Don’t Look Away

We’re on the cusp of the election and many moderate conservatives still don’t know who they’ll support.  Will they ignore the allegations of vote tampering in the UCP leadership race and the slate of unfit candidates stacking up “25 deep” to support Jason Kenney or will they follow the lead of life long conservatives like Denny Hay, three-time Canadian Champion Saddle Bronc Rider, and support Rachel Notley.

The conservatives’ main sticking point is the economy.

Kenney says he’ll freeze spending and balance the budget in 2022/23.

Notley says Kenney’s “freeze” is actually a cut of 13-14% when you factor in inflation and population growth; she says she’ll continue to invest in public services and balance the budget one year later in 2023/24.

Notley explained her rationale at a recent rally in three little words:  Don’t look away.


One will look away, the other won’t

She refuses to look away when 44,000 children slip back into poverty, 15,000 children have no teachers, women can’t access their legal right to choose and the LBGTQ community is marginalized.

She refuses to look away when our seniors can’t afford their meds, universal healthcare is replaced by credit card healthcare and Alberta’s GHG emissions go through the roof.

If conservatives support Kenney they must look away because he’s convinced them that “in order to be a compassionate, caring society, we must be prosperous first.”

But they’ve been duped.  Kenney is proposing a false dilemma.  He’s offering an either/or choice.  Either compassion or prosperity but not both.

Notley is offering a third alternative—compassion and prosperity with a balanced budget one year later.  There’s no need to sacrifice public services on the road to prosperity.

And that’s what this election is really about.

Moderate conservatives have a choice.  They can look away while a sketchy premier slashes public services to achieve balance in 2022/23 or they can vote with compassion and wait an extra year to balance the budget.   Is the extra year worth it?

Yes, for anyone who believes compassion is not contingent on the size of their bank account.

Anyone with the courage not to look away.

This entry was posted in Economics, Education, Energy & Natural Resources, Environment, General Health Care, Politics and Government, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

36 Responses to Don’t Look Away

  1. Graham McFarlane says:

    Well stated, Susan

  2. Munroe Scott says:

    Point well made, Susan. In Ontario we’re expected to look away at a buck a beer and tailgate booze parties.

    • Munroe, believe it or not Albertans are tracking the damage Ford has done to Ontario since he’s taken power and they still support him. I’m beginning to think people have lost the ability to think for themselves and like kids on the playground blindly follow a bully because it’s easier. Stupid.

  3. Edison says:

    A win for Kenney would be a serious self-inflicted wound for Alberta that would take forever to heal

    • Edison, the irony is all those people who think he’ll “fix” the economy by turning off the taps and suing everyone under the sun still won’t have jobs because the oil companies have learned how to make a profit in a low cost high tech (ie. fewer staff) environment. We have to change with the times but Kenney wants to turn us into West Virginia waiting for the coal mines to come back.

  4. Rileys Sister says:

    Make that a serious wound for Canada as Harper’s minions really get a hold here again. Not a tin hatter really but I always wonder at the hand behind all of the dirty conservative tricks, vote scamming, robocalls, sex scandals for a conservative leader who is too red, like Brown.

    • Rileys Sister, given the shenanigans we’ve seen in the UCP leadership race I wouldn’t put anything past the Harper conservatives. What I’m trying to figure out is what happens if Scheer gets elected in October (heaven forbid), are we going to be stuck with Kenney for a decade because he can’t topple Scheer and get back into federal politics.

      • Mary-Louise Mitchell says:

        I hope and pray that Scheer does not get elected in.. Not a big fan of Justin, but not an even bigger fan of Andrew.

  5. ed henderson says:

    Hi Susan..
    You say..””She refuses to look away when 44,000 children slip back into poverty, 15,000 children have no teachers, women can’t access their legal right to choose and the LBGTQ community is marginalized.””
    All this has happened since she got elected in 2015? What’s going on? Why would the NDP gvt in Alberta allow this to happen? Are the NDP no more honest than the UCP or those other opportunists?

  6. Ed, what I meant was if the NDP is replaced by the UCP, the UCP said it will freeze public services. This means the money spent on cutting child poverty will be frozen or eliminated (hence the 44,000 kids who were lifted out of poverty will slide backwards), the healthcare budget will be trimmed resulting in cuts to abortion clinic funding (Kenney says he won’t change the abortion laws which is an empty promise because they’re federal and he CAN’T change them, but he’s never promised not to touch funding for abortion clinics, his anti-abortion supporters want him to reduce abortion funding in order to reduce access to abortions), and the LBGTQ community will be marginalized by (1) letting schools out gay kids to their parents and (2) making it OK to go after gay people in general. So Notley will not “look away” from the consequences of Kenney’s freeze on public services and neither should we.

  7. Jane Walker says:

    Thank you so much, Susan! These reminders are important especially when they are connected to the issues rather than simply the opposing character qualities of the two candidates. 🙄. So happy to have this to pass along!

    • Thanks Jane, I kept the post short so it could be read quickly. People don’t want to read the UCP and NDP policy documents so it’s important they understand the painful consequences of balancing the budget in 2022/23 versus 2023/24.

  8. Most people – ESPECIALLY conservatives – have NO idea what the “economy” is . .. they think it’s some kind of closed system, based on pre-1970 college curricula, a supply/demand formulaic bubble independent of anything else . . . like pandemic and/or individual disorders such as disease, oligarchy, corruption, (and other global and local disruptive influences), sustainability, the environment, climate change, human conflict, ignorance, cognitive dissonance, and so on – *especially* the greed of the never-worked-a-day rich. Today’s Alberta “Conservatives” ride on the coattails of their predecessors – when Alberta Conservatives were honest, right-of-center fiscally conservative but humanitarian folks (no longer a truth, not since Mulroney and Klein) – and now turned Corportist, Fascist-leaning stupids just because Grandpa was a Conservative, and thinks Canadian Conservatism hasn’t changed since Daddy and Grandpa. Oh Lord – help us if this Alberta ignorance and stupidity prevail on election day . . . Kenney would sell Alberta to Trump in a heartbeat . . . with his mother as a bonus . . . a smart AH who knows how to manipulate stupid people. And sadly already has . . .

    On Thu, Apr 11, 2019 at 1:50 PM Susan on the Soapbox wrote:

    > susanonthesoapbox posted: “We’re on the cusp of the election and many > moderate conservatives still don’t know who they’ll support. Will they > ignore the allegations of vote tampering in the UCP leadership race and the > slate of unfit candidates stacking up “25 deep” to support Jason” >

    • Rocky: there are so many things that are deeply disturbing about this election. The one that drives me crazy is the well-to-do conservatives who say they admire Notley, they think she’s smart and she’s done the best job anyone could possibly have done under the circumstances, but they’re voting for Kenney because they can’t bring themselves to vote NDP. (Brand me and I’m yours). Add them to the well-to-do conservatives who’re convinced she’s killing the economy despite the fact that she can’t control the price of oil or the speed at which the federal government approves pipelines or the courts’ right to hear appeals if the process is flawed. They don’t have a clue about the energy sector or how it accesses capital but profess to be experts because they made a pile of money in real estate.
      Both of them ignore the fact that Alberta has the lowest debt to GDP ratio in the country (8%) and the highest per capita income. They’re content to let racists, sexists, homophobes and religious zealots call the shots. It doesn’t say much for conservative Albertans does it.

      • Judy Johnson says:

        Excellent blog Susan! Wish all undecided voters could read your comments before voting. If Kenney wins the election with a majority, I’m afraid you and I will be surrounded by voters (some might say vultures) with me-first ethics—let children, the mentally handicapped, the cognitively compromised, the unemployed, the homeless, seniors, Albertans from gender minority groups, the drug addicted, those on long waits lists needing necessary surgeries and other medical attention, women seeking abortions… The list is long and I have probably missed a few, but it seems to me that Kenny and his supporters believe those who can’t afford private clinics can find their own solutions to their suffering. I’ve knocked on many doors in the progressive constituency of Calgary Mountain View and am pleasantly surprised at the number of people who are STRONGLY opposed to Kenney and his ilk. Their heads are in the game of all progressive team players—the caring, informed voters across this province who I desperately hope will give Kenney the shock of his life! Are you doing any live commentary on E-day Susan? Will look forward to reading your post election blog.

      • jane walker says:

        Mountain View …. my worry is that they will think that they have an either/or choice in the progressive vote. I wrote to someone who took that tack and tried to point out the value of having a Liberal member in the balance … using Sheldon Schumir as the consummate Liberal example in Calgary. David Swann’s 14yr legacy can and should be carried on by David Khan. I sure hope it works … after this orange wave, Calgary will clean out the NDs asap but may be more likely to hold their nose and keep a Liberal in the legislature.
        I hate the way this election has made me feel.

  9. Jerrymacgp says:

    Firstly, true conservatives can vote for the Alberta Party, which while still fairly conservative on economic & fiscal policy is far less beholden to the social conservative base of the UCP; you can cast a ballot for them without feeling soiled & like you need to take a shower afterwards.

    But as between the UCP & the NDP, honourable conservatives have no business voting for the UCP. They have no honour and no class, and many of them probably keep white hoods and sheets in their closets.

    • Jerrymacgp: you’re absolutely right about the Alberta Party being a viable alternative. I live Doug Schwitzer’s riding and am continually getting emails from a retired lawyer (I have no idea how I got on his mailing list) warning me of the folly of splitting the vote by voting for Greg Clark who he acknowledges is a good candidate but the wrong choice because Kenney has to win, period.
      If the UCP has a lock on Calgary as Kenney says they do, then surely a vote or two for Greg Clark wouldn’t kill them…unless of course Kenney is engaging in the same “tactical politics” he used in the UCP leadership race where he was so sure of victory that he deployed a fake candidate to attack Brian Jean and do whatever it is they did to the voting machines to ensure Kenney won with a resounding margin.

  10. Phil Elder says:

    Unhappily it appears that voters are “looking away” from the moral train wreck offered by the UCP. I am not optimistic about next Tuesday.

    • Phil, you may be right but we’ll keep fighting for our candidates until the polling booths close next Tuesday. Something bizarre is going on with the electorate, bozo eruptions that would have killed the UCP’s chances long ago haven’t had much impact. The political scientists say this is because the economy was in pretty good shape in 2012 when the Wildrose candidate condemned gay people to the lake of fire, and it’s not so good today (this is not true, Alberta is still doing well, just not as well as in the boom). What worries me about this theory is it says Albertans will sell their souls for money. If this is true, we’ve got a more serious problem than Jason Kenney.

      • Carlos Beca says:

        ‘What worries me about this theory is it says Albertans will sell their souls for money. If this is true, we’ve got a more serious problem than Jason Kenney.’

        This worries me as well. I have to confess that unfortunately I think that this is real and that we do have a serious problem. Alberta has always been the province that showed the most characteristics of Southern US States political / social ideology and that surfaces when the economy is bad. Unfortunately I have witnessed 3 busts and they are all the same with accusations against the Federal Government and the threats of Separation and the bully attacks – a la Nazi style.
        This one is the most special because there is a convergence of a less well economy, the raise of doughnut fiscal policy (hole in the center) and the raise of the non-facts based idiocracy. Not a pretty picture.
        I now believe that we are indeed entering the Dark Ages and if we loose control it could be years or even decades before we can see the light at the end of the tunnel, if ever.
        At first I thought this was another Ralph Klein but the comments I hear are to say the list and very clear confirmation that people are more than willing to throw out ethics or morals to get what will be for a short period of time.
        Capitalism is reaching its shelf life and changing it could be the end of the so called Anthropocene

      • Bob Raynard says:

        I think there is a term for people who sell their principles for money. I can’t remember what it is just now.

      • Jane Walker says:

        Selling souls for money is “Faustian” … remembering Faust who, visited by the devil, did that very thing!

  11. Edison says:

    Susan, I have a question if you feel you can comment on it. I’m wondering, in regards to a hypothetical instance where the Mounties end up determining that Kenney is directly implicated in criminal wrongdoing, what in your opinion could be possible scenarios/outcomes in this regard?

    • Carlos Beca says:

      I know Susan will reply to this but I cannot avoid my 5 cents.

      Nothing will happen – they will dismiss it and will tell people that it is another conspiracy theory this time by the RCMP.
      Could be worse and they will justify that what they did was necessary to save the province from communism – and Albertans will agree.
      If you read what they have accused the NDP of, this will be just another one.

  12. Einar Davison says:

    I haven’t wriiten in a long time so hopefully Susan you’ll forgive my longwindedness. This is indeed an interesting election, though in some way a more subdued one. Maybe that is a rural thing because I understand a lot of the rural UCP candidates are in Calgary door knocking for city candidates. Not sure if that is true, but I haven’t seen a whole lot of campaigning out here. That annoys me that the UCP takes us for granted.
    One thing hasn’t changed is the usual dirty tricks of defacing and vandalising campaign signs which to me smacks of Nazi tactics. It bothers me greatly that those who say they are for democracy and freedom actually want to restrict someone else’s. However every part of the political spectrum has their “activist” fringe elements who beat people down with fists, actions or words. I have no use for any of them right, center or left. I hope one day politics in this province is about serving ALL the people of Alberta and not just the pursuit of power so they can advance their own self serving idealism. I know Susan you once said that “a person without ideals is like a ship without a rudder”. I think we have gotten too caught up in the idealism and we need to get back to what government is meant to be. Serving people by protecting them with fair regulations, spending tax dollars and the resources of the people where it will benefit the most people.
    Not sure if this is wishful thinking on my part but we might all have a surprise on Tuesday night. I haven’t agreed with the NDP going negative from the start. To me that is something the UCP or the rest of the right wing fringe does. I think that may have been a mistake. I won’t be voting NDP because where I am that would be a wasted voted, in fact that I am not voting UCP means my vote is wasted anyway. However I am still going to vote, because one just never knows. Tuesday night we just might see something happen that will disappoint the “United”. I still hold that most Albertans are centrist in nature, be they center right, center left or just somewhere between those two. I think if that block holds and they truly are worried about Mr. Kenney and his minions running Alberta then I think the outcome will be acceptable. If the center is fractured then yes probably Kenney will win or alternatively it could be a minority government which I think
    I don’t fault the NDP for capital spending, I can’t agree with how they spent on government operations. I think a better plan could have been made. I think the error that all Albertans made is that somehow the oil and gas industry would come back and we’d be on top of the world again. I think we need to face the fact that we have a long road ahead of us and we need to assume that in 20 years time there will be no oil and gas industry or at very least it will be greatly diminished. I believe we need to take as much advantage as we can get out of it while we still can, but be working toward a future of less one big industry, but a future with many smaller sustainable industries. I give Rachel Notley a lot of credit for this. We at least had a Premier who was trying to move in that direction. I think Jason Kenney if he becomes Premier will be very happy to do cuts and not do anything else and no one will hold him accountable. Who knows how this all will turnout, but anything where Kenney or the “Klein Again’s” don’t win is a win for Albertans. If the election was “sleepy” election night might be a nail biter.

    • Bob Raynard says:

      Hey Einar,

      If you aren’t voting NDP or UPC, my guess is the Alberta Party has your vote. Even though I am an NDP supporter, I am really encouraged by rural voters who vote AP. My impression of the Alberta Party is they could be called ‘Conservative Leaning Voters Who Can’t Stand Jason Kenney’.

      I really believe the UPC’s biggest weakness right now is Jason Kenney, and I can see how he could suffer the same fate as Alison Redford if he does not do well. A lot of AP votes in rural Alberta would certainly give the UCP a message.

      Conservative minded voters who live in Rachel Notley’s riding have a wonderful way to protest Jason Kenney if they wish. Rachel Notley is pretty much a shoe in, so right leaning voters can pick any conservative candidate they want to register their ‘not NDP’ vote without worrying about wasting their vote.

      Apparently the UPC organizers wanted to maintain control over the party names ‘Progressive Conservative’ and ‘Wildrose’, so they are still operating the two legacy parties. Election rules require them to run at least one candidate, so there is a PC and a Wildrose candidate running in Edmonton Strathcona. What a wonderful way for conservative voters to protest Jason Kenney; vote for one of the legacy candidates!

    • Einar: I agree with you that “anything where Kenney or the “Klein Again’s” don’t win” is a win for Albertans. I was not surprised to learn that the campaign has been relatively quiet in the rural areas. From everything I’ve read the UCP has a stranglehold on the rural vote. A friend’s daughter has been working in Rimby. She said it’s pointless to try to talk about politics because the prevailing mood is Make Alberta Great Again, literally. This is very disturbing because trying to have a conversation with these folks is hopeless.
      We’ll know the results soon. Whatever happens I think it will be difficult to repair the suspicion and distrust this election created across the province.

      • Jane Walker says:


        If only Rachel had ‘run on her record’ … with a platform the equivalent of the fabulous speech to the crowd in the room last night. She was on fire!! Never a mention of Jason Kenney … bravo!! Hope there is a plan to make sure that the good things that are happening and coming to Alberta will be receiving the credit the NDs deserve. Maybe with an effective implementation plan, this status will be a one term hiatus.

        Thank you for your well-informed counsel for all of us. Keep up the good work! xoxo Jane 💕

        On Tue, Apr 16, 2019 at 5:33 PM Susan on the Soapbox wrote:

        > susanonthesoapbox commented: “Einar: I agree with you that “anything where > Kenney or the “Klein Again’s” don’t win” is a win for Albertans. I was not > surprised to learn that the campaign has been relatively quiet in the rural > areas. From everything I’ve read the UCP has a strangleh” >

      • Thank you Jane! You’re right that the campaign focused a lot on Kenney’s character and perhaps an equal amount of air time should have been given to Rachel’s record which is truly impressive. I think there’s a good chance Kenney will be done after one term given how high he’s raised expectations on things over which he has no control.

      • Jane Walker says:

        Just in case you missed this … Jane 💕

  13. Jane Walker says:

    Then back to Rachel if they play the cards right. Lots of opportunities as official opposition!
    So glad you are sticking in there with us, Susan! Thank you!!

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