Kenney’s Legacy: Lessons from Alice

Alice laughed. ‘One can’t believe impossible things.’

‘I dare say you haven’t had much practice,’ said the Queen…’Why, sometimes I’ve believed in as many as six impossible things before breakfast.’—Lewis Carrol, Alice Through the Looking-Glass

Jason Kenney is on the final lap of his political career. He’s working hard to rewrite his legacy. In order to succeed he’s asking us to believe impossible things.  

The most significant impossible thing he wants us to believe is that he’s not a failed conservative politician but a senior statesman sounding the alarm about the corrosive effect of alt-right anger and populism on conservatism.

At a recent event hosted by Canada Strong and Free (formerly the Manning Centre) Kenney said there’s growing anger among the alt-right fueled by social media conspiracy theories and “hypercharged” by the pandemic. He feared conservatism could “become a caricature of a kind of nasty, angry populism that will lose consistently at the polls as well.” 

In 2016 Kenney and his blue pickup truck rolled into Alberta. He was hailed as a beacon who’d lead Alberta down the path of new conservatism. Instead Alberta conservatism became more nasty, brutish and cruel. The fact that Kenney feels no responsibility for this turn of events is, as Alice would say, curiouser and curiouser.  

The soon to be ex-Premier of Alberta

Nasty, populist conservatism

Instead of looking in the mirror, Kenney blames the rise of angry conservatism on the media.

He says the liberal mainstream legacy media (CBC?) alienated the right-of-centre, pushing them into the arms of the alt-right media and social media which give the alt-right a platform and is a breeding ground for conspiracy theories.

His convoluted thinking suggests that decent, right-of-centre conservatives were transformed against their will into rabid, nasty populists by Rebel News and Twitter.

Let’s review, shall we.

Mainstream media

Kenney seems to have forgotten that when he united the PCs and the Wildrose and swept into office he and his brand of conservatism received favourable (some would say fawning) media coverage from Postmedia, the Globe and Mail, and other media outlets.

Sure, opinion writers presented their own views, but the coverage was not rabidly anti-Kenney or anti-conservative. So no, the media, liberal or conservative, did not turn sane conservatives to right-wing wingnuts.    

Social media

This is the pot-meet-kettle part of the blog.

Kenney blames social media for the rise of nasty, angry conservatism while at the same time failing to acknowledge that he and his staff used Facebook and Twitter regularly to criticize, insult and intimidate the Opposition, the media, and anyone who dared criticize his government.    

Conspiracy theories? Remember when Kenney retweeted a photo of empty grocery shelves, boosting fears that a food shortage crisis was imminent? Or when Kenney allowed his MLAs to post selfies with their trucker convoy buddies blockading the Coutts border?

Even now he won’t censure his Labour minister who tweeted his thanks to the truckers for having the “courage” to mobilize against “tyrannical” covid policies.

To quote Alice, “It’s no use now to pretend to be two people!” Kenney can’t be the wise leader and the supporter of conspiracy theories on social media at the same time.   

Victimhood

Kenney‘s short reign sounded only one note: Albertans were victims of Ottawa. As ‘people of destiny’ they deserved better. And Kenney would give it to them.  

This is a classic authoritarian strategy, forget the facts, excite the passions, convince the people they’re victims, point them at “the enemy” and do whatever you want with the power they’ve given you.

There was just one small snag, life in Alberta wasn’t all that bad.

We had the highest incomes and the lowest taxes rates in the country. Kenney knows this which is why he’s criss-crossing Canada, trying to convince everyone to move here.

Yes, it’s one of Alice’s impossible things, Alberta is a beacon of hope for the rest of the country, but we’re so miserable we’re prepared to chuck it all in and leave confederation.

Be that as it may, back in 2017 Kenney convinced Albertans that life was abysmal and he’d wrestle a “fair deal” out of the Feds.

The fair deal panel  

His Fair Deal panel trundled around Albert for a couple of months at the end of 2019, managing to further inflame Albertans by giving airtime to folks who didn’t have the slightest understanding the constitutional division of powers or the workings of federal programs such as the equalization program.

The panel made its recommendations. Kenney delivered on the easy ones (the chief firearms officer, the referendum on equalization), embarked on consultation–I use the term loosely–on others and parked the ones that didn’t align with the government’s strategy in the “needs further work” category.

And, surprise, surprise, nothing changed. The Feds were still the Feds and did not accede to Alberta’s demands.  

Then the pandemic struck.

Kenney was forced to implement health measures and vaccine mandates when Alberta’s hospitals were on the brink of collapse. He did so reluctantly, always pointing out that he was sorry for infringing Albertans’ Charter rights.

As far as the angry conservatives were concerned Kenney had crossed to the dark side. And they threw him out.

Along came Danielle Smith who decided the only way she’d win the leadership race was by kowtowing to the angry far right, and she promised to enact the Alberta Sovereignty Act so her government could reject any federal laws or court decisions it didn’t like.

Constitutional crisis? What constitutional crisis?  

Contrary to what Kenney says, this sad state of affairs is not the result of the liberal MSM letting down its right-of-centre readers. It’s the result of politicians like him, playing the victimhood card for their own political gain.

On Oct 6 we’ll find out whether Alberta has gone down the rabbit hole Kenney helped create.

Hopefully a few of the UCP’s supporters will pause to consider the words of Lewis Carrol before they mark their ballots:

It was all very well to say “Drink me,” but the wise little Alice was not going to do that in a hurry. “No, I’ll look first,” she said, “and see whether it’s marked ‘poison’ or not.”

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56 Responses to Kenney’s Legacy: Lessons from Alice

  1. Janna says:

    The fact that any of this needs to be said blows my mind. He was and is the cause of most of the rabid hate displayed by the right wing. He’s spewed vast amounts of hate himself. And few are calling him out on it.

    • I know Janna! I see that people like broadcaster Charles Adler are now calling Kenney out. Adler was once thought of as a conservative broadcaster but he broke with Kenney a long time ago. The last straw for Adler was when Kenney refused to apologize for campaigning to block the partners of gay men from being with their dying partners in San Fransisco.

      Today Adler tweeted that Kenney was rage farming before he was old enough to shave.

  2. keleemaui says:

    Love all your columns! You are a beacon for us moderates/liberals in the province

  3. Dwayne says:

    Susan: Thanks for another great blog. The leader of the UCP, (who still has the R.C.M.P on his trail, and are investigating his leadership position), sure has been good at laying blame on others, spreading misinformation, not managing the covid pandemic very well, leaving Alberta with record setting case numbers so often, leaving essential public services and social programs harmed, through cuts, made poverty in Alberta get worse, and wasted a whole bunch of money on many major mistakes. It’s also a a continuing saga of how ex federal politicians never can have staying power in Alberta. Whomever replaces the current leader of the UCP, come October, may also be just as bad, or even worse than he is. In 2023, Albertans better think twice about supporting the UCP, or it will get worse. I’ll just play a fitting song, from 1966, written and performed by Bob Dylan, Most Likely You Go Your Way And I’ll Go Mine.

    • Dwayne, if Danielle Smith replaces Kenney things will be a whole lot worse here. First because she’s convinced her supporters that her sovereignty act is viable and can “free” Alberta from Ottawa, and then later when the legislation is struck down by the courts and her supporters turn on her and become even more dangerous in their quest for whatever it is they’re looking for.
      Thanks for the Dylan clip…the sentiment fits perfectly.

  4. Paul Pearlman says:

    Susan you hit the mail on the head for me with the new name for the Manning Centre. Good old Preston the bane of Politics in Canada for years and still has a Platform . Preston Harper Tom Flanagan Kenny and Smith and the gang. We know what’s good for you because it really only good for us. If the new Premier is Smith who knows how much damage she will cause till the election.

    • Paul, I agree 100%. Did you know that Poilievre also attended the U of C (following in the footsteps of Harper, Flanagan, and Smith). I don’t know what’s in the water up there but it’s turned out more than it’s share of wingnuts.

      • Mike J Danysh says:

        …selenium from Eastern Slope coal mines? Nawww…must be something in the air!

      • Chompy McGruff says:

        I took Poli-Sci at the U of C in the early 80’s and that’s where I learned that they weren’t there to educate me but to indoctrinate me. Barry Cooper was one of my profs and there was no doubt that any paper submitted that, while using political science effectively, was not aligned with his personal political outlook (think Preston Manning) would not receive the higher marks he gave for work that was more of a propaganda he agreed with.

        After the first two papers I submitted I learned how he marked and it became easy to ace his class, but all that I learned from his teaching was – there is no place for progressive politics in his Canada, Conservative politicians were all Liberals to him and if he felt you were the “right” kind of person he would smile upon you with his marking pen. The other Poli-Sci profs that I had were either no better or were worse. I felt like I was at a meeting of the John Birch society!

        The University of Calgary is a university for tax purposes only (using tax dollars for research and development – turn public dollars into private profit). It receives enormous funding from corporations and it produces enormous content for them. If education happens along the way then, as long as it is palatable to their sensibilities, that’s fine, but education is NOT the main purpose of the U of C. It is no wonder that all of these fascists are the product of the U of C. That was part of it’s purpose!

      • Chompy McGruff: Isn’t that a sorry state of affairs. I’m glad that you were able to figure out the game and use it to your advantage. It’s tough when you’re trapped in a class like that and there’s nothing you can do about it.

        I have noticed that the connection between the U of C Pol-Sci department and certain hard right politicians (Harper, Flanagan, Danielle Smith, Poilievre) is becoming more well known. It reminds me of how the reputation the Chicago School of Economics is now inextricably linked with neoclassical economic theory a la Milton Friedman et al. Not necessarily a good thing.

        I have no experience with the Poli-Sci department, but I have the highest praise for the U of C Law Department which was staffed with exceptional law profs when I was there and continues to lead the way with their advocacy in forums like the ABLawg blog. Their criticism of UCP policies, everything from coal mining in the Rockies to how the government handled the covid public health crisis has been outstanding. Here’s the link: https://ablawg.ca/

      • Sharon says:

        Susan did you know Jason Kenney and Ezra Levant were roommates when Ezra was in university…….

      • Sharon, I didn’t know that but somehow I’m not surprised.

  5. Another great piece, Susan. I am thoroughly enjoying your blog and sharing it with friends. Great reading.

  6. lungta mtn says:

    In his leadership review I don’t think he got more than 20% support but was able to convince “the committee” that that would not be a good look politically going into the future and did the 51% but now retiring bargain.
    Now Suicide Smith (Danny SS ) is about to get the Q crown of madness.
    Kakistocracy at its’ finest.
    Oh my go to long time Alice quote
    “She generally gave herself very good advice (though she very seldom followed it) …”

  7. Grumpy says:

    My thanks to you for writing what has been in my head for a long time. The only thing I can add is the most of the time Jason opens his mouth, what comes out is what is commonly called a lie. Fantasy, alternative facts, creative conjecture, purposeful misdirection… I appreciate your honest assessment.

  8. Linda says:

    Interesting post as always Susan. Was just reading another blog where the rise of tribalism, us against them politics was being discussed. As stated, Kenney & crew certainly partook in such ‘us vs them’ rhetoric. For example, the ‘War Room’. I have to say, I’m surprised Ms. Smith was even considered as a candidate given her political history but here we are. One can only hope that our next provincial election will replace rhetoric with reason.

    • Linda, your comment about Ms. Smith even being considered to lead the UCP is bang on. Given how important loyalty is to the tribe, one would think that her egregious act of disloyalty would have kept her out of the race. However, I saw a recent newspaper article that said, yes, there are some former WRers who wouldn’t touch her with a 10 foot pole, (they’re supporting Toews) but there are many others who think she’s the best candidate to get them re-elected. I think these people are deluded, but then again, that’s just me

      • Linda says:

        Hi Susan: well, I did see a headline that opined that the UCP leadership race had ‘soured’ Albertans on the party – speculation that the focus should have been about issues pertaining to all Albertans, not just who gets to lead the party & the lack of addressing issues Albertans cared about might see the UCP defeated come the next election. One can but hope! As for Ms. Smith, I guess we will finally hear next week who takes the helm after Kenney. None of the above?

  9. Mary Axworthy says:

    Great post Susan. Mary

  10. jerrymacgp says:

    On the allegation that mainstream media in Canada have a “liberal” or “left-wing” bias: nothing can be further from the truth. Canada’s major newspapers are almost universally conservative in outlook and editorial positioning. Of course, today’s conservatives don’t bother to adjust their arguments to accommodate facts, but the facts are that most papers tend to endorse Conservative politicians come election time, and those that don’t, endorse Liberals. New Democrats, and Greens virtually never get press endorsements.

    As for broadcast media, CTV, City TV and Global are all owned by huge corporate conglomerates that can hardly be described as “left-wing”. The CBC is so intimidated by conservatives threatening to cut their funding that they have also been essentially “captured” by forces of the right, even under a Liberal government.

    About the only media voices on the left are new media such as blogs like this one, and sites like Press Progress, the National Observer and The Tyee.

    • Jerrymacgp, thanks for this and the supporting backup data.
      I was struck by (and agree) with your comment that conservatives tend to believe the opposite regardless of how many times they’re proven to be wrong. I’ll never forget the Globe and Mail editorial board’s endorsement of Harper in 2015. They listed all his shortcomings, agreed that his performance las PM left a lot to be desired, then urged readers to hold their noses and vote for for him anyway.
      Liberal bias? I don’t think so!

  11. Survivor says:

    Well, the episode where JK had earplugs distributed to his MLAs in the legislature was more than a joke. It shows that he doesn’t want to hear any criticism nor be open to being questioned and his disdain for anyone and anything that differs with him. His attempted makeover for posterity’s sake likely is about his next move onto corporate boards or maybe PP’s sidekick.

    • Survivor. I absolutely agree with you. The earplugs stunt was a vivid example Kenney’s contempt for the House. Your last sentence hit on something I’ve been wondering about for a long time. If Kenney ends up on a corporate board it won’t be because of business acumen, but rather his (likely outdated) insights into how government works. I suspect he’s backing Travis Toews in the hopes that Toews will appoint him to a cushy lobbyist position in Washington DC.

  12. Jaundiced Eye says:

    MAGA – Making Alberta Gilead Again!

  13. Ted Woyniilowicz says:

    Telling like it is is unseen in these times. Thank you for your thoughtful post.

  14. Sharon says:

    This man is one of the greatest embarrassments in both provincial and federal politics. The most insincere a$$kisser alive. Eventually he will get what he deserves.

  15. Dwayne says:

    Susan: It’s not getting better in Alberta, under the UCP. I’m going grocery shopping, and I see how expensive things are. Now, look at what the UCP are facing.
    https://globalnews.ca/news/9158068/alberta-natural-gas-rebates-delayed/
    Also, I noticed a disparity between gas prices, at gas stations that are very close to each other. The UCP’s attempt at buying votes in Alberta has certainly come with repercussions, hasn’t it?

    • Dwayne, I agree with you it’s not getting better here in Alberta, notwithstanding Kenney’s “Alberta is calling” ads.
      We have a huge surplus and have not, as far as I can tell, made any significant announcements re: education and healthcare.
      Perhaps Kenney doesn’t realize all the factors that go into someone deciding to pull up stakes and move. In my experience it’s more than just does the job pay well? People also consider whether their kids can go to good schools, whether their family can access good healthcare, and whether they’ll fit into their new communities. No one moves just for the money. The stress of all these other factors just isn’t worth it.

  16. Dave says:

    I am not sure if Kenney really believes what he is now saying and is so delusional or he just wants us to buy it so he can revise history more favourably. I don’t know which is worse.

    In any case, Kenney wants us to believe he was doing great until COVID came along and would still be Premier were it not for that terrible thing. However, both provinces to the east and west of us actually had elections during/since COVID (and Ontario more recently too) and all were re-elected. Kenney’s problem was he could not choose a consistent response to COVID and caved to political pressure over medical advise. In Ontario, Ford seemed to waiver a bit too, but eventually figured out there was no benefit going along too much with the kooks. In the end they turned on Kenney and booted him out anyways.

    Of course it wasn’t just the COVID rules that were the problem for Kenney – there were many other self inflicted wounds before and after like the poorly managed inquiry into environmental groups, the war room, approving coal mining on the eastern slopes, the war with doctors and lingering suspicions he did not win the UCP leadership fairly.

    Lastly the whole foundation of his election victory was shaky. Kenney won election by trying to portray himself someone would be moderate and reasonable and then governed as someone who was too right wing and arrogant.

    There is an important lesson in all of this for whoever is his successor. Sure you can promise all sorts of things, but if you can’t or don’t deliver, your time in power may be shorter than you expect.

    • Carlos says:

      ‘There is an important lesson in all of this for whoever is his successor. Sure you can promise all sorts of things, but if you can’t or don’t deliver, your time in power may be shorter than you expect.’

      Yes I agree with you but it does not seem any lesson has actually been learned. They all do the same. This has been , in my opinion one of the main reasons for profound discontent with politics in many different countries that of course copy from one another. Italy is just another example and although they got a majority lets see how long they can take fascism for beginners.

      • Carlos: You’re right. Danielle Smith’s promise to enact the Alberta Sovereignty Act as her Bill #1 (if she’s elected) is a classic example of promising something you can’t deliver. Even if it passes third reading in the House, I find it hard to believe that the Lieutenant Governor will assent to it. Even if she does, the minute it is proclaimed someone will take it to the courts and it will be struck down.

        Then Danielle will have the howling horde at her heels. They’ll demand a leadership review and we’ll be right back to where we started watching the internal machinations of the UCP and nothing getting done in the meantime.

    • Excellent comments Dave.
      One more thing I’d add to the list of missteps: Kenney played to Albertans’ sense of victimhood and portrayed himself as their savior, the knowledgeable federal politician who would get tough with Ottawa. Then he delivered very little.

      Take the referendum on equalization. It was supposed to be a negotiation tactic to show Ottawa Alberta meant business. It posed the question: “Should Section 36(2) of the Constitution Act, 1982 — Parliament and the Government of Canada’s commitment to the principle of making equalization payments — be removed from the Constitution?” 66.8% of the 38.8% of the eligible voter population said YES. I’m sure many of them believed as a result of their vote Section 36(2) would be removed. Nothing happened. Trudeau didn’t come crawling to Alberta, hat in hand, asking what he could do to make Alberta happy. And Albertans became even more enraged and as you said in your last sentence. if you can’t or don’t deliver, your time in power may be shorter than you expect.

  17. Carlos says:

    Well Let me try a second time – hopefully it will not repeat

    I am not sure how to express my level of disbelief in anything related to the UCP and more with the Federal Conservative Party. It seems a level of extreme right wing is infecting the world that started with the 4 years of Trump Lunacy. Suddenly we have a new one in Italy which seems quite extreme to me.

    Not wanting to be disrespectful to those with different political ideologies, I must apologize but my comments have to be extreme in this unique situation where we basically competing with parties that seem to have lost any respect for democracy or democratic processes.
    I sincerely wish they go to hell because the disrespect for individuals along with their arrogance is bad enough to me.

    Facts have no value to them. Their propaganda is as effective and copied from Nazi propaganda maybe from groups that Pierre Poilievre seems to be friends with.
    In Alberta for example the total lack of character of our premier or ex premier Jason Kenny who very much lies anytime he speaks and when possible launches some bombastic statements about something like the Convoy in Coutts.
    Now we are ‘lucky’ to get another premier that by the look of things is going to be most extreme idiotic version of Barbie Doll.
    What else can I say of the scandals that just keep coming almost weekly.

    I think unfortunately I am starting to understand why Margaret Mead in her last book predicted a new Dark Age. Of course we are at completely different historic times but I do feel we are already in the second Dark Age.

    Some of what I am witnessing was completely unacceptable just 5 years ago. The speed of propaganda and the forced exposure into a different mindset with scandal after scandal is just mind boggling. They are driving us into their mind styles and it is dangerous and oppressive.

    It is no wonder people are feeling so stressed. We have a convergence that has been expected for years and no one ever paid attention. We have a climate change real threat, along with 2 years of pandemic which basically changed the lives of millions of people forever including serious long time consequences and a real war in the Ukraine which could easily transform into a nuclear Armageddon.
    And we do not understand why we feel different?

    Important history is happening here and now.

    • Dwayne says:

      Carlos: Look at who Italy has elected to power. Very scary indeed. England has some other Margaret Thatcher type of Prime Minister. Look at what happened after her trickle down economics ideology was put forth to the populace. These people are going off a cliff, into the deep end, and many people cannot swim.

    • Carlos and Dwayne, I echo your sentiments. I too believe we are at a crossroads in history. We need to pay attention to what’s happening around us, we need to stay informed, to have the courage challenge those who spout simplistic memes are government policy and the energy to work with political parties we trust and help them get elected when the opportunity arises.
      It’s going to be a long slog but we can’t give up now.

      • Carlos says:

        Absolutely not – there is no giving up at all especially now that we are seeing big cracks in the whole right wing extreme ideology. They just cannot stay away from scandals of all kinds because they play dirty games.

  18. Carlos says:

    Thank God this behaviour from the Conservative party is finally getting more press coverage and it should, because we are not a Banana Republic yet.

    https://www.nationalobserver.com/2022/09/24/opinion/get-ready-more-hand-wringing-pierre-poilievre-conservatives

    • Carlos I watched the video clip of Michelle Rempel Garner, not only did she roll her eyes at the histronics of her CPC colleague, she refused to join the others in giving him a standing ovation. Hopefully she and others like her are beginning to see what a mess Pierre Poilievre and his ilk have created.

  19. Carlos says:

    As I always do when I find a new article about our voting system
    This one by the National Observer’s Max Fawcett

    https://www.nationalobserver.com/2022/09/29/opinion/electoral-reform-can-save-canada-pierre-poilievre-politics

    • Carlos, I couldn’t get the article to open, but it looks like it’s about electoral reform. The other day I read an article the Brothers of Italy and how that party together with other far right parties will form the new government in Italy. The article said this would not have been possible in a first-past-the-post system because these small far right parties would not gain seats and therefore would not be able to band together to form government.
      I thought it was a valid point. What do you think?

      • Carlos says:

        I am not sure because I did not pay attention to Italy’ s politics other than the news that the extreme right had won.

        I think some people are of the opinion that proportional representation causes a lot more coalition governments and that is correct because smaller parties get into the house and develop their own experiences and get their MLAs to get the education they need to operate in parliament. I think the issue I am concerned with is that people prefer the majority governments than the coalition governments. I do not think that kind of mentality is correct in a democracy. The problem is that we do not have experience in that kind of much more challenging and more real democratic system.

        We are used to the First Past the Post which is basically open confrontation between parties and the fight to get the majority so they can do whatever they want. Although this might sound faster solution for problems I do challenge that kind of vision because when it is done by majorities it is usually something the other parties are going to destroy next. So this kind of system worked ok during the good times but right now without a minimum amount of cooperation we are witnessing a parade of fights that certainly takes us no where and the fact is that we are really just stuck trying to find our way forward again.

        This is not easy these days and without good coalition cooperation we will slowly become redundant just like Britain is becoming right now. The US has a problem even more difficult than ours because their system is even more outdated.

        So reading these articles helps and I am sorry this one did not open for you. I will try to get it and send it to you.

        So the comment you mentioned is not wrong but the issue is it depends how we think a real democracy should work and I personally think that a proportional representation system is a more appropriate system in the long run and I also believe that this Neo Liberal method of short term results is very detrimental for our futures. My opinion of course.

        Much can be discussed around this but I think we are very late already. Most countries no longer have First Past the post not even the ex colonies like Australia, New Zealand and most of other ex British colonies. This system his very flawed on the distribution of seats and in my opinion is still in use because the main parties in our parliament likes to rule by majorities, or they are not interested in building Canada. They are way more interested in their celeb status. Lets face it, a majority in Canada transforms the prime minister into a small Emperor and much destruction can be made as we have witnessed in Alberta with the UCP. We can no longer afford to spend decades fixing systems. We have to build them with the most support possible and the parties can then adjust to the changes but all contribute for a better one.
        Right now Health Care is in the minds of most Canadians but in the meantime there are absolutely zero discussions as to how to move forward. We could try different methods but with a stuck parliament nothing really moves and the degradation continues slowly but surely.

      • Carlos says:

        So I forgot to finish my previous note by saying that I personally have experienced a proportional system and although I do admit that it is not a panacea, in general, would contribute more to our well being than the current system. Also I think we are more prone for coalition then most other countries are because we are not arguers by nature we like consensus.

      • Jaundiced Eye says:

        Susan, you are bang on! We can go one of two ways with electoral reform, ranked ballots or proportional representation. Proportional representation is an open invitation for any and all extremist groups to extort legislation to prop up a government. When electoral reform becomes front and centre again the Conservatives will push for proportional representation. The CPC has done its polling and they know that if a ranked ballot becomes the norm, they will never form a government as they are the second choice of no one. The Conservatives are so afraid of the ranked ballot that Doug Ford in Ontario has outlawed ranked ballots in municipal elections.

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  21. Sheldon says:

    I graduated from the U of C Political science department in 1982. I had Barry Cooper for two classes. He is extremely intelligent and enjoyed demonstrating his superior intellect to the class. I agree his bias was clear to his students.

    However my perspective on the rest of the department is different than Chompy McGruff’s view. The rest of the political science professors who taught me kept their personal opinions private. This includes Thomas Flanagan who was a good teacher. And the head of the department Anthony Parel was the best professor I had in my time in university.

    Within a few years of my graduating the reputation of the department as a hotbed of rightwing thought was well established.

    • Sheldon, thanks for sharing your experience. I knew a young woman who shared your opinion on Flanagan. It drove her mad because she didn’t like his politics.
      Isn’t it interesting how even decades later we can still remember our outstanding professors. The good ones were outstanding and the rest faded into the woodwork.

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