Cutting Through the Conspiracy Crap

Here is an email I sent to a friend who is significantly more Conservative than me but with whom I can have a respectful conversation.  He sent me a link to a blog post, that amongst other things, itemizing what purported to be the Tides Foundation funding of the Tar Sands Campaign. He asked me what I thought.  What is it this post is what I sent him.  I deleted his name because he is not the issue.

BTW that “secret strategy” is a decade old and I had a copy of the strategy when it was active, even though I was working for the oil sands “enemy.”  Hardly a secret.  So here is part of what I think.


Hi Friend 

I’m a little surprised you are buying into this political charade by Mr. Kenney.

Here are some more reliable sources of what is really happening.

The Krause “research” has been debunked by EnergiMedia’s  Markham Hislop. 

The impact and influence of  American Foundation funding of the Tar Sands Strategy are put in context in a recent piece in the National Observer.  You can read it on the Reboot Alberta Facebook Group site, October 5th posting. 

When I was working for the OSDG I was told in a CAPP meeting their advertising budget, to respond to the Tar Sands Strategy, was a $25m spend.  I was also told by PEW Research the Tar Sands Campaign had spent about $25m of donated dollars too.

Both efforts were admittedly a waste of time and money.  There was mostly a lot of yelling at each other with competing self-serving narratives, full of misinformation, half-truths and downright deceit in some cases.

This did not move the perceptions of the vast majority of the moderate pragmatic public in who to believe or trust. The far-right industry and the far-left environmentalists all lost out in reputation and public trust.  Edelman’s Trust Barometer work shows this.

Mr. Kenney is spending $32.5m in his War Room to rout out citizens and organizations he deems to be UnAlbertan or his Public Inquiry against those to whom he holds a grudge.  That is about the same amount the Mueller Special Prosecutor spent on Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential Election and the dozen of documented obstruction of Justice activities by Trump while in office.  That is a gross overkill even if the purpose had any governance integrity and wasn’t just a partisan political abuse of power. 

The Alberta political culture of mutual contempt in the Right Vs Left is now infected with more deceitful and divisive drivel that is destroying our democracy.

Neither side in our Legislature is working on the real issues and challenges facing Alberta.  They are intent on fighting with each other as they pander to their Bases. In the meantime, they are letting our economy, environment and society decay on their watch. 

The way out of this is not to pick the best of a bad lot be it the Alt-Right or the Uber-Left.  It’s to re-engage in serious citizenship and get beyond the self-serving hyperpartisanship we are seeing now.

That is what Reboot Alberta is about, designing a better way forward.  We can do better than the Kenney redux of the failed Alberta Advantage by trying to bring back a better yesterday.  Or the NDP public service focus of holding on the stale and unstable status quo.

Feel free to share the links I provided.




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