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Alberta is on the verge of a very important election, featuring an extreme right-populist party—the United Conservative Party (UCP)—versus the New Democrats. Anger and Angst: Jason Kenney’s Legacy and Alberta’s Right examines the chaos of the current UCP Alberta government leading up to the election, and asks why it has happened. Answering these questions, this book leaves the reader with a better understanding of politics, ideology, and the New Right.
Anger and Angst has its origins in the aftermath of the 2019 election. In February 2020, a group of academics and other political observers gathered in Edmonton for a free-wheeling discussion of Alberta’s unfolding political scene. Though no one could predict the twists and turns that followed, it was clear to everyone assembled that Alberta was entering a critical, if uncertain, period of political turmoil. Combining 22 essays on politics, the economy & environment, education, housing, childcare, and right-wing populism, this book critically examines the extraordinary years of the UCP’s time in office, 2019-2023, a period arguably the most chaotic in Alberta’s political history.
At this book’s heart lies an account of how the UCP has governed; the ideas, personalities, and social forces that have driven its agenda. The editors argue that an entrenched elite, based largely in the oil and gas sector, is increasingly fearful of losing its power; fearful, more broadly, of the province that Alberta is struggling to become. In an effort to maintain its power, this elite has constructed an elaborate mythology based on a culture of grievance and victimhood. Given the current national discourse around energy transition and provincial autonomy—and the rise of the populist right across Canada—Anger and Angst will provide valuable insights and information to people both inside and outside of Alberta.