Kenney’s New Modus Operandi: Goodbye Peter Lougheed; Hello Donald Trump

There was a time when Jason Kenney pretended to be the modern-day manifestation of Peter Lougheed, notwithstanding his conviction that Lougheed’s programs were akin to “neo-Stalinist make-work projects.”

He’s since dropped the charade. He no longer pretends to be anything other than what he is. A Trump admirer.

Recently he’s taken to invoking Trump’s name to bolster his credibility.

When a stubborn minority of Albertans thumbed their noses at Kenney’s plea they get vaccinated, he tweeted a clip of Trump extolling the virtues of vaccines. (Trump also took credit for developing them; what else is new).

A fine pair

When asked about reducing emissions, Kenney ridiculed Trudeau’s plan to transition from oil and gas jobs to greener jobs, saying Trump had great success in cutting emissions by switching from coal to gas fired power plants. (He failed to mention Trump also weakened EPA rules to allow more coal plants to stay open).   

It’s likely Kenney has always been a Trump admirer (he bet $1.5 billion on Keystone XL in anticipation of Trump being re-elected in 2020), but it’s peculiar for a Canadian politician to continue to invoke the name of the American president who perpetrated the Big Lie and incited the Jan 6 attack on the Capital to lend credibility to his provincial policies. Wouldn’t a big-name Canadian politician—perhaps his old boss, Stephen Harper—be more suitable?

One wonders whether Trump is on Kenney’s mind because Kenney knows he’s in trouble and is focusing on the Trump playbook to dig himself out.  

Trump’s modus operandi

Kenney and Trump share the same political ambition and deploy the same ruthless tactics. For example:

Hyperpartisanship: The first thing Kenney did when he came into office was rip down everything Notley had done, only to reinstate some of her policies—attracting tech investment, for example—with similar, but watered-down versions of his own.  

Eroding our faith in democratic institutions: In Kenney’s world it’s OK to wear ear plugs in debates (who cares what the Opposition has to say), it’s OK to curtail debate on a whim, it’s OK to demonize private citizens by name in the Legislature if they dare criticize the government, and it’s OK to create special commissions and war rooms to attack and intimidate those who disagree with government policy.

Undermining the public service: Kenney views public servants as a pack of unionized slackers, teachers as pushing socialist, leftie claptrap onto their students, and doctors and nurses as grossly overpaid.

Exacerbating inequality: Kenney cut corporate taxes, thereby starving public services and paving the way for privatization. Services will be available to those who can pay. He’s hinted at a flat personal income tax which will increase inequality by pushing the more of the tax burden onto lower income earners.

Degrading the environment: Kenney eliminated Lougheed’s Coal Policy. (He backtracked temporarily but he’ll green light coal mining in the Rockies once again). He’s weakened regulatory agencies (too much red tape) because Alberta is open for business, damn the consequences.

Perpetuating a culture of victimhood: Alberta is still the wealthiest province in the country, yet Kenney wants us to believe we’re victims. The feds, the socialists and the lefties are coming for us at every turn. We need a protector to stand up for us, and by George, we’ve got one in Jason Trump…um, Jason Kenney.

Us against them: Nowhere is Kenney’s appetite for power more obvious than when he pits Albertans against each other. He started with an easy target, the unions, and has moved onto people who eat bat soup. Kenney’s comment that he tries not to predict the behavior of covid because who knows what “the next bat soup thing out of Wuhan” will be set off a storm of criticism. His spokesperson denied the comment was racist, then following protests in Calgary and Edmonton, offered a statement that purported to be, but fell far short of, an apology.  

Why now?

2022 will be the most important year in Kenney’s entire political career. He rode into town a few years ago determined to make Alberta the country’s conservative beacon. He failed.  

He’s fighting off mutinous MLAs, the economy will never regain the lofty heights it enjoyed in the golden years, Brian Jean is actively campaigning to unseat him, his nemesis Rachel Notley consistently outpolls him, and he’s utterly mismanaged his most important file, the government’s response to covid.

This is not a man who will go gracefully into retirement.  

But I know this and I’m prepared to act (be it through a letter writing campaign or taking to the streets) when Kenney does what Trump would do to hold onto power regardless of the cost.

That’s my New Year’s resolution. I hope it’s yours too.   

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53 Responses to Kenney’s New Modus Operandi: Goodbye Peter Lougheed; Hello Donald Trump

  1. Public Servant says:

    It’s truly hard to imagine just what a conniving little weasel Kenney is until someone (thank you Susan on the Soapbox) takes the time to list his many attacks on civil society and democracy.

    I can’t think of a better New Year’s resolution than keeping this Trump wannabe from holding onto power. Maybe 2022 will be the year the RCMP investigation into Kenney finds enough evidence to finally lay charges.

    • Public Servant, thank you for reminding us that Kenney is still under investigation for “irregularities” that occurred during the UCP leadership race. That’s another similarity to Trump that bears mentioning.

  2. Sandy says:

    Meet You On the Streets,

  3. .. Any coherent Canadian should be aware
    that Jason Kenney – Elected Public Servant
    is but a mere Alberta MLA.. not a Holy Oracle
    He represents just one single Provincial Riding

    He’s truly a disgusting deceitful, manipulative & secretive ideologue
    Unctuous to astonishing extreme level and only matched by Stephen Harper

  4. Carlos says:

    Calling any of the programs that Peter Lougheed created as ‘Neo-Stalinist make work’ projects clearly defines the type of mentality Jason Kenney belongs to. Maybe good enough at neo-nazi or white supremacist circles but really not that great for the majority of Albertans.
    Unfortunately I believe he is going to pander more to that kind of audience because he knows he is finished. So more scandals will be coming very soon to a theater nears you.

    • I think you’re right Carlos. That’s my real worry. Kenney knows how to use the dog whistle to activate his supporters. I fear there will be no holds barred if/when he gets desperate. So even if Kenney disappears off the political scene, the damage he’s done to democracy and civil society and the polarization that results will take a long time to repair.
      I don’t believe it will get as bad here as it is in the US, however I do believe the xenophobic, racist, Islamophobic, misogynist, homophobic, anti-Semitic crowd feel emboldened to do the crap they like to do.

      • Carlos says:

        I could not agree more Susan and this has all been caused by the fact that Trump gave these groups his open support. This together with the fact that these groups are violent by nature, created the problems we are having now and God knows when this will dissipate if ever or if will try to move more forcefully to the right and who knows how far.

  5. Reynold Reimer says:

    My wife and I will be in the streets working for the NDP. They only way to get rid of the bum is to get enough people to vote against him. The we can have a celebration that will make the celebration we had on election night in 2015 look mild.

    • Reynold, I agree with you 100%. I think Kenney will try to buy votes by introducing a flat personal income tax and pumping the myth that the economy is better now than it’s ever been (he’s already boasting that Alberta has its swagger back). But life is and will continue to be harder for most Albertans. We need to help those who buy into Kenney’s malarkey to understand what’s really going on.
      If we can do that well we’ll have a real blow-out party in 2023!!

      • Dwayne says:

        Susan: It’s so bad that there are people in Alberta who think the flat tax is a brilliant idea. If that were the case, why didn’t Ralph Klein ask for Albertans approval of it to begin with? It’s another Manning Centre, Fraser Institute neoliberal policy failure. If ideas like that are that good, wouldn’t it be best to ask Albertans for their input and their views beforehand? You will also notice that no other government in Canada had adopted Ralph Klein’s flat tax. No other provincial government in Canada latched onto the idea. Nor did the governments in the 2 (now 3) territories grab ahold of the policy. The federal government didn’t do so either. It was obvious why. There would be a major loss of revenue. Coincidentally, very strong austerity happened after Ralph Klein put in the flat tax. Another major mistake that Ralph Klein made was with not understanding what Peter Lougheed did, with his previous experience in the oil industry, in that oil as a commodity, can very quickly have a bust cycle. Ralph Klein also tampered with Peter Lougheed’s higher oil royalty rates, lowering them substantially, losing Alberta hundreds of billions of dollars, let foreign owned petrochemical companies take over our oil industry, and then Ralph Klein was also slack in making sure that oil companies fix up their damages, leaving the citizens of Alberta to foot a major bill of $260 billion to handle this. Ralph Klein also wasted major amounts of money on so many more things. These things also led to the foolish cuts, which Alberta still hasn’t recovered from. The UCP’s own neoliberal policies, including the failed trickle down economics of their corporate tax cuts, which made Alberta lose $8 billion, or greater, and didn’t make even one single new job, hasn’t helped Alberta either. Coincidentally, after the UCP’s corporate tax cuts were a disaster, the UCP said that Ottawa owed money to Alberta. Also, the UCP resorted to foolish and senseless cutbacks. If the UCP reinstates Ralph Klein’s bad flat tax idea, even more cutbacks are on their way. It’s been nearly 8 years since we have seen oil in the $100 plus range. Those days aren’t returning. The UCP’s resorting to bad tax policies, and losing and wasting extremely large amounts of money on so many major mistakes, isn’t going to help matters either. 2023 can’t come soon enough, where the UCP will be dethroned.

      • Comment says:

        Dwayne & Susan – flat tax malarkey indeed!
        I read a few articles suggesting this is a manipulative political tactic aimed at boxing Notley into a corner come election time. Kenney is a lying, cheating, gaslighting snake.
        You can read a good explanation here

  6. lungta mtn says:

    Oh boy
    Trump chaos and post truth logic.
    “Alberta always votes blue so if i / we don’t win then the election was rigged”
    true jk is only one riding
    but the blue grievance bandwagon will be huge and vocal long after he’s gone.

    • lungta mtn: it’s an interesting thing, this blue grievance bandwagon. It strikes me as such an immature, selfish thing.
      It’s a fluke of geography that Alberta sits atop vast oil and natural gas resources, we’ve had our run, we didn’t manage our wealth well, and now we’re ticked off that the realities of climate change will force us to change. But change we must. It’s time we grew up.

      • .. Albertans & the rest of Canada really recognize that 97% of ‘Canada’s Vast Oil Reserves’ are in fact Bitumen.. and buried at varying depths in the Alberta Tar Sands. Another concern is ignoring that ‘Gas’ = equals Methane primarily, plus various gas field liquids. All that ‘gas’ is earmarked for Export to Asia as LNG via Kitimat as well as piped south to fuel Tar Sands Bitumen extraction aimed for Export To USA as Dilbit (Diluted Bitumen)

        Stock Photos of oil well ‘pump jacks’ or footage of them nodding away need to trigger reruns of The Beverly Hillbillies title scene. Bitumen is either still carved from the earth or as the great majority is.. steamed up – ‘in situ’

      • Great observation diamonwalker…I suspect the government and the oil companies would rather have us see pump jacks nodding in canola fields than tonnes of churned up soil, poisonous tailings ponds, and not a speck of greenery for miles around.

  7. jerrymacgp says:

    “…mutinous MLAs” … sadly, most of the dissension within the UCP caucus is not because his government has failed so spectacularly in managing the pandemic, consistently doing far too little, far too late to prevent thousands of unnecessary deaths — but because in their eyes, he has done too much. They’re upset at public health measures like mask mandates, capacity restrictions, and vaccine verification. To that bunch, COVID-19 is either a hoax, or they don’t think it’s as serious as it is, or they think the needs of business outweigh the needs of ordinary human beings.

    What does this mean? It means that if the dissenters succeed at turfing Kenney from the leadership of his party, he is likely to be replaced by someone even less evolved — instead of a Neanderthal, an Australopithecine. The government will go full-Great Barrington on the pandemic, and thousands more will die as a result.

    He needs to stay on until he can be defeated at the polls in 2023. The alternative will be, if it can be imagined, even worse.

    • Carlos says:

      ‘What does this mean? It means that if the dissenters succeed at turfing Kenney from the leadership of his party, he is likely to be replaced by someone even less evolved — instead of a Neanderthal, an Australopithecine.’

      Jerry this is priceless – thank you 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Carlos says:

      I would still like him to fall as soon as possible. I agree we would get an Australopithecine but that would ensure a defeat in 2023 or I would say earlier because they would be forced to call it due to leadership change.

      • Carlos, you may be right, but there’s always the risk that Albertans would vote for a conservative party led by someone as dumb as a sack of hammers and as mean as a junk yard dog. (God only knows where those cliches came from but they popped into my head and I’m sticking with them). 🙂

    • jerrymacgp: I agree, not just for the reasons you cite, but also because whoever the new leader is, he will be able to argue that he’s coming in with a clean slate and should not be tarred by Kenney’s mistakes. If he keeps his nose clear for the next year he might be able to get away with it, then he’d be in power for another four years and we’d go through the gong show all over again, but it could be worse because as you point out, many of the dissenting MLAs are even worse than Kenney (hard to believe, eh?)

    • Comment says:

      jerrymacgp & Susan – I agree
      Some of the dissenters are old Wild Rosers. My MLA is one of them, as is Brian Jean. They would be just as bad or worse. And not just in terms of Covid.
      I agree Kenney needs to stay on until the election. If anyone else takes his place as leader beforehand, it will rejuvenate support for the party and the UCP will be reelected. It doesn’t take much convincing for blindly loyal conservatives to continue to vote the way they always have. The facts don’t matter to hyper-partisans.

      • Comment, I’d still like to see a leadership race go ahead if for no other reason than to hear what Brian Jean has to say about Kenney’s “aggressive tactics” during the last leadership race. Anything Jean can throw out there will be fodder for Notley to use against Kenney in the next election.

  8. Irene says:

    The “bat soup” comment is clearly channeling Trump- shocking in its racial targeting, as well as in-civility. That could have a lot of negative reverberations. Kenney continually makes me embarrassed to be from Alberta. I’m tired of it, and like you Susan, resolve to work for change. 6 generations of my family have in this province, so hugely invested and we ain’t going anywhere.

    • Irene, I know what you mean about being so hugely invested in this province that we’re not going anywhere. My husband and I have lived in 4 provinces and the US, with the bulk of our time being spent here in Alberta. We’re at the point in our lives where we could pull out tomorrow if we had to, but what’s holding us back is our kids. Like you I don’t really feel like we have a choice. That means we need to fight for a better future for children (and ourselves).

      • Irene says:

        Kenney’s “bat soup” comments are part of his M.O. that is clearly designed to target a minority group to blame for all our problems, which technically is a fascist tactic. It is a direct appeal to the type of voter he has been cultivating from day one. Did you ever see the video of him preening himself at a right wing (Canadian Alliance) gathering, proudly taking credit for having partners of dying HIV patients banned from visiting them in hospital in San Francisco when he was a “student” there? This is what he said, “I became president of the pro-life group at my campus, and helped to lead an ultimately successful initiative petition, which led to a referendum which overturned the first gay spousal law in North America in 1989 in San Francisco. [In the video version, Kenney grins here.] I fought a lot of battles there, and in the process of those battles, ended up coming closer to the heart of the church in a spiritual sense as well.” I had to hold my breakfast down re-reading that. The hypocrisy, the heresy, even. Pro-life, indeed. He was definitely not invoking any teachings of Jesus or his Disciples when he was spouting that stuff off. Very ant-Christ, in fact.

        From The Sprawl- “That law would have provided various benefits to same-sex couples who registered as partners—including hospital visitation rights, especially significant during the AIDS crisis that, at its worst, was killing over 1,400 San Franciscans annually.” The Sprawl describes Kenney as grinning in this speech but to me, but what I saw was a self-congratulatory smirk. So, he figured out from a young age that vilifying certain segments of society would appeal to the basest instincts in a particular type of voter, easy to manipulate, and religion would be the horse he would ride to further those political ambitions. IMHO.

      • Irene, I did see that clip. Kenney was so proud of what he’d done, as you said preening for the audience. It was chilling. I saw another clip of him ranting about the UN putting in principles to protect children’s rights. He was apoplectic at the mere idea that children should have rights of their own as opposed to being possessions of their parents. He rattled on about the forces of light (himself) battling the forces of darkness (I think that’s us) as if he were a super hero in an action movie. Very strange man.

      • Carlos says:

        Irene – very well said

        Yes that is the story of Jason Kenney’s proud moments in his shitty life.
        Despite all of that and more that has been discussed in this blog, Albertans (actually 64% of them) voted him in to be our premier.
        So now the question is who are we exactly? We had a choice between a sane person with a diversification of our economy and a very moderate social democratic view of life in general and a bigot with fascist undertones. We chose Jason Kenney. What does that tell us as Canadians from Alberta? My answer is that we will do anything for easy money because that is what Jason Kenney promised the province. So I would be very careful coming to the conclusion that we are for the most part much better than this group of goons. We have a long way to go I believe.
        This recent story of the Sunwing flight to Cancun is another example of our degeneration as Canadians. We should be very careful where arrogance and greed is taking us. We certainly have taken the very first steps to be as hated abroad as Americans are today. We better wake up and not let ourselves fall into this superiority complex and degenerate ethics and morals and be a better country.

  9. Sharon Hundert says:

    I used to be a proud Albertans but now I am embarrassed by our government and the way the pretend premier and his minions go about their business. It saddens me that we have a T.Rump wanna be as the leader of our government. But one day T.Rump will get what he deserves and so will little Jason. Unfortunately in the meantime we are all victims of his ideology.

    • Well said Sharon. When I tell someone I’m from Alberta, I usually follow it up with a statement that I didn’t vote for Kenney. (When my daughter and I traveled to Europe we kept bumping into Americans who’d say they’re from X state but they didn’t vote for Trump). But Kenney’s “bat soup” comment was right up there with something Trump would say. The fact he “apologized” in a Chinese publication (ie where many of his base would not see it) tells you a lot about how contrite he was for saying this horrible thing in the first place.

    • Carlos says:

      Well said Sharon and we do not need to be the victims of whatever it is that these people are feeding themselves with.
      Although, like you, I feel embarrassed with this ‘ideology’ we just have to remember that that is what we defeated in the second world war. We just have to be on guard for Canada and all of us and push these people back to where they belong.
      Jason Kenney is a full idiot and he will be soon going to the asylum he escaped from

  10. Linda says:

    “Kenney may be a weasel, but he’s a hardworking weasel”. Yep, working hard at being the best weasel he can be. Yes, we need to get rid of Kenney & yes, the UCP. Despite the hype & promises to learn from the past, all I’ve seen is a group who is doomed to repeat to the detriment of us all. As usual a brilliant post & yes, count on me to join you in the streets to protest if that is what must be done.

    • Linda, I’ve heard that too and have never understood why conservatives think Kenney being hardworking is enough. He could work from 5 AM to midnight every day and still have nothing to show for it because the man is devoid of imagination, vision, strategic thinking and intelligence.
      I’m reminded of my dog. He works hard digging holes in the backyard, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to praise him for it.
      PS thanks for offering to join me and the others in the streets when the time comes!

  11. Comment says:

    Susan – thank you for the excellent article
    There are many uninformed voters who have no clue what Kenney and the UCP have done to our province – and will continue to do if reelected. We are in big trouble.

  12. Dwayne says:

    Susan: Thanks for another great blog. I’m not at all impressed with the UCP. What you said sums up how bad the UCP are. As someone with ancestry in the countries that Josef Stalin affected, I don’t know why a politician would compare what Peter Lougheed was doing to Josef Stalin’s harmful policies, where many people needlessly suffered and perished. Peter Lougheed was very different from the UCP. He was also very different from Ralph Klein. The UCP and Ralph Klein have Reform type leanings, which support harsh austerity, privatization and deregulation of important services. The UCP also is much like the Alberta PCs were, ever since Peter Lougheed stopped being premier of Alberta. They waste and even lose so much money on so many major mistakes, and it’s not a surprise that they make others pay for it. The UCP’s pipeline gamble actually exceeds the $7 billion mark. The UCP is also like Ralph Klein, in that he never respected democracy either. Ralph Klein and the UCP put in bad policies, and didn’t consult Albertans about them. The leader of the UCP is still being investigated by the R.C.M.P in the way he got to his position. There has been many fines given to UCP members for election related incidences. We can have hope, and also take action. It involves telling everyone we know to get out and vote in 2023, and vote out the UCP. I’m going to share some happy music, once again. This is a song by a Canadian band, Big Sugar. It is from 1998. Turn The Lights On. Hope 2022 will be great for you and your family. I’m looking forward to more of your informative and insightful blogs.

  13. Dwayne says:

    Susan: Here is another great song. It’s from ex Procol Harum member, and guitarist, Robin Trower, Maxi Priest, and Livingston Brown. It’s called United State Of Mind. It came out last year, and this is in my music collection, as is the music from Big Sugar.

  14. lately.. i’m trying to be more (laser) accurate, more scathing or blunt, more succinct while layering my extreme dismay, disgust.. leavened alway by concern, & love affair with Alberta & all the rest of Canada .. I utilize Twitter primarily.. & in almost 10 years, generated approx 60,000 tweets, retweets, likes.. approx a handful of folks blocked me – all are elected Public Servants – Federal – Provincial and I have ‘Blocked’ or ‘Muted’ approx 2 dozen extreme Partisans

    A current twitter theme of mine is
    “You Won’t Recognize Alberta or Canada When I’m Through With Them”
    Jason Kenney

    That about sums up the ‘stakes’
    I want all Canadians, all ages.. to comprehend who Jason Kenney is
    who he has been, and what he is becoming..
    ie a Self Obsessive Machine-Like Evangelical Dominionist

    If he cannot become Prime Minister Of Canada
    he is driven to have / control his own Fiefdom
    perfectly shaped & reshaped to service his compulsive ‘Mission’

    In his unique way he is ‘mirroring’ Donald Trump
    just as you point out.. and as so many of your commenters point out !

  15. Dave says:

    Well I suppose Kenney is increasingly desperate and that does make him potentially more dangerous. Kenney does have a very important thing in common with Trump – Fake Populism. However, unfortunately for Kenney, it is a bit more convincing for a person with a career as business person/celebrity to claim to be a political outsider than it is for a career politician. Kenney may be good at imitating what seems to work for others, but that does not mean it will work so well for him.

    I also think hyper partisanship tactics works better in the US where there are really only two parties. Here is Canada, playing to the base excessively tends to turn off everyone else and put a lower ceiling on your party’s potential support. One would think Kenney might have noticed that problem in the latter years of the Harper regime and learned from it, but perhaps he is not so politically brilliant as his diminishing base of fans claim.

    I don’t think Kenney’s Trump like tactics will ultimately be successful, but they may do a lot of damage, especially if they help him keep his party leadership and hang on longer.

  16. Carlos says:

    I would like to understand what is it that makes people admire Trump?

    • GoinFawr says:

      Like Homer Simpson, or perhaps closer to a Lonesome Rhodes character, he gives them hope that even the most grotesquely boorish of them can be successful, and specious arguments are the whistles Donald blows to make them jump. He appeals to all of the lowest of lowest indefensible common denominators, which in population of 350 million people is a whole lot of armed and angry pillocks, unfortunately. A very large north eastern European nation led by a renowned underpants poisoner and thug for life knows this better than anybody, and is capitalizing on it in every sense of the word.

  17. Carlos says:

    As you can see Jason Kenney is not alone

    Just a small fee of $13 m for some democratic advice.

  18. Guy says:

    Well, I didn’t expect to start a new year confronted by the spectre of Donald Trump, but unfortunately these are the times in which we live. Today marks the 1 year anniversary of the attack on the US Capitol and I see that President Biden is having to give a speech condemning Trump and the violence that he incited a year ago. The message that he his attempting to deliver is that American democracy has been, and continues to be, threatened by Trump and his followers. Tellingly, politicians like Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham are not in attendance and many Republicans are characterizing the speech as partisan politics. Trump himself calls it ‘a distraction’. If American politics isn’t already completely broken it appears to be well on its way.

    Here in Alberta under the UCP government I believe that we are following a similar path forward as the US and, for those of us who are at all concerned, we can look at the current events in the US and view them as a glimpse into our own future if we do not change political direction. Susan, I agree with all of the points that you made about the similarities between Kenney’s and Trump’s political playbook but for me the biggest one is the erosion of democracy because it enables so many other things to happen. I would actually suggest that ‘erosion of faith in democratic institutions’ may be too mild of a statement because it seems to me that these men use their power and influence trample democracy outright or to twist it in some fashion to fit their own agenda. The use of the ear plugs in the legislature is a perfect example. To me, the message was clear: “We are the governing party and we have a majority so we will do what we want. What you say does not matter to us.” The passing of Bill 1 furthered this message by restricting the public’s ability to protest. Democracy was under direct assault.

    That tone was set early on in the UCP’s tenure and continues to today. Policies that were met with fierce opposition around the province by people of all political stripes, notably the disastrous K-12 school curriculum, which will now have a ‘delayed rollout’, and the coal mining in the Rockies which has been ‘paused’, will nevertheless be pushed forward and implemented by this government regardless of public opposition as soon as Kenney finds a way to make them more palatable and politically survivable. He is like some kind of abhorrent, pudgy Terminator sent here by Stephen Harper to destroy the future of Alberta, single-minded and undeterred no matter the obstacles that he encounters. If there is one small hope for us it’s that, no matter how bleak the situation seemed for the protagonists, their determination ensured that the Terminator was defeated at the end of every movie.

    • Carlos says:

      I absolutely agree. Very clear and true. Amazingly, somehow the people on the right do not seem to mind what they are doing which is very worrisome because we are now stuck in this undemocratic game of extreme politics. We need to change to some form of Proportional Representation so that more parties can join the House of Commons or participate in coalition governments. The dynamics in these coalition governments or alliances are very important for democratic evolution and robustness. It is clear that the US is on the rode to democratic decline and we need to strengthen our parliamentary system if we want to survive a possible system implosion there.

  19. Carlos says:

    This one is even more interesting and written by Timothy Snyder so always worth a reading

    • Guy says:

      Very interesting article Carlos. Somewhat stark and frightening, but I think an honest evaluation of the current political situation in the US. Thanks for the link.

  20. Carlos says:

    Well Word Press today is not allowing me to reply and so I will send this as a separate post – this is a reply to Guy to the article I posted.

    Thank you Guy and I agree with you that it is a very concerning situation in the US.
    The initial idea that Trump’s win was a fluke is of course not true and we all know that well now. After years of Neo-liberal damage to living standards and political theater along with globalization and the loss of well paid jobs, people lost confidence in status quo politics.
    I believe very strongly and I have said many times before, that politics have been damaged almost beyond repair. Politicians are now some of the least respected and trusted professionals in any country. The disgrace has been globalized because of total lack of creativity and professionalism around the globe. It was convenient and it created many billionaires around the globe. For the last 30 years politicians have made money under the table one of the most popular games. With it came lower political standards and especially the attraction of people that can play that game very well. People like Bolsonaro in Brazil, Boris Johnson in Britain, Trump in the US and of course our wonderful idiot here in Alberta. It was a fun 30 years for some people but the consequences are pretty obvious. We now have a crisis of confidence in our leaders, climate change caused by the brutal expansion of the trinket market and a very clear societal crisis of inequality and declining living standards mostly everywhere with exceptions like for example Dubai which will in my opinion be the very first Black Hole ever seen so close to us. It is just a question of time.
    Now the concern is that Trump is very real and according to some statistics even in Canada he has a following of about 6 million Canadians.
    I will say that the US is in real danger to be the very first major democracy failure in the West. It did not happen last year on January 6 but it is waiting for a second chance. We in Canada instead of claiming moral superiority, should be strengthening our democracy with changes that will clean up the Neo-Liberal disaster and evolve to be a much better system than we have right now. To be honest I doubt that will happen and so we will run the risk of failing along with uncle Sam. I know most Canadians do not believe this possible but that is only because they have never seen what is possible. Those Canadians outside of Alberta just have to come over to see what it means to be governed by idiots.

    • Guy says:

      Very well said Carlos. I have to say that your passion and energy for these topics is amazing.

      Let me focus on this sentence of yours in relation to the collapse of democracy: ” I know most Canadians do not believe this possible but that is only because they have never seen what is possible.” I believe this is true because I’m one of those Canadians who has never seen a democracy collapse and, if I’m honest, have allowed myself become complacent over my lifetime with respect to the continued existence of our democracy.

      Having said that, if there was one thing that I learned from four years of Trump it’s that our democracy and the political systems that we rely upon are much more fragile than I realized, and that a great deal of damage and destruction can be caused in a relatively short period of time. And there are always people who are ready and willing to bring about that destruction for their own personal gain if we do nothing to protect ourselves and our political system from them. Just because democratic collapse has never occurred in North America before doesn’t mean that it can’t or won’t happen.

      The current political situation in the US has made me realize that democracy is unable to protect itself. It only survives if people take action to defend it. It requires that citizens be engaged, watchful and active, willing to demand that governments enact laws that make society stronger by uniting people as opposed to diving them in all of the ways that we have become divided today, while soundly rejecting politicians who seek to keep us divided so they can use our political system to gain personal wealth and power or to implement their own personal agenda. In Alberta we will have the opportunity to make a positive change next year and I sincerely hope that the majority of us will choose to do so.

    • Dwayne says:

      Carlos: You are so right, in so many ways.

      • Carlos says:

        I do not know if I am right or not but that is what my thinking in politics today is. I love the fact that we can discuss these issue here without concern of being insulted and with people that have much experience in many of our current concerns.
        This kind of conversation is what makes our democratic values flourish and evolve. I am so glad that Susan keeps this blog going so well and with such excellent unbiased posts.
        Our democracy needs support and we may have dim voices but I truly believe that it is a very small gesture that causes dominoes into major changes.
        In any event Dwayne it is always great to feel that others agree with you – thank you

        Guy your sentence below is one of the issues that has stopped me from being able to use the necessary reason to think about what really means.

        ‘And there are always people who are ready and willing to bring about that destruction for their own personal gain if we do nothing to protect ourselves and our political system from them.’

        Why is it that this is true? Why is it that we still have so much corruption and collusion and greed all around us? Why are we not capable of severely diminish the reality that supports what guy said above. The amount of people ready for this kind of attitude overwhelms me a bit. It seems and it shows me that the way we are running ourselves is obviously producing this kind of outcome. If that is the case than we should be seriously thinking what is that we are doing that is causing this so negative outcome.

  21. Greg B says:

    Great article.
    It is remarkable that conservatives are so bent on electing leaders (Kenney, Harper) who have no experience in private sector business, have never had to meet a payroll or had to make the difficult decisions that are presented to small business owners every day.

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