National Newswatch

Danielle Smith’s walk has not matched her talk as Alberta’s premier

Nov 29 2022 — Jen Gerson — “Albertans have had just about enough of this!” Alberta Premier Danielle Smith told Jordan Peterson near the start of an hour-and-a-half-long interview posted online two weeks ago. Well, calling it an “interview” is generous: The good doctor fails to challenge Ms. Smith on any of her sometimes misleading characterizations of Alberta’s plight, and he frequently […]

A little crazy is fine, for a pundit. Not a premier

Oct 20 2022 — Jen Gerson — I had the great joy of catching up with an old friend the other day and the subject of our conversation came around to politics, as it sometimes does. “It seems like the media is giving Danielle Smith a hard time,” she noted, implying that we had not given this woman so much as a […]

Pierre Poilievre’s dominant win is the death knell of moderate conservatism in Canada

Sep 13 2022 — Jen Gerson — With Pierre Poilievre’s decisive victory in the federal Conservatives’ leadership race, the party now has a generational opportunity to radically reimagine what Conservative policies could be palatable to the Canadian public. A strong mandate at his back, the man nicknamed Skippy need only to win the trust of a plurality of the electorate to implement […]

The Glorious Ungovernable Province of Alberta

May 20 2022 — Jen Gerson — The first time I had a proper conversation with Jason Kenney was about six years ago. The NDP were in power in Alberta; the federal Conservatives had cast about for a successor to Stephen Harper and, it was decided by silent consensus, said successor would not be Jason Kenney. So the former federal cabinet minister […]

No one is going to fix housing

Apr 13 2022 — Jen Gerson — Hello fellow home-owning millennials, and the Gen-Z plebians desperate to join us. I understand house lust. I do. You want an okay spot in the city free of the oppression of the landlord. Or, if you’re at that certain time of life, maybe you want a detached house in a decent neighbourhood. Nothing too fancy, […]

On Big Macs and empires

Mar 11 2022 — Jen Gerson — If you happen to be seeking a slice of optimistic post-Cold War nostalgia, may I recommend the following clip from the CBC’s archives. Dated 1990, and featuring a young-ish Peter Mansbridge, it features the opening of the first McDonald’s in Moscow, a cultural milestone, and the beginning of the end of the Soviet era and […]

Ukraine is winning the propaganda war. That will matter, one day

Mar 2 2022 — Jen Gerson — Perhaps it’s simply the inevitable consequence of protracted news overload, but the war in Ukraine feels surreal. Pulling up the news, following Twitter, none of it feels like reality, but rather like we’re all collectively remembering an event that was always destined to happen. Perhaps I’m the only one suffering from this dissociative state? Or […]

Dispatch from the Coutts Front: God, guns, Jenga and Bob Seger

Feb 15 2022 — Jen Gerson — It’s difficult to describe how remote a place Coutts, Alberta really is. To those of us who live in the province, the vast expanse of dun-coloured land and grass, the pump jacks and cattle and dust, the subtle shift of blue and gray sky, the rolling foothills and distant mountains all become so normal after […]

The Backlash

Feb 8 2022 — Jen Gerson — Everyone is a hypocrite. Perhaps this is just a feature of human nature, and I should learn to be more compassionate toward hypocrisy — including my own. No one is consistent all the time, and we all go a little cross-eyed when we’re angry. But, Jesus. In the last few weeks, I’ve watched lefties who […]

The Conservative Party’s identity crisis, post-O’Toole

Feb 3 2022 — Jen Gerson — Well, it looks like the Conservative caucus has decided to do the stupid thing. Shortly after the election, I wrote here at Maclean’s that dumping leader Erin O’Toole would be short-sighted—regardless of how angry anyone was over the disappointing results or their leader’s performance. Very few nail it on their first time out, and there […]

The strange truth is that Alberta wants to be more like Quebec

Oct 19 2021 — Jen Gerson — No doubt a few “Have-Not” provinces will be eyeing the informal results of Alberta’s equalization referendum darkly. The final tally is not expected until next week. It does appear as if the “yes” side will carry the day, although not by as wide a margin as one might have expected given just how unpopular the […]

Cheer up, Tories. And don’t do that stupid thing you’re thinking of doing

Sep 22 2021 — Jen Gerson — It’s come to my understanding that there is some considerable consternation about the future of Erin O’Toole, leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, on the grounds that he underperformed in this week’s election. I cannot help but wonder whether those now implacably resolved to booting the man for being inadequately conservative might, perhaps, consider […]

I have concerns

Sep 17 2021 — Jen Gerson — Throughout this election campaign, I have written weekly round ups on Fridays at The Line. I’m not on the campaign trail, mind, and what I’ve tried to offer here are not daily gaffes or horserace analysis, but rather a sense of the overall themes of the election. This Friday’s blast will be the final summation […]

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