Anger and Angst:
Anger and Angst is about Jason Kenney, Danielle Smith, and the UCP’s Endless Chaos
Alberta is on the verge of a very important election, featuring an extreme right-populist party—the United Conservative Party (UCP)—versus the New Democrats. Anger and Angst: Jason Kenney’s Legacy and Alberta’s Right examines the chaos of the current UCP Alberta government leading up to the election, and asks why it has happened. Answering these questions, this book leaves the reader with a better understanding of politics, ideology, and the New Right.
Anger and Angst has its origins in the aftermath of the 2019 election. In February 2020, a group of academics and other political observers gathered in Edmonton for a free-wheeling discussion of Alberta’s unfolding political scene. Though no one could predict the twists and turns that followed, it was clear to everyone assembled that Alberta was entering a critical, if uncertain, period of political turmoil. Combining 22 essays on politics, the economy & environment, education, housing, childcare, and right-wing populism, this book critically examines the extraordinary years of the UCP’s time in office, 2019-2023, a period arguably the most chaotic in Alberta’s political history.
At this book’s heart lies an account of how the UCP has governed; the ideas, personalities, and social forces that have driven its agenda. The editors argue that an entrenched elite, based largely in the oil and gas sector, is increasingly fearful of losing its power; fearful, more broadly, of the province that Alberta is struggling to become. In an effort to maintain its power, this elite has constructed an elaborate mythology based on a culture of grievance and victimhood. Given the current national discourse around energy transition and provincial autonomy—and the rise of the populist right across Canada—Anger and Angst will provide valuable insights and information to people both inside and outside of Alberta.
“Illuminating and thought-provoking, Anger and Angst reveals the UCP government’s undemocratic and destructive underpinnings, cuts to educational funding to privatised healthcare to the undermining of workers’ rights. Read this book!”
— Jackie Flanagan (Founder, Alberta Views)
“The United Conservative Party (UCP) is the political vehicle of conservative Albertans who are angry that their worldview and its economic underpinnings in the oil industry are coming apart. If you want to understand “freedom convoys”, anti-lockdown Rodeo rallies, and where their embattled, fortress mentality comes from, read this book. Anger and Angst is a hugely informative, impressive collection, with a very broad reach. The authors have the courage to tell it straight and dig where others accept the surface.”
— Gordon Laxer (Founding Director of Parkland Institute, Political Economist, and Author)
“If you’re wondering WTF is going on in Alberta politics, and how we got here, you really need to read this book. Anger and Angst expertly serves up the chaos and controversy of the Kenney years in bite-sized chapters from some of Canada’s top political writers who explain how a guy in a blue pickup truck ran over a province.”
— Graham Thomson (prominent journalist)
About the editorsTrevor W. Harrison is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Lethbridge. He was formerly Director of Parkland Institute (2011-2021), an Alberta-wide research organization, of which he was also a founding member. He is best known for his studies in political sociology, political economy, and public policy. He is the author, co-author, or co-editor of nine books, numerous journal articles, chapters, and reports, and a frequent contributor to public media, including radio and television.
Ricardo Acuña has been executive director of Parkland Institute since 2002. He has a degree in political science and history from the University of Alberta and has over 30 years of experience as a volunteer, staffer, and consultant for various non-government and non-profit organizations locally, nationally and internationally. He has spoken and written extensively on energy policy, democracy, privatization, and the Alberta economy, and is a regular media commentator on public policy issues.
Table of Contents
Notes on Contributors
- Introduction - Trevor Harrison and Ricardo Acuña
- Sorry, Not Sorry: The Nasty, Brutish, and Short Premiership of Jason Kenney - Janet Brown and Brooks DeCillia
- A Window on Jason Kenney’s Fall from Grace - Ricardo Acuña
- The Religious Roots of Social Conservatism in Alberta - Gillian Steward
- Decoding the UCP’s Freedom Mantra - Trevor Harrison
- “We Reject the Premise of Your Question.” The Media and Jason Kenney’s Government - David Climenhaga
ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT
- Extraction First: The Anti-Environmental Policies of the UCP Government - Laurie Adkin
- The Future is Past: A Political History of the UCP Energy Policy - Kevin Taft
- Alberta’s Brain Drain Redux: The Migration of Alberta’s Youth Under the UCP - Richard E. Mueller
- Turning the Screws, Turning Back the Clock: The UCP and Labour - Jason Foster, Susan Cake, and Bob Barnetson
- Alberta’s Job Creation Tax Credit: A Hidden Gift to Oilsands Producers - Bob Ascah
- Choice Over Rights: The UCP’s Ultra-Right Vision for Education - Bridget Stirling
- Alberta is Open for Business: The Renewed Push for Health Care Privatization - John Church
- Ground Zero in Canada’s Higher Education Shock Doctrine: UCP Alberta’s Post-Secondary Sector - Marc Spooner
- Subsidized Rental Housing and Homelessness Under the UCP - Nick Falvo
- Early Learning and Child Care: The Role of Government Under the UCP - Susan Cake
- Dysfunction in the Family: Provincial-Municipal Relations Under the UCP - Ben Henderson
- Back to the Future: The UCP’s Indigenous Policies, 2019-2022 - Yale D. Belanger and David R. Newhouse
- Simply Conservative? Rethinking the Politics of Rural Alberta - Laticia Chapman and Roger Epp
- Pepper-Spray for All: The UCP’s Approach to Countering Race-Based Hate in Alberta - Irfan Chaudhry
- The United Conservative Government, Right-wing Populism, and Women - Lise Gotell
- Conclusion - Ricardo Acuña and Trevor Harrison
2023; 6x9; 534 pages
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