Oil Propaganda Breakdown: Enough Is Enough

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In late August 2019 at the Calgary Petroleum Club, representatives from Birchcliff Energy and Tourmaline Oil presented a remarkable piece of petro-propaganda to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. It was instantly retweeted by Jason Kenney, stating “Enough is enough. No more apologies. We are proud of Alberta and Canada’s oil and gas.” Join Team Advantage as we watch and analyze this crypto-fascist piece of media!

The ad in question is produced by Canadians for Canada’s Future, and is located here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BlAil_zuyBw
For more about this industry front group, check out their website:
https://www.canadiansforcanadasfuture.ca

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Ugly Reality: Unions under Alberta’s NDP

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Far from instituting a worker’s state, labour under Alberta’s NDP saw the government pursue wage containment and strike avoidance, often in the process undermining their own union supporters. Why is it that a supposed left-wing government prided itself on delivering zero-percent increases to public sector unions? How did the NDP’s failure to take on the fossil fuel industry make them look weak and hypocritical?

Nick Driedger joins Team Advantage to discuss his latest piece for online publication Organizing Work, entitled “The Ugly Reality of Unions under Social Democracy.”
Read it here: https://organizing.work/2019/10/the-ugly-reality-of-unions-under-social-democracy/

Check out Organizing Work and the WOBcast at https://organizing.work

Chasing the Centre: The Death of the Median Voter

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What’s the logic behind “chasing the centre” as an electoral strategy, and why is it no longer holding up in the age of populism? Why is the strategy of targeting swing voters no longer the key to winning elections? Team Advantage assembles to examine the Median Voter Theorem, assess its assumptions, and explain why this model is failing.

This episode features audio from an Alberta NDP election ad, posted April 3rd, 2019.

MINI-EP: Alberta’s Minimum Wage Freeze

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Alberta’s minimum wage is now “frozen,” which means it will slowly be eroded by inflation. How many minimum- or low-wage workers are there in Alberta, and what do they look like? Joel French, Executive Director of Public Interest Alberta, joins Team Advantage to examine the consequences of the wage freeze, consider who’s affected, discuss the realities of low-wage housing, and think on what to do about that pesky 1%.

Twitter: @JoelFrench and @PIAlberta
Read PIA’s report here.
Read the CCPA’s report on rental housing here.
Read about the 1% doing really great here.

MINI-EP: Trudeau Formula with Martin Lukacs

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Martin Lukacs joins Team Advantage to discuss his new book, The Trudeau Formula: Seduction and Betrayal in an Age of Discontent. How does Trudeau represent a rehabilitation of capitalism’s image after the Harper years? What has been the purpose of Trudeau’s “reconciliation industry?” How does Trudeau understand popular struggle? And last but not least, what happened with the LEAP manifesto during the 2016 Federal NDP convention in Edmonton?

Purchase Martin’s book online: http://www.trudeauformula.com

Green New Deals!

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What’s the history of these Green New Deal proposals? What’s in them, anyways? And how do the policies proposed by AOC, Bernie and the NDP’s “Power to Change: A new deal for climate action and good jobs” compare?

Team Advantage takes a critical look at the history of GND proposals, comparing and contrasting their strengths and weaknesses.

MINI-EP: Debt Panic? Alberta’s Revenue Problem

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After delivering a $4.5 billion corporate tax cut, Jason Kenney’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Alberta’s Finances proposed that Alberta’s expenditures are much too high. Chaired by Janice MacKinnon (who oversaw draconian cuts that shut down 52 rural hospitals in 1993 as NDP Finance Minister in Saskatchewan), the report recommended a $600 million cut to Alberta’s operational spending and a four-year freeze.

Trevor Harrison, director of the Parkland Institute, joins Team Advantage to discuss an alternate blue-ribbon report he recently co-authored, Cutting Through the Blue Ribbon: A Balanced Look at Alberta’s Finances.

How does Alberta’s economy stack up when compared to other provinces and the Canadian average? How does Alberta’s debt compare to the balance-books of other provinces? Are Alberta’s expenditures really out of line? What would happen if Alberta used stable revenue streams (taxation!) to finance its expenditures, and used its non-renewable resource revenues to fund the necessary transition? All this and more…

 

Common Front: Québec’s 1972 General Strike

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In the interest of inter-provincial solidarity, bridging Canada’s language divide, and making Alberta conservatives mad by saying Québec is good and cool: buckle up for an episode about Québec’s 1972 General Strike!

Joined by Central Canada Correspondent Brendan, Team Advantage takes a look at the radical Québecois politics of the late 1960s and early 1970s, culminating in a general strike in 1972. We examine the history of uneven development, the politics of anticolonial struggle, the radicalisation of labour groups, the state repression brought on by the 1970 October Crisis, the death of Michèle Gauthier, and the events of 1971-72.

Follow Brendan on Twitter @NeeedlesEye.
Watch “24 heures ou plus” from the NFB: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPQZAHiZtNw

MINI-EP: Extractive Populism: Wrapping Fossil Fuels in the Canadian Flag

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Isn’t it weird that when Pierre Elliott Trudeau proposed a National Energy Policy in the 1980s, the spectre of nationalization was a horror to the oilpatch— but today, we find this same oilpatch wrapping itself in the Canadian flag?

Professor Shane Gunster joins Team Advantage to discuss his recent piece in the CCPA Monitor, “Extractive populism and the future of Canada,” and unpacks the loaded concepts the fossil fuel industry has mobilized to garner political support and legitimacy.