Jared Wesley Profile picture
#UAlberta political scientist. Wrote Code Politics & Inside Canadian Politics. I block tribalism. Lead @cgroundpolitics, Viewpoint Alberta. Fmr @ipracademic.
27 Feb
If you don't like wormholes, keep scrolling and bypass this thread.

Let's say Kenney wins his constitutional referendum (leaving aside that he'd need a big majority and substantial turnout, ~66%, to make it "overwhelming").

Then what? #ableg #abpoli
Let's say the 'yes' vote compels other governments to the negotiating table (which would be of their own volition, because the "Secession Reference" argument is entirely invalid).

Then what?
Let's say the federal government concedes and gives Alberta more transfer dollars (which is unlikely, given the Harper-era fiscal reforms already netted AB over $1B / year extra, the Trudeau govt bought TMX, reformed stabilization...).

Then what?
Read 13 tweets
25 Feb
It's unfortunate to see the UCP government continue to drive a wedge between public & private-sector workers. It's a timeworn tactic in Alberta & a hallmark of right-wing parties across the globe. But it comes at a particularly bad time for our province. (Thread)
Folks like Barbara have seen this show before. But, like her, many of us sense a difference this time around. The depth, speed, and tenor of the cuts make them seem more malicious than necessary.
This goes beyond perception. The Premier has made his thoughts about public servants quite clear. In this video (see 3:05 mark), he hints it's time for public servants to feel the same pain that private-sector workers have. ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=1…
Read 25 tweets
23 Feb
I just finished screening dozens of applications to join our MA programs in Political Science at #UAlberta. Here's what struck me most. (Thread)
Application numbers are up this year. Way up. Especially among people who completed their BAs over a decade ago. The pandemic and economic downturn have a lot of people seeking to return to school. Our provincial govt is slamming the door on most of them.
Some lessons for future applicants, based on the top files I reviewed:

GPA matters, but it's not everything. Meeting the minimum standard is a must. But strong, authentic, targeted letters of intent and reference can go a long way to support a strong application w/ a lower GPA.
Read 22 tweets
18 Dec 20
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...

...by 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
17 Dec 20
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: albertaviews.ca/referendum-goo… /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

Read 7 tweets
4 Dec 20
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 20
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 20
(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 20
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 20
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
21 Nov 20
Public servants are a humble lot, serving the community without asking for credit.

But the time will come when we'll need to tell their stories of sacrifice & selflessness during this pandemic.

My DMs are open. Tell me stories so I can share anonymously. #ableg #COVID19AB
"Was moved back into office in July so that GOA can lead by example on showing it’s safe with proper PPE, etc. We have Skype meetings now with people from other cubicles on the same floor but still have to go in when everyone on my floor can work from home. Pointless!"
"Have been working 6 days per week, 3 weeks out of each month for 8 months. No overtime pay. Forced to come into the office, even though I could work from home. Been denied vacation 3 times. And being told my boss wants my pay cut by 4%."
Read 11 tweets
27 Oct 20
Not quite. Here's a thread on the central position of "prosperity doctrine" in Alberta conservatism. #ableg
While those with a stronger sense of faith tend to be conservative, not all Alberta conservatives are Christians a smaller number yet could be considered highly religious.
Yet, it is a strain of Protestant Evangelism that has left an indelible mark on Alberta conservatism.
Read 17 tweets
18 Oct 20
Policy 11 is the clearest definition of two-tier healthcare I have seen in a Cdn major party platform (and I've reviewed over 1000). It's the only one I know to use the term "Private Tier" explicitly.

This is not the same as a "mixed" or "hybrid" systems. (Thread) #ableg
All universal healthcare systems allow some private provision of services, including Canada. This means Canadians with employer-provided insurance and deeper pockets get better care. This is unequal, but not the "tiered" system promoted in Policy 11.
Most mainstream parties frame this hybrid system as a necessary evil, emphasizing the importance of preserving the public component.

Policy 11 promotes the virtues of the private component, and calls for a new/expanded "Private Tier".

This is not the status quo.
Read 15 tweets