Susan on the Soapbox: What a Week

The week started out strange and got a whole lot stranger. Derek Fildebrandt’s Bev Oda moment This week we learned that Derek Fildebrandt Airbnb-ed his taxpayer subsidized apartment, pocketed the cash and claimed the full rental expense in his housing allowance. Most people would call it double dipping but Mr Fildebrandt said it was a ...

Susan on the Soapbox: Jason Kenney: Servant Leader…what?

Now isn’t this a conundrum… The impetus to unite the Wildrose and the Progressive Conservative parties was the assumption that only a united conservative party could beat the NDP in the next election. The two parties united and now the polls are showing that any one of the UCP leadership candidates, Jason Kenney, Brian Jean, ...

Susan on the Soapbox: UCP Merger…a message from the this-could-get-ugly department

Jason Kenney is busy ticking off the boxes in his quest to be the next premier of Alberta: Become the leader of the Progressive Conservative Party—check. Maneuver Brian Jean (WR) into accepting a merger proposal—check. Merge the PC and WR parties into the United Conservative Party—check. Become the leader of the UCP—ongoing. Lead the UCP ...

Susan on the Soapbox: The Communists are Coming!

Jason Kenney says he has not heard a “single voice of opposition” to the unification of the Wildrose and Progressive Conservative parties except for “a communist professor from the University of Lethbridge”. Wait, what?  Public political discourse The philosopher Jason Stanley says the most important political ideals in a liberal democracy are liberty, freedom and ...

Susan on the Soapbox: Hallelujah

This was going to be a Ms-Soapbox-is-stampeding-see-you-next-week-blog…then she remembered something. Ms Soapbox’s sister and brother-in-law popped into town just in time for the Calgary Stampede.  We did the fair grounds, the Dog Bowl, the Clydesdales and the llamas, we ate raindrop cake and teriyaki perogies and ducked into the casino to escape the heat. The highlight ...

Susan on the Soapbox: Trudeau forgets Alberta; Alberta flips out

Canada is a special place; but Alberta is a little prickly. The Soapbox family celebrated Canada Day at Olympic Plaza trying to dislodge a Big Red Ball wedged between some girders, admiring children’s art work (our favourite was a mask made by a second grader who said it represented her love of dogs and money), ...

Susan on the Soapbox: The Emotional Mr Kenney

“When it comes to politics, all I can offer is emotion.”  — David Sedaris, author of numerous books including “Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls” If we didn’t know any better we’d think David Sedaris was talking about Jason Kenney. Mr Kenney is campaigning hard to become Alberta’s next premier.  His stump speeches hit all the ...

Susan on the Soapbox: Susan on the Soapbox 2017-06-18 21:57:30

Unsolicited Advice from a Conservative Pundit This week Preston Manning, former leader of the Reform Party, offered some advice to the yet to be formed United Conservative Party (or whatever it’s going to call itself after the Wildrose and the Progressive Conservatives merge). A vision of sorts   Since neither Brian Jean nor Jason Kenney ...

Susan on the Soapbox: The Wildfire Reports: A political firestorm

Wildrose leader Brian Jean is furious with the NDP government’s response to two reports on the Fort McMurray wildfire. He says the government is attempting to whitewash the reports’ findings and delayed releasing them in a shocking display of arrogance which is “totally unacceptable in any democracy.”  He wants a judge-led independent public inquiry into ...

Susan on the Soapbox: Bill 17: A Unicorn or a Chimera?

Last week the NDP government introduced the Fair and Family-Friendly Workplaces Act (Bill 17).  It’s intended to update workplace legislation that became increasingly outdated under Progressive Conservative rule. Premier Notley describes Bill 17 as a balanced middle of the road approach.  The Opposition is says it’s a “union-friendly omnibus bill” that should be split in ...

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, ...