Alberta Politics: Alberta’s NDP borrowed more than export-cut threats from Peter Lougheed for yesterday’s Throne Speech

PHOTOS: Premier Rachel Notley speaks with well wishers in the Alberta Legislature Rotunda yesterday after her government’s Speech from the Throne was read by Lieutenant Governor Lois Mitchell. Below: Finance Minister Joe Ceci, Ms. Mitchell and Premier Peter Lougheed, back in the day. (Mitchell and Lougheed photos: Government of Alberta.) Understandably given the nature of ...

Alberta Politics: UCP leader says he’s opposed to more safe-drug-consumption clinics – but what does he favour to address opioid crisis?

PHOTOS: United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney in a typical pose. He said in Lethbridge last week he’s opposed to harm-reduction efforts like supervised injection sites to deal with the opioid crisis. But what does he support? Below: Mr. Kenney’s brother David Kenney (Photo: Once posted on LinkedIn); NDP Banff-Cochrane MLA Cameron Westhead; and former ...

Alberta Politics: Put the Christ back in Christmas? Never mind that! Keep the marks in the market! Merry Christmas!

PHOTOS & ILLUSTRATIONS: Early opponents of the War on Shopping fight back at Christmastime (Photo: Chicago History Museum). Today consumerism is the state religion of both the United States and Canada, helping to put the marks back in the market. Below: Sol Invictus. Any resemblance to the Statue of Liberty is purely coincidental. Is it ...

Alberta Politics: Advocates of more choice in education unite to condemn public school board chair’s call for more choice in education

PHOTOS: Edmonton Public School Board Chair Michael Janz, at the podium and on the job. Below: Canadian Taxpayers Federation Communications Vice-President Scott Henning, Parents for Choice in Education Director Donna Trimble, and the Edmonton Christian High School, which is run under the auspices of the EPSB. Conservative politicians, their vocal supporters, private school operators, separate ...

Alberta Politics: China’s concerns about Canadian canola are legitimate, and we’re going to have to deal with them sooner or later

PHOTOS: A field of canola at its most colourful, photographed in early August near Morinville, Alberta. Below: Farmer Ken Larsen, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland and Harper-era agriculture minister Gerry Ritz. According to the Globe and Mail, or at least one of the five apparently like-minded individuals interviewed recently by the ...

Alberta Politics: Where’s the beef? Alberta’s cattle industry is only getting what it ordered from Earls

PHOTOS: Where’s the beef? Not in Alberta, if this province’s beef industry can do anything about it. One thing this story has nothing to do with is small-time ranchers like the guy on the steer or independent restaurants like the one run by the mom and pop below. The former picture belongs to the Golden ...

Alberta Politics: Deconstructing political discourse in Alberta: Doublethink is alive and well in recessionary Wild Rose Country

PHOTOS: Parson Manning spreads the Gospel of Market Fundamentalism in his days as leader of the Reform Party of Alberta. The actual neoliberal preacher-men of Confederation may not appear exactly as illustrated. Photo grabbed from Elmer Gantry, the movie. Below: Brian Jean, leader of the Wildrose Opposition (from wildrose.ca); the prime minister Trudeau whose policies ...

Alberta Politics: Baked Alaska and the Fraser Institute: what changes, and what doesn’t, when oil prices fall and the money melts

PHOTOS: Alaska Governor Bill Walker illustrates about how much is left in the northern state’s budget now that oil prices have gone south. (Alaska Dispatch News photo.) Below: The wild rose, official flower of both Alaska and Alberta; baked Alaska, going up in flames. Looks like Alaska is totally … baked. As in, done like ...

The Disaffected Lib: What Neoliberalism Has in Store For You

click to enlarge From Le Monde, a timely explanation of how disastrous neoliberalism continues to thrive despite an endless string of economic disasters and what it holds in store for you even as you continue to vote for those who practice it.  Hint. Neoliberalism is class warfare and it’s being waged in our own Parliament ...

The Disaffected Lib: Could Greece Become the Salvation of Western Democracy?

Greece is revered as the nation that gave mankind democracy.  Could it now become the nation that restored democracy to mankind? Around the world, democracy has taken a pounding from the fist of neoliberalism.  Market fundamentalism and democracy are simply incompatible over time.  Neoliberalism promotes illiberal democracy, ultimately leading to political capture and the rise ...

Alberta Diary: Alberta Tories are swinging right, paradoxically because of the implosion of their right-wing brethren in the Wildrose Party

Family values: Not so long ago they were all swinging left, but now the Progressive Conservative caucus of Premier Jim Prentice is swinging right. Getting ready to launch, from left to right, new PC caucus member Kerry Towle, Mr. Prentice, new caucus member Ian Donovan, and an unidentified former Redford Government cabinet minister. Actual Alberta ...

Alberta Diary: Collapse of rickety Wildrose coalition of market fanatics and religious fundamentalists could be bad-news/good-news story for Alberta’s NDP

A recent meeting of the Wildrose Party Legislative caucus. Actual members of the official Opposition party may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: NDP Leader Rachel Notley and Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith. Monday’s bombshell that the rickety coalition of ideological market-perfection fanatics and social-conservative religious fundamentalists called the Wildrose Party was coming unstuck may turn ...

Alberta Diary: The ‘research’ the Fraser Institute produces is junk – have a happy Labour Day!

An unidentified Fraser Institute “fellow” explains to a couple of young Manning Centre interns how giving workers the right to bargain collectively stunts job growth, and also how dinosaurs and men walked the earth at the same time. Actual Fraser Institute employees may not appear or act exactly as illustrated. Below: Economist Andrew Jackson ,who ...

Alberta Diary: Let’s hear a big welcome for Preston Manning, a fresh new voice in Canadian satirical writing!

Preston Manning admonishes the Children of Alberta for abandoning the principles of Social Credit. Actual right-wing patriarchs may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: The real Mr. Manning and, speaking of patriarchs, the sainted Ernest Manning, Ron Paul, the crazy uncle of the American right, and Ukip Leader Nigel Farage. “Cancer and lightning go where they ...

Alberta Diary: Waitin’ for the end of the world … Hear, O Ontario! Mr. Manning will be with you momentarily

Preston Manning readies himself before the mirror of his Seventh Floor office at the Prophetic Market Institute in Calgary, the Calgary skyline in the background obscured by a June rainstorm, one of those June rainstorms, as he ponders the frightening meaning of last Thursday’s Ontario election. Actual Alberta market fundamentalists and the names of their ...

Bill Longstaff: Students instruct teachers to bring economics into the real world

Following the Second World War, Western nations embarked on securing the welfare state as a balance to the capitalist market economy, the result of which was the most prosperous and equitable societies ever known. The most influential economist through this period was Britain’s John Maynard Keynes with his prescription of a sensible balance between government ...

Alberta Diary: It’s time to recognize the market-fundamentalist elephant in the airport security screening room

Some of the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority’s sub-contracted passenger screening supervisors at Edmonton International Airport. Fortunately for them, theirs won’t be the heads that roll. Below: Skylar Murphy, the 18-year-old brainiac with a recreational pipe bomb; the proverbial elephant in the room. Canadian airports really do have a security problem with fundamentalists: market fundamentalists! ...

Alberta Diary: Advice for Tom Mulcair and Justin Trudeau: Hammer Stephen Harper on the economy

The neoliberal Harper economy at work: a Toronto street scene, last week. Below: Thomas Mulcair, Justin Trudeau, Stephen Harper and Margaret Thatcher. Here’s some free advice for a couple of would-be Canadian prime ministers who are both in the news these days, the NDP’s Tom Mulcair and the Liberals’ Justin Trudeau: Hammer Prime Minister Stephen ...

Alex's Blog: Bargain Basement Citizenship and the Decline of Democracy

We ought to be outraged. Just about every day our media provides a new account of the decline of our democracy:  the inadequacies of our electoral system and allegations of electoral fraud; the high-handed treatment of our Parliament through inappropriate prorogations and overuse of omnibus legislation; a government ever more authoritarian and opaque, resistant to evidence and reason, and ...