25 Comments

Jared, Good on you for this. The way you categorize the sins of the UCP is helpful and the actual examples are clear. Do you have the capacity to invite your readers who know of other examples to send them to you? If not, do you know someone who does? Or do we have to create a new body?

We need as complete a record as possible of the drift away from the deep understandings and the self-restraint a democracy requires. It did not start with the UCP. The roots go back, at least, to the Reform Party. As the resistance becomes at all public the Premier and her folks will fight back and it will not be pretty. Rather, it will be lawless and unrestrained. I am with you. We are not alone.

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May 2Liked by Jared Wesley

Very timely message Professor. Regressions in democracy are gradual and often take place “silently”. 20 years ago Canada and in particular Alberta resembled more to a consolidated democracy and today it seems they are part of Latin America. These practices and the constant factionalism that permeates can end up in dire situations that Canadians don’t even imagine. Thank you for sharing this piece with substantiated facts.

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A very timely warning Jared. Few people take these political actions seriously until it's very advanced and frequently too late believing its just 'politics'.

The UPC is close to 180 degrees from a Libertarian mindset, 90 degrees from a Conservative mindset and probably 170 degrees from democratic behaviour. Their actions are not what they campaigned on; they are not listening to citizen feedback; they do not respect FOIP and lie a lot. Their focus is blatant control. Everyone should be concerned enough to organize and take action.

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Thank you for this, especially the "What we can do" part. May I also suggest extensive "citizen journalist" research into the businesses and corporations the UCP/TakeBackAlberta/MAGA is involved with. It is also about Following the Money and making the people, organization (both religious and charity), and corporate connections. Flip the rocks over and the private investment funds operating underneath the UCP/TakeBackAlberta/MAGA policies get exposed pretty quickly. And they and their investors do not like sunshine. All this information is publicly available on the internet and there are several independent non-profit organizations dedicated to promoting transparency available to provide assistance. Unfortunately what is passing for Canadian mainstream media has been badly compromised by its ownership by foreign private equity funds it can no longer be relied on or respected. It is not "fake news", it is just purposefully incomplete. Controlling media is another aspect of authoritarianism.

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This is a great piece, Jared. I recommend having someone give it a quick pass for typos and clarity—there were a few spots where I felt like you were saying the opposite of what you meant. But thank you for putting the issue so plainly!

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Yes re: small errors: I noted under “Electoral Integrity” point 2 - needs the word “without” added. But also agree - a great piece!

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Thank you for your thoughtful analysis Jared; thank you for speaking out. Couldn't agree with you more. I'm with you & appreciate your leadership.

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Thank you- finally people are starting to speak out.

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I agree that nobody is above the law, but we have seen the Federal government do to the people what they will in a very high handed manner. We need to keep the Feds at arms length, they have no business dealing with our municipalities. Speaking with Artur Pawlowski may have been unwise, what do you do when a constituent who's biggest crime was to feed the poor and spread the gospel, throw him to the Federal Wolves? The (s)elected officials of the 2 largest cities Calgary and Edmonton are hardly without political bias, just look at the mayors of both cities, they are horrific in how they have conducted business on the behalf of their constituents. Gondek declared a climate emergency walking in the door, what knowledge does she possess to declare such an outrageous edict? Also she tried to put in place a blanket rezoning, a colossal misstep on her part. Almost 6000 submissions were put forward to city council for the next meeting in April. This was going to create cheaper housing? Hardly, this was going to turn every community in the city into a ghetto, creating more issues than it fixes. Higher density living in areas that were never intended for much higher populations is going to result in driving out long term residents and bringing in short term residents that have no ties to the community. Can anyone say tribalism.

This substack is highly suspect at best. I could go on, but I have a job... Oh yeah, Trudeau brought in subsidized payroll options for businesses so they can be covered for 70% of a migrant or refugees pay. Guess who is not getting hired this summer? Who thought that would be a good idea?

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Thank you. The biases from Wesley and other University privileged influencers is to be expected. Your comment provides a welcome point of view.

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Gary B: If you believe that Artur Pawlowski was only feeding the poor, and spreading the gospel, you are very mistaken. He supported the law breakers at the Coutts border blockade, and supported a violent revolt.

When it comes to disrespecting constituents, that is Danielle Smith and the UCP, and they do it very well.

The UCP are forcing things upon Albertans that were conveniently omitted from their last provincial election campaign. It's things that have very little favour, including the APP that would rob retirees blind, horrific destruction of our environment, with more coal mining operations on the eastern slopes, and much, much more.

Pointing fingers at the mayors of Edmonton and Calgary, and Justin Trudeau, while overlooking the much greater errors that Danielle Smith and the UCP are doing, isn't going to help.

Danielle Smith and the UCP have made a mockery of democracy, and show they loathe it, through numerous heavy handed, and authoritarian bills. It's akin to fascism.

The sensible thing to do is to stop enabling it, while the foolish thing to do is enable it.

Under dictatorships, which is what we are seeing under Danielle Smith and the UCP, they look for someone else that they can target, create a perceived enemy, have gullible people go along with it, dumb down the population, and never provide tangible solutions to the issues we face.

It's all about having as much power and control as they possibly can, and when they have that power, they don't know what to do with it.

A very foolish thing to do is to go along with Danielle Smith and the UCP, because they are only leading Alberta on a path to destruction.

Anyone that is wise enough to see that this is wrong, gets degraded.

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Thank you, Jared.

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Thank you for writing and publishing this article. I have been feeling very uneasy with this government and some of their ideas and actions, with the previous premier, and now the present one. You have crystallized what I was feeling and put it into words. Some of what you mention I was aware of, and some I just learned of from your article. Thanks again, please say this in a letter to the editor of Alberta’s major newspapers. More people need to see this.

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The UCP is mirroring the USA right. Right is usually wrong. Monkey see monkey do.

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Factual error: "A premier fired the election commissioner before he could complete an investigation into his own leadership campaign...The same UCP premier crossed the line in the Artur Pawlowski affair, earning a rebuke from the Ethics Commissioner that “it is a threat to democracy to interfere with the administration of justice.” In fact, this was two successive UCP Premiers, JK then DS.

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Well right now I see a disconnect. 82 likes but only 11 comments. Everybody...get off your keyboard and start doing something in person for a start. Give a donation to a non-UCP party.

...

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To say nothing of her treatment of trans kids…

https://www.cbc.ca/amp/1.7186280

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I've just subscribed to this Substack. I've seen the same things happening and wonder 'where are the Albertans?" I lived in the US for many years, until 2006, when the economy was on the verge of collapse and the government had begun the swing through Police State to Humpy Dumpy and the Clown Car. Luckily, I was home long before that happened but I see the same nibbling-around-the-edges happening here in my own home, Alberta, of all places.

Alberta has always had a rather American-leaning political and economic attitude. Understandable if you know the history, but it appears that the artificially constructed Unknown Components Party, with the cardboard cutout leader, is fully in thrall to the UNELECTED ZEALOTS of the Take Back Alberta Autocracy. I am not impressed!!! No sir, you may not keep me barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen. I won that fight in 1968 when that idiot Daddy Trudeau told the Press that the government had no place in the nation's bedrooms. Baby Trudeau is a lesser son, but he's a trust-fund baby who never struggled or did without anything in his life, so I don't expect much from the fluffy-haired ski-bum.

As a voter, I and the people I talk to, are at a loss. I know that the NDP is a poor choice for true conservatives (yes, small 'c') because they have succeeded in destroying the economies of every province they have ever governed for over 40 years. Alberta suffered a small taste of that fate, which is how the current Frankenstein Monster of a party won their seats. It wasn't because they were a better party, it was because many Albertans, like myself, knew that the province couldn't sustain any more economic wreckage after our primary industry hit a low point.

However, I will not see the incredibly diverse tapestry of my province, especially the women and girls, stripped of their bodily autonomy, the Teachers at all levels denied independence of thought and inquiry - a 'university' is THE PLACE FOR DEBATE and the cradle of new ideas. It is unacceptable to try to force people into political cages or cast people out of the body politic at large at the behest of a not-very-bright but definitely malicious bunch of self-serving bigots and dick-wavers.

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Conservatives wield their executive authority so recklessly because they ceded every other institution to the left:

https://twitter.com/annalecta/status/1323370439306055683

The left has the lawyers, teachers, journalists, administrators, HR, and everything else that requires a degree except dentists. The right has business owners and trades workers. The only right-leaning government job is cop, and the only female dominated one is housewife.

10 years ago, I'd have said great. The left is just smarter, and will run our institutions the best they can, provided authoritarians elected by uneducated rubes don't get in the way.

But it isn't the down-to-earth liberal normies, nerds, and creatives that run things. It's the professional managerial class. And lately their competence, honesty, ability to take responsibility for anything, and personal mental health all seem abysmal. Universities aren't producing original or even critical thinkers, and the fake-it-till-you-make-it attitude doesn't work when everyone's faking it. As public institutions somehow get both more bureaucratized and more chaotic, the only political change they can agree on is to ask for more funding and handouts.

I'm hopeful the tides will turn for the elite left. It seems like many are catching on to their lack of meritocracy, their luxury beliefs that harm the lower classes, and just how miserable life is when you can't say obvious truths for fear of some zealot or psychopath deciding that you're the next piñata.

Till then, by all means freak out about democratic norms. But also consider that *maybe* some of this is backlash to actual mistakes that you can fix.

More commentary on this divide, should help put people here at ease:

https://www.richardhanania.com/p/why-is-everything-liberal

https://www.tracingwoodgrains.com/p/the-republican-party-is-doomed

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Please stop using the word 'conservative' to describe this group. It is a perversion of the meaning of the word. The current government is an agglomeration of self-serving political hacks and nascent fascists, so let's use the right word - FASCIST to describe them.

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When it comes to Conservatives in Canada, that brand is extinct, like the dodo bird. It's long gone. These are Reformers, or MAGA wannabes.

The Reform Party of Canada was stripped of its party status, because they harbored fascists.

The Conservatives we used to have in Canada are no longer with us, as most of the politicians from that style of government have passed away.

They would certainly be disgusted with these political parties, and politicians who are masquerading as Conservatives, but are showing us that they are the exact opposite.

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