Danielle Smith & the Alberta Sovereignty Act

In June 1215 King John signed the Magna Carta, agreeing to terms that enshrined the principle that no one, not even a king, is above the law.

And now 807 years later Danielle Smith is prepared to turn her back on the rule of law and other fundamental democratic principles by enacting the Alberta Sovereignty Act (Act).*

The Act

The Act is described in the Free Alberta Strategy policy document as a law that gives the legislature the power to refuse to enforce any federal law or federal court ruling it deems to be a federal intrusion into an area of provincial jurisdiction.

In response to rising concerns about the Act Smith said it would not be used to “arbitrarily” strike down a federal law it doesn’t like.

Oh?

No, it will be “used entirely through the lens of the law” (whatever that means) and serve as a “tool” to stop the feds from violating Alberta’s “sovereign powers” as set out in sections 92 to 95 of the Constitution (NOTE: section 93A only applies to Ontario, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick so how the feds could violate Alberta’s sovereignty by violating section 93A remains a mystery).

Smith fails to mention that the Constitution Act gives the feds the jurisdiction to pass laws over the matters itemized in section 91. And the courts have upheld this right even where such laws conflict with provincial policies (eg carbon tax).

Danielle Smith UCP leadership candidate

She also fails to mention—and this is the critical part—that by granting the Alberta legislature the power to declare federal laws passed in accordance with section 91 inapplicable in Alberta, the Act is “fundamentally incompatible” with the rule of law, the separation of powers, and the constitutional division of powers between the feds and the provinces.*

The Rule of Law

King John learned the hard way that no one, be they king, queen, prime minister or premier can run around doing whatever they damn well please because, need we say it again: No one is above the law.

So when Smith promises to enact a law allowing Alberta to ignore federal laws and court rulings, she’s placing herself and her MLAs above the law.  

Separation of Powers

The rule of law depends on the separation of powers among three branches of government: the legislative, executive, and judicial branches. Here’s a quick refresher of their respective roles:

  • Legislative branch (all the MLAs): debates policy, makes new laws, manages the money  
  • Executive branch (the premier and his/her cabinet ministers): administers the laws with the help of the public service
  • Judicial branch (courts): maintains the rule of law by interpreting the law to ensure everyone, including the government, is acting in accordance with it

One branch of government cannot carry out its role if it is hamstrung by another branch.

So when the Act elevates the legislative branch above the judicial branch by granting the legislative branch the power to exercise the courts’ role in determining the validity and applicability of federal laws it violates the separation of powers.

Constitutional Division of Powers

In a nutshell, the jurisdiction of the federal government and the provincial governments is set out in sections 91 (feds) and 92 and 92A (provinces) of the Constitution Act, 1867 and 1982.

The Supreme Court of Canada has held that neither order of government can cross into the other’s jurisdiction, but the feds may enact laws that impact provincial policies as long as such laws fall within federal jurisdiction.

There is nothing in the Constitution that gives Alberta the jurisdiction to pass a law that invalidates federal laws or renders them inapplicable in Alberta.*

It’s no surprise then that legal scholars have characterized the Act as “a damaging blow to the rule of law and the basic building blocks of democratic governance.”

The “double-dog dare”  

In a recent leadership debate Smith said the Act is important because it gets us in a “sovereign frame of mind,” where Alberta would stop expecting Ottawa to build economic corridors for rail, power, broadband and pipelines. Instead Alberta would work with other provinces to run such corridors to Churchill, Thunder Bay, Tuktoyaktuk and Prince Rupert. And she “double-dog” dared Ottawa to take Alberta to court if it started building a pipeline with its FN partners.  

Perhaps someone should point out to Smith that pipelines are usually built by corporations, not the government, and a corporation proposing a pipeline that crosses provincial boundaries would file permit applications with the federal regulators not the Alberta regulators because—need we say it again–interprovincial pipeline infrastructure falls under the fed’s jurisdiction under section 91 of the Constitution Act.

How will this end?

Smith is now on the defensive.

When the Lt-Gov Salma Lakhani was asked to comment on the Act she said she’d review the proposed legislation to ensure it did not violate the Constitution before signing it into law (btw: this is the Lt-Gov’s job).

Smith demanded a retraction.

Jason Kenney called the Act the “anarchy act” and said a conservative constitutional scholar called it “the Alberta suicide act.”

Smith accused Kenney of brazenly interfering with the selection of his successor.

The pressure is mounting and Smith has promised to provide further details of her key campaign promise after the Labour Day long weekend.

Can she walk it back from a hot mess to something that doesn’t undermine the fundamental principles of democratic governance?

Somehow I doubt it.

*With gratitude to law profs Martin Olszynski, Jonnette Watson Hamilton, and Shaun Fluker. Please read their excellent ABlawg blog post on this critically important issue.

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59 Responses to Danielle Smith & the Alberta Sovereignty Act

  1. Donna Core says:

    Even J Kenny says she’s as nutty as a squirrel’s fart, and that’s saying something coming from him!

    Donna Core Sent from my iPhone

    • Agreed, Donna. the irony here is that Kenney primed the pump by pushing his “fair deal” narrative and constantly hammering away at Trudeau. There was nothing the PM could do that Kenney would be satisfied with. Danielle simply cranked up the rhetoric in her quest for votes.

  2. Irene Walker says:

    Good to see you back!
    Spot on as usual.

  3. Sharon says:

    Welcome back Susan! Over the summer I have thought many times, listening to the political ramblings of the United Clown Party “what would Susan say?”. Dangerous Danielle shows her ignorance every time she opens her mouth. She is playing to the base and seems to forget that there are some thinking people in Alberta. Kudos to Selma Lakhani for her comments. And for Premier/not really Premier Pinocchio to speak out against DD, well that’s something. But seriously, if this woman becomes the Premier, the damage she will do in the short time until the Provincial election will be horrific.

    • Sharon, I couldn’t agree with you more. The prospect of Danielle as premier, even for a short time, is terrifying. Having said that she’s such a divisive character I doubt she’ll be able to hold the UCP together in the long run.

  4. Bota28 says:

    Thanks for your insight Susan 😊 much appreciated

    Grab your popcorn the show is only just beginning 😊

  5. Bota28 says:

    Thanks Susan great insight !

    Make sure you have your popcorn ready as the show is just beginning with Ms Smith

  6. lindamcfarlane says:

    Happy Susan on the Soapbox is back.

    Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

  7. Carlos says:

    Welcome back Susan – I thank you for continuing with this amazing blog.

    I have no words to deal with our Alberta geniuses. It is just too much to even take it serious.

    The first question I have is – What is it that Danielle Smith has ever done other than being opportunistic and having a awfully stupid radio program to qualify her to be premier of Alberta?

    My second question is – Was she not the Wild Rose leader that turn her back on the party just because she smelled the possibility of becoming an undeserving minister on any government as long as it meant to be in power?

    My last question is what is it that the UCP members can still see in her with failure after failure and honestly giving Alberta politics a black eye and I sense of embarrassment.

    I am speechless that this kind of mediocrity is even consider for discussion.

    I just hope that we are not going from a Jason Kenney disaster to a Daniele Smith septic mentality.

    • Carlos, these are excellent questions.
      Re: #1: I too wonder about her qualifications. Given that she was an MLA for roughly 3 years, you’d think she’d understand the checks and balances created by the separation of the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government and, more specifically, the role of the Lt Gov to ensure a bill is constitutional before she signs it into law. But no, that seems to be beyond Danielle’s ken.
      Re #2: yes, she was the leader of the Wildrose party when she crossed the floor. The diehards said they would never forgive her for that, nevertheless, here she is back in the leadership race.
      Re: #3: I suspect one reason UCP members support her is she’s great at convincing them they’re victims and Trudeau is their enemy. It’s the classic technique, whip them up emotionally and they’ll believe anything, including the promise that passing the Alberta Sovereignty Act will give them leverage in Ottawa. Why anyone believes a piece of legislation that will be struck down by the courts will help Albertans is beyond me.

    • jerrymacgp says:

      “turn her back on the party just because she smelled the possibility of becoming an undeserving minister on any government as long as it meant to be in power?” Interesting parallel here with newly installed British PM Liz Truss, who marched alongside her leftist parents in anti-nuclear protests in her youth, was a Lib-Dem activist as a student at Oxford, then became a Conservative. Truss also spent a year in a Burnaby Grade 6/7 split class while her father was a visiting professor at Simon Fraser.

  8. Dwayne says:

    Susan: Welcome back! Thanks for sharing another great blog. I think Danielle Smith is clearly not thinking right. It seems like she never has been thinking right. Who would say that it’s okay to give beef that is unfit for human consumption, to the downtrodden, or to anyone? Who would say there is a cure for covid? Also, who would make an insensitive and misguided remark about cancer victims? Furthermore, who thinks they can ignore any laws they don’t like? Can someone go speeding down Centre Street in Calgary, and tell the police that the laws don’t apply to them? I think not. Danielle Smith really has some bizarre ideas, and unfortunately there are people who buy into what she says. Anyone with even an ounce of common sense would reject Danielle Smith from becoming premier of Alberta. They did the last times, and it should be this way the next time. If Peter Lougheed were still around today, I think he would wholeheartedly reject Danielle Smith, and the entire UCP, for that matter. Danielle Smith never seems to run out of the wrong things to say. I’ll share some more fitting music, that is in my collection. Here is a Jim Cox penned tune, Nobody Knows When You’re Down And Out, which was covered by The Spencer Davis Group. This song is from late 1966, and was recorded when Steve Winwood was only 18 years old. He is on keyboards and vocals. In the Spencer Davis Group, Steve Winwood played lead guitar, harmonica, piano, and organ. A song like this could relate to the Alberta government’s reliance on the boom and bust cycles of oil. Peter Lougheed knew better than that, because he was employed in the American oil patch in Oklahoma, during the 1950s. He brought that experience and wisdom to his political tenure. Unfortunately, the Alberta PCs and the UCP never replicated Peter Lougheed, and Alberta has paid the price for it.

    • Dwayne, thanks, for the examples of Danielle Smith’s faulty logic. I would add to your list her suggestion that teachers could teach 5 or so kids in their homes. I’m not sure what prompted this comment, but we have about 35,000 teachers in Alberta today. If Danielle moved all the kids into teachers’ homes, we’d need 378,000 teachers for the 744,800 students (K to 12). This drops to 69,600 teachers if you move just the younger kids (K-Gr 7) into teachers’ homes. In other words, twice as many to ten times as many teachers as we have today.
      She also suggested we could temporarily move the “bed blockers” (people needing long term care) out of hospital into hotels. This is lunacy. Hotels rooms would have to be fitted with oxygen, bathrooms would have to be fitted with handrails and guard rails, and tons of staff would have to be hired to administer medications and deal with people who are demented and wander the halls screaming or escaping into the outside world.
      I get the impression whenever she’s asked a question she feels she has to give an answer and when she doesn’t know the answer she makes something up on the spot. This is not a good trait in a person aiming to be premier.
      OK, now I’m going to go listen to your songs. 🙂

  9. Dwayne says:

    Susan: Here is my next song pick, Smiling Phases, by Traffic. Traffic was Steve Winwood’s next musical venture, after he left The Spencer Davis Group in 1967. This song was recorded in 1967. It was composed by Steve Winwood, Jim Capaldi and Chris Wood. All four founding members of Traffic, Jim Capaldi, Dave Mason, Steve Winwood, and Chris Wood were multi instrumentalists. I have this in my music collection too, and it seems fitting for what is happening in Alberta right now.

  10. Dwayne says:

    Susan: Here is my final song pick. It is Eric Clapton covering Alberta, in 1992, for his Unplugged album. I have this in my music collection too. Eric Clapton was in The Yardbirds, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, Cream, Blind Faith and Derek and The Dominoes, in the 1960s and the early 1970s, before he became a prominent solo artist.

    • Doug says:

      What;s your point Dwayne? Eric Clapton is a widely discredited crank on a number of fronts, the most recent career flame-out was his wacky anti-covid vaccine rants, anti-public health restrictions responses, and spreading of misinformation galore.

  11. wenmansandy says:

    Maybe walking Danielle Smith with …Baby Steps through the Process she Might get it. Probably Not though, she isn’t Overly Bright.

    Thanks Susan, Again a Pleasure to read your Articles.

  12. Cheryl Goodwin says:

    Welcome back, Susan!

    I hope you had a lovely summer.

    Cheryl

  13. Bee says:

    There are two camps of people who are going to vote in the ultra-right campaign — the evangelical religious who care about their “freedom” while hoping to quash abortion rights and rights for LBGTQ people, and the non religious who care about their “freedom” but care less about abortion and LGBTQ. The religious will NOT vote for Smith because she is pro-choice and isn’t anti-LGBTQ. Those who care about their perceived lack of “freedom” will vote for Smith. The vote will be split. It’s anybody’s guess as to who is going to come up the middle to “win” the bid for leadership. There are so many running that there will be splits all over the place. The problems within the party will not be solved no matter who wins the leadership race.

  14. Mary Nokleby says:

    We should realize that there’s been an element in the Alberta Conservative movement for some time now, that doesn’t respect, or feel bound to obey, laws that they disagree with. We can revisit all the yap about ‘activist judges’ during Harper’s time….when the Supreme court did anything offensive to Conservative views of law and order.

    The convoy gave us an activist take of this attitude. If we don’t like a law, then its time to hang the leader of the government that passed it and put someone we agree with back in power. In Canada, we don’t yet claim elections have been ‘stolen’…but we do have the rump of a particular party willing in verbiage at least to sexually violate any leader ignorant enough to pass laws we disagree with.

    This contempt for the law, coming from the very quarters of the population that have traditionally supported ‘law and order’ above all else is more than a little troubling. They have supported the police and turned a blind eye to any instances of police over reach for years. Now we have a Conservative candidate for the leadership of Alberta’s UCP essentially saying that there is only one law. And that’s the one made in Alberta.

    Perhaps now we understand clearly where occupying someone else’s homes….disrespecting civil law and order and trash talking all who object comes from?? And is there a name for those willing to re-write the laws so that the laws of our land don’t apply to them…..but the re-writes they come up with do apply to all of us???

    I suspect so.

    • Mary, excellent point. After Erin O’Toole was elected leader of the CPC he tried to backtrack from the more extreme positions he’d taken during his leadership campaign, but the extreme right wouldn’t stand for it. The same will happen here in Alberta. If Smith wins the UCP leadership race, they will expect her to enact the Sovereignty Act. Either the Lt Gov won’t sign it, or if it is signed into law, the courts will overturn it. What will Smith do then? Unleash the freedom convoy to ‘free’ Alberta from the rest of Canada.
      It’s insane.

  15. jerrymacgp says:

    Welcome back Ms Soapbox. I missed your erudite expositions on Alberta politics. My only beef is, while you said in your “sabbatical” post on June 12th that you “may be tempted to post a blog or two if the craziness gets to be too much”, how much crazier would it have had to get to bring you back earlier? Lol.

    Regarding Daniellezebub and her “Alberta Sovereignty Act”, everything about it is based on a lie: that the federal government and/or the rest of Canada is/are out to get Alberta. It was the same phoney premise behind the discredited “War Room”. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Global forces like climate change and the inexorable — if still too slow & halting — transition to a low-carbon energy economy will, inevitably, make Alberta’s high-cost, oil sands-based blend of crude oil simply unsustainable in the market. There is nothing the Alberta or federal government can do to stop it. What those governments can do, however, is work to ease that transition for the workers at the pointy end of the industry, and their families, to ensure they still have jobs to feed their families. Raging at this trend, like King Canute trying to order the tide to stop ebbing, does nothing to help those workers or their families, and yet this seems to be the only club in the UCP’s bag.

    • Wise words as always Jerrymacgp.
      I find it bizarre that people like that fellow who went off on Chrystia Freeland in Grand Prairie would rather believe they’re being victimized by Trudeau, the rest of Canada, the WEF, the covid hoax, Bill Gates, etc, as opposed to simply coming to grips with the fact they’re here now in a time of historic change.
      Rather than support visionary politicians who see the world as it is, they prefer to follow self-serving politicians who fan their fears to acquire power.

      • jerrymacgp says:

        Thank you. One minor correction: Grande Prairie is the one in Alberta. Grand Prairie as you spelled it here is in Texas – a suburb of Dallas. Many southern Alberta writers make this mistake — as does auto-correct.

        Cheers :-).

      • Thanks jerrymacgp. My computer is on the fritz and I couldn’t get back into this program. It was driving me nuts. Hopefully I can fix it before I’m shut out again!

  16. yessi says:

    Hi Susan,
    Sometimes, the best way to describe how ridiculous something is, is to bring it back to basics. I like that you’ve done that here and am, once again, thankful for your analysis.
    Here’s my question: Aside from spooking investment, driving companies away and everything along that line, how much does this cost a province in legal fees, if it’s used, struck down, challenged, etc.? I’d probably point to the carbon tax challenge as something comparable. I have no idea how much that whole debacle cost Albertans either.

    Might be impossible to answer but, if anyone knows, it might be you. Thanks.

    • yessi, this is a very good question. Unfortunately I don’t know the answer but I’ll do some digging and see if I can find out. As you point out…the cost of Smith’s Bill No. 1 will not be negligible.

  17. Jaundiced Eye says:

    Assuming Smith wins the leadership, how much damage can she cause between October 6, 2022 and May 29, 2023 and can Smith’s Reign of Terror be overcome? Keep in mind that we are still feeling the effects from Ralph Klein’s hospital debacle and that was 1998. As well, let us not forget that the UCP can push the next election back an additional year at the stroke of a pen. We may have the Mad Queen for eight months or twenty months.

    • Jaundiced Eye, your point on how much damage Smith can cause is well taken. So here’s what really worries me. What if Smith decides to pass legislation postponing the next election. The only reason it’s May 29, 2023 is because Kenney passed legislation making it so. There’s nothing I’m aware of that would prevent Smith from postponing it in order to oh, I don’t know, give Albertans some more time to get to their their new and improved UCP government. Shudder.

  18. Linda says:

    Welcome back Susan: hope your time off was refreshing! Ah, the joys of watching the political show of the UCP leadership race. OK, Danielle Smith is not fit to lead. Back when Alison Redford was premier Smith exposed enough of her mental processes to ensure that I for one would never vote for her. In brief, Smith encapsulates all the worst traits of an entitled, out of touch with voters, ‘outlaw’ mentality. My way or no way kind of thinking. Obviously this kitty hasn’t changed her spots!

    • Linda, you nailed it with your description of Smith.
      So my question is what’s wrong with all those people who said she’d betrayed them by crossing the floor to join the Prentice government and they’d never trust her again.
      I thought this would be an issue when she declared she was running for the leadership, but all she had to do was (1) say she’s a different person now than she was then, (2) repeat ad nauseam that they were being victimized by the feds, and (3) give them a ‘law’ that would allow them to tell the feds to stick it, and presto, all was forgiven.
      Says a lot about her supporters doesn’t it.

  19. Dawn Friesen says:

    Thank you, Susan. Excellent blog. Your capture of the issue, history and reality were great – and helpful. I also really appreciated your link to the blog by the 3 lawyers who wrote in more detail. I believe the UCP would use this in a heartbeat to change the rules in many areas – including environmental protections, health care, etc. In the ABlawg post – they called it “sleight of hand” which is so totally in keeping with how the UCP operate – sleight of hand, mis truths, false information and yes, downright lies ……

    Welcome back to the soapbox. I hope your summer went well. We had a good summer – as quickly as they fly by!!!

    Dawn

    • Thanks Dawn, the ABlawg posts are excellent. The law profs do an exceptional job in covering all areas of law and government policy. Well worth a read.
      PS I’m glad to hear you had a good summer. It flew by so quickly, didn’t it.

  20. Doug says:

    Yah wanna talk about laws, I think there outta be a law that you can’t say Alberta as a sop to us 4.5 million citizens and yet ” the other side” is “Ottawa”. Ottawa is synonymous with Canada and Canada should be used in these internecine squabbles in the Dominion/Confederation of Canada. Whenever one reads any discussion of Canadian politics, just scratch out the city name of Ottawa and replace it with the equivalent country term, Canada. Then it will be clear that all this diatribe is between Alberta and Canada. As Pogo said a long time ago, ” We have seen the enemy, and it is us”.

    • Doug, to pick up on your point about these internecine squabbles, the ABlawg post I referred to notes that “[d]isagreements over federal-provincial division of powers are as old as the Constitution itself.”
      The authors point out that the way to address the most serious of these disagreements is to (1) test the case for separation as Quebec did in its reference to the Supreme Court of Canada or (2) amend the Constitution pursuant to the procedure set out in the Constitution Act, 1982.
      The path that’s not open to any provincial government that purports to respect the rule of law is the enactment of a piece of legislation that supposedly gives the provincial government the right to ignore federal laws.

      It will be interesting to see whether Danielle Smith can dig herself out of the hole she’d dug for herself and more interesting still to see whether her supporters care one way or another.

      • Dwayne says:

        Susan: I remember that floor crossing incident with Danielle Smith and her Wildrose MLAs very well. What prompted this was a former Reform Party leader, Preston Manning. It was one of his attempts to unite the right in Alberta. In fact, it was one of three times he has tried this. Back in the 1960s, when Peter Lougheed was trying to resurrect the Alberta PC party, and had a small number of seats by 1967, Preston Manning tried to convince Peter Lougheed that he should join his father’s Social Credit Party. Peter Lougheed was smart enough to reject this idea. Peter Lougheed also despised the Reform Party, because he saw parallels to the Social Credit Party that he worked so hard to replace. The UCP is Preston Manning’s latest attempt at uniting the right in Alberta. The UCP is quite fractured, based on what we have seen. It likely won’t last. Preston Manning is also someone who is a strong proponent of having the carbon tax. In Alberta, we do not see politicians who were in the federal political area last very long in the provincial political scene in Alberta. That’s a historical matter of fact. Jim Prentice didn’t last that long, neither has Brian Jean. The next one to go is the present leader of the UCP, who still has the R.C.M.P looking at how he attained his present position of power. I think this is why Michelle Rempel Garner rejected the idea of being leader of the UCP. She saw the fate of her three former CPC colleagues in the Alberta provincial government scene, and didn’t want to end up that way. Political mergers do not succeed in Alberta either. When the UCP disintegrates, it will hard for Preston Manning to put it back together again. If Rachel Notley is smart enough, which we already know she is, she will let the UCP implode. These months leading up the UCP leadership election, and the provincial election next May will be very interesting. It will also be interesting to see Rachel Notley square off with the new leader of the UCP in the provincial election debate. It would be very refreshing to have the NDP back in power again.

      • Dwayne, as you point out the months leading up to the election of the new UCP leader have been nothing but fractious. It was especially telling when Michelle Rempel Garner decided she wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole. I don’t know if Danielle will succeed in her leadership bid, but I predict whoever wins it will hold the position for even less time than Kenney. That party is made up of odds and sods which will never work together well. Sadly, we’re stuck with them until Notley is re-elected. I don’t know if you’ve been following Notley’s announcements of the candidates who’ve been nominated in the tidings. She’s building a real power house team.

      • Carlos says:

        I would not be so sure Rachel Notley is elected in the next election. So far the indication is that Albertans and for that matter Canadians are very attracted to this kind of political ideology that came with the wind from the US.
        Pierre Poilievre is as bad as Danielle Smith and even walks publicly with members of White Nationalist groups and did not make any difference in terms of popularity. SO!!!
        I think that the same way Trump’s election seemed a fluke at the time, it may just be that we are apparently the weird ones today.

      • Carlos, I too am concerned by this, although I read a report that said the 300,000 odd people who voted for Poilievre do not necessarily represent how the majority of Canadians might feel. Fingers crossed.

    • Thanks for this and the other article Carlos. Both are well worth reading. Especially now that the CPC has a new leader who is of the same ilk as Danielle.
      I was at a yesterday social function and one of the neighbours told me she thought PP would be the right leader for our time. This was right after she said politics had become so divisive you couldn’t attend a social function without it getting ugly. I wondered why she didn’t see the connection between leaders like Danielle and Pierre and the increase in polarization.
      Strange.

      • Carlos says:

        Susan that is what I find odd about what is going on but I think I have an explanation that may very well be the answer – Lack of focus
        We live in the generation of the 1 sec attention span, so a lot of people do not even remember what they just saw or heard because they have no focus. It is like living in a world of full dementia. This sounds strange as well but wait.
        Who the heck can consider Pierre Poilievre a serious candidate? Well 68% of conservatives do!!!!

      • Carlos, you mentioned a lack of focus, sadly I think it’s more than that, it’s an inability to think analytically because they’re blinded by emotion (victimhood). Years ago I met an HR specialist who said there’s no point trying to talk reason to someone who’s become emotional because they really can’t hear you. They’re enraged, they’re on a path (stupid though it may be) and nothing you can say will stop them.
        I was talking to a friend from Victoria yesterday. She said the freedom convey paralyzed the neighborhood James Bay with honking semitrailers. Finally the police got an injunction forcing the trucks out of the neighbourhood. So what did they do? They moved their trucks to the edge of the neighborhood and stood on their trucks shouting “honk, honk”. I don’t know what they thought they were accomplishing but I doubt that anyone could have reasoned with them.
        So back to your Poilievre example. He talks about providing us (particularly the working man/woman) more services and lower taxes. A thinking person would ask how he intends to pay for more services if he’s collecting less taxes (money doesn’t grow on trees, you know) but the people he’s talking to are either too angry or too ignorant about how government works to ask the question in the first place.

  21. Carlos says:

    Here is an article that is directly related to the US but that I consider pretty much what is happening in different ways around the so called democratic world.
    Democracy is not working and Canada is not an exception and the reason we witnessing more and more direct attacks on politicians is a consequence of most of what is in this article. This is for those who like me enjoy reading current politics on democracy or to me pseudo-democracies.

    https://canadiandimension.com/articles/view/lets-stop-pretending-america-is-a-functioning-democracy

  22. Dave says:

    On the one hand, it is hard to take Smith seriously, but on the other hand it is when you don’t take stuff like this seriously enough that more problems arise. Ask Hillary Clinton about that.

    It is surprising and a bit sad how easily a smooth talking fringe politician can sell their version of magic beans to enough people to get elected, even when it is total bs. Of course one should not dismiss the real frustration and unease that exists in Alberta and unfortunately, the ground was further laid for this when the previous version of magic beans which was Kenney’s equalization referendum failed to achieve anything.

    So the people who were previously duped and bought the Kenney magic beans are even more frustrated and angry and are now doubling down to by the supposedly new and improved magic beans Smith is peddling as the solution to all our problems. I don’t think the “we are going to ignore the Federal laws we don’t like approach” is going to work, but perhaps its subsequent failure will make those who supported it even more frustrated and angry. I suspect Smith’s ultimate goal (beyond becoming Premier) is to become leader of an independent Alberta where there will be no other level of government or law to check her power.

    It is a sad commentary on our times and the state of society that politicians who seem to thrive on divisiveness, anger and misleading people have done fairly well lately. Much of western society seems to have lost our bearings lately. One can only hope this is a temporary phenomenon and enough people will come to their senses.

    • Dave, I’d meant to reply to your excellent comment earlier but my laptop seized up and I can’t see things properly on my phone. I’m now on my iPad in a hotel room so God knows how this is going to work.
      Anyway, you raise a very important point here in your reference to Kenney’s equalization referendum and how his brand of magic beans (love that) failed to assuage the anger of the masses. I suspect Kenney knew the referendum would fail to provide the “leverage” he said would bring the federal government scurrying to Alberta begging to do whatever it is Alberta wants. And yet he went ahead with it anyway. What surprises me is how he (or any other politician for that matter) fails to understand that failing to deliver on a promise to solve all ills will backfire. The Free Alberta people have been sending out stinging attacks on Kenney and his failure to deal with the federal government. This is what happens when you promise the moon and deliver a pebble.
      I too hope that politicians who fuel public outrage for their own political gains are a temporary phenomenon, otherwise they’ll be the death of us (literally).

    • In other words Jason Kenney tried the separation story with a different name but now accuses Danielle of extremism ! Typical UCP

      • Dwayne says:

        carlosthejackal: As I recall, Ted Morton tried to go down this route. Thankfully, wiser heads prevailed, and they prevented this American transplant from ascending to the premier’s role in Alberta.

      • Dwayne, I heard Morton give a speech at the Manning Centre. He blamed his loss on the PC’s ranked voting system and the “two minute Torys” who bought memberships solely for the purpose of voting for Redford. It was clear Morton thought he was the most deserving candidate. Poor Ted.

      • Carlos, you’re right. Kenney’s Fair Deal panel took Albertans to the brink, and Danielle’s FAS pushed Albertans over.

  23. Dwayne says:

    Susan: I’ll say it. Danielle Smith is basically attempting to poke a stick in a hornet’s nest. She’s going to end up getting stung. If Albertans are wise, they will not support Danielle Smith for premier of Alberta. Having her as premier of Alberta, and Pierre Poliveire as Prime Minister, won’t be a good thing for anyone. There will be so many cuts, job losses, and more privatization of things such as healthcare. We don’t need to go down that very bumpy road.

    • Dwayne, I’ve read all sorts of predictions that Danielle is slipping in popularity and the ranked voting system the UCP is using to choose a leader may pop out an unexpected candidate. That’s what happened when Stelmach and Redford were elected. Neither was a front runner, but they came up between the two favourites to win the leadership. The next month is going to be brutal.

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