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Smith's rhetoric reveals an attempt by the premier to define a small and influential subset of the population — anti-vaxxers — as both more common and more aggrieved than evidence suggests. In that way, it draws from the right-wing populist playbook being used in other parts of the world.
(CBC News, 16 Oct 2022)
Alberta conservatives have long had a tense relationship with public servants. Premiers from Don Getty to Jason Kenney have threatened to cull their ranks, roll back wages and benefits, take over their pensions, and otherwise reduce their influence and standing in Alberta politics. When do attacks on the public sector go too far? When they break an age-old unwritten rule of Canadian politics: the public service bargain.
(with Samuel Clark, CBC News, 12 Sep 2022)
The failure of Jason Kenney’s brand and style of conservatism to handle urgent, complex problems should be a warning sign to those who continue to laud his leadership of the conservative movement and dismiss his flame-out as the result of circumstances beyond his control. The “prosperity first” dogma and belligerent leadership that have come to define the modern conservative movement in Canada are great for riling up people who feel alienated from the political mainstream. If Kenney’s tenure is any indication, however, these ideas are incapable of uniting communities behind a common cause and only end up further dividing a society in crisis. That is the legacy Kenney’s champions must live with, and the challenge his successors inherit.
(Alberta Views, 1 Sep 2022)
Once known for its stability, Alberta has become Canada’s most turbulent political environment in recent years. This instability includes a revolving door of premiers, caused by changes in government and governing party leaders, and constant churn around the cabinet table.
The tendency to change in Alberta politics has meant that more power now rests in the premier’s office. But policy direction changes frequently and unpredictably because of instability in this important position. As a result, the ability to create and deliver sound policy is hampered, morale in the provincial public service declines and democratic accountability is compromised.
In October, members of Alberta’s governing United Conservative Party (UCP) will elect a new leader who will then become Alberta’s next premier. A defining issue in this leadership race is Alberta’s place in Canadian Confederation, with several contenders openly discussing “sovereignty,” “autonomy” and even “independence.” Are Albertans really so keen to sever ties with the rest of Canada? Should Canadians pay much attention to the separatist movement in Alberta? To answer these questions, we looked at data from the recent Viewpoint Alberta survey.
Ottawa’s streets are quiet again, but Canada is still coping with the aftermath of an occupation that paralyzed the capital for more than three weeks. Jared Wesley, an associate professor of political science at the University of Alberta, talks to us about the government’s work that’s ahead post-protest; and Bruce Anderson, chairman of Abacus Data and Canadian political veteran, highlights how politicians can address the divide. (CBC's The Current, 22 Feb 2022)
As he has neither the mandate nor the intent to convene a constitutional conference, the rest of Canada should reject Premier Kenney's invitation. (The Conversation, 28 Oct 2021)
Even if Alberta was motivated to increase vaccination rates through direct government intervention, the measures may not succeed given conservatives’ lack of faith in the province, the premier and the cabinet (The Conversation, 26 Oct 2021)
The province appears poised for a major political shift, says political scientist Jared Wesley
There are ways to secure a fairer deal for Alberta in Confederation. This referendum is not one of those ways (CBC Opinion, 8 Oct 2021)
The pandemic and climate change are crises the Constitution's drafters never saw coming (CBC's The House, 3 July 2021)
What does it mean to be an Albertan? When you think of a “typical” Albertan, do you imagine a rancher? A rigger? A cowboy? A construction worker? How do we define, and redefine, what it means to be of this place? (Alberta Unbound, 5 May 2020)