Fear & Loathing in Alberta: the Big Fat Lie of Election 2019 THREAD #GentThreads #abpoli #ableg #cdnpoli #yeg #yyc
First of all, thank you Edmonton, for being the intellectual & moral hub of this entire province. The rest of us, evidently, were all too ready to elect to power a team already revealed as white supremacists, homophobes, misogynists, frauds, criminals & climate deniers /2 #abpoli
Quick & dirty on provincial elections in Alberta is you have to get 2 out of 3:
1) Edmonton (NDP Turf)
2) Calgary (Was Up For Grabs)
3) Everything Else (UCP Turf)
This election always came down to Calgary's choice. And we chose poorly. In huge numbers /3 #abpoli #ableg
We chose SO poorly & this election ended the way it did because of the Big Fat Lie of Election 2019. We'll pay for it & pay dearly, certain as the sun rises in the east & sets in the west. Screw it. You bought the ticket, Calgary. So you're going for a ride /4 #abpoli #ableg #yyc
Began "covering" #ABElection2019 back in January. At heart I'm not partisan. I'm a #ClimateDude. Went through my regular rigamarole about strategic vote (stop the madmen at all costs) vs ideologic ( #PureClimateVote). Chose strategic. Always do. But I wrestle with it every time /5
I mean it when I say I'm nonpartisan. My vote's up for grabs. Federal election coming up in November and as far I'm concerned I don't owe any party anything. I want to know who's talking #GreenNewDeal & hear about #TheConservativeCaseForClimateAction /6 https://twitter.com/TheGentYYC/status/1117517482225324032
I won't hold my breath on that second one. Prove me wrong, "conservatives" /7 #abpoli #ableg #cdnpoli
Didn't know it then but it was the Big Fat Lie that put me to work in January, composing a thread of #AlbertaCarbonTax wins because I wasn't hearing the NDP bragging about it as they should. Nor was it much of a story in the news. Why not? You know why /8 https://twitter.com/TheGentYYC/status/1086098889919197184
That was something I'd return to again throughout #ABElection2019: write easily digestible threads carrying bite-sized chunks of information pertinent to people's decision-making in what I'd already begun calling, rightly, the most important Alberta election of the modern age /9
You liked them. & you retweeted them to other folks that liked & retweeted them. Somehow through all the grime & desperation of it all I walked away with something I never had before: A voice. A platform. (It would be taken away from me again just 1 day before the election) /10
#FearAndLoathingInAB https://twitter.com/TheGentYYC/status/1090819329581412352
ASIDE: Hey friends playing at home! Twitter analytics is free & easily findable on your profile page. Find your top election tweets from the month of January & retweet them using the hashtag #FearAndLoathingInAB. Top 3 get a place in my thread & therefore Alberta history! #abpoli
The #ABCarbonTax thread was a force multiplier: I could raise awareness on critical voter decision information while also keeping the #ClimateCrisis front & centre where it belongs. It was a format I'd return to. Will ALWAYS return to. Until I don't have to anymore or I die /12
And it's no stretch making the connection anymore. As the good folks at @ClimateHubYYC like to say, "every election is a CLIMATE election." /13 https://twitter.com/ClimateHubYYC/status/1113129809264074753
That last smokey August hurt. I thought it'd be a factor in the election. Now we know the truth: in making the connection between climate, more & bigger forest fires and choosing leaders, Calgarians either can't figure it out or just don't care enough. There's no third choice /14
So if you voted for Kenney whose only solution for the #ClimateCrisis was to eliminate the #ABCarbonTax why don't you go ahead and do the next generation (you know, OUR KIDS? GRANDKIDS?) a favour & breathe real deep this smokey August. Deep as you can. Own it. /15 #ableg #abpoli
Of course I don't mean it. A lot of people I know & love made that same EXTREMELY RECKLESS CHOICE. But you think I can write a thread on #Election2019 & not end up growling at you? It will get worse. I promise. Feel free to go elsewhere as needed /16
In February I identified additional voter-pertinent stories. Given the much vaunted bromance between AB candidate Jason Kenney & Ontario Premiere (and all around nitwit) Doug Ford, I came to see every Ford story as an Alberta story /17 #abpoli #cdnpoli https://twitter.com/TheGentYYC/status/1094027828952092675
Also absent from the #Election2019 debate was the global 'populist' movements of angry firebrand/nitwits gaining power by dividing their citizenry. Worked for Brexit & Trump but surely Canadians are too smart for that? Right? Turns out not so much /19 https://twitter.com/TheGentYYC/status/1103720899893649408
NOTE: Kept predicting May for the election instead of April. Just made sense to me for Notley & the @albertaNDP to hold off as long as they could. Maybe new pipeline news or the ever-unfolding Kennekaze scandal becomes this election's "October Surprise" /20
I know @carter_AB agrees with me. In hindsight could any of that have swung the election for the NDP? I lean no. Why? The Big Fat Lie of Election 2019. That's why. There was no beating it. But more on that later /21
#AlbertaCarbonTaxWins story was getting poor coverage so was #CleanEnergy in Alberta generally during this time, even as I watched the first Premiere in Alberta history actually WORK on #Diversification instead of just talking about it /22 https://twitter.com/TheGentYYC/status/1087916638823899136
I went so far as to say that for a few days during this election Alberta was the biggest news on the whole planet when it came to the #NewEnergyEconomy. I stand by that claim & defy anybody to find one bigger from that time. You won't & you can't /23 https://twitter.com/TheGentYYC/status/1096848379307413504
Shout to @Suncor for walking the walk on corporate leadership & developing the next energy economy. Actions like @Suncor's is of critical importance in our SHIFT to renewable energy, a circular economy & sustainable society. I personally am immensely, authentically grateful /25
You liked that story & shared it with your networks & eventually it was retweeted by former Prime Minister & now national treasure @AKimCampbell who retweeted it to her 37.5 K followers & next thing you knew for a couple days I had some kind of low-level viral event happening /26
Things like this build your voice. Your platform. But if you don't own the platform it can always be taken away from you, something I and a number of other progressive voices would find out before #Election2019 was over. Far as I know @micropainter is STILL locked out /27
I drink & screw & break bread with Calgarians from across the political, ideological & socioeconomic spectrum. I know this town. I *love* the people in it. I know why Election 2019 broke the way it did & in your heart of hearts so do you. Ugly. Needs saying. Soon. But not yet /28
Of all the things I thought should have been a bigger story, for a while the prime news story across our great nation was the #UnitedWeRoll convoy. Judge for yourself whether that story deserved the weeks of breathless attention across the spectrum of Canadian media as it did /29
But the slow motion dumpster fire that was the #UnitedWeRoll fiasco gave me an opportunity to return to What Matters, what is becoming The Work: identifying political stories that are Climate but don't know it yet & thereby keeping Climate front & centre where it belongs /31
What I'm saying about #JustTransition for AB's vulnerable oil/gas workers & communities brings us back to a bonafide major accomplishment of Notley's government that @albertaNDP wouldn't speak of during the election. Why? You know why. Everybody knows /32 https://twitter.com/TheGentYYC/status/1098335625646731264
The need for the next piece was clear. Pipelines & carbon taxes were all anybody was talking about, 100% context free. Like another tarsands boom was just around the corner if only the right leader could bellow loud enough. AB needed context we just weren't getting #abpoli /33
I wrote #TheAlbertaContext: my best representation of the factors behind Alberta's increasingly dented & fragile oil & gas economy that flows through every person, business & community in this province. We'd always staked our future to that & only that /34 https://twitter.com/TheGentYYC/status/1099690014152126466
Looking back I must have been crazy. Our entire province had become that reckless friend we all have that doesn't see doctors because she hates bad news. And that comes from a position of fear, which I would later come to see as 'The Fear' & the prime mover of #Election2019 /35
The #AlbertaContext is one of this most well received and widely read thing I've ever written. I'm proud of what the thing tried to do & I'm proud of what it did. And it opened a few doors for me here & there but maybe the Gent keeps that stuff to himself for now /37
March was heating up & the writ was dropped & April 16th would be the day & all of us who bet money the @albertaNDP would hold out as long as they could waiting for either good pipeline news or Team Kenney in cuffs had to pay up & scratch our heads. I'm still scratching. You? /38
That said, would it of made a difference? Could ANYTHING have made a difference? The answer is no and the reason is simple. To understand this election is to understand the Big Fat Lie that ruled the behaviour of the campaigns and the population they were campaigning to /39
The Big Fat Lie made it so most Calgarians would never care about a Premiere-to-be who was under investigation by the RCMP for bonafide election fraud even as they howled for blood in the case of PM Trudeau & the SMS Lavoline thingamabob. No hypocrisy there, right friends? /40
The Big Fat Lie made Election 2019 "Bozo eruption proof" in spite of near daily blow-outs from what would in time reveal itself as the most morally depraved slate of candidates in all of Alberta & perhaps even Canadian history, #LakeOfFire be damned /41 https://twitter.com/TheGentYYC/status/1109864013393850368
Fact is we really *were* #BetterOffWithRachel. Not just because she was a fundamentally better human than Kenney (though she manifestly is) or because her social policies were better for us (which they manifestly are) but for reasons the Big Fat Lie prohibited her to speak of /42
That's why AB Election 2019 was never winnable for Rachel Notley & the Alberta NDP. I'm not suggesting there weren't things they coulda tried but I can't say they woulda worked. Notley's NDP didn't *create* the Big Fat Lie & neither did Kenney's UCP. They all just serviced it /43
And that, my fellow Albertans, is the rub. /44 https://twitter.com/TheGentYYC/status/1116376115356917760
Tried compiling a thread on bozo eruptions just to keep them straight in my own head but I lost the stomach to finish it. Besides, it strayed too far from the core mission, 'The Work', which meant I was due a thread on something Climatey & awesome: https://twitter.com/TheGentYYC/status/1107303197092122624 /44
Been a stalwart champion for a #Hyperloop between #YYC & #YEG (30 minutes!) ever since I heard about the idea. This election is when I first ran into @DPooleAB, who's one of the people in this town that's gonna get that done. I'm another. You? /45 https://twitter.com/TheGentYYC/status/1107305652655808512
It's one of those ideas that just makes too much sense for Alberta *not* to do. Like converting our spent oil wells into geothermal powered fruit-veggie-marijuana growhouses instead of just pouring concrete down them LIKE WE'RE IDIOTS OR SOMETHING /46 #abpoli #ableg #cdnpoli
And maybe I got high on my own supply there for a little bit because I started to believe Alberta & specifically the Calgary I know & love was gonna make the right choice in spite of it not being made clear to them by an NDP in paralysis about their greatest achievements /47
It's only when you start hoping for a people that they can truly let you down. I'm disappointed in Calgary & every friend, family member, associate and random stranger that found a way to gulp down all that racism & hatred & homophobia & you name it, you voted for it. Fools /48
You needed sweet lies. This was just another dip in the roller coaster life every Albertan knows all too well. Wait it out. Elect the angry man shaking his fist at Ottawa or BC or Quebec to quicker get our FEDERALLY FUNDED PIPELINE built ACROSS PROVINCIAL LINES. Fools /49
You needed to be lied to & Kenney was only too happy to step up & tell you everything you wanted to hear and more. You ate it up. You NEEDED it. Kenney didn't create the Big Fat Lie & neither did Notley. They just serviced it. For you. Because it's your Big Fat Lie, isn't it? /50
#FearAndLoathingInAB #abpoli #cdnpoli https://twitter.com/TheGentYYC/status/1116377573687087104
#FearAndLoathingInAB #abpoli #cdnpoli https://twitter.com/TheGentYYC/status/1112394656510164993
Final chapter. Hope this thread can exorcise that election out of me. Gotta be social tomorrow amongst my fellow Calgarians who, by the numbers, if they voted, likely voted for the white supremacist, homophobic, misogynist climate deniers. My goal is to not shout. We'll see /52
That's right. Hell's own cocktail party with all attending only too aware of my well established bull-goose loony Lefty leanings, all of whom anxious to try out customized limp excuses for voting into power a manifestly amoral person based on promises all know won't be kept /53
That said some promises you can count on. One of them is erecting a #KenneyWarRoom, his own propaganda ministry for just 33 million Albertan taxpayer dollars. because if there's one thing we haven't had yet it's heaping spoonfuls of denialism & hatred for our fellow Canadians /54
And it doesn't stop there. Alberta's two largest city newspapers, the @calgaryherald & the @edmontonjournal both belong to Post Media a foreign owned right wing monstrosity well known to slavishly service the needs of conservative ideology & Oil At The Expense Of All Else /56
It was this very election in which the @edmontonjournal advised conscientious Alberta voters to vote Kenney even though he was a known fraud & liar because maybe he'd be a fraud & liar "For Alberta". *Our* fraud & liar. And there's so much more /57 https://twitter.com/TheGentYYC/status/1114581647721095168
The idea there's anything remotely similar on the Left is astonishing & laughable to those of us in the malnourished ragtag #ClimateCrisis community. This is where the 'Othering' begins. Eventually Alberta's climate-conscious become the next Trudeau or BC worth hating /58
#FearAndLoathingInAB #abpoli #cdnpoli https://twitter.com/TheGentYYC/status/1116382339431636992
#FearAndLoathingInAB #abpoli #cdnpoli https://twitter.com/TheGentYYC/status/1117486672839495680
Throughout this thing I said this election was for all the marbles & I stand by it. It was our 'To Be or Not To Be' moment and we came out in huge numbers 'Not To Be', to ignore the global forces controlling the industry that controls all we hold dear /61 https://twitter.com/TheGentYYC/status/1116181396358172672
Jesus. What a thing to take it upon yourself to write a thread like this. In the end there'd better be catharsis. I was promised catharsis. /62
Final thread I'd put out, the one that got me booted off of Twitter just one day before the election (or *did* it?) was a return to The Work: Provide both the last piece of decision-critical context & put the #ClimateCrisis up front where it belongs /63 https://twitter.com/TheGentYYC/status/1117482057293107202
I left little unsaid in the thread that got me 86ed from Twitter just one day before the election. All I'd add is that all you need for close to 50% of the vote throughout North America is to be a total idiot willing to cut taxes for the rich & remove business regulations /64
That together with the Big Fat Lie is all you need to understand about why Calgary broke the way it did in this election. And so the Great Wheel turns forever /65
#FearAndLoathingInAB #abpoli #cdnpoli https://twitter.com/TheGentYYC/status/1113182705817026560
The party ended up being completely awesome & the election didn't come up even once. Here's me clearing a path to the BBQ /66
I'd written my context piece regarding the abysmal leadership/governance that comes out of "conservative" Big Business folks & wasn't sure what to hit folks with for the final days but I never had the chance to answer. Somehow the Gent went & got himself suspended /67
All said & done my account was suspended from the day before the election to a couple days after. First thought was I'd been taken down by bots. Pretty pathetic but also kind of flattering. Taking out voices from the left for #ABElection2019? Damn right you take down the Gent /68
Damn. I really wanted to end this thread on 69. For religious purposes. You understand. /69
Gent was out & about on election night & had more than a few folks come up & ask me about the suspension & I can't tell you how grateful I am you noticed. My peeps in the Twitterverse saw my 86ing & raised the alarm. I cherish every single mention /70 https://twitter.com/sprawlcalgary/status/1118254279565791232
I explained what I knew as best I could & reached out to a fellow traveller in left wing Alberta politics & had him post it. And that's what I thought at the time & I can stand by it based on my knowledge at the time. /71
Been tough on the media in this thread so I want to identify that some coverage was the best you could ask for. I'd put @sprawlcalgary's coverage of this election against any news outfit on earth & @EmmaLGraney is what you're talking about when you say an "intrepid reporter /72
My time unplatformed & absorbing the election results was a dark few days, I don't mind telling you. You don't know if you're ever gonna get it back. It mattered to me. You matter to me. *This* matters to me. Messaging from Twitter HQ were neither clear nor timely. Then this /73
Thing is, #ABvote was absolutely a trending topic. I was absolutely pimping my #BigBusinessChoosesBadGovernance thread which an anti spam bot might not be able to recognize as #ABvote related. I could almost accept it. But... /74 https://twitter.com/TheGentYYC/status/1117497638163599361
It wasn't just me. Other progressive voices. Quite a few of them actually. Same timeframe. Nothing of the sort happening to folks on The Right. (& I believe I mentioned this already but @micropainter STILL doesn't have her account back) Throws uncertainty in. May never know /75
And that's all I really I have to say about that at this juncture /76
This thread is a BEAST that's been hanging around my head ever since Election Night & quite frankly I'll be grateful to be rid of it once all that needs saying is said. 77 tweets in, what else remains to say? Well, a couple things... /78
Recalls a quote about America that surely now reflects the New Alberta Context. The global structural realities bombarding our economy don't care about the easy lies we all just told ourselves. We doubled down on doing nothing. Historically, such behaviour is seldom rewarded /79
We voted to not diversify. To keep all our eggs in the only basket we've ever known, inbound global realities be damned. It's nothing you'd ever teach a child to do but we just did it to the whole thing. It's staggering. The results are dumb, predictable and inevitably bad /80
Unlike every Premier before her, Rachel Notley didn't kick the can down the road on diversification. Calgarians voted her out for somebody who would. We have no one to blame but ourselves though of course we won't. Reckless angry babies like Brett Wilson will become the norm /81
Calgarians just made a very expensive bet that Jason Kenney can bluster & bullshit his way past global socio-economic tectonic shifts. He can't do any of it. But he can make us angry enough at each other not to notice his failures. 30 million goes a long way for that stuff /82
Diversification, a #JustTransition & #GreenNewDeal could halt the downward trajectory & stabilize the roller coaster. In Alberta we have everything it takes except the will (except for Edmonton, our new moral & intellectual capital). We're running out of time /83 #abpoli #cdnpoli
We all claim we want Alberta to become a new tech hub & maybe we can diversify ourselves that way but hot new tech companies aren't attracted by propaganda ministries, racism & the rejection of science. Quite the contrary /84
What does attract them? Amongst other things, new industry investment, innovation & the embracing of new economies as well as quality social programs and 'quality of life' infrastructure to retain workers /85
So, you know, everything that Rachel Notley was looking to do and everything Jason Kenney is looking to undo. If this province were a flying plane somebody would tackle him /86
So that's where we're at. I'm sorry did you come here looking for hope? Maybe a little post-election kumbaya? Sorry Charlie. I'm not here to hold your hand (unless you're @SarahKSilverman in which case I have all day) /87
That's about all I have to say on Election 2019 & the abysmal choice we just made in historically enormous numbers. Turns out there was some catharsis to be had after all, for me at least, no telling where it's left all of you. But for a few more items we're done here /88
A whole other election's brewing for October, this one for Prime Minister. The bozos have been on a roll since Brexit, from Trump, Doug Ford & now our Jason Kenney. Elect a bozo for PM & we're officially #AmericaUnderTrumpLite. May the Gods have mercy on our poor dumb souls /89
In this election & every election I'll be voting for a #GreenNewDeal & so should you. And we find horses that can run. And we keep losing until we win. In Canada & everywhere else. If there's hope to be had it's that there are more of us than there are of them. I believe that /90
A final Climate plug for those in despair. There's only one cure for it that I know of & I've lived it & after the smokiest days of our new Calgary Augusts (and Julys soon enough) I can vouch /91
"Okay but what the hell can *I* do about it?" you ask, in the face of the greatest challenge in all of human history. Perfectly reasonable question. Never seen it answered better than by the world's most famous climate scientist @MichaelEMann: /92 https://twitter.com/MichaelEMann/status/1032726588759199745
If you're in #YYC I recommend reaching out to the good folks @ClimateHubYYC. Outside of Calgary find your local #ClimateHub. If one doesn't exist for your town, start one. Reach out to @Reality_Canada. Move the ball. Save your soul. Look your kids in the eye & say 'I tried' /93
Or keep doing nothing. Maybe Jim Morrison said it best when he said "I just wanna have my kicks before the whole shithouse goes up in flames." That's the case the least you can do is not throw rocks at those of us who're gonna try. Be useless instead of evil. It's a thought /94
In closing I'll take the occasion to pimp the first thread I ever wrote performing The Work of breaking down complex things into easily digestible chunks, my 'layman to layman' explanation of #ClimateScience. Proud of it like it's my kid /95 https://twitter.com/TheGentYYC/status/1074347445113352193
4 tweets left so I'll squeeze in another shoutout to the person I respect & admire as much as literally any human that's ever walked the earth before her. I of course refer to the incredible @GretaThunberg. Her fight is my fight. Make it yours too /96
And if you're going to title a big bastard of a thread like this "Fear and Loathing" anything you'd better make a nod to the Godfather of Gonzo Journalism, the good doctor Hunter S Thompson. Not the sort of fellow you'd ever want angry at you, especially from beyond the grave /97
Final thanks go to you, the reader, the quote-tweeter, the retweeter, the sharer, the liker. You came to matter to me. Very grateful for every engagement that isn't calling me a dumb bastard. Feel free to share your #FearAndLoathingInAB tweets & I'll attach to the post-thread /98
I close with this to remind us all that this province has experience in helping true Greatness flourish. May it do so again. The Gent loves you. Now get off your asses /99 [END]
All for now and thanks for reading. If you feel like supporting the work I do on threads like this you can buy me a cold beverage of the adult nature through this here tip jar thinger and I thank you kindly: https://ko-fi.com/thegentyyc 
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And finally, if you're getting value from this thread you may want to check out my "Genthology", containing 30 threads (and counting) on all the biggest, most critical issues of our time. Buckle up and bring whiskey. https://twitter.com/TheGentYYC/status/1282842353980411905
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