Three Reasons Why Jason Kenney is Scarier Than Donald Trump

Twitter exploded last night.

Thousands of demonstrators jammed American airports to protest Trump’s Executive Order banning Muslims from certain countries from entering the US.

Refugees traveling with valid documentation, permanent residents with green cards, temporary workers on visas, and dual citizens were detained, some were deported.

ACLU lawyers fanned across the country, meeting with detainees, preparing habeas corpus applications and stay applications and going to court at midnight to argue their case.

Judges issued orders and some customs officials violated them saying they “reported to Trump” not the courts.  Goodbye checks and balances, the rule of law, and the Constitution.

Prime Minister Trudeau expressed his support for the refugees. Premier Notley said “Alberta has always been welcoming to those seeking refuge and that will not change.”

Then Jason Kenney chimed in.

He did not express concern for the detainees or support for the demonstrators, the ACLU lawyers or even the Premier who confirmed Alberta would welcome those seeking refuge.


Jason Kenney

Instead he tweeted nonsense like this:

“Kudos to conservative Republic Congressman @justinamash for challenging the President’s bizarre and counterproductive Executive Order” Trump’s EO is more than “bizarre” and “counterproductive”.  It’s inhumane and unconstitutional. 

“Republicans in Congress who (rightly) challenged President Obama for making law through EOs should now challenge President Trump’s EO.”  What’s Obama got to do with this?

“The USA is and should be our closest ally, but our first obligation is to defend the interests of Canadians & Albertans.”  What????

These tweets illustrate why Jason Kenney is more dangerous than Trump:

  1. Kenney is smarter than Trump

Unlike Trump, Kenney does not make misogynist, racist, xenophobic, or homophobic comments.  He attracts misogynists, racists, xeonophobes, and homophobes and they do it for him.

When challenged about their behavior he responds with a “tut-tut” and posts a photo of himself at an ethnic celebration.  Meanwhile the harassment continues.  Case in point:  Sandra Jansen and Stephen Kahn abandoned the PC leadership race in part because they’d been targeted by misogynist, racist idiots.

  1. Kenney is more effective at manipulating conservatives than Trump

Brian Jean says it’s impossible to form a stand alone new conservative party.

He’s right.  The only way to “merge” the PCs with the Wildrose is to merge the PCs into the Wildrose and give it a new name.  How about the Alberta Conservative Party (Alt-Con?)

The Chief Electoral Officer agrees.

The issue here isn’t that Kenney doesn’t understand that the Wildrose will forfeit $2 million in assets if Kenney pursues his dream of a “new” conservative party, it’s that he’s too pig headed to admit that Brian Jean is right.

Kenney insists the matter is up for debate and his supporters believe him.  This lack of critical thinking on the part of his supporters does not bode well for Alberta.

  1. Kenney is more cynical than Trump    

Kenney wants to slow down the merger process but hasn’t said why.

If he’s elected PC leader, he wants the merged party to be formed in the fall and the leadership race to occur in the spring of 2018.

Jean says this is too late.  (Reg Downs, one of the chief architects of Brad Wall’s Saskatchewan Party, would agree with him).  Jean wants the merged party to be in place by this summer and the leadership race to take place in the fall of 2017.


Brian Jean

Jean’s is moving six months faster than Kenney.  Jean’s plan ensures the new party will have a leader going into the 2017 Legislature and gives the party additional time to get its act together and prepare for the 2019 general election.

Makes sense but Kenney won’t buy it.

Why?  Because Kenney isn’t convinced he’ll win the leadership of the merged conservative party.  It’s one thing to defeat PC leadership candidates with delegate slates stacked with Wildrose members, it’s quite another to take down Brian Jean.

Jean’s polling numbers are higher than Kenney’s.  He’s the MLA for Fort MacMurray which practically burned to the ground and he lost his son while he was campaigning for the leadership after Danielle Smith crossed the floor.  He’s quietly supported some of Notley’s social policies and publicly told supporters who chant offensive chants or brandish offensive signs to “…stay at home and keep their opinions to themselves.”  Compared with Kenney he looks like Mother Teresa.

Kenney would rather see the new party enter the Legislature this fall without a leader (would that make Jean the Acting Leader of the Official Opposition?) than risk losing to Jean.

Or maybe Kenney is afraid to face Notley in the Legislature.  Kenney could punt a WR or PC MLA out of his/her seat, trigger a by-election and demonstrate his prowess vis-à-vis Notley for a couple of terms before the next election.  He’d get brownie points if he’s effective and raspberries if he’s not.  Surely, he’s not worried she’d destroy his chances in the general election.

Where does this leave us?

I’m not a conservative by any stretch of the imagination, but I’d urge all conservatives to compare Brian Jean’s merger plan with Jason Kenney’s and ask themselves which is the best path to success.

While they’re at it, they should look across the border and decide whether the cost of electing a cynical self-serving politician is worth it.

Sources: Calgary Herald Dec 6, 2016, A4 and Jan 28, 2017 A3

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39 Responses to Three Reasons Why Jason Kenney is Scarier Than Donald Trump

  1. midgelambert says:

    Kenney is a master at passive-aggressiveness. All his smarmy comments have that nasty little edge that will always linger after he protests how polite and considerate he is always. Meanwhile, I am going to refill my popcorn bowl and watch the rest of the show.

    • Midge, “passive aggressive” is a great way to characterize it. Interestingly what he really means comes through loud and clear to his supporters. I think that’s why his dog whistles are even more dangerous than Trump’s. At least with Trump you know when he’s made a racist or whatever comment. It’s not that clear with Kenney (unless you’re listening for it).

  2. Judy Johnson says:

    Another excellent, thoughtful post, Susan. Let’s see…what if we considerably lightened Kenney’s hair and skin tone? All he’d have to do is put on the piggy pout and he’d be a Trump doppelganger.

    • Judy wouldn’t that be a sight to behold–Kenney channeling Trump. Actually the one who’s got Trump down pat is Leitch. Her campaign manager went bananas on Twitter yesterday. I think it was in relation to the Muslim ban but the language he used was way over the top. Makes you wonder why these guys get so flipping ANGRY at acts of human kindness. Bizarre.

  3. Ed Henderson says:

    Good insight Susan..wish there was someplace Mr Kenney could go to find a job other than Alberta.

    • Ed our only hope is to humiliate him in the 2019 election. Although I think we’ll be rid of him sooner if Brian Jean takes the leadership of the Alt-Con party away from him. I suspect Kenney thinks he needs the extra time to guarantee a win. He’s already bailed out of the federal CPC race. If he loses to Brian Jean his political career is over.

  4. Ruthann Watson says:

    Agree. JK is much more intellegent and crafty. Also very well aware of the power of words. Interesting that he’s able to put aside his religious devotion when it comes to innuendo which promotes discord.

    • Great point Ruthann. People like Kenney and Mike Pence gush with religious devotion when it comes to forcing someone else to do what they want (ie don’t marry someone of the same sex) but when it comes to showing tolerance for another person’s values and beliefs there’s not enough religious devotion to go around. Trump on the other hand doesn’t even try to cloak his prejudices and biases in religious terms. He’s just down right nasty.

      • Kalina Dunn says:

        Hypocritically nasty – do as I say but not as I do. Don’t marry someone of the same sex but it is okay to be in a long time relationship with someone of the same sex. Doesn’t matter to me as I believe in freedom to choose but I cannot accept hypocritical behavior like this.

  5. jerrymacgp says:

    Brian Jean has a streak of fundamental decency that Mr Kenney has not, so far, demonstrated. His problem is that he is unable to rein in the more extremist voices in his caucus or party. Look at what happened when he tried to sanction Derek Fildebrandt over his behaviour in the Leg. during Katherine Wayne’s visit. An Alt-Con party led by Mr Jean would be just as scary as one led by Kenney, because he would not be able to control the nutbars.

    • Jerry, that’s exactly what Danielle Smith said about Brian Jean on her radio show last year. She said she’d been pushed out of the party by the hardliners who went ballistic when she tried to introduce a proposal explicitly supporting LBGTQ rights. The proposal when down in flames, ostensibly because such rights were already protected in the general statement protecting rights. She said Jean was walking a fine line between the hard liners and the more progressive (if that’s not an oxymoron) Wildrosers.
      In any event when Jean announced his bid for the leadership of the Alt-Con party he said the Wildrose party respects “civil rights” — which could mean anything. Given that he’s competing with Kenney for the leadership, he’s going to be pulled further to the right in order to prove his bona fides to the nutbars.

  6. SOLIDARITY | PLEASE NOTE: at 6:30pm tonight Monday Jan. 30, 17, there will be a solidarity vigil for the victims of the massacre at a mosque in Quebec City. The event is hosted by the Alberta Muslim Public Affairs Council and takes place at the Alberta Legislature. Bring a candle if you can, and your deep heart. In community – LCA

    • Thanks for this Leo. I believe there’s a similar event being held in Calgary.
      The fact we need to come together in support of the victims was made very clear last night–Mayor Nenshi tweeted “When Muslims hear of a death, we say Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un – We belong to God, and to him we return.” Most people tweeted back, thanking him for his leadership but sprinkled in among the comments were racist slurs telling him all Muslims were terrorists and the only true god was the Christian god, etc. That started a dialogue about whether it’s better to engage in a dialogue with racists or block them. The majority favoured blocking them because you really can’t talk sense to some people.

      • Indeed amiga; there are times when blind fanaticism or willful ignorance makes meaningful dialogue rather impossible I am afraid – by the way, the vigil in Edmonton was well attended, a good sense of community & belonging – hearing the word solidarity repeated a few times was refreshing as well, and our leadership both provincial and municipal was up to the task. I am glad Mayor Nenshi remains engaged in these essential matters – I salute him, and you as well for helping illuminate the journey; gracias. Abrazos | LCA

  7. Carlos Beca says:

    Jason Kenney bullied everyone in the PC party but, like you very rightly said, he is not sure he can do the same to Brian Jean. To me they are the same type of people except that Jason Kenney is worse. I do not have the positive opinion you seem to have of Brian Jean. I do not trust either one of them.
    So to me the best that can happen is that they run for a unified party and discredit each other to the point of no return. I am sure Jason Kenney will do it. He has done it to Sandra and Khan and he will have no problem with Bryan Jean.
    Rachel Notley on the other hand is confident she will win another majority and does not reform our electoral system. It will be the greatest error of her 4 year experiment. With Proportional Representation we could make sure that there is always a progressive voice in the Alberta Legislature.

    • Carlos, let me clarify my comments about Brian Jean…I prefer Jean to Kenney only because Jean is the lesser of two evils, but that’s not saying much. Both of them appear to believe (as Reagan and Thatcher did) that a small government and unregulated private sector will deliver prosperity for all, and those who don’t achieve prosperity either don’t deserve it or through some physical or mental disability their failure is not their fault. The rich will take care of the “worthy poor” through charity. The “layabouts” can fend for themselves. It’s a very moralistic approach to the causes of income inequity.
      You make a very good point about them discrediting each other. I hadn’t thought of that but of course you’re right, Kenney is a no-holds barred guy and Jean will either have to get into the gutter with him or lose.
      When Kenney was at St Ignatius University he wrangled with Father Cartwright who said this about him: “You meet these people who believe they have a particular capture on the Gospel, and they tend to be inflexible. There’s right, and there’s wrong—no grey areas. If you don’t agree with them, then you’re pretty much the enemy.” Here’s the link:

      • Ed Henderson says:

        Hi Susan. The comments here seem to assume that Mr Kenney will win the pending leadership convention. Is everyone taking that as a given,,that Mr Kenney will win?
        I think it would be a very foolish thing for Mr Jean to attempt to form one combined party if Mr Kenney is the one he has to work with to do it.

      • Carlos Beca says:

        Ed I do not think that Jason Kenney will win. He will force his win, of that I have no doubt. He has no qualms whatsoever to do it and the way the PC party and the other candidates are behaving, it will be quite easy for him.
        Yes I agree with you that Jason Kenney / Brian Jean combination is foolish but it was the only way Brian had out of what Jason Kenney is forcing on him. Brian knows that the only way he can stay on top is to challenge Jason for the leadership. It was one of the few smart things I have seen him doing in my opinion. Otherwise Jason Kenney will terrorize his way into the Wildrose. Jason Kenney did not expect that move 🙂

      • carlosbeca says:

        Yes Susan I understood your point clearly and I know exactly what you mean and I agree that Bryan is definitely the lesser of the two evils. Their concept of society is as ridiculous as believing that with 9 billion people on the planet we can all go back to the land.
        I am not surprised with the Walrus story. That is Jason Kenney. Rigid, self righteous, disrespectful bully.

      • carlosbeca says:

        Oh sorry I forgot – Religious extremist, just like his mentor Steven Harper. They believe that the concept of the market was passed to man by God.
        Brain dead people that is what they are. Unable to discuss anything or cooperate with others. History repeats itself.

      • Ed, good point. We are assuming Jason Kenney will win the upcoming PC leadership race. I’ve made this assumption based on the media reports that say Kenney has more delegates than Stark, but this assumption may be incorrect, perhaps Kenney is overstating his support (it’s a classic political ploy). Like Carlos, I worry that Kenney will find a way to take the leadership one way or another. We’ll know soon enough. The really big challenge for Kenney will be taking the Wildrose away from Jean who is correct in saying it’s not legally possible for the Wildrose to transfer its assets to a new party. Kenney seems to think that rolling the two parties into a new entity will let them start with a clean slate but that ignores the fact that the party members are still the same old Wildrosers and PCers they are today. They’ll be scrapping like cats and dogs before you know it.

  8. Brendon says:

    Hi Susan, another informative and insightful post. Personally, I’m a little nervous about the future of Alberta politics. On one hand we have JK, a bully with a hidden agenda who (IMO) really hasn’t put together a strong case for what he would do for Alberta. Then we have Brian Jean, who is just too emotional and really needs to mature as a leader. Choosing between either one of them is a painful experience. Sadly, unless the economy can turn around or the NDP can seriously demonstrate a strong road-map for Alberta’s future, there’s a very good chance that JK will be our next premier.

    • Brendon, I too am nervous about the future of Alberta politics for precisely the reasons you’ve laid out. Your point about JK not laying out his agenda for Alberta is bang on. That’s why I think he’s smarter than Trump. Trump told everyone what he would do if he was elected, the voters (1) loved it, (2) didn’t believe he’d do it or (3) were willing to accept it in order to get change. JK isn’t sharing his vision for Alberta with anyone. His spiel is nothing more than “Alberta is suffering” therefore we have to “get rid of the socialists” and all will be sunshine and lollipops, but his voting record as a federal MP and his support for the niqab ban and the barbaric practices tip line speak volumes. I only hope enough Albertans focus on this when they’re asked to check the box in 2019.

  9. PS. many complexities unfolding in several levels … A few years back I read a book entitled “I See Satan Fall Like Lightning” by French thinker, theologian & philosopher the late Rene Girard. On it, he explores the story of good and evil – sacrifice and scapegoating; he holds the gospels as mirrors that reveal our broken humanity; yet, he posit they also reflect a new reality that can make us whole – it is most definitely worth reading, when your time permits. One thing that I retain from it is that (if) humanity is to have a chance at redemption at all, the path of nonviolence is the only one left for us all … Abrazos | LCA

    • Leo, thank you for the book suggestion. I’ll look for it. Right now I’m reading The Collapse of Globalism by John Ralston Saul. Saul does a nice job out explaining why globalism hasn’t worked. He makes the point that playing with false populism, “whether in earnest or as a distraction” is dangerous. We’re seeing this in spades as Trump rolls out his anti–globalism agenda which is based on the false belief that the hollowing out of the middle class is the fault of the Mexicans and Chinese. He hypes the fear factor with the Muslim ban when the chance of being killed by a terrorist is 1 in 3 million and he’s pretending to control corporations by forcing one or two to keep their factories going in the US, when he should really be focusing on bigger issues like corporate taxation and wealth redistribution.
      People are buying it. I worry how they’ll react (and who they’ll blame) a couple of years from now when their lot in life has not materially changed…

  10. Well said again Susan. The times are bristling with action and reaction, but I have a slightly different take on all the protestations. It’s a bloody shame the Americans who protest now didn’t vote when they had the chance then; their failure has resulted in a global reaction of protest: Thanks

  11. Rusty, wouldn’t it be interesting if the Americans could have a do-over. As you point out many who failed to vote would show up this time to turf Trump. Now all they’re left with is the hope that Trump will eventually do something so egregious he gets impeached. Apparently the bookies are giving 1 in 4 odds of Trump being impeached within the next 6 months. Here’s my concern: he won’t go quietly and will try to bring the entire US government down with him.
    What a mess.

  12. FYI | Message from Robert Philp, Queen’s Counsel,
    Chief of the Commission and Tribunals | Alberta.

    Re: Shooting at a Quebec City mosque | “I am shocked and extremely saddened about the violent attack on the Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec that took place in Quebec City this past Sunday. That this terrifying act happened in this country, in a place of innocent worship, counters everything that we are and that we stand for as Canadians. A mosque is a sacred place of worship where all Muslims and all people should feel safe and protected. In Alberta, and in Canada, we uphold the fundamental principle that all persons are equal in dignity, rights and responsibilities without regard to religious beliefs. It is our diversity, including our diversity of beliefs that makes us stronger and unites us as people. During this dark time, hate, violence and intolerance have emerged in their most horrific form. We must unite and reach out to one other with love and support. Collectively, we mourn for those lost and we mourn with their families, friends and communities. Together we stand in our common humanity.” – (January 31, 2017) |

  13. Carlos Beca says:

    Well this is outside of this subject but I think that it is very important. We have talked many times about democratic renewal and in face of Justin Trudeau’s decision to get out of reforming the electoral system I sent him this message:

    You know very well that you never intended to do anything about the electoral system.

    One of your assistants wrote me an email in response to my question about it and told me that you did not like Proportional Representation.

    Suddenly during the election you became the great defender of democratic renewal and of changing the absurd electoral system we have.

    You chose Maryam Monsef for minister because you could easily manipulate her. You also used Canadians to vote for you because you knew that people were very concerned about the return of more Harper.

    You used Canadians for your self interest and you are a LIAR. I am now embarrassed to have you as our prime minister and I will do my best to get you down and out. You many times said that Harper underestimated Canadians but so did you.

    You will wear this one whether you are Teflon or not. We now have means to make sure than people will remember this well.

    It is very sad to witness the beginning of your fall.

    We need a fair and democratic electoral system because it is 2017.

    You may not agree with me and electoral reform but if you do please do also write Justin Trudeau and let him know. Once again a prime minister is taking us all to the cleaners and they do not care even when around the world the political systems are in upheaval because of status quo politicians and the blunt disrespect they show towards people and the democratic process.

    Thank you for reading and the giving me the opportunity to get people to do something about this.

    • Carlos, thank you for sharing your letter to Justin Trudeau with us. I was very very disappointed when Trudeau reneged on his promise of electoral reform. The promise was a bedrock campaign promise that the NDP say he repeated 1,813 times, including in Parliament as part of the Throne Speech.
      He abandoned this promise in a very slippery way, first by undermining the activities of the committee set up to make it happen and then by announcing his decision to drop it in his mandate letter to the Minister of Democratic Institutions instead of at a press conference which would have put him on the spot. (Incidentally the mandate letter starts with the sentence “Canadians expect us to fulfill our commitments.”)
      Trudeau says he’s not going ahead with electoral reform because “there’s a lack of consensus” and “no clear path forward.” That’s ridiculous. If a majority government wants to do something it goes ahead and does it. It doesn’t pause for a nanosecond to develop “consensus” and a “clear path forward.”
      Trudeau made this cynical decision because an Angus Reid poll conducted in Nov showed that 66% of Canadians don’t think electoral reform is a high priority. In other words he thinks he can get away with it. We’ll see whether the people agree with him.

      • Carlos Beca says:

        Well I do not believe in the Angus Reid Poll. We should not be making policy decisions based on polls. We know well how accurate they are.
        Any person that accepts that it is ok to have a majority with 39% of the votes is not a democrat and that alone should be sufficient to change the electoral system. He never wanted it but he knew Canadians were ready for it. Not sure if he used Angus Reid to include it to his campaign promises. Anyway the 2015 election may not have been the last with the First Past the Post but it was my last one. I will not bother send my vote to the garbage.

      • Carlos Beca says:

        The excuses Justin Trudeau used are mind boggling and ridiculous. So he is worried about White Nationalists but he is not worried about the Quebec Separatists have been the Opposition when their votes were all concentrated in Quebec and thanks to the First Past the Post gave them a strong foothold in Parliament. What a bunch of nonsense.
        He will wear this one.

  14. carlosbeca says:

    IF you believe in Democracy and if you believe we can do better and that we do have a responsibility to defend our Democratic process – PLEASE do write your MLA and cc it to Justin Trudeau.

  15. carlosbeca says:

    I meant MP – actually your MLA as well – Include them all – they all need to wake up to how they are destroying our democracy with lobbying with lack of respect of the people that vote for them and defending interests rather than the public good.
    Thank you

  16. Carlos, I agree with you about the polls for two reasons: (1) there’s no point in going to the polls to decide whether to enact a policy that helped get you elected and (2) they’ve been shown to be pretty useless in any event.
    Your suggestion that we write to our MPs and MLAs is bang on. Apparently Americans are flooding their congressmen with emails and phone calls to protest against what Trump is doing and the politicians are beginning to pay attention. This means that they understand that they need the people’s support if they hope to be re-elected. Things are not quite the same here in that Canadians seem to vote for the party leader or the party before they vote for their local representative, but letting your local representative know you’re very unhappy can’t hurt.
    Lastly, please don’t give up and not vote in the next election. If the people give up government will roll right over us.

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