06.30.2016 09:00 AM

The former Minister of Curry in a Hurry should Worry

…because his prospects are blurry.

Jason Kenney, who I genially detest, is apparently heading back to Alberta, because he knows his flavour of conservativism – socially, fiscally and politically antediluvian conservativism – is dead as a proverbial doornail in Ottawa.

He apparently thinks that his political future is found in Alberta. I think he’s wrong about that. Reasons:

Will he run anyway? Of course he will.  He’s never held a job in the real world, and he thinks he’s a genius.

I therefore look forward to his humiliation in the next Alberta provincial election.

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22 Comments

  1. Eric Weiss says:

    If the 48 Year Old Virgin thinks he’s going to go into Alberta and be the saviour of Alberta’s right wing, he’s been in Ottawa far too long.

    1. Nobody is going to unite the WRP and PCs. One will have to die of attrition and the PCs are pretty much doomed.

    2. The PCs hate Kenney. He campaigned for the WRP in the last few elections, and unlike the federal conservatives, there are still “Progressive” Conservatives in the party.

    3. The WRP is riding a little high on the leadership of Brian Jean’s performance during the Ft. Mac fires. They’re not replacing him any time soon. They know Notley is beatable, and they think Jean can do it.

    4. The PC party brand has more stink on it than Notley’s NDP. Albertans aren’t going to vote for them again. No matter who’s in charge. The last Federal Tory from Harper’s government who was supposed to sweep in and bring it back to glory made sure of that. If Kenney thinks he can do it, well then he’s a special type of delusional and I for one would love to watch the train wreck.

    All Kenney can do is maybe keep the PC party in Alberta alive for one more election and ensure another Notley term.

    • Charlie says:

      The health of the right in Alberta largely depends on the Brian Jean’s success.

      If the WRP can manage to hold on to a leader for more than five minutes without trying to put a knife through their back, then Jean has a chance at proving himself to Albertans still on the fence about his party.

      If the WRP can manage to go five minutes without saying something either racist, sexist or downright stupid, then they might be able to solidify their spot as the alternative to the ABNDP.

      These are huge, huge “ifs”.

      Because the PC isn’t going anywhere. Voters punish parties, but can’t totally annihilate them unless there is a competent and formidable alternative to take their spot. Thus far, the WRP has proven themselves as being completely incapable of keeping themselves together as an Opposition in a respectable manner. This is what happens when you put protest parties in politically meaningful places.

      Another factor is that the ABNDP may just be a flash in the pan as the party still lacks candidate/MLAs and support that would be deem them electable on their own merit. The NDPs 2015 election to government came mainly as a protest vote against the PCs. Voters who are typically socially liberal were looking for a place to park their votes, and that was never going to be the WRP. I don’t know if the NDP has made the sort of infrastructure of individuals in Alberta to attain another majority without a protest vote. Many of their MLAs are rookies with no experience in governance or even professional life. If the PC are able to attract star candidates from urban centres with stellar backgrounds, then that could signal a reviving of the party. This would mean big trouble for the ABNDP.

      The main point is, Alberta isn’t as conservative as people once thought it was. The PCs were by and large very liberal minus a few issues that put them at odds with progressive thought (but thats part of the struggle trying to carry two sides at once). Voters will look for parties that reflect their views best and that could mean a rift between hard right and hard left politics. Its up to the WRP to figure out what kind of party it wants to be, because there is a space for them to win and Brian Jean is the kind of leader that people could get behind and the kind of leader that doesn’t tolerate the sort of backwards rhetoric that permeates amongst ultra conservatives.

      Again, there are a lot of “ifs” because these things have yet to be determined. Centre right politics across Canada is undergoing a major revision. The Manitoba PCs for example, succeeded in winning the trust of voters. This involved a total 360 degree turn in the conduct of Brian Pallister –who all of a sudden, has made himself likeable. Because of this, lots of urban voters were comfortable enough to vote for the PCs. I don’t know if Jason Kenney can do what Brian did because Jason is a pretty abrasively stubborn guy. Which would explain his affliction for the WRP’s “no concession” attitude.

      If political parties want to win government in Canada then they need to come relatively to the centre, thats just how it works in our political landscape. With minor nuances in difference, most of our political parties are similar. But the kind of party that the WRP wants to be is an un-electable party. The kind of person Jason Kenney is would make him incompatible with the PCs.

      My take: the ABNDP is too weak as a party and severely lack the infrastructure and the personalities to sustain itself. Bringing in tired old operatives from everywhere in Canada but Alberta is a mistake too because it causes complacency and perpetuates the same kind of thinking. If the PCs start attracting good people now, they have the existing roots in Alberta to build a coalition on of socially liberal, environmentally conscience and fiscally cognizant people. The WRP is more likely to be doomed than anything simply because the party doesn’t understand the importance of cohesion and consensus. Plus, they too suffer from a lack of support in Calgary and Edmonton along with lacking operatives to win them support with younger voters, which is a problem.

      • Eric Weiss says:

        I agree that the WRP has a lot to do to win over middle of the road Albertans. But I also believe that the situation is so dire in Alberta that a lot of people will hold their noses and vote WRP just to ensure that the NDP doesn’t win. A number of PC friends have told me that’s what they will do. But it’s true, there always seems to be bozo eruptions in their ranks come election time.

        Most Albertans understand that Notley had a bad hand dealt with the collapse of oil prices and the Fort Mac fires, but they also look at the increase in corporate taxes, the new carbon tax, and increase to the minimum wage as throwing gas on the fire. All may be laudable goals, but doing it now, while the economy is in the tank was a bad move.

        Anyway, 3 years is a long time. Lots of things can change. But I must say, at least Alberta politics is interesting again.

  2. Darren H says:

    The upcoming ON election will be a good litmus test for the health of conservatism. You do totally overestimate Notley’s popularity in this province even among those of us who voted for her to get the smelly PC’s out. Time will tell, however I’m predicting a very rough ride during the next session.

    • Doris says:

      I doubt that very much. When the cons win in ON it will be because of Wynne and the overwhelming urge to dump her. She will beat herself!

      Conservatism has nothing to do with it, distaste for the currency will be the issue. Patrick brown will be the luckiest man in Town.

  3. A Calgary Reader says:

    (Minor edit required. No need to post.)

    “Kennedy’s style of politics is retrograde everywhere – and in urban Alberta, too.”

    Pretty sure you meant Kenney, not Kennedy.

  4. Luke says:

    I find Alberta’s history of retaining a governing party for many, many years at a time to be fascinating, mainly for its reproducibility over a century or something. I wonder what predictive value that tendency has. Perhaps none. But, I’m inclined to think the NDP’s chances of reelection are not too bad. Years off anyway. Maybe it is a good time for Kenney to go and end his career with a sinking ship as Alberta moves on.

  5. Francis says:

    Sort of goes against the generally held stereotype of left-wing politicians being only career politicians who’ve never held a job outside of politics. I remember doing a little light reading on Jason Kenney a while ago and finding out (much to my shock) that he served as an EA to Ralph Goodale. Which is something of incredible irony, seeing how much disdain he holds for Liberals and the left.

    Point being, Kenney is a political animal –and some people like myself actually think thats fine. But if your primary objective is to champion a fulmination of left-wing ideology and behaviour, then you should hope that you have’t been around long enough to emulate the very characteristic you chastise.

    At the end of the day, Jim Prentice came back in town to save Alberta from itself but it didn’t pan out the way he wanted — and he at least had some corporate finance experience to make his case on. Jason Kenney wants to do the same but wants to save Alberta from the socialists and their elitism. For a guy who has been in politics his whole life, he’s pretty blind to the political climate thats staring him in the face.

  6. Jeff says:

    I think you are a smart guy Warren but I think you are wrong here. Notley is going to get her butt kicked and her party is going back to rump status after next election. I am also confused where the praise for her leadership is coming from because I read a lot and know a lot of people from Alberta and I just see it.

    Not to say that Kenney is the guy though. He has exceeded my expectations in politics but I don’t think he has any more surprises up his sleeve.

    • Eric Weiss says:

      The praise sure isn’t coming from ordinary folks who took the brunt of the recession. The working people who the NDP always pretend they care about.

  7. Happy says:

    “He’s never held a job in the real world, and he thinks he’s a genius.”

    Just like Obama, Trudeau, and Crooked Hillary…

    • Kelly says:

      At least they’re not college dropouts, like Kenney. When you drop out of a philosophy program at a Jesuit school you’re either too dumb or think you’re smarter than your Jesuit professors. In other words, an idiot of the most vain and deluded kind.

      What’s that saying about a little bit of knowledge being a dangerous thing?

    • Charlie says:

      Good god, you are intelligent.

      Obama was a Harvard law grad who went on to be a civil rights lawyer; Justin Trudeau held a BA in Education and worked as a teacher; Hillary Clinton went to Yale law school. practiced and taught law herself. A simple google search could’ve provided you with that much information, but I guess you they never really taught you how to use the internet at whatever trucking school you went to after you dropped out of high school.

  8. Joe says:

    Not sure where you are getting your information Warren but Rachel looked best when she stayed out of the picture and let Brian Jean lead. Kenny is a spent force politically and he has no following in Alberta even amongst the most conservative voters. The problem Kenny has is that he has been Ottawashed (ht to Ted Byfield) and as a result has no base from which to draw. I suspect that the party that foisted Special Ed, Redfau er ford and shimmy Jimmy is throwing what ever it has against the wall to see what sticks hoping to bring the Wild Rose back into the fold. It didn’t work with Danielle and it won’t work with Kenny or Harper or….

  9. e.a.f. says:

    ah, well Jason may be required to face the real world in the not so distant future. Would suggest the poor man is delusional if he thinks one of the two right wing leaders are going to give up their jobs so he can have it. not so much Jason.

    Jason will not become the lord of Alberta, he may do o.k. in his riding, but the rest of Alberta, its much more progressive than Jason understands. He needs to remember who the Mayor of Calgary is.

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