, 1806 (Image: Public Domain).

That is to say, the woman who is about to be named Alberta’s unelected premier by less than 3.5 per cent of the province’s eligible voters will roll the dice on a radical right-wing reordering of Alberta society – with serious implications for all of Canada – in hopes that some of the gunk will stick to the wall.

With a little luck, her shadowy backers are crossing their fingers, the former Wildrose leader whose 2012 effort to become premier foundered in a Lake of Fire can even manage to get elected eventually.

But that’s not strictly necessary for the coup they’re planning, and I use that term advisedly, to succeed in throwing the Overton Window so far open that Hurricane Danielle can blow right into the kitchen. 

Democratic accountability? Who needs it? 

A mandate for radical change? Forget about it!

Preston Manning (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

No, as a confident former Fraser Institute apparatchik told the Globe and Mail this morning in a startling interview, “We’re going to double down.”

That will start, she promised, immediately after Oct. 11, the day she expects to be sworn in. Given her tone, one wouldn’t be surprised if, like Bonaparte, she snatches the crown and plops it on her own head!

University of Calgary political scientist Barry Cooper’s intentionally unconstitutional “Sovereignty Act” will be immediately enacted – doubtless with the full support of UCP Caucus cowards who short days ago were berating it as unhinged and a harbinger of economic destruction.

Dr. Cooper, it is fair to conclude based on his past comments, is a separatist and wants 2022 to be Alberta’s 1775.

According to the Globe’s account: “Cabinet ministers who were once cool or silent on her policies have now signalled they’re at least ready to work with her. … She said she had spent hours and hours in recent weeks meeting with not only cabinet ministers but also MLAs, trying to make a break from the Kenney years and complaints from caucus that he didn’t listen.”

Perhaps Mr. Manning has been helping out again, as he did in 2014 when he pushed the Wildrose leader and her MLAs at secret meetings to cross the floor of the Legislature to join Jim Prentice’s Progressive Conservatives, a tactic that resulted in the need for Ms. Smith to undergo eight years of political rehabilitation. 

An advocate of quack COVID cures and disseminator of dangerous pandemic conspiracy theories during her tenure in right-wing talk radio, Ms. Smith also plans a quick attack on the leadership and structure of Alberta Health Services. 

Decentralization will be the buzzword. Privatization will be the goal. Chaos will be the result. 

Don’t plan on getting sick in Alberta during Ms. Smith’s unelected premiership.

Pensions, Mounted Police, and public services will all be for the wood chipper too, by the sound of it. 

This is the program the UCP’s backers had hoped outgoing Premier Jason Kenney would deliver. But for all his flaws, he proved too traditional a politician to to fully take that risk.

Nevertheless, Ms. Smith told Calgary Sun political columnist Rick Bell in an unintentionally hilarious column published today, “I’m not the way I’ve been depicted by those who don’t like me. I’m a reasonable person.”

In a democracy, reasonable people don’t pursue massive radical change without a mandate from voters.

Alberta is about to have its Liz Truss moment. 

Forget Napoleon. Ms. Smith may be a market fundamentalist, but this sounds more like Bolshevism. 

Join the Conversation

49 Comments

  1. For Alberta’s sake, I am still hoping for a miracle. As for the UCP – there is saying something like be careful what you ask for, you might just get it.

    I agree the quasi separatist, fringe right will be overjoyed if Smith wins – they will have finally got what they wanted for years. All the firewall crowd that Klein and most past Alberta Premiers, even most of the conservative ones, wisely kept some distance from will probably be happy too. I have to wonder though if Mr. Manning, who got badly burned (or burned himself), on the previous version of Smith will be quite as ecstatic. If he seems oddly subdued, you know why.

    However, there is no doubt many so called conservatives in Canada are in a foul mood these days so it makes sense they are choosing leaders to reflect that. Maybe it is frustration that Trudeau keeps beating them, despite their best attempts, and is still around or maybe it is also the overflow from the crap that has been stirred up south of the border. There are probably a number of reasons for this, however Smith even if she aspires to be the Alberta version of Poilievre lacks several of his advantages. First and foremost, her political opponent is not Trudeau, as much as she might try stir up animosity to the Federal government. Second, she does not have Poilievre’s advantage of relative party unity and enthusiasm. Third, she does not have all his years of parliamentary experience and no being a talk radio show host for several years is not quite the same.

    So, I wouldn’t be surprised that the UCP will soon suffer some buyers remorse when they realize the public at large is much less enthusiastic about Smith than they are. Or perhaps more accurately, like Truss, it will be the policies she promotes that will really turn the public off.

    1. I do think that at this point Trudeau lives rent-free in the heads of Canadian right wingers, which I don’t think is good for him or the country. This is not to say that only right wingers dislike him, just that they are the only ones who react to his face or name like a bull does to a red flag.

      I am not a partisan, can both criticize and praise JT for specific policies/actions, but I do find it highly amusing that the ‘know-nothing pretty-boy rich kid” has out-thought and out-fought his Conservative detractors pretty consistently. Getting to the point where you would think it would occur to them that either they need to give Trudeau more respect or themselves less. If he’s all the bad things they say he is, how come he keeps beating them? XD

    2. I think Pierre Poilivre has one other huge advantage, and that is one of time.

      Erin O’Toole’s biggest undoing was his pivot from being ‘True Blue’ to win the party leadership, to moderate to try and win the 2021 election. It was too quick for moderates to believe his reinvention, so all it did was betray his followers.

      Skippy, on the other hand, has about 3 years to affect a gradual course direction to moderate, hopefully (for him) so gradual his base won’t notice, but he will be more appealing to the moderates he needs to win. No doubt he is hoping that by 2025 no one will remember, or care about, his support for the truckers’ convoy. I think he is loving the Lib/ND cooperation agreement.

      Like Erin O’Toole, Danielle Smith will also not have the time needed to affect a gradual, and unnoticeable evolution of her positions.

      1. For me, a lot of this will come down to “how many Canadians remember what happened in politics over the past quarter century?” To my knowledge, Skippy has never taken point on legislation unless it was impossible for a reasonable person to defend. He is a little like Trump in that he knows that who and how he is is impossible to defend, so his default approach to every conflict is to attack. Some people watch politics for the same reason they used to watch Jerry Springer, and no disrespect to these individuals but they are going to find Mr. Poilievre dangerously delightful. He’ll give them permission to be as bad of a version of themselves as he can persuade them to be. He’ll sling enough mud that everyone will get equally dirty. If you talk to Mr. Poilievre in fair debate, both of you get dirty, but he likes it. He wins when it happens. He drags you down to his level, then beats you with experience. He has been the same person he is today for decades, if enough voters remember who he is he is dead in the water. I think this guy is *dangerous* in a way that I’ve never thought about another Canadian politician. This isn’t a partisan, “Boo Conservatives!” thing, and it *certainly* isn’t a “Yay Trudeau!” thing. I have never said this about another Canadian politician. Mr. Poilievre is, in my eyes, in a class by himself.

        Pierre Poilievre is what happens when you give the wrong gifted teenager Atlas Shrugged. Every election for the past, I dunno, six(?) cycles, the second question I ask is, “Did Poilievre get re-elected?” No lie. I believe having him in parliament makes Canada a worse place and Canadians worse people. He is dangerous because he is intelligent, talented, articulate and rhetorically gifted, and he lives in a society that has deliberately withheld logic from the voting public. Blaming under-educated individuals for “not knowing better” ignores the fact that these specific types of under-educatedness are systemic – if you didn’t go to university or stumble across it in your culture or personal life, you never got taught logic. In debate, a person who does not know and practice logic is at a decisive disadvantage against someone who does. Pierre is like the kid who was on ice skates at two years old. An alarming amount of our voters are like the teenager who has been on the ice a few times. Pierre Poilievre is a fox in the henhouse. He’ll for sure win over “the deplorables” but he’ll get some otherwise respectable, responsible adults are going to be taken in by his fallacious arguments and rhetorical devices, because being smart doesn’t defend you against them! They work because of the way our brains pattern and perceive information. This isn’t to say “people will be helpless victims,” we do learn *some* logic in our culture and our personal lives, but not like Mr. Poilievre did. He uses his logic the way Brad Marchand uses his ability to play hockey. I find him morally reprehensible and completely loathsome in a way that I have never felt about any other Canadian politician, including Mr. Kenney and Mrs. Smith who I regard as little yappy dogs in comparison. It is difficult for me to express how much I oppose who Mr. Poilievre is and what he has done over the past decades, because I don’t want to normalize violent or abusive language towards politicians.

  2. So while we hear guys praising Kenney for attracting new investments to Alberta ,as a former Royal bank manager, I believe the people who claim that the decision to kick him out was the reason for the increases. Of course the fact that the oil industry crash was recovering probably was the biggest factor.They want no part of the stupidity displayed by these phoney conservatives , treating doctors, nurses, teachers and students like third class citizens, and trust that Notley will be re elected. Unlike these reform party idiots they know how important these professionals are to our well-being and expect them to be treated accordingly.

  3. The attempt to create fear by theorizing about all the bad things that may happen hasn’t worked well in the past. Falling flat like an Al Gore climate prediction. Perhaps the chicken littles will be right this time who knows only time will tell. The one thing for certain is that it isn’t a good election strategy as we clearly saw in 2019. As a supported of Notley at the time I felt the wind go out of the sails when she went negative. The stuff of this post has limited play with the broader population who are concerned about jobs and the cost of living. Look at how far Kenney’s promise to scrap the carbon tax went, even a small amount of research would have shown that we would still pay it just to Ottawa. It would benefit the NDP and by extension this blogger to present their vision of Alberta and remain positive. Rambling on about some grand right wing conspiracy theory is not helpful.

    1. I feel the same, however – I can pretty much guarantee Notleys internal data/polling shows that the attack strategy gets far more engagement. My hope is her campaign will strike the delicate balance of keeping the UCP’s diasasters fresh in mind while putting significant effort into positive messaging. People are tired, and want to go back to ignoring politics.

    2. Climate change is here and happening right now in real time. In my experience, most boomers, when approached well, agree that climate change is real but also quickly and inevitably add something like, “at least it won’t happen in my time.”

      Worst. Ancestors. Ever.

    3. “Not helpful.” That’s a temperate way to avoid using more bellicose words like “evil” or “crazy” or “Justinflation.” I use it often, for example to warn that careless use of the term “decolonization” actually provokes reaction from opponents of reconciliation between Canadian governments and Aboriginal nations: I warn that it’s therefore unhelpful so’s not to directly attack a person who uses such slogans without giving it much thought. It’s kinda kindergarten 101: “you’re not a bad person, it’s just a bad thing that you did…” —or, in evangelese: “love the sinner, hate the sin.”

      Still, emphasizing the positive by not mentioning the negative is very convenient for politicians indicted in the court of public opinion: “Friends, my opponent [ otherwise known as the demon-enemy of the state] would rather smear me with negatives [ by reviewing my record in the office I want to be re-elected to], but I would rather talk about the great things our state can do [but hasn’t yet] and accentuate the positive [in order to blunt the negative]. Vote for positive change, not for the same old negativity!” Yeah, right—waaaaaaay right!

      It reminds me of the BC NDP’s “positive politics” campaign edict during the 2013 provincial election which the loyal opposition went into with a 20-point lead in the polls but lost to the bubble-headed BC Liberal premier as Dipper candidates were forbidden to criticize the BC Liberals’ horripilant record, the part then only slightly knownable. While the NDP turned the other cheek, Christy Clark simply promised to wipe out BC’s debt in a few years (!) by exporting LNG from over a dozen yet-to-be-built facilities along the West Coast—a positive message, for sure. However, the reality was quite negative (not a single step toward the LNG pie-in-the-sky transpired, but Christy’s only mandate won under her leadership added fully one quarter of the debt which had already overflowed $110 billion, and she did it in just a few years. Remind: twelve years before that, the BC Liberals inherited a $31 billion debt from the defeated NDP government). Had the electorate known fully the extent of BC Liberal fiscal perfidy—very negative news, as it was revealed—we might have been spared this unfortunate term. Had voters not believed Christy’s preposterously positive prognoses of prosperity—or, conversely, not believed the rote, red-baiting negativity she heaped on her piously pacifist opponent—we wouldn’t now be saddled with the extremely negative legacy of the far-right BC Liberals and their government-by-stealth.

      As I recall, Premier Rachel Notley’s “going negative” in 2019 was in response to what can be called ‘hyper-negativity’ or outright demonization issuing from her UCP opponent. On that basis, it rather appears negativity won in 2019—if we’re to take your suggestion as equation between opposite poles. However, the UCP term has been very negative by almost all accounts that aren’t hopelessly chauvinistic.

      It’s Danielle Smith, not this bog, who’s doing the theorizing —and it is nothing if not a grand right-wing theory of Alberta sovereignty, to say the least (neither does she hide that it’s a conspired work). If that’s positive, then so is scapegoating critics, firing public servants on partisan basis, and chasing citizens who don’t fit in with Smith’s goofy policies out of the province—or maybe chasing Alberta right out of the Canadian federation. If that’s a negative (I’m willing to bet that’s the national consensus—and probably the provincial one as well), it’s of the very-large-stake kind which well warrants warning of the many negatives entailed. Voters need to be informed, after all.

      Many Albertans of many stripes have legitimate reasons to fear Smith’s agenda because she has successfully used the UCP disaster to shoehorn herself an illegitimate mandate for drastic change that will negatively affect citizens’ lives and prospects—a secretly faithless friend.

      Why is K-Boy accentuating the positive by advertising how great Alberta is when it is already great (it’s the government that’s not so great)? I reckon it’s to blunt the many, many negatives which his maiden voyage brought to this great province.

      But in terms of what’s “good election strategy,” this might be one occasion where it’s more politic to sit back and avoid, as Napoleon once recommended, interfering with the rival when it’s so successfully losing the battle all by itself. I suspect the NDP will select a few UCP negatives upon which the most hay can be propitiously made, healthcare coming to mind, while the UCP’s K-record and its proffered S-agenda supplies its own negatives. That should leave plenty of room to ask voters to compare those amply displayed negatives with positives the Loyal Opposition will surely have on offer, UCP perfidy likely to be so well understood by general election day that it’ll hardly need to be banged-on about. Nine months of a premier with a 3.5% approval rating will ensure than minds are made up in good time for voting judgement.

      So don’t worry, Alberta will retain its great potential to be a good place to live and work and, as pundits freely analyze the extraordinary threats guaranteed by the “Alberta Sovereignty Act,” the Loyal Opposition will have plenty of occasion to present more positive options. At least that will be easy.

      Finally, anyone who thinks Al Gore’s climate-change prediction fell “flat” is either blind, comatose, or both.

    4. What conspiracy theory? The Alberta firewall idea was a real thing that Harper and Manning wanted Ralph Klein to enact. They wrote a letter outlining their goals. Despite Klein laughing at the idea, it reflects the libertarian ideas of a firewalled Alberta. Many of Kenney’s ideas, the Alberta pension plan, the provincial police force, are straight from the original right-wing wet dream.

      As for other theories, Smith ran on her unconstitutional separation ideas, they aren’t exactly made up by her opponents.

      Obviously you are incredibly naive about conservative positions and their goals for Alberta, which they are very upfront about. The NDP pointing out the conservative policy goals is not going negative, it’s being honest.

  4. According to a Calgary Sun columnist, Danielle Smith wants to “can” public servants hired during the four years of NDP government. She claims to be doing all this as part of her appeal to suburban hockey and soccer moms, aka Karens. Will she earn the title of Dictator Dani by next week? Wait and see.

    In the meantime, can anyone tell us the best strategy for Albertans to lock in their Canada Pension Plan funds? A quick move to B.C.?

    1. Best way to keep your Canada Pension funds or even Canada Pension is to vote for the NDP. The UCP has this idea that with an Alberta Pension, employers will no longer contribute, employees contribute everything, it is mis-managed by AIMCO and pensioners get nothing. The only winners are AimCo executives and their $4,000,000 a year salaries.

      1. That is a scare tactic. CPP contributions up the hypothetical cut-over date to an APP would still be held by CPP. Australia did something similar when it cutover to Superannuation, basically a mandatory RRSP scheme.

  5. Danielle Smith, K-Boy’s heir apparent, is nothing if not an opportunist. If one opportunity doesn’t work out (as she well knows, more than once), then instead of adjusting policy to make it more popularly palatable, she simply waits for another window to come along through which to push the same old unadulterated policy. Whatever avenue she’s taken over the years, from school board trustee to premier, gaming the system (if not very successfully the electorate) has always been her modus operandi. And this opportunity is absolute systems-gaming gold: nine months social-licence-free! Yeeehaaaw!!

    Smith is so teflon-impervious to charges of charlatanism it matters little to her if she plays an open hand away from the chest or if the size of her bet—a referendum on the nature and future of our Canadian federation, no less, is only backed by about 3.5% of Alberta’s eligible voters, or about 2.2% of all Albertans. Talk about bold! Talk about nerve!!

    But Smith has been as bold before (when she crossed the floor to the ProgCons, an unprecedented move in terms of whom—the leader of the loyal opposition, no less—and how many: almost half the loyal opposition caucus). It was another bit of foolhardiness from which no lesson has apparently been learned.

    Nine whole months to gestate the Demon Seed —phew!—a long time for a schemer hypnotized by her own preposterous scheme, one who’s never shown fear of consequences nor learned from the concussions she’s shaken out of that apple tree.

    Smith is audaciously reckless enough to warrant Cherubims and a flaming sword which turns every which-a-way to keep her from reaching beyond the apple tree and living forever…

    …just make sure the ‘X’ is inside the box.

    Nine months. Gawd! Please stay well, my friends!

  6. Let’s remember that while Carl Amrhein became deputy minister of health in July 2015, shortly after the Notley government was elected, he undoubtedly had been recruited by the Prentice government of which Danielle Smith was a part. Certainly he was never part of a “socialist” tilt in health care. There never has been a socialist tilt in Alberta health. The NDP, with a new Health Minister, and a new cabinet, never got around to shaping health care. We could use a socialist tilt now more than ever.

  7. Scociopath: The most recent edition of the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” (DSM-5), which mental health professionals use to diagnose mental health conditions, defines ASPD as a consistent disregard for rules and social norms and repeated violation of other people’s rights.

    People with the condition might seem charming and charismatic at first, at least on the surface, but they generally find it difficult to understand other people’s feelings. They often:
    * break rules or laws
    * behave aggressively or impulsively
    * feel little guilt for harm they cause others
    * use manipulation, deceit, and controlling behavior
    Ms Smith? Some of the UCP MLA’s?

  8. The only way the Frazer Institute and the once-calling Manning Centre could get the UCP government of their dreams is to ensure that it’s an unelected one. That seems to be coming to pass.

    Years ago, when Presto Manning was founding the fledgling RPC, he wrote a barely readable tome entitled The Problem with Canada. Basically Manning proposed the problem with Canada was the Canadians, those weird Laurentian Elites and so on. Considering the people I’ve met in the Laurentians were pretty rural, hardly elites, but likely really racist, I thought Manning had made all that shite up. Turns out, he really did and that myth has been alive ever since.

    Now, with the arrival of that wrecking ball called Danielle Straitjacket, one wonders how long will it be before Manning declares the problem with Alberta is the Albertans. Once he finds out that far too many people living in Alberta are moderates and not inclined to irrational hatred towards Ottawa, he may just go completely mad.

    But let’s say Smith does manage to get some kind of short term validation for her nonsense, there’s no doubt that the consequences out her idiocy will be impressive. Of course, there will be distractions aplenty to keep everyone focused on Blame Trudeau for everything. Here’s a dumpster fire — blame Trudeau.

    The FreeDUMB crowd will have their day until everyone realizes they really are as dumb as fence posts.

  9. My province is once again trying to move the Overton window to the far right. It’s a cynical ploy to make this Ottawa versus Alberta mentality so they never lose power. These steps are dramatic and outwardly ignoring national laws is dangerous. So much for national unity. May the days of disunity in the confederation return. Good grief. I thought after 1993 and especially 1995, taught us the dangers of disunity, but learning is a rare quality in politics.

  10. Only reason I can give to remain in Alberta is “if all the sensible, responsible adults do the sensible, responsible thing and GTFO, who’s gonna be left to say no to the crazies? How do you feel about choosing between a civil war and Albertan secession? What will happen to your province after Alberta secedes and eventually becomes incorporated into America as another dumbass state of proudly racist ignorance-worshipping assholes? Let’s be real, if Alberta was a state it would either be North Florida or Texas Junior.” No matter where in Canada I live, it will affect my economy in many ways that I am not aware of today – I know enough about economics to know that I know F all about economics:)

    Only reason I’m not calling people I know in Edmonton and trying to lure them out to the coast is because I’d rather Alberta didn’t fall to “WhateverthehellDanielleSmithisism,” and if I try to poach Alberta’s remaining quality people I’d be contributing to the process. Those of you fighting the good fight have my respect, sympathy and gratitude. *stick-tap* Nowadays, most of the people who deserve medals never get them, but I see you. Grown-ups of Alberta, unite! You didn’t choose to be, but you are at ground zero for Canada’s epistemic delinquency outbreak.

    How do you talk down a furious neighbour who refuses to believe anything that doesn’t confirm their pre-existing narrative? How do you win at conspiracy-theory-whack-a-mole? How do you convince people who are proud to be underachieving, mediocre know-nothings that not only COULD they do things and learn things, but they SHOULD want to? What do you do when these people are also people you have known and loved for years? No, seriously, please tell us, YOU are the ones being asked to figure this out in real time with no help! Hell, not only that but your infosphere is comprised of the CBC, a couple of privately owned propaganda empires, facebook, twitter and some table scraps. Most of the time Albertans spend “informing” themselves, the owning class is pouring poison into their ears for profit. It’s not that society can’t help Alberta, it’s that helping Alberta would be against the interest of the owning class, and we’ve given so much agency to them that people who work for a living mostly believe themselves to be helpless to effect change and/or are too busy stressing about their next paycheque to have much left over capacity for more abstract issues. Our families and communities are scattered, isolated and divided, the government is the enemy, and the power vacuum is inevitably filled by the corporations billionaires use to pillage our economies. This is not necessary or desirable, if Albertans can somehow solve the problem of epistemic delinquency in a way that other jurisdictions can emulate it could literally save our species! On the other hand, our current system does allow some people to be owners, bosses and landlords, so yay? Not my idea, not how I would do things, not anything I consider ethical, reasonable, sustainable or practical, but it’s the zeitgeist where and when I live. If we always got to choose our battlefields soldiers would never get muddy, cold, wet or sweaty, yet I am reliably informed they are seldom anything but. Ugh, I hate how little society is supporting you even while acknowledging that the help I think Alberta needs is not the help Alberta wants. For some reason, the more badly someone needs to take their “vitamin swift kick in the ass pills,” the less they want to take it. Go figure. For what it’s worth, a tiny percentage of people is a big number and that big number sees your struggle and is rooting for you! If you can save yourselves, you could save us all. It is a long, uphill slog through cold peanut butter in my experience to deradicalize someone, and I’ve never come close to start-to-finish success after more hours and attempts than I like to think of*. You have nothing to lose but your sanity and let’s be real, the way things are going you won’t have that much longer anyways amirite?

    So what’s to be done? Mutual aid is always a great option – it is actually revolutionary AF and to the best of my knowledge Canada hasn’t yet used police violence to shut down ethical Anarchism (like if me and my hypothetically skilled and/or well-off buds cooperated and started feeding the hungry or providing affordable daycare on a not-for-profit basis or something like that). DIY culture is worth checking out – many rural Albertans already live by it without knowing that they do, and nothing sticks it to the man like solving a problem without spending money on it! Ironically, many rural Albertans most deeply held values actually give them lots of common ground with the far left, and the “actual far Left,” not the “Canadian far-left.” The “right to repair” movement is leftist, as is the practice of software “piracy,” reliance on mutual aid among local community instead of setting up large government organizations is literal Anarchism, which is as far Left as it goes (except in theory) but because we don’t have the vocabulary to discuss this, we don’t ever get to have the discussion. If multiple someones inside of Alberta’s institutions don’t hero up real soon now (by which I mean “meet unreasonable asks under impossible circumstances with inadequate resources”) things will get worse, likely culminating in mass protest I suppose. Needs to be large enough that it affects Business As Usual to effect change because a bunch of the owning class’ employees are at the protest instead of being at work. Gonna have to get bad before that happens, most folks can’t afford to not go to work and it’s tough convincing someone to pay you to attend a protest that isn’t immoral to attend. Also, the threat of Police violence is real and will dissuade many of those most harmed by the coming wave of Cristofascism from leading protests. Let’s just say that when indigenous folks set up blockades on critical infrastructure, the cops don’t take selfies with them or donate to their gofundme, and when white Conservatives set up blockades on critical infrastructure, the cops don’t break out the dogs, drones, media blackouts, machine guns, and/or the actual freaking Army. For some reason. Definitely not racism though. Nor sure why I even felt the need to say it wasn’t racism. Weird.

    *I enjoy this blog a lot and find it more informative than most journalism. I would read here regularly regardless, but I post here as a form of very-small-scale attempt-to-deradicalize-people. This is the site I feel safe doing so under my actual name, and I think is important to be responsible for public political statements. I’ve posted on right wing sites under assumed names because if I get murdered I want it to be because I’m at the wrong place at the wrong time, not because I tried to explain to the wrong person why Jagmeet Singh is not a Communist dictator so they tracked me down and shot me. I’ve temporarily stopped going to actual right-wing sites at all because it’s really not good for my mental health or my misanthropy right now, I’ll circle around and try again in the medium term. I realize lots of Albertans folks think this blog is left, IMO it is only “Canadian left,” which is like saying “white people hot.” If you burned your mouth, I feel you, but be aware that there is much spicier food available. Being “against Kenney and/or Smith and/or the UCP” doesn’t mean “left wing,” it means “able to tell your ass from a hole in the ground.” Voting for Alberta’s NDP doesn’t make you a “left winger,” it makes you “able to pick the choice that isn’t hanging your D into a sausage grinder.” This is well past ideology and into basic competence. You can be “right wing” while also being “anti-Kenney/Smith/UCP” because this whole motley sh*tshow that is the UCP is and was a walking disaster right from day one and everyone and their dog should have damn well known it in real time for crissake. Oy vey. Wait, can I go from a ‘crissake’ to an ‘Oy vey?’ Don’t care, doing it. ANYways, “left” is definitionally anti-Capitalist, and at this point in time there are no organizations or individuals that I am aware of who are effectively promoting an anti-Capitalist ideology of any sort on a large scale in the West. I dunno, maybe the Jacobin? Labour day posts notwithstanding, I generally don’t expect to see explicitly anti-Capitalist ideas here. BTW don’t mean to label or throw shade at the author or anything, JMO all the way, these are off-the-cuff observations not criticisms.

    1. Enjoyed your rant … you should check out the “Sandy and Norah talk politics” podcast, it’s canadian and definitely anti-corporatist, they tend to make many of the same points that you do, about the sad stage of the Canadian left, corporatism, being pro/against Trudeau, Singh etc. doesn’t make you left or right, etc. I think you’d like it! Sincerely, a former Albertan comrade

    2. DJC ,question, as a woman, I’m more inclined to believe that Danny is just window dressing, and yes I know that there are certain women out there who are quite capable of being ruthless, I had the misfortune of working for one,( who could have taken Danny out with one well manicured hiss,) but I’ve noticed that in politics, they are usually just “soft soap ” , the little woman here ,yada yada, while the big boys work behind the scenes to get get the results they’re after…politics today IMHO, is a big game of deflection, distraction and seemingly dysfunction, and people are “too busy ” to notice.
      20 yrs ago I noticed from a ad on tv ,that all that chopping & peeling….etc. etc.,,was the start it— here, we are going to make life so much better for you, so much easier, so much faster— to today, where all the news has on is the whiners, that stomp their feet, …I HAD TO WAIT FOR 2HRS/ weeks….I sat in a emergency room in Calgary for 7hrs ,30+ yrs ago, 10 yrs ago when I went to get a passport they told me up to 6mths….WTF has happened??? Work ethics have been usurped by scam artists, snakeoil salesmen and shysters who have people believing they can have the “good life ” without any effort and they are so caught up in the gerbil wheel, they believe people like Danny and Skippy because it’s easier to listen to the loud voice of distraction, than to sit down and sift through all the information that is available ( for now at least) and make yourself aware of who is trying to sell you what, scammers hang up on me, I don’t understand why?? No sense of humor,?
      We were given the best opportunity to correct things by watching what was going on next door, but hey, that’ll never happen here—WELL ,step right up folks, and welcome to the circus, you’ll be seeing stuff you never imagined, and just put your quarter in the kitty and come on in for the experience of a lifetime….
      Neil- oye vay, oye boje, sacre blu, and as my old science teacher used to say ( as he literally banged his head against the black board) YOU KIDS ARE DRIVING ME CRAZY!!! I feel your loss for the poor unfortunate souls that are going to end up being the ” we never knew, never expected, never thought ” that being a true tell, ….I have close family in Edmonton that I have about given up on, but some people don’t like being told they’re wrong, or even that they should at least check the facts.
      If you take away faith, like they did with the catholic church, and you find that all your heroes are NOT create enough scandals, that social, moral values are just for losers, you end up with lost misguided people just waiting for the wolf, and he’s/she’s not even wearing sheep’s clothing, because they’ve proved they can get along without….and you end up with what we have now….lost ,uneducated and uncentered angry people that don’t realize that they are being manipulated. Just another quarter Sir, and we’ll show you what behind the special curtain ….
      How much damage can be done in 9 mths, as much as can be done in one day, think what Fiona did, Danielle curved out to sea..or so it seemed…but hey, I’m not a meteorologist, just an old fashioned farm girl that learned from my grandmother, that living in Alberta, when you see the dark clouds on horizon, you bring the clothes in off the line ….

      (What’s a clothesline” Kevin “..
      Michelle wolf…)

    3. If the problem with Alberta is Albertans, the problem is that many of Alberta’s rural settlers in the early 20th century came from what are now red states. There’s the issue of genes shaping political preferences.

      https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/01/opinion/politics-genetics-research.html

      There is no hope of my own rural relatives learning that voting against one’s own interests is a form of self-harm.

      We are at the point in history where you can’t take Alberta out of Albertans, but Albertans will have to decide if they’ll take themselves out of Alberta. A crash in house prices awaits for all those enchanted Torontonians. Alberta is calling. The siren call of the merman is too much to resist, just before their ship crashes into the rocks. Fortunately, earplugs are highly effective against the wailing of the half-man, half-fish.

  11. Radical right ring agenda is supporting the industry that alberta depends on to pay for all the government services? I can see that from the ndp point of view. Must be scary a government that isn’t worried about what the federal government thinks. Reminds me of when notley just about supported alberta. That would be when she said she couldn’t vote ndp. Too bad she didn’t continue such a reasonable strategy.

    1. Increasing oil exploration past 2022 is literally a death sentence for the planet, so I would say yes, it is a radical right wing agenda.

      I would also advice Dani to not make any radical moves wrt to said industry, a lot of those folks who try end up dead.

    2. FWIW I think nowadays political parties are just brands. Liberals aren’t Liberals, they’re Neoliberals, Conservatives aren’t Conservatives, they’re ‘weathervanes who will rally behind anyone and say anything if they think it will keep them drinking out of that sweet, sweet taxpayer trough for just a minute longer’, NDP don’t even pretend to have a coherent ideology anymore and are basically peddling nice feelings with just enough decades-overdue good policies to not get laughed off the stage, Greens are imploding and have some very difficult circles to square and controversies to explain away. Ideologically, Canada’s political spectrum is less of a university and more of an underfunded daycare.

      Anyways, Notley is Notley whether she’s drinking Coke or Pepsi, whether she’s running for “NDP brand politician” or “Conservative brand politician.” I assess her policies, not her party. I would vote for “Conservative brand politician” or “Neil Lore is a big stupid dork who smells bad brand politician” if I liked their policies. If it makes you feel any better, Alberta’s NDP is centre-right (on the Canadian spectrum). Alberta’s NDP is not playing on the same ideological sandbox that the Federal NDP is, and neither plays in the sandbox that Tommy Douglas did.

      I don’t advocate voting for Notley because I think she is good, I advocate voting for Notley because I think the alternative is disaster.

  12. No DJC, Danielle is not in Liz Truss’s situation. Her ideology is similar but Liz is presiding over an economy in deep trouble. We in Canada are in that to a certain extent, but Alberta is into a small energy rebound and Ms. Smith will have that going for her even though she is in no way responsible for it. Also Danielle, as I think you pointed out, isn’t going to face a crew mutiny. My guess is the same, that the UCP will rally behind Ms. Smith for now even if they don’t completely like it, particularly as the election is not that far away.

    I’m not as confident as some that Albertans won’t buy into Danielle Smith’s “new sheriff in town” plan. What she’s saying has a strong hint of populism “The NDP doesn’t stand up for the little guy. They are now the voice of the establishment” was Rick Bells’ quote from his chat with Danielle over coffee and waffles. Horror, some will say – but I say what’s wrong with populism? The definition of it is “what the populace wants.”

    Take her statements on the Health System. I’m sure as a right-wing libertarian or whatever she is, her desire is to dismantle our valued single-payer medical system, but that’s not what she says. She says our medical system is not functioning well and she’s going to fix it. Who cannot disagree with that? The real problem is none of the previous governments have been able to do much to fix this critical issue either, so “WTH give her a shot at it.” Well she’ll make it much worse but it’s hard to argue that what we’ve been doing so far is working.

    From out here I thought Rachel Notley did a real good effort to make things better. From where I am the BC NDP have struggled. They keep saying the health system issues are their absolute top priority but virtually nothing has improved even though they have enjoyed majority power here for a couple of rounds now. It would have been much worse with our Social Credit/Liberals (BC United is going to be their new name) but people don’t think much about that. People are just not happy with how things are going, they’re going to be less happy going fwd, and I fear the BC NDP don’t understand this, I know the federal NDP don’t understand this, but it looks like Danielle Smith understands this – tragic.

    What’s my point? So called “Progressive” parties have totally failed us. They have generally bought into the Neo-liberal agenda. How do we counter the Neo-cons like Ms. Smith who are offering us better? It’s not by slagging our fellow workers as “stupid seniors” or making up cute derogatory names for Alberta and its citizens. We counter these attacks on us by calling out the fundamental problems, contradictions, and anti-social nature of what these Neo-cons are doing – this is what DJC is generally writing about here.

    A closing note on the Urban-Rural divide I mentioned previously. Danielle gets the importance of it, few others seem to. Yes she just knows that distribution means rural voters have a little more percentage than big cities, but so what – that’s the way it is. Fix that Rural-Urban divide for your party and you’re in – probably forever. Rachel worked on it, Horgan in BC failed, but just calling them a bunch of re-neck, racist hicks won’t do it either.

    1. Yeah this is really the core of it isn’t it ? Rural people are angry for good reason. They see the same things happening to their community that is happening in the cities, but with a much smaller economic base to work with that has really decimated a lot of these small towns and villages. Unless someone can articulate for them how a change in government is going to do anything at all, and actually act on it, they are going to vote for what they feel their interest is, punishing the folks In the urban areas they feel are responsible for their plight.

    2. Every health care system in Canada is failing in real time. None of them had slack capacity before the pandemic because health care is super expensive, we hate paying taxes, and we rewarded our politicians for keeping bills low and preventing us from having to think. Our health care has been systemically wasteful for decades. For instance, we have only been able to keep ERs going by the practice of having nurses work mandatory overtime for a long time. To my knowledge that is the case in every jurisdiction in Canada, I may be wrong. I do not believe our health care system will exist in its current form in 5 years. We’ve been coasting on the investments of our ancestors and the inheritance of our descendants as a way to balance the budget for too long.

      We have prioritized the rights to platform for-profit misinformation, to travel internationally, to traffic in fake cures, and to generally be a proudly ignorant belligerent doorknob-licking jerk throughout this pandemic. We didn’t even prosecute the people who owned the LTC companies that made billions killing our elders! Like, didn’t even TRY to take them to court. We could instead have prioritized the right to life. We could have prioritized the lives of our grandparents, who were so loudly, proudly and publicly written off like so:

      Person A: *cites covid deaths to date*
      Person B: They’re mostly old people anyway.

      Remember that exchange? I’ll certainly never forget it. We could have prioritized ending the crisis. If every human on earth stayed still for a month covid would go extinct. We literally got paid to stay home for FOUR months and we couldn’t do that! Like climate change, covid has slipped the leash and is beyond our ability to cure. Now we need to live with it. Or, more accurately, the descendants of those primarily responsible will have to live with it. A bunch of actual grown adults seem to have completely forgotten that their rights are not weapons and do not exist to allow them to intentionally harm folks they have othered, and the rest of us seem unable or unwilling to stop them, even though we seem to vastly outnumber them and share a common incentive to stop them.

  13. There is no question these Reform Party fools are catering to seniors , just like Ralph Klein did. I still remember the guy stating to me “You shouldn’t bad mouth seniors the way you do. You should pity them because they really are that stupid” . I can’t find any pity for seniors who are too stupid to look at the facts and refuse to believe them when they do. I blame them for the financial mess we are in and young Albertans for refusing to take a better interest in Alberta Politics and to make certain their senior relatives weren’t allowing themselves to be treated like morons. I know my children and grandchildren aren’t that stupid, they know what these fools have done to us. In fact they think Notley will make Smith look like a damn fool and hope she does get elected. I hope she doesn’t win the bye-election, but that’s likely too much to expect from rural Albertans , isn’t it?

    1. Alan K. Spiller: My remaining aunts and uncles, and my father, are all seniors. Some of them thought that Ralph Klein was incredible. My dad didn’t see Ralph Klein that way. He knew that Ralph Klein was trying to buy votes, and my dad said it worked. One of my dad’s older brothers also didn’t seem to trust Ralph Klein, when he was talking to me and one of my siblings. So many people are being fooled by the likes of Ralph Klein, Paul Hinman, Danielle Smith and Pierre Poliveire. This isn’t good. They can’t see the damage these pretend conservatives and Reformers have done, like Ralph Klein, and they can’t see the damage that Paul Hinman, Danielle Smith and Pierre Poliveire will do, if they are given the opportunity. When they get challenged, for believing the lies of these pretend conservatives and Reformers, all they can do is throw around cheap insults.

  14. The difference between Liz Truss and Danielle Smith is that I suspect that Liz Truss does not believe most of the things she purports to stand for. After all, Liz Truss started off opposed to Brexit and appears to wear her beliefs opportunistically. Danielle Smith has drunk the Kool aid and believes the bat-shit crazy things she spouts — that quack cures for Covid are effective, that healthy people under 35 don’t need to be vaccinated, that the public service is politicized, etc. She has no clue how to govern and is not fit to govern, either by temperament, experience, knowledge, or aptitude.

    Let’s hope, however, that, as is the case with Liz Truss, Danielle Smith quickly starts to lose the support of the caucus. This is a possibility, but I am not sanguine about the prospects, given the craven and pusillanimous behaviour of most of the current UCP leadership candidates and caucus. At the very least, I hope a few will find the spine to leave and call out the crazy. But most will stay and kow tow to the current incarnation of bad leadership we have come to expect from the UCP. A sad and dangerous plight for all Albertans. Even people who support Danielle Smith do not deserve the toxic governance that we are all about to be subjected to.

  15. While we have been frozen in the headlights of the Sovereignty Act, what other initiatives does Dannie have up her sleeve?

    Rejigging income taxes to favour the ultra-rich?

    De-funding abortion and harm-reduction services?

    Removing election spending limits and allowing third-party advertising during the campaign period?

    Imposing additional taxes on solar panels and solar farms to fund a re-energized war room?

    We all have other possible acts that could be tabled before the Christmas break. Hang on!

  16. It’s all about chaos and bigger agendas ,Albertans know it ,,thanks for reminding us it is only 3 %of the population,a minute of relief with those numbers ,myself I worry about the other 30% under the dome ,and the other 30% of victims

  17. I like DS use of words in the audience she speaks too,
    When speaking at certain engagements she uses “unwed mothers” and at other s “single parents “
    DS knows her art of linguistic s and as of recent she was kind enough to display her ability to do so ,unfortunately I don’t have a good command of linguistic s ,always amazed how one line can have so many meaning s at gathering s

  18. The lunatics (UCP/Wildrosers) are running the asylum (Alberta).
    Stay inside until the madness passes. Only 9 months to go, before mom (Rachel Notley) comes home and cleans up the mess.

  19. So tired of extremists. To the right, your Harper had Karl’s Homolka eyes, sociopath. Y’all hate on JT cause He’s a nice guy, trying to be progressive; a human being.
    while the right in Canada is busy being Amerikkka;
    Ted Cruz
    Ron DeSantis
    Marjory Taylor Greene
    Donald Duck
    Mitch Maconell
    Ben Shapiro
    Fox News
    Cucker Tarlson
    Greg Abbott
    Ron Johnson
    Josh Hawley
    Lindsay Graham
    Kevin MacCarthey
    Jim Jordan
    Matt Gaetz
    Rick Scott
    Marco Rubio
    Sean Hannity.
    CANADA IS NOT AMERIKKKA. Sad sad people.

    1. Harold—- too late, in Canada we have:
      Stephen Harper
      Brian Peckford /Hillier
      Maxine Bernier
      Minnie mouse (Stefanson)
      DUI- Moe & son
      Andrew Sheer
      Vernier, Rosemarie,
      Kevins: Johnson & Falcon
      Christy, Gordon, Doug etc
      Post media, Sun TV, Conrad Black,
      IMHO, …the list goes on, it’s a big spiders web, and just alittle research shows how interconnected ….

      When they discovered that like the neighbors, they (as politicians)could get away with the the most abysmal wrongs and not be held accountable, we as citizens couldn’t fire them, as in the private sector we would have been, they started taking it to a whole new level and every once in a while, someone would have to.. “apologize “, or get shuffled out of direct view….but severe consequences, nope, nada, nothing, and especially with the media bias….and lack of “old school ” investigative reporting ,
      where they would have been called out, now it’s the occasional on “Twitter ” rage for a day, maybe 2,then the next distraction is thrown out to deflect— ooooh, look, shiny new thing…
      The young people nowadays(, and not all, there are some who have escaped the traps) don’t know that for the last 40ish yrs they have been steered to follow the yellow brick road,
      Alexa, Siri, roomba,
      “Smart”
      cars
      appliances
      phones…..etc. etc.
      Cause you’re just too damn dumb to be able to get up and do it yourself…..(case in point: hurricane Ian, woman lying, curled up on a quilt, outside her semi-distroyed trailer, saying to the reporter, I don’t know what to do, no one has come &told me what to do…)
      I might have hurt my eyeballs from how far they rolled back, and thoughts are totally censored…when politicians discovered apathy amongst the voters, they started chortling with glee,and Skippy has been on that bus ,driving it for all its worth, the “I speak for all Canadians ” is a pile of….not most, or some, just a few…..it’s as ridiculous as the expression “world famous” , but if he was Pinocchio, then it might actually apply .
      Sad, pitiful, shameful, but then that was the goal for us, now come the saviors and the handful of us that see, can only do what we can to help, but it’s like I learned at the first Al-anon meeting, you can’t help someone who doesn’t want to be helped, and until they admit they have a problem, you can just sit by waiting, or you save yourself, and find like minded people….
      For which I have to give thanks to DJC ….♡…

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.