Parliamentary Relatives: The Horner Political Dynasty

Article 1 / 9 , Vol. 44, No. 3 (Fall)

Parliamentary Relatives: The Horner Political Dynasty

“Horner Family Political Dynasty to End; Former Finance Minister who comes from a Long Line of Elected Conservatives Announces that He Will Give up His Seat on Jan. 31,” declared a Globe and Mail headline on January 23, 2015. It is not known how or even if the Horner political clan reacted to the headline. What is clear is that the Toronto-based newspaper had under-estimated the longevity of one of Western Canada’s pre-eminent political families. On April 16, 2019, Nate Horner was elected as the Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta for Drumheller-Stettler, and the long-standing political dynasty based in the Prairies continues.

As with many Prairie families, the Horners started out elsewhere, with the family first settling in Quebec in the 1800s, having emigrated from Ireland. Ralph Horner, one of the sons of the immigrant family, moved to Saskatchewan in the early 1900s, to establish a farm there. He soon entered political life, running, unsuccessfully, for the provincial Assembly on two occasions before being appointed to the Senate in 1933, where he served until 1964.

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Tricorne Tweeting: Alberta’s Speaker Engages the Public and Enhances Democracy

Article 4 / 14 , Vol 42 No. 3 (Fall)

Tricorne Tweeting: Alberta’s Speaker Engages the Public and Enhances Democracy

Interpreting and enforcing the rules of parliament is a central part of a Speaker’s responsibilities within an Assembly. However, it is certainly not the only part of the job. A Speaker is also an ambassador of the Assembly, and it is her or his responsibility to explain, educate and provide resources on parliamentary democracy. A Speaker is, therefore, an advocate and exponent of democracy and democratic institutions. In an effort to fulfill this role and communicate in a way that draws in a large audience, Alberta’s Speaker has created a new digital and social media campaign to engage with Albertans and visitors interested in the province’s parliamentary processes and traditions. In this article, the author outlines aspects of the campaign and explains why a Speaker’s neutral, non-partisan position makes him or her uniquely equipped to advocate and explain parliamentary democracy to citizens and visitors alike.

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