Susan on the Soapbox: Jason Kenney Was Just Kidding about Peter Lougheed…really?

In 1999 a young Jason Kenney told the National Post that “Klein realized Alberta could no longer afford the neo-Stalinist make-work projects of the Lougheed and Getty years, and he set about to distance himself from them.” This is an inflammatory comment of Twilight Zone proportions, particularly given the lengths to which Kenney has gone ...

Susan on the Soapbox: Who is it going to be: Nenshi or Smith?

This Monday Calgary voters will elect their mayor. The winner will be expected to lead Calgary out of one of the worst economic downturns it has experienced in decades.  So, who is it going to be:  Naheed Nenshi, the confident qualified candidate or Bill Smith, the congenial but underqualified candidate? When Calgarians are asked why ...

Susan on the Soapbox: Common Sense?

No one needs policies anymore.  Everything can be decided by using good ol’ common sense. A group calling itself Common Sense Calgary is telling Calgarians that “the same unions that backed the NDP provincially have now endorsed a slate of candidates to help continue their high-tax, high-spending, high-regulation doctrine at the city level.”  While it’s ...

Susan on the Soapbox: How Do We Talk About the Edmonton Terrorist Attack?

A police officer is stabbed and four people are injured when a man drives a U-Haul into a crowd of pedestrians in Edmonton.  The suspect is identified as 30-year-old Abdulahi Sharif.  An ISIS flag is found in the vehicle. Edmonton’s mayor, Don Iveson, Premier Notley and Prime Minister Trudeau issue statements condemning the attack and ...

Susan on the Soapbox: The Politicians are Coming…

Paul Keating said, “Politicians come in three varieties:  straight men, fixers and maddies.” Oh, please let there be a fourth kind of politician–a thoughtful visionary.    Calgarians go to the polls on Oct 16 to elect a mayor and 14 councillors.  Candidates are out in full force and anyone who cares about the future is ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...