, 06.09.2022 07:25 AM

My latest: listen up, fellow Albertans

Dear Alberta:

Yes: I was Special Assistant to that dastardly Liberal Prime Minister, Jean Chretien. Yes: I worked on the presidential campaigns of the two Democratic Horsepeople of the Apocalypse, Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton. And, yes: while I may have grown up in Alberta, I haven’t actually lived in Alberta for years.

So why should Albertans (generally) and UCP folks (specifically) listen to Yours Truly?

Well, listen or don’t listen. That’s up to you. But some tell me my campaign record ain’t entirely bad: I have helped win six majority governments, federally and provincially – and I helped secure 70 per cent of the vote in the last Toronto mayoral race, one of the biggest city contests on the planet.

Oh, and this: I love Alberta, and I enthusiastically support Western oil and gas. And I strongly feel that another Alberta NDP government is a bad, bad idea. Because Alberta New Democrats may claim to also support the province’s most important sector – but Alberta’s NDP is formally part of the federal NDP. And the federal NDP hates Western oil and gas.

So, the NDP can’t be permitted to form the next government in Alberta. How to prevent that?

Well, let’s look at how the United Conservative Party got so unpopular, shall we? Let’s examine why a sitting majority Premier was recently forced out by his own party, and why an Alberta NDP win remains a strong possibility.

There are four main reasons. One is this: Alberta has changed. The homophobic, xenophobic tendencies of some in the UCP have alienated urban Alberta voters – who are much more diverse and tolerant than some in the UCP are prepared to accept. So, the UCP needs a leader who attracts the support of Albertans of every colour, faith and sexual orientation.

Two: discipline – as in, lacking it. As Jason Kenney discovered the hard way, the discipline that was the hallmark of the Stephen Harper years, federally, has been sorely lacking in the UCP. Consultation with caucus, and respect for caucus, went out the window – and civil war broke out, big time. So, the UCP needs a leader who knows Harper-style discipline – but also Harper-style caucus management.

Three, knowing which fights to have with Ottawa – and which fights to avoid. Like it or not, energy is a shared jurisdiction between Ottawa and the provinces. It’s right there in the Constitution. That means finding a Premier who knows and understands Ottawa – but isn’t cowed by the federal Liberals, as Rachel Notley government would always be. A Premier who can go toe-to-toe with Justin Trudeau.

Fourth and finally: the UCP needs a winner. Danielle Smith is nice enough, but she did a secret deal with the Alberta Tories, and thereby blew apart Wildrose. Brian Jean is genial – but he loses more than he wins, and he has shown that he is better at division than unity. So, the UCP needs a leader who can win, and has a record of winning every election she has ever run in.

She? Yes, she, Alberta. Michelle Rempel-Garner.

Full disclosure: I know her. I like her. She’s a friend.

But, objectively, Rempel-Garner has what the UCP needs to win again. She fights for tolerance and diversity, and is better-aligned with modern Alberta. She was a senior Harper minister, and knows the value of discipline – and how to maintain it without alienating caucus. She knows the corridors of power in Ottawa because she’s been a longtime MP – but no one knows how to get under Trudeau’s skin better (trust me). Finally, she’s a winner in a way that Smith and Jean never were and never will be.

Will she run? No idea.

But she should.



[Kinsella is a proud Albertan, and would still be there if the NDP hadn’t wrecked the place.]


  1. PJH says:

    Wha?….that woman had the nerve to support that feller Patrick Brown….instead o’ Pierre….I won’t go fer that!
    Cletus, the slack jawed yokel Albertan….

  2. Warren,

    Obviously, you ain’t fronting for her but I sure as hell wish you were. She has largely dropped the Harper-inspired preachiness in recent years, much to her credit. Look how great preachiness is going over in central and eastern for Pierre.

    In short, I also hope she runs. But you know how difficult those phone calls can be for women in particular. Just ask Candice in a previous incarnation.

  3. As an aside, I always found it humorous how much of caucus was scared shitless of Harper. Granted, he did have him moments – I can think of one particular chair in Montreal in 2004 but by and large that wasn’t really his personality.

    But that’s the intrinsic beauty of fear, just the possibility or prospect thereof can really keep people in line. LOL.

  4. ghoris says:

    Weren’t you long gone from AB before 2015 when Notley got in? And “wrecked the place”? Seriously? I know NDPers and Liberals tend to hate each other more than they hate the Tories, but really this is a bit much.

    I respectfully agree to disagree about the merits of an NDP government versus the UCP. Lord knows the NDP ain’t perfect and they have lots of time to shoot themselves in the foot, but I will offer the reason why I was out on the UCP pretty much from the get-go.

    In their first budget, they allocated $30-million for the energy “war room” (you know, the agency set up to fight nefarious foreign interests astroturfing against the Alberta energy sector, that their own public commission later was unable to find any evidence of). The “war room” has proven to be nothing more than an embarrassment and a job-creation program for politically-connected good old boys.

    In the same budget, the UCP decided to de-index AISH payments, in order save a measly few million. Less than a rounding error in the overall budget and far less than the cost of the preposterous “war room”, but the UCP decided to put the hammer to Alberta’s most vulnerable people. It was a mean-spirited move – nothing more, nothing less.

    I do not understand how anyone of good conscience – left or right, could support them. If MRG promises a wholesale change of direction, I’ll certainly give her a look, otherwise May 2023 can’t come soon enough.

  5. Gilbert says:

    Brian Jean and Danielle Smith ate both very capable. I doubt the NDP will win again in Alberta. Mr. Singh should end his support for the hopeless PM.

  6. Shiftless Zigoto says:

    Alberta is a dead end right now.
    Oil industry country when the shift to electric needs to happen, Rempel is smarter than this. If/when Poilievre loses in 2025 she should be at the front to be CPC leader, and she can beat whomever is the Liberal chief at that point.

    Alberta? They’ll vote for the Blue option, or the Orange option if the Blue one is a dead end. Forget it.

  7. Greg says:

    Another fed MP from Ottawa trying to restart a stalled career by becoming the Premier is not what we need.

  8. Craig McKie says:

    I am surprised you would even try to insert yourself in Alberta politics. It is afflicted with ridiculous 19thC right wing political mumblings in rural parts with obvious ties to the nonsense south of the 49th.
    Its time to rid Canada of profoundly stupid meta-religious theories of governance (as can be found in abundance in the shrinking core of rural Alberta).
    Time to wipe them out for good…..

    • Warren says:

      “Wipe them out”?

      • Well, I’m basically for going along to get along, treating the other with the same level of respect that I would expect from them and then genuinely trying to find as much common ground as is humanly possible.

        I’m not big on group lump-ins or electoral collective “punishment” but hey, that’s just me.

    • Doug says:

      You should be looking towards the lower St. Lawrence for meta-religous/meta-identity theories of governance.

  9. Craig McKie says:

    Aye, ready sir.

    Wipe them out if at all possible. Bury them in workable multi-cultural reality, and d0n’t take archival Jesus-speak for a defence. It is not. This is the 21st Century the last time I checked.

    For the human historical remnants in Lethbridge, Red Deer, and Peace River et al, please do leave for Salt Lake City or wherever if you must and good riddance to you and your loathsome peasant past-seekers.

    • dawn mills says:

      But Craig…is there such a thing as a ‘workable multi-cultural reality’? I see tensions throughout the land…just yesterday I walked out of a Metro in Scarborough only to be aurally assaulted by a black woman spewing how much she ‘hates’ white people. I have no idea what the context of her ‘hate’ was, but heard it nevertheless. I just ignored her as another urban loon. Should I have called the police?

    • R. Marut says:

      You Justin’s speechwriter?

  10. Doug says:

    Agree with Warren’s points, except for the first. Perhaps he has been strategizing too long to remember that AB has always been more progressive than Laurentia. AB allowed women to vote and hold public office first, permitted Sunday shopping and has never had linguistic or Protestant /Catholic divides. The inconvenient truth is that AB was homesteaded rather than colonized. It was never an attempt to recreate some European society with all of the baggage. It is post multi-cultural in an American multijg pot sense. Stoking fear of the unknown is always an effective method to rile emotions and manipulate behavior. The Liberal party owes much of its success to playing to Laurentian fears of losing influence to American economic and cultural might, and western Canadian population and economic growth.

    Kenney did not fail because of policies. He made progress towards reducing overfunding of health and education and improved the overall business climate. Warren already identified discipline as his main shortcoming. He should have ejected public dissenters right away and refused to sign Jean’s nomination. An NDP government unconstrained by low resource revenues would be a massive regression towards unsustainable opex.

    If I still lived in AB, I would support MRG over the alternatives. Her leadership skills are somewhat unknown. Much like Kenney she worked her way up as an attack dog. That may not translate. I think she could sweep Calgary, win a few seats in public sector land and probably take the majority of rural seats.

  11. What?

    MRG exits Brown campaign to consider UCP run?

    That’s not how it’s supposed to be done. You’re supposed to gauge your support level and quantify it. Only then should you exit Brown’s campaign or anyone else’s. You certainly don’t jump ship if you’re only in the consideration stage. That’s not a strong enough reason to do so — you want to create immediate momentum right out of the gate so you only make your move once you know that you’ll likely already be the front runner and hit the ground running as soon as you declare that you’re in. Bad strategy on her part.

  12. PJH says:

    She listened…..

    She is a viable candidate for leader of the UCP and now has a graceful exit from Patrick Brown’s floundering leadership campaign….

    Feeds two birds with one scone…..

    • PJH says:

      Er……on second thought……..

      I now wonder if she will return to the Brown campaign, as chair, along with the campaign manager who followed Ms. Rempel out….

      It would appear that the Cletus’s within the UCP made her application to run, difficult……

      No surprise there….Hayseeds and rubes doing what they do best…..wanting to keep intelligent, articulate women down, preferably barefoot and pregnant as well…..

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