It's confirmed: we'll be holding a referendum "to scrap equalization from the Constitution in Oct 2021." Here's why that's a risky idea:… /1
Here's how Albertans felt about this idea in August 2020 (courtesy: @cgroundpolitics). /2
Here's some background on the politics of equalization. /3…
Here's a pretty nifty explainer video:… /4
Here's some great insight on fiscal stabilization, courtesy of @trevortombe and @IRPP. Unlike the Premier's new branding of the program, it's NOT an "equalization rebate." /5…
For a deeper dive, you can't do better than this book from @danielbeland and his team:… /6
Here are a few other insights about @jkenney's positive contributions to the existing equalization formula (and the broader system of fiscal federalism). /7

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More from @DrJaredWesley

18 Dec
With Alberta about to embark on a constitutional referendum in less than a year, it's important to understand what's at stake (and what's not).

This gambit isn't about the equalization principle in the constitution, let alone the formula. (Thread) #ableg #cdnpoli
To some observers, this equalization referendum is the Kenney government's attempt to change the channel on its handling of the pandemic and economy... shifting blame to the federal government and the rest of Canada.
The premier has publicly admitted that this referendum is not really about removing the equalization principle from the constitution. That would require the consent of Parliament and other provincial governments (many of whom receive equalization payments).
Read 18 tweets
4 Dec
We can learn a lot about who politicians refer to as their "friends". In speeches & responses to questions, the people they choose to mention offer us insight into whose interests they're considering. (Thread) #ableg #COVID19AB
A few weeks ago, Premier Kenney talked about his encounter with a small business owner, who thanked him for his reluctance to lock down the economy.…
In the same press conference, he mentioned his "friend" the ICU nurse. She was concerned about the health care system's capacity to withstand another surge of #COVID19AB cases.…
Read 20 tweets
4 Dec
How has the pandemic impacted the practice and study of politics in Canada?

Share your insights at a virtual workshop as part of the @cpsa_acsp Annual Conference. (Thread)…
Part 1 will explore theoretical and empirical insights gleaned from early research on the pandemic, including studies of political behaviour, public administration, political theory, and other subfields. Completed studies and research designs are welcome.
Part 2 will delve into the impact of the pandemic on political science pedagogy, inviting participants to share lessons and promising practices in the areas of teaching and supervision. Empirical studies of different teaching methodologies (e.g., remote teaching) are welcome.
Read 6 tweets
22 Nov
(And to state the obvious: looking at Alberta through the eyes of Joe is wrought with issues intersectionality. It helps us understand why, for instance, the government fails to see the #shecession as a problem, let alone one worth solving.)
Or why they feel emboldened to hire curriculum advisors that seek to whitewash Alberta history, to create a War Room, to take on doctors & fill ICUs during a pandemic... Put simply: the UCP doesn't think Joe Albertan cares about those issues more than jobs and the economy. #ableg
The thing is: our research shows that Joe is not the median Albertan voter. Joe is who we think the average Albertan is. But he is not an aggregation of Albertan attitudes. He's a myth.
Read 8 tweets
22 Nov
A great question. I can offer a partial answer.

Governments are motivated by a host of factors, including their party's ideological principles, public opinion, and their sense of what the community will accept.

The latter is what many call "political culture." (Thread)
Political culture is the unspoken norms that guide politics in a particular community. These values define the boundaries of acceptability - of what's okay to say, think, or do.
In the case of pandemic response, political culture is embodied in our collective sense of "what Albertans will accept," whether it be mandatory masking, vaccination, or lockdowns.
Read 16 tweets
22 Nov
Many people are criticising Conservative governments in Canada for mishandling the pandemic.

Most cite these parties' ideological commitment to *conservatism* as their major failing.

This isn't entirely accurate or fair. (Thread)
Canada is home to several variants of conservatism. The two most pertinent to this conversation are old right toryism and new right neo-liberalism.
Toryism is a collectivist form of conservatism - one that views society as more than a sum of individuals. The term "social fabric" was coined by a tory (E. Burke) to capture this sentiment.
Read 10 tweets

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