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The Danielle Smith Show, take two
It's going to be a long four years...
This week in AB
Pump up the volume
To outrage or not to outrage; that is not, apparently, the question politicians are asking themselves these days — not that anyone thought otherwise, I’m sure.
To recap, last weekend Danielle Smith put out a friendly reminder that she still owns a restaurant and, despite her meteoric elevation from persona non grata in Alberta politics to it’s newest Premier-elect, is not above “helping out” when the need arises.
Forgive me while I reiterate that it’s not “helping out” when you won the place, just like it’s not “babysitting” when they’re your kids. Moving on.
The non-descript “National Post Staff” picked it up and ran it as a news-worthy article while fun was had all around with some nit-picking the premiere dish washer’s lack of proper footwear to others claiming that people in Alberta just don’t have the same hang-ups about social standing that plague other provinces.
Give it a day or two and something I was told in the early days of my career in political analysis always comes back to me: there are no coincidences in politics.
The “coincidence” became clear when the restaurant in question was listed for sale a few days later, broken dishwasher notwithstanding.
That was, like, Tuesday, she sighed in resignation, realizing she will never get time off again.
As the stench of this began to waft further away from its source, a gift from evil censorship-seeking tech companies arrived, allowing the premier to champion topical conservative concerns that free speech is once again being curtailed by capitalist elites. Ish.
As it turned out, Smith was not banned from posting, nor was her page banned from posting, nor were the other four of five administrators banned from posting — but it changed the channel for the perpetually oppressed and aggrieved.
My issue was not whether Smith had her facts straight — it’s pretty much a given by now that she’s overlooked anything that resembles a fact — rather, that she had the audacity to claim not being able to post on social media took away her ability to communicate with Albertans. The Premier… doesn’t have enough channels to communicate with Albertans.
A premier — who has blocked Albertans from her social media channels — now claims those are vital to her ability to communicate with Albertans? No.
As I’ve said many times before, “block away, it’s your private account”, but don’t try and claim your private social media account is also a bloody public service —it’s either a private account or it’s a public account. The lack of logic offends me greatly.
Yet, I also have an issue with this whole “they shouldn’t block anyone” thing — sure they should — no one should have to deal with vocabulary-stunted armchair critics with the political depth of a finger bowl constantly harassing them.
However, there’s an easy fix for this: public accounts they never see the replies to and actually provide this whole “public service” thing people like Smith claim to be providing.
That was only Wednesday.
The second gift of the week showed up on Thursday when the federal government tabled their “sustainable jobs act” which was almost as much of a nothing-burger as the “ermagerd I’m being censored by capitalists!” claim.
Back in 2017, I discovered that the Progressive Conservative government in Alberta not only knew a massive downturn was coming, but knew it was going to be much worse than Alberta’s regularly-scheduled oil price-related downturns, and also should have known that the fallout would be worse because of a global shift in climate change mitigation policies.
And I was livid.
Where was the concern for citizens? Where was the government policy to prepare Albertans for this?
Oh, that’s right, they were looking out for their political future, and then had to make a case to blame the NDP for the situation to bolster their political future, plus conjure enough righteous indignation to convince Albertans everything would be better by securing their own political future.
Screw the people.
And I’ve digressed.
The point is that the federal bill is simply offering to keep track of job loss and creation in particular industries that may be more affected by a global energy transition than others. Unsurprisingly, that includes jobs in Alberta’s oil industry.
Sure, it offers Smith another opportunity to dial up the Ottawa resentment to 110, and offer up her garbage Sovereignty Act as cure-all, but it’s just another plot twist falling disappointingly short of a climax.
After seeing the lack of consideration afforded to Albertans by our provincial government in the past, I’m perfectly fine with someone — anyone, really — gathering the information to offer Albertans a reasonable shot at planning accordingly for their future.
One for the team
“Bloody hell” is right.
In May of 2015, the unbelievable happened: a non-conservative government was elected in Alberta. It was incredible — unthinkable, and previously inconceivable. It was the first time in my life that Alberta had a different governing party.
That fall, the federal NDP held their national convention in Edmonton. It was supposed to be a celebration.
Instead, it became the means to pummel the Alberta NDP with a consistent, simple truth: the parties are inextricably linked.
Some of us non-partisan observers remarked that this wasn’t a benefit to the provincial party. A legion of fans disagreed and told us the NDP didn’t need our input.
Never mind the fact that it’s damaging to the NDP, nor that the conservatives are walking around with their hands in each other’s pockets, we were told that our insight was neither appreciated nor necessary.
As expected, they lost in 2019 and, despite having a much better chance, again in 2023 — though they still saw the need for a Hail Mary in the week of advance polls and reached out to Stephen Carter to find out how to turn that soft PC vote into NDP certainty.
I don’t buy into the “just a few more votes” argument — that’s the bottom line in every election: just the votes.
As I’ve said before, I don’t doubt that the NDP can pull off another win — eventually.
The question is whether they have time to incrementally draw support to their side or if someone without a federal albatross around their neck will show up to take their place.
Snort. AITA if I repost that awful picture or am I just “arsehole-adjacent”?
A by-election will be held in the federal riding of Portage-Lisgar on Monday June 19 where the Conservative Party of Canada is trying desperately to snuff out People’s Party of Canada leader — the former CPC caucus member who came within a hair of winning the CPC leadership in 2017 and was tossed by then-leader Andrew Scheer — Maxime Bernier; a feat that seems far less than likely.
Ideally, the CPC would be able to dance on the grave of a PPC leader coming in a distant third or further but it appears to be a race (between a cheetah and a hare) between the two conservative parties instead and that will give Bernier a narrative to peacock with until the next election.
Unless Bernier wins, of course, and then the crow-eating — and what I expect would be eternal embarrassment to Canadians — shall commence.
We have the tool
Local journalism (and every other kind of journalism) is dying.
When click-bait is more profitable than facts, what else can we expect?
Full disclosure: I know how to write click-bait and I know how to spin but I cannot, in good conscience, take advantage of that. And I actually think anyone who would believe that bullshit is an idiot and I refuse to hide my feelings about that.
PS: please subscribe.
Anyhow, journalism is becoming less profitable and those who make the most profits are no longer interested in subsidizing the fact-based part.
Where once it was seen as a public benefit, these were private companies providing said benefit and let’s face it: the tax breaks and the write-offs just aren’t worth the hit to the bottom line in a publicly traded company; not when they can make more money from half-truths and a riled-up audience waiting for their next opportunity to froth at the mouth.
Gerson makes a solid point about the pubic broadcaster taking over — government is there to fill the gaps. When private industry is unable to profit from any undertaking, they just won’t bother. That is where government-funded enterprise can, and should, step in.