National Newswatch

British Columbia shows us what happens when we go to pot

Jan 4 2017 — Barry Cooper — Visiting British Columbia is like going to a foreign land without using your passport. Having spent most of my early life there, it’s always fun to see how much has changed. When I was a kid, for example, there was a major moral panic over marijuana use and another about Vancouver being the heroin gateway […]

Once again, Canadian and U.S. leaders have conflicting priorities

Dec 21 2016 — Barry Cooper — Relations between Canadian and American leaders are conditioned by a mix of personal relations and policies. Stephen Harper and Barack Obama were not close pals. For Harper, the president embodied much of what he detested in politicians: Obama seemed indirect, a dithering lawyer, a friend of the phonies of Hollywood, a glib preacher of hope. […]

Tories’ unease with Kenney could hand the NDP the next election

Sep 14 2016 — Barry Cooper — The entry of Jason Kenney into the leadership race of the Alberta Conservatives highlights the often forgotten difference between a political faction and a political party. The addition of Donna Kennedy-Glans to the race may do so as well. We’ll see. Factions keep things quiet and rule with plenty of winks and nods. In Federalist […]

Electoral reform needs mandate

Jul 22 2016 — Barry Cooper — A minor plank in the Liberals’ election platform aimed to ensure “that 2015 will be the last federal election” conducted with the “first-past-the-post” electoral system. It was enshrined in the December throne speech. The objective is “to make sure that every vote counts.” The ensuing media and blogosphere discussion has recapitulated a lot of post-Second […]

Don’t hold your breath waiting for Alberta’s right to unite

Apr 29 2016 — Barry Cooper — After the NDP won the provincial election last year, several grassroots efforts arose to unite the right. Considering the reckless spending the Notley government has undertaken, it might be more accurate to speak about uniting the centre. There is another such meeting this weekend in Red Deer and – full disclosure – I plan to […]

Implications of Nimr al-Nimr’s Execution

Jan 18 2016 — Barry Cooper — On New Year’s Day in Al-Ha’ir Prison south of Riyadh, the Saudi Arabian government executed 47 persons whom they declared to be terrorists or heretics. It was the largest mass execution in nearly 40 years. Forty-three were Sunni members of Al-Qaeda affiliates. Four were Shia and essentially irritants to the government, which under Saudi rules […]

It’s not just Albertans who’ve noticed what Notley is up to

Jan 6 2016 — Barry Cooper — In the federal election last fall, 60 per cent of Albertans voted Conservative. Twelve per cent voted NDP. The provincial NDP were unimpressed. They have continued to govern as if they actually won the election last spring, not that the PCs lost it. Alberta now enjoys a $3-billion carbon tax, which was unmentioned in the […]

Canadians fall prey to the politics of resentment

Oct 28 2015 — Barry Cooper — Last week, several colleagues at the University of Calgary undertook a post-mortem of the federal election. Two of our recent PhD graduates, David Coletto, now CEO of Abacus Data, and Paul Fairie, a principal with Centrality Data Science, provided a fine-grained analysis of what had been a two-part campaign. Part one: Canadians decided that the […]

Central Canadians should be prepared to freeze in the dark

Nov 27 2014 — Barry Cooper — Insufficient pipeline access to tidewater for Alberta crude costs the Canadian government more than $7 billion a year in revenue. To the west, a toxic combination of largely American-funded ideological enviros, who have alarmed already resentment-filled aboriginals, has temporarily stopped the Northern Gateway pipeline. They have slowed the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline (along […]