Susan on the Soapbox: Meet the “United” Conservative Party

Say what you will about the Wildrose, they were always grassroots party…that is until Jason Kenney blew them out of the water. Last week Jason Kenney and Brian Jean unveiled the terms under which the Wildrose and Progressive Conservatives will roll up into the United Conservative Party (UCP).  The Agreement in Principle on the Establishment ...

Susan on the Soapbox: The Conservative Ideology

“ideology” \ˌī-dē-ˈä-lə-jē, -ˈa-, ˌi-\  a systematic body of concepts, especially those of a particular group or political party—Merriam-Webster   The word “ideology” was coined by the French philosopher Destutt de Tracy.  Originally it meant the science of ideas; but shrewd politicians like Napoleon Bonaparte corrupted it to mean something more pejorative, even sinister. This is ...

Susan on the Soapbox: What Would the Romans Do?

It’s a pity Wildrose MLA Derek Fildebrandt hadn’t read Jane Jacobs’ Dark Age Ahead before he launched into his description of how the ancient Romans dealt with governments that were, in his words, “beyond redemption”.   Fildebrandt said the NDP’s “scorched earth policy of hyperregulation, waste of tax dollars and blind ideology” destroyed the “great ...

Susan on the Soapbox: Principles vs Politics

The Wildrose Opposition spent the last three weeks berating the NDP government for not spending millions and millions of dollars fast enough. Wait, what? The Wildrose says farmers are being “held to ransom” because they’ve had to delay the 2017 planting season waiting around for AgriInsurance adjusters to declare their crops partially or completely destroyed.  ...

Susan on the Soapbox: The Whole Gay Thing

Recently Brad Trost and Jason Kenney made some troubling comments about the whole gay thing and the progressives just won’t let it go. Trost, a “full spectrum” conservative, believes in all three conservative values: social conservatism, fiscal conservatism, and democratic populist conservatism.  He recently shared his views on “the whole gay thing” in a campaign ...

Susan on the Soapbox: A Pollster Finally Gets It Right

We see chaos, Nik Nanos sees trends. Mr Nanos heads up Nanos Research, a leading Canadian research company and official pollster for CTV News, the Globe and Mail, and Bloomberg News.  Last week he spoke at the Merv Leitch Lectures Series sponsored by the University of Calgary. His topic—politics in the age of voter rage ...

Susan on the Soapbox: What Does a “Free Enterprise” Leader Look Like?

Jason Kenney promises to return Alberta to prosperity if Albertans vote for his Wildrose/PC “free enterprise” party. Given the paucity of information around what his “free enterprise” party stands for, we are left to assume Mr Kenney will emulate corporate “free enterprise” leaders if he ends up in the premier’s office. What does a good ...

Susan on the Soapbox: The Alberta Budget: Door No. 1, Door No. 2 or Door No. 3?

Before you let the Opposition parties scare you to death with apocalyptic warnings that Alberta is “drowning in debt”, “driving over a fiscal cliff” and “unfairly burdening future generations” read this article by U of C economics prof Trevor Tombe. Tombe points out that the amount of debt per se is meaningless.*  The relevant metric ...

Susan on the Soapbox: Another Day, Another Bozo Eruption

On the eve of International Women’s Day, Wildrose on Campus (WROC) issued an invitation to the screening of The Red Pill.  The invitation stated “You and I both know that feminism is cancer.  To create a dialogue on campus, we have decided to take action”.   (Apparently WROC doesn’t know the difference between a diatribe and ...

Susan on the Soapbox: The Common Man According to Andre Chabot

Conservative politicians across the country are “standing up” for the Common Man. This is his year. Great, but who is he?  Why are conservatives concerned about his plight and taken up his fight? Many politicians have offered answers to these questions, but few have been as clear as Andre Chabot, Calgary councillor and the newest ...

Susan on the Soapbox: When Old White Guys Discover Memes

Ms Soapbox recently received a series of memes from an old white guy justifying his support of Trump’s anti-Muslim, anti-immigration, anti-refugee, anti-everything policies. She’s been seething ever since. Not because of their content (bad) but because of their appalling lack of critical thinking and digital fluency (the ability to find and critically evaluate online information). ...

Susan on the Soapbox: Islamophobia: The Word Matters

Wouldn’t it be lovely if the Conservatives, who pride themselves on their ability to run the federal government like a corporation, would issue a corporate-style FAQ to explain why their anti-discrimination motion is superior to the anti-Islamophobia motion recently tabled by the Liberals. If they did, it might look something like this…okay, you’re right, it ...

Susan on the Soapbox: How to Get Rid of an Autocrat

Donald Trump isn’t the first Western politician to attack the judiciary, muzzle scientists, erode evidence-based decision making by making up alternate facts, disenfranchise voters, create two-tiered citizenship, push a corporate agenda, insult the very government leaders he needs to help him achieve his vision, and wage a divisive Islamophobic campaign to shore up core support. ...

Susan on the Soapbox: Kellie Leitch: An Example of “New Racism”

On Sept 7, 2016 Kellie Leitch posted a tweet in which she shared an article that appeared in Macleans magazine.  The article set out her proposal to vet all newcomers to Canada for “anti-Canadian values”. On January 29, 2017 six Muslim men were murdered in a Quebec mosque by a white Canadian man who apparently ...

Susan on the Soapbox: Three Reasons Why Jason Kenney is Scarier Than Donald Trump

Twitter exploded last night. Thousands of demonstrators jammed American airports to protest Trump’s Executive Order banning Muslims from certain countries from entering the US. Refugees traveling with valid documentation, permanent residents with green cards, temporary workers on visas, and dual citizens were detained, some were deported. ACLU lawyers fanned across the country, meeting with detainees, ...

Susan on the Soapbox: Why I Marched in the Women’s March on Washington

On Saturday morning Ms Soapbox boarded the Red Arrow bus from Calgary to Edmonton to join her friends supporting the Women’s March on Washington. My journey was considerably shorter than the one taken by Edmontonian Michelle Brewer who joined the horde of Canadians traveling to ground zero—Washington, DC. But it’s the message, not the miles, ...

Susan on the Soapbox: “Phasing Out” the Oilsands

At a recent town hall meeting Mr Trudeau reiterated his position on climate change.  He said: “You can’t make a choice between what’s good for the environment and what’s good for the economy.  We can’t shut down the oilsands tomorrow.  We need to phase them out.  We need to manage the transition off our dependence ...

Susan on the Soapbox: Marie Henein’s Take on Kellie Leitch

Last Friday Ms Soapbox attended the 2017 Milvain Lecture at the U of C Law School. It was given by Marie Henein who recently made headlines by successfully defending CBC radio host Jian Ghomeshi on sexual assault charges. While Ms Soapbox and Ms Henein do not see eye to eye on the Ghomeshi case, they ...

Susan on the Soapbox: The 2017 List

Last year Ms Soapbox made a list of New Year’s resolutions for Rachel Notley. Happily, Ms Notley delivered on the list, with the exception of resolution #4 (Ms Soapbox failed to anticipate the arrival of Jason Kenney on the political scene). Rather than rewrite the whole thing Mr Soapbox decided to create a list of ...

Susan on the Soapbox: Lessons From Rex Tillerson*

If Rex Tillerson, the former head of ExxonMobil and Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of State, taught a class on pipeline strategy Brian Jean would be stuck at the front of the room wearing a dunce cap and Rachel Notley would be excused because she already knows this stuff. Conservative rhetoric  Ever since Donald Trump ...

Susan on the Soapbox: Two Pipelines Approved: The Opposition Reacts (badly)

Do you have a headache? Are you an Alberta conservative wondering how to react to Trudeau approving the Trans Mountain and Line 3 pipelines and, horrors, singling out Notley’s Climate Leadership Plan as being vital to getting to yes? If so, your conservative leadership team has prepared a carefully considered, cogent response. Here’s what it ...

Susan on the Soapbox: It’s Electricity Week…and the Opposition Won’t Stand for it

After the events of this week it’s unclear who the Opposition is standing for. The NDP government announced it was: settling the PPA dispute over the enforceability of the “Enron clause” with Capital Power, TransCanada and AltaGas, leaving Enmax the sole outlier, compensating Capital Power, TransAlta and ATCO for the early closure of six coal-fired ...

Susan on the Soapbox: Running on Half a Platform

Can we stop campaigning on half a platform?     Brian Jean and Jason Kenney are united in one thing—the conviction that they must free Alberta from the “socialists” and return it to its position of unparalleled greatness where it will once again become “the shining beacon of hope” to Canada if not the entire world. ...

Susan on the Soapbox: Who Let the Monsters Out?

To paraphrase Mayor Nenshi, we must never forget how easy it is for a narcissist with a microphone to open the closet door and let the monsters out. Donald Trump, a woefully inexperienced blowhard, defeated Hillary Clinton by legitimizing attacks against women, minorities and immigrants. Donald Trump President-Elect Jason Kenney, unlike Trump, isn’t openly hostile ...

Susan on the Soapbox: Jason Kenney Takes a Page from the Donald Trump Playbook

Last night the Progressive Conservatives kicked off their leadership race in earnest. As expected Jason Kenney urged party members to “unite Alberta” (ie destroy the PCs by merging them with the rebranded Wildrose party) while the other five candidates reassured attendees that the PC party could rise from the ashes. It was a relief to ...