Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading. – Kevin McKean discusses how inequality undermines the goal of ensuring a healthy population. Matt Bruenig examines new data showing that the concentration of wealth in the U.S. is getting more extreme by the year. Steven Pearlstein writes about new polling showing that the U.S. public strongly favours ...

Alberta Politics: Between the lines, Calgary MLA Rick Fraser’s UCP resignation letter is an indictment of Wildrose-ified party

PHOTOS: Rick Fraser in a screenshot from the Legislature of Alberta. Below: Legislative loners Greg Clark, David Swann and Richard Starke, Calgary MP Kent Hehr, and environmentalist and former Green Party candidate Chris Turner. Let’s cut to the chase about what Calgary MLA Rick Fraser’s decision to quit the United Conservative Party really means. Mr. ...

daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: No Thanks and So Long. Former PC MLA Rick Fraser leaves the UCP to sit as an Independent

Photo: Former PC MLAs Richard Starke (left) and Rick Fraser (right) at the 2016 Calgary Pride Parade (Photo from Facebook). The recently formed United Conservative Party may be leading in the polls but the party is looking a lot less united. One of the party’s 28 MLAs, Calgary-South East MLA Rick Fraser, announced on social media ...

Alberta Politics: Thank you, Ralph! While Alberta awaits the Green Apocalypse, Norwegian version of Heritage Fund hits $1-trillion US

PHOTOS: A Norwegian oil rig in the North Sea. (Photo: Norsk Teknisk Museum, Wikimedia Commons.) Below: The late Alberta premier Peter Lougheed, who founded the Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund; the late Alberta premier Ralph Klein, who gave every one of us Albertans enough money to buy an iPod and a six-pack of brewskis (Photo: ...

Alberta Politics: Documents show B.C. ‘Climate Leadership Plan’ was cooked up in Calgary boardroom of powerful petroleum industry lobby

PHOTOS: British Columbia’s beautiful Legislature Building in Victoria – not, as it turns out, where the province’s climate policy is set! Below: CCPA-BC’s Shannon Daub, former B.C. Liberal premier Christy Clark (Photo: Wikimedia Commons), B.C. NDP Premier John Horgan, and environmentalist Tzeporah Berman. Using documents obtained through a Freedom of Information filing, the British Columbia ...

Alberta Politics: Alberta Legislature Members’ Services Committee passes ‘Derek’s Rule,’ banning Airbnb rentals of MLA apartments

PHOTOS: Former Wildrose and UCP caucus member Derek Fildebrandt, now an Independent Alberta MLA, in happier times for him when he was an employee of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. Below: UCP interim Leader Nathan Cooper, former Progressive Conservative interim leader Ric McIver, NDP MLA Estefania Cortes-Vargas, and Canadian Taxpayers Federation operative Colin Craig. Alberta conservative ...

daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: Tracking MLA endorsements in the UCP leadership race

Members of the United Conservative Party will be selecting the party’s first permanent leader on October 28, 2017. After of this week’s fee payment deadline, four candidates will be listed on the ballot: Brian Jean, Jason Kenney, Doug Schweitzer and Jeff Callaway. Of the 28 UCP MLAs represented in Alberta’s Legislative Assembly, nineteen have endorsed ...

Alberta Politics: Unable to raise the entry fee, Paul Hinman drops out of UCP leadership race almost as soon as he dropped in

PHOTOS: Would-be/won’t-be UCP leadership candidate Paul Hinman, gone from the contest after the shortest Alberta leadership campaign in living memory, your blogger’s anyway. Below: Jason Kenney and Andy Warhol. Talk about a Minute Man! Paul Hinman, the former Wildrose Alliance leader who ran his flag up the virtual flagpole on Monday with his announcement he ...

Alberta Politics: Paul Hinman wants to contest UCP leadership! He has till tonight to raise $57,500! I’m not making this up!

PHOTOS: Would-be UCP leadership candidate Paul Hinman, back when he was Wildrose Alliance MLA for Calgary-Glenmore. Below: Preston Manning, Ted Hinman, and Ernest Manning. Paul Hinman? Seriously? Has somebody stumbled over a mysterious time capsule buried by the Wildrose Alliance Party way out on the lone prairie? Probably somewhere down there in Southern Alberta around ...

Alberta Politics: United Conservative Party stance on climate change amounts to not much more than hot air

PHOTOS: Hurricane Harvey batters Corpus Christie, Texas. (Photo: ABC News.) Below: Guest post author Barret Weber, Conservative leadership contenders Jason Kenney and Brian Jean, and Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives researchers Shannon Daub and Seth Klein. Guest Post by Barret Weber One truly surprising aspect of the United Conservative Party leadership race to date has ...

daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: The big problem facing Alberta that none of our politicians want to talk about

As the Alberta New Democratic Party enters the half way mark of their first four-year term in office and the United Conservative Party chooses its next leader, a big question that remains unanswered in Alberta politics today is how, in the long-term, the Alberta government plans to deal with the revenue shortfall created by the drop ...

Alberta Politics: This week at the UCP: huge cuts, social conservative sins, and complaints of fractious fibs dominate the conversation

PHOTOS: A screenshot of United Conservative Party leadership frontrunner Jason Kenney as he appeared during his Internet town hall Tuesday. Below: UCP leadership contenders Doug Schweitzer and Brian Jean, U of A Professor Russell Cobb and Alberta NDP Premier Rachel Notley. Jason Kenney, front-running candidate to lead Alberta’s United Conservative Party, doesn’t put very much ...

Susan on the Soapbox: How Truth Dies

The UCP leadership race just began and already we’re being asked to choose between two conflicting versions of the truth. Jason Kenney says Brian Jean is a poor financial manager because Jean created a $337,000 deficit in the UCP caucus budget–apparently Jean embarked on a “massive hiring spree” to run a “shadow leadership campaign” at ...

daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: Alberta politics never slows down, even in the summer.

Politics never slows down in Alberta, even in the summer. Here is a quick look at some of what has been happening: New UCP caucus has a spending problems A day after the United Conservative Party lined up to criticize Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci, it was revealed that the UCP caucus is facing a ...

Susan on the Soapbox: Lessons in Leadership from a Red Tory

Are there any Red Tories left in Alberta? If so they should consider what Kim Campbell has to say about leadership and apply her comments to the men vying for the leadership of the UCP. Kim Campbell was Canada’s 19th Prime Minister.  A few short months after being sworn in as PM she had “political ...

Alberta Politics: Time for a changeup? UCP Caucus’s money troubles are funny and ironic, but not enough to win an election for the NDP

PHOTOS: NDP Health Minister Sarah Hoffman. Is she the best person to hold Alberta’s finance portfolio as Alberta’s 2019 election edges nearer? Below: Finance Minister Joe Ceci and Jason Kenney, the conservative politician most likely to lead the United Conservative Party into the next provincial election. The pecuniary difficulties faced by the new United Conservative ...

Montreal Simon: The Real Reason Jason Kenney Won’t Be Going to the Pride Parade

Well I can't say I'm surprised that Jason Kenney has turned down an invitation to attend Calgary's Pride parade. Even though the invitation came from an Albertan with way more fans than he does.  Not when Kenney has been an anti-gay bigot for as long as I remember.Read more »

Alberta Politics: Jim Dinning 6.0: how Jason Kenney is repeating the same failed Tory strategy, and expecting different results

PHOTOS: Singer k.d. lang (handout photo, via CBC). Below: Jim Dinning 1.0 and Jim Dinning 6.0. Is it just me, or is it mildly surprising that Jason Kenney turned down k.d. lang’s offer of free tickets to Calgary Pride on Sept. 3 and 4? Mr. Kenney, of course, is the former Ottawa insider, Harper Government ...

Alberta Politics: Breakup on the right? Naw, Canadian conservative politicians’ long romance with the Rebel isn’t over

PHOTOS: Wildrose-UCP MLA Drew Barnes, who still stands with and by Rebel Media, at a protest on the steps of the Alberta Legislature in Edmonton in December 2015. Below: Federal Conservative leader Andrew Scheer (Photo: Marcos Oliveira, Wikimedia Commons), UCP leadership candidates Jason Kenney and Brian Jean, and Alberta NDP House Leader Brian Mason. With ...

Susan on the Soapbox: A Pop Quiz

Ms Soapbox is shocked. She just returned from the Alberta Teachers’ Association Summer Summit on Public Education and discovered that she knows far less about education and teaching in Alberta than she thought she did. What education looks like today So pop quiz!  (Stop grumbling, many politicians are pontificating about the state of education in ...

Alberta Politics: UCP leaders edge away from Rebel Media after NDP House Leader rips their cozy past with alt-right group

PHOTOS: NDP House Leader Brian Mason, one of the fiercest fighters in Premier Rachel Notley’s government, ripped into UCP leadership contenders Jason Kenney and Brian Jean yesterday for their long association with Rebel Media. Below: Mr. Kenney, Mr. Jean, media accreditation report author Heather Boyd, and Alberta Legislative Press Gallery President Dean Bennett. Now that ...

Alberta Politics: High-profile MLA Derek Fildebrandt, embroiled in embarrassing revelations, falls on his sword, quits UCP caucus

PHOTOS: Derek Fildebrandt buying extra fuel for his big red Ford pickup truck on New Year’s Eve 2016 to illustrate how much more gasoline was going to cost after the NDP’s carbon tax took effect the next morning. (Photo from the politician’s Facebook page.) Prices immediately went down. It turns out the Ford also figures ...

Alberta Politics: Guest Post: UCP polarization of Alberta politics neutralizes the language of right-wing extremism

PHOTOS: Young anti-Bill 6 protesters interviewed by a reporter at the Alberta Legislature in November 2015. Note the overheated genocide rhetoric in the sign at bottom right. Below: More extreme rhetoric from the same event; commentators Barret Weber, the author of this post, Naomi Lakritz, and Ricardo Acuña. Guest Post by Barret Weber Last weekend’s ...

Alberta Politics: Candidate’s proposal to kick B.C. out of New West Partnership is likely to delight West Coast Dippers

PHOTOS: UCP leadership candidate Doug Schweitzer, grabbed from his campaign website. Below: B.C. NDP Premier John Horgan (Wikimedia Commons), Alberta NDP Premier Rachel Notley, and former WCP president Jeff Callaway. Supporters of United Conservative Party leadership candidate Doug Schweitzer shouldn’t get their hopes up that threatening to kick British Columbia out of the New West ...

daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: Rebel Media becomes a wedge issue in the United Conservative Party leadership race

This weekend’s violent march of Nazis and white supremacists through the streets of Charlotteville, Virginia made international headlines and also had repercussions for the United Conservative Party leadership race in Alberta. Leadership candidate Doug Schweitzer, a Calgary lawyer who is trying to position himself as a social moderate in the contest, used this weekend’s dark ...