The Political RnD Podcast & Blog is owned and operated by Robbie Kreger-Smith & Deirdre Mitchell-MacLean. Both have experience in partisan politics but felt it wasn’t for them, however, both are passionate about politics and public policy, writing, and discussing the events and decisions that shape our country. In 2020, Political RnD welcomed Mark Taylor and Jeremy Appel to the team as regular contributors.

About Deirdre

Every article is based on facts and research. People who support lying politicians or media don’t tend to like my attitude. If I can’t back it up, you won’t see it on my page. I also like sarcasm, satire and sometimes swear. It gets me through the day.

The Story

The usual story of blending something you love with something you’re passionate about.  As with most things, it, and I, have evolved.

I began reporting on events I attended in person and chronicled the Jason Kenney Show from January of 2017 to the 2019 election. That was a lot of Jason Kenney. I am a storyteller and I told the story.

Now the focus is on the Kenney-led government and ensuring people have facts to fight the misinformation that comes from politicians and, unfortunately, representatives of our governments. I’m a political myth buster.

In 2018 I started the This Week in AB podcast and I’m still feeling my way around that. In 2019 I collaborated with Robbie Kreger-Smith on this podcast and blog.

Oh, and I’m a super geek who gets exceptionally excited when I stumble upon a website that has every Speech from the Throne since 1965. Information, factual information, that I can access every minute of every day is the BEST thing about the end of this decade. I also hate being wrong so I fact check. A lot.

There are a lot of people who contribute advice, direction, and information to Political RnD. My thanks to every one of them.

About Robbie

I’ve always been politically interested, but in 2015 I decided it was time to put my money and my time where my mouth was and roll up my sleeves.

I started volunteering with the Alberta Party and successively became a Constituency President, Provincial Board Member, Regional Organizer, Social Media Manager, Communications Chair, and eventually Vice President of Communications. After resigning from the Provincial Board in Fall of 2018, Leader Stephen Mandel and the Party hired me as a Media Relations Director, a position that I held until I resigned prior to the 2019 Provincial Election.

My experience in partisan politics was both enriching and enraging. It is hard to be a part of a large organization that you may not always agree with or support and be an effective team player. Largely, my experience taught me that at some point in politics you will be expected to compromise your values, and after a couple of experiences that left me with a sense of apprehension I decided it would be best that I focus on my love of politics in a manner that would allow me to be authentic to my values.

I love satire, having deep conversations with people smarter than I am, I’m a constant learner, and aspire to push politicians to do what is in the best public interest, driven by compassion, data, facts, and morality.

I do however wear my heart on my sleeve and can be pretty sassy, and this often comes out in my social media commentary.

About Mark

I’ve been involved with partisan politics since before I could vote in a general election. My first exposure was with the local chapter of the Saskatchewan PC Youth (when they still existed) holding a couple of roles with the provincial organization. After many years of university politics, I returned to partisan politics primarily as a local organizer. 

Putting in the groundwork in establishing local associations lead me to being elected to a number of roles including to the Green Party of Canada’s federal council and the Alberta Party’s provincial board. Additionally, I was heavily involved in multiple campaigns over the years which included getting Danielle Smith elected as a Wildrose MLA and Greg Clark as an Alberta Party MLA. This nearly 30 year career in politics cumulated with being the Executive Director of the Alberta Party for the 2019 general election.

Seeing myself less of a partisan and more of a political “merc”, I have stepped away from political organizing and look forward to sharing my insights and opinions with the team and listeners at Political RnD.