Beware the queen bees…

IN THE PARTISAN HIVE that is Alberta, we have two careerist politicians vying to be the Queen Bee.

Danielle Smith is crushing polls in the UCP leadership race and Rachel Notley is the long-standing NDP matriarch.  

Like Pierre Poilievre & Justin Trudeau, these two female opponents are mirror opposites, in what they represent and how they pitch themselves. Danielle is aggressively reaching out to freedom fighters stung by federal politicians and shamelessly demands Quebec-style sovereignty association in Alberta. Rachel sets a more virtuous tone, focusing on principled conversations about healthcare and education but always virtue-signalling to keep her “woke” base slaked. 

We should expect a battle royale. Danielle will give it her all to break the spell of so-called virtuous leadership and Rachel will call out Danielle for inciting the mad-as-hell-and-not-going-to-take-it-anymore mob. 

FACT: A queen bee’s stinger is reserved as a weapon to use against other queens. When a queen encounters another queen, the result is often a fight-to-the-death. When you’re at the top, there’s nowhere to go except down. 


It’s an old Russian joke that Albertans can laugh at, with one bitter addition: All current political choices in the province are worse. If you’re still reading this, and you’re parked outside of the two opposing points of politics, we imagine you don’t have a political home.

Some people shrug their shoulders, convinced that all politicking is a facade. As we’ve seen with successive federal Conservative party leaders, there’s the possibility that Danielle (and maybe Rachel too) will be convinced to dilute strong ideological positions after she comes to power.  It’s an irritating tactic—bait & switch. 

What really matters is figuring out ways for ‘severely normal’ citizens to have a voice in political decisions…without resorting to angry tirades and incitement (more on the language of gaining attention in the next post in this mini-series).

What’s needed to soften the Notley cult and the UCP’s belligerent agenda—and sustain a home here in Alberta that we’re all comfortable with—are political insiders who can pollinate the two hives with fresh ideas and perspectives. 

Don’t hold your breath.

Notley has been criticized, even by insiders, for her habit of censoring people she doesn’t agree with. She’s deaf to voices that don’t parrot the ND politburo, even those screaming to be heard. And Danielle’s approach is akin to the borg: resistance is futile, you will be assimilated—squelching differences and distilling all conservatives into one “happy” family. 

We’ll be posting a series of rapid fire blogposts over the next week, and probe what’s going on in Alberta’s partisan hives. Not all of you will agree with us—and that’s fine by any account. Mind you, if you’ve got ideas that are screaming to be heard, please, let us know. Fire away!

This column is the consensus opinion of the writers Donna Kennedy-Glans & Don Hill. If you haven’t already, please subscribe to BEYOND POLARITY — scroll down on your phone or tablet, or look to the right in the panel beside this post. Enter your email to FOLLOW, a wheel spins, hamsters get fed.

6 thoughts on “Beware the queen bees…

  1. I always enjoy your take but I do think you have an anti-Rachel bias that seems itself to be based in ideology. I think her time in office speaks for her principled reasonableness that might seem “woke” to some. (PS — not sure why being inclusive is a bad thing, but ok). I will follow the discussion with interest.

    1. “I think her time in office speaks for her principled reasonableness”

      I agree. The NDP has been criticized for the spending they did while in power, but have you ever noticed nobody ever complains about what they spent the money on? I would argue there was no profligacy on the NDP’s part; they merely spent to maintain the services we rely on.

      Compare that to the ‘fiscal responsibility’ we saw with the UCP. They wasted several billion dollars in revenue with the corporate tax cut that doesn’t seem to have lured any businesses to Alberta; add to that taxpayer dollars spent backing a pipeline that is now the world’s longest horizontal waterslide, the farce that is the energy war room, the non-public public inquiry…

  2. Donna, I know it doesn’t fit the polarization theme, but I am always surprised at how studiously you avoid mentioning or assessing the Alberta Party. That’s where you will find the good governance that Albertans are seeking. Barry Morishita is the ideal candidate to replace these warring extremists.

    1. Don chiming in. The Alberta Party is a distraction. They play to lose. Barry is a nice man. Very nice and belongs in municipal politics, such as they are in Brooks. He ain’t ‘the one’…

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.