51.4% (the end of Jason Kenney?)

It finally happened.*

Despite the UCP government changing the law to allow the purchase of party memberships without someone’s knowledge or consent, the UCP executive changing the rules setting out when, where, and how Jason Kenney’s leadership review would take place and Kenney’s announcement that an approval rating of 50% +1 was enough for him to stay in power; on May 18, 2022, with a 51.4% approval rating, he conceded he lacked the mandate to continue as party leader.

The man hailed as one of the best Conservative premiers and one of the most articulate conservative voices in the country was out.  

Jason Kenney: Is he really gone?

His heartbroken supporters offered numerous explanations of what went wrong for their dear leader.  

You want excuses, I’ll give you excuses

Covid-19

Kenney’s defenders start with Covid-19, arguing that it was impossible for Kenney to satisfy the kooks and lunatics who rejected any limits on their freedom. (The fact he continually referred to restrictions as a curtailment of their Charter rights and freedoms didn’t help his case).

This argument ignores the fact that every premier in the country faced the same challenges and Kenney’s approval rating (a low of 19% in January) was the worst of the bunch.

Kenney then worsened his position by prematurely lifting restrictions so we could enjoy the Best Summer Ever only to reimpose them when we entered the Worst Fall Ever and healthcare officials, frantic about a collapsing healthcare system, announced triage protocols to determine who would live and who would die if there was a shortage of ICU beds.  

Yes, Kenney’s handling of Covid-19 was a factor in Kenney’s popularity, not just for the kooks and lunatics but for all Albertans.  

Alberta is ungovernable

Some argue that the steady stream of conservative premiers who failed to finish out their terms indicates that Alberta is ungovernable. Apparently, the province is packed with so many free-spirited, leave-me-alone libertarians that conservative premiers can’t make it to the finish line.  

This is nonsense and ignores the fact that Albertan’s libertarians were content to live under 43 years of conservative rule. It wasn’t the conservative government they were rejecting; it was a string of conservative politicians who’d become entitled and sloppy after years of being in power.  

Westminster politics

Ah, but wait, Kenney’s supporters say, the poor man tripped over his idealized version of Westminster politics. He tolerated dissent from miscreants who should have been crushed at the first opportunity.  

Sure, he tolerated caucus members who publicly demanded he relax covid restrictions and went behind his back trying to broker a deal with the freedom convoy blockade at Coutts. But he lost no time tossing dissenting MLAs out of caucus or demoting them if he thought he could get away with it without riling up the UCP base.

So what really happened?

I’m from Ottawa and I’m here to help you

Kenney blew into town with Stephen Harper’s blessing. He was the guy from Ottawa who would unite the PCs and the Wildrose to vanquish Notley’s NDP and restore the conservatives to their rightful place as Albertan’s natural ruling party.

He said all the right things: grassroots guarantee, servant-leader, bad Trudeau/bad Notley and Ottawa victimizes Alberta/Fair Deal!

He would work hard, no vacations for this man, and devote his life to Alberta politics.

Then bereft of ideas on how to turn the province around and in the middle of the third wave he went on vacation, leaving no one (except maybe the Education minister) in charge.

He flouted the rules and common sense. His MLAs took off to Hawaii when the rest of us were debating which family member to invite over for Christmas dinner. He dined al fresco on the Sky Palace patio when the rest of us were told that was forbidden. His MLAs indulged in drunken parties in their offices. His cabinet ministers were under investigation by the Law Society and an independent judicial inquiry. He was no better than the rest of them.  

He didn’t apologise for his shortcomings in his resignation-sometime-in-the-future speech.

Instead he said his government had weathered three crises: the pandemic, the crash in the global economy and negative oil prices. The first two events impacted every political leader on the planet. The last one was beyond his control. Given that he did nothing to improve Albertans lives as they endured these events, one can only assume he was making excuses for his lackluster approval rating.   

When Kenney was elected UCP leader, conservatives thought he’d listen and get their input on policy (through their MLAs). Instead they got an elitist who ignored their feedback.   

He ruled for three years. During that time he lowered corporate taxes but created no jobs, hamstrung municipalities, wrecked healthcare and education, weakened social services and increased Albertans’ cost of living. He surrounded himself with staff who were pugilistic and divisive.

Not surprisingly the party decided it had had enough and showed him the door.  

May 18 marked the ignoble end to Kenney’s political career.

*Assuming Kenney doesn’t revoke his resignation at some point down the road because an election is imminent and it’s too late to change horses in midstream.

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45 Responses to 51.4% (the end of Jason Kenney?)

  1. Robin Wade says:

    Hey Alberta, you’ve been had by Jason Kenny. He said all the right things to get the base all rilled up. The problem is he NEVER delivered on his promises. He scapegoated everyone and never admitted to any mistakes. He lied to us, cheated his way to power and NEVER looked after the betterment of Albertans. Think about it, how many Albertans received CERB and how much Federal money went unused by this government. It was always Ottawa’s fault. Ask a doctor, nurse, teacher, social worker what they feel about the last three years of UCP rule. We in Alberta put too much emphasis on names. Pierre Trudeau was over 30 years ago. Justin Trudeau is not his father, but Pierre Pollievre is not the answer. He’s Jason Kenny again. The majority of Albertans want a province that takes care of it’s own. Yes we are independent but we have a soul that looks after one another. Why is it our government can’t reflect this, instead of pitting one group against another. I am so fed up with the government attacking one group or another. Have you ever seen the government go after business that gouge the public on a consistent basis. Oil and gas is HUGE in this province. It is supported by both the provincial and federal governments. WHY???? It is a mammoth money maker and yet it is supported with tax dollars.
    I’m old enough to remember Peter Lougheed with fondness in that he truly cared for Albertans. Since his departure his successors have failed him badly. Politics is a cruel world and it is full of deceit. I am not PC,Lib,NDP or Green. I want a government who will govern with integrity. I don’t care what their name is, just what they can do for us, the people who actually elected them to power. Rachel Notley has more integrity in her baby finger than Jason Kenny has PERIOD. She is NDP in name, but the closest Premier to Peter Lougheed since his time.

    • GoinFawr says:

      “There’s a guitar leaning on a Marshall stack
      Used to sound like the sun on the horizon
      Now I think:
      We’ve been had.

      There’s a young girl screamin’ all the way in the back!
      Poor kid, never saw it comin’,
      now she knows:
      She’s been had.” -Uncle Tupelo

      (That last line goes out to TL)

      • “We’ve been had.” GoinFawr your comment made me think about all of the former Kenney supporters who now realize they were duped.
        Rob Smith, a UCP constituency association president, has been very vocal about why Kenney had to go. He said Kenney started with a great mandate (uniting all the conservatives) but failed to deliver because he wasn’t a leader but an elitist who led from the top and would not listen.
        When you consider how much faith Kenney’s supporters put in the man they saw as mini-Harper, it’s no wonder they’re disillusioned and angry. They are ripe for the next charlatan who’ll use their anger to fuel his way into the leadership of the party.
        If by some chance a more moderate conservative steps forward it’s going to be brutal.

    • Robin your comment “yes we are independent but we have a soul that looks after one another” sums it all up. I was reminded of an article by political scientist Doreen Barrie who wrote about Kenney’s comment that he’ll fix healthcare, not by importing US style healthcare, but by turning to the European model.
      Doreen says the European model is based on the principle of social solidarity where “everyone is part of the same community…the young subsidize the old, the healthy subsidize the sick and the rich subsidize the poor. Citizens understand that their taxes pay for much-appreciated social supports and acknowledge that the state has a legitimate role to play.” Does this sound like a principle Kenney would embrace?
      In fact in Kenney’s maybe-resignation speech he listed the things he was proud that he and his team had accomplished. #1 on that list was reuniting the “free enterprise movement”. Leaving aside the question of whether he or anyone else for that matter knows what the “free enterprise movement” is, what it’s left in its wake is a broken healthcare system, a broken education system, a broken social services system, etc.
      And although he talked about healing the divisions that plagued him and his party for the last 2 years he couldn’t resist a crack about winning a victory against “Justin Trudeau’s no more pipelines law” (which as we all know is being appealed and will likely be overturned at the Supreme Court of Canada).
      I shudder to think that 17,638 (51.4%) thought Kenney deserved to stay on as UCP leader.

  2. Dwayne says:

    Susan: Thanks for another great blog. I have some comments to make on the UCP matter. First off, this is another failed attempt at uniting the right in Alberta, by Preston Manning, who does indeed support the carbon tax, and has for a long time. This is the third attempt at this, for Preston Manning, and the third time’s a charm. The premier of Alberta (that title is still in question, as the R.C.M.P are still investigating how he became premier). Also, the premier of Alberta is fuelled by his own overblown ego, and a hunger for power. Would he be able to cheat his way into becoming the leader of the CPC? Canadians, and likely the CPC won’t stand for that. The robocalls debacle that he was orchestrating may still linger in other people’s memories. Also, for some reason, in Alberta, any politician who was in federal politics, and then enters into provincial politics, has no staying power. The UCP are a dismal government. Look at how many billions of dollars they wasted on so many of the worst debacles, how they racked up Alberta’s debt to levels not see in Alberta, (it is far past the $100 billion mark), how they treated the needy, elderly, those in our medical profession, students and teachers so badly, and made covid caseload levels in Alberta the worst in the country, multiple times, and the worst on the North American continent, a year ago. When oil prices shot down, and the UCP’s wasteful spending caught up with them, it was like what the Alberta PCs were doing in the post Peter Lougheed era. It’s someone else that is to blame. Either Rachel Notley or Justin Trudeau are who the UCP choses to blame. Ralph Klein, the premier the UCP admires greatly, blamed Ottawa for his fiscal mistakes, which were very large. Now, the premier of Alberta, (he doesn’t deserve that title), is flip flopping. Now, he really didn’t resign, or step down as leader of the UCP. Hopefully, the UCP is purged from power, in 2023, or in 2024. The damage the UCP has done will take a long time to fix up. I’ll share some more fitting music. This is a Bob Dylan composition, from early 1965, written when he was just 23 years of age. It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding). Very profound lyrics. Bob Dylan turns 81, on May 24. I’ve seen him live in 1990, and I have some of his music in my music collection.

    • Dwayne, I agree with your comments about what is wrong with the UCP (everything). I don’t understand how, in today’s world, any party can push an ideology rooted in unbridled capitalism and me-first libertarianism.
      Recently the press reported that a number of federal conservative MPs have been swamped with emails and phone calls from constituents frantic about Justin Trudeau letting the World Health Organization take control of Canada’s healthcare policy (which they seem to forget falls within provincial, not federal, jurisdiction).
      This is on top of the nutbars who believe the Liberals are the puppets of the World Economic Forum.
      Sadly federal politicians continue to foster these conspiracy theories and Jason Kenney himself tweeted photos of empty grocery shelves implying there was a great food shortage afoot (another conspiracy theory). Later he was stuck defending himself from people who said he was a puppet of Davos (you reap what you sow).
      These politicians are either unbelievably stupid or unbelievably corrupt (maybe both) to engage in such politicking.
      PS While I’m not a huge fan of Dylan, I must say I did enjoy some of these clips. 🙂

      • Dwayne says:

        Susan: I have heard twice, recently, that oil prices will be going back down again. What will the UCP do when their wasteful spending, and their schemes on buying votes, catches up with them, and Albertans? I also heard that we will have a major recession coming our way. The UCP have got to go.

      • Dwayne, I suspect the UCP hope they’ll be re-elected by then. You’ve highlighted the trouble that comes from tying our budget to the price of oil. When the price is high, royalties are high, and life is good. But when the price is low everything goes to hell in a handbasket. I think Kenney was trying to get around this by privatizing education and healthcare so the people who vote conservative because they keep taxes low would be happy when public education and public healthcare fell apart. That’s great for the wealthy but what about everyone else?
        Also it doesn’t matter how rich you are, if you have a heart attack at 2 a.m. and you can’t get an ambulance because the ER is blocked then all the money in the world won’t save you.

  3. Dwayne says:

    Susan: Here is my next song pick from Bob Dylan. It is The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest. It is from his album, John Wesley Harding, released in late 1967. I have this in my music collection. Again, quite deep lyrics.

  4. Dwayne says:

    Susan: Here is my final song pick from Bob Dylan. It’s from the year 2000, and the song is Things Have Changed. More very deep lyrics.

  5. Dwayne says:

    Susan: Here is my final song pick. This is from Procol Harum, and is a composition by Gary Brooker, Matt Noble, and Keith Reid, You Can’t Turn Back The Page. This was recorded live in Edmonton, on May 29 and 30, 1992. It features Procol Harum with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, which was conducted by David Hoyt, and The Greenwood Singers. It was from their Reunion Concert. The band lineup features Gary Brooker on vocals and piano, Geoff Whitehorn on guitar, Dave Bronze on bass guitar, Don Snow on Hammond organ, and Mark Brzezicki on drums. Gary Brooker would have been 77 years old, on May 29, 2022. He passed away on February 19, from cancer, at age 76. I was at this concert, for both nights.

  6. JCurrie says:

    I read a pretty good joke on twitter after Kenney’s “resignation”…that is, one day he quit and the next day the caucus met for 5 hours to figure out the meaning of “quit.” My friends and family in BC are relieved he is gone but I don’t believe it..he is a limited person who knows only how to do one thing and do it poorly…stick to a punitive set of policies to meet the needs of his overlords in the corporate world. The idea that he would finish university or take up a language or “get in shape” may apply to some of us but certainly not to him. And he lies constantly so why would we believe him? He has something up his sleeve……and it won’t be good.

    • JCurrie and Mike J Danysh: What’s interesting about that news story is the UCP caucus chair’s statement that the MLAs had a “vigorous discussion and debate” about the party’s future, and agreed to “remain united” and focused on the job Albertans elected them to do.
      That tells me Kenney and his supporters convinced the UCP caucus that if they failed to let Kenney stay on as premier the party would be ripped asunder and the government would cease to function.
      Why, pray tell, would this be the case. The PC party has had countless leadership races and not once has the leadership race split the party, let alone harmed the PC’s ability to govern.
      This sounds like the rhetoric used by authoritarian leaders: “only I can lead the party” and “without me, the country (state, province, whatever) will fall apart.” It’s shocking and shows you just how far off-base Kenney has taken the UCP.

      • Mike J Danysh says:

        Susan, I agree with your theory of why the UCP fell for this story by Kenney and his enablers. I have an uneasy feeling Kenney’s bid succeeded for two reasons. First, the strong-man ploy appeals to a “what do I do” attitude among Con-minded people: tell me what to do, because I’m afraid to decide for myself. Second, Kenney took the cult of personality much farther than Ralph Klein ever did. Only Peter Lougheed was able to succeed at that, and mostly because he didn’t try to use it–as a natural leader, Lougheed didn’t need to build up his reputation. Neither Klein nor Kenney has the personal strength to pull it off for very long.

        But with the mess the Utter Chaos Party’s in now, nobody sensible would want to lead it. Hence Doug Schweitzer is leaving–and Danielle Smith wants to come back. We’ll see how many other MLAs decide to cut their losses and quit before we can fire them.

  7. Sharon says:

    If Jason Kenney is considered one of the most articulate conservative voices in the country, no wonder the conservatives are in trouble. Apparently little Jason forgot that he was supposed to be working for the people of Alberta, even those who didn’t vote for him. He never diverted from his plan that his handlers set out because this man never looked at the big picture and didn’t have an original thought in his head. He did immense damage during his time in federal government yet the people of Alberta were hoodwinked by this con man. He is racist and misogynistic to the core and a bully to boot. And those in his caucus who have behaved like him should learn something from this whole debacle. Albertan deserve much better than Jason and the Unhinged clown Posse.

    • Yup, Sharon, I agree. Rob Smith, the disgruntled UCP constituency association president, told CBC he and a number of other members of his CA executive had a 70 minute zoom call with Kenney to coach him on how to better connect with Albertans. He said all they got from Kenney was pushback and defensiveness which made them feel the effort was worthless. He also said he suspects Kenney thought it was great engagement.
      Smith described Kenney as a good foot soldier. He did what Harper wanted him to do and he did it well. That makes him a good foot soldier, not a good leader.

  8. jerrymacgp says:

    As badly as I want to be rid of Jason Kenney — & believe me, I do want to be rid of him — this development is not so unusual in politics, either at the provincial or federal level. Both Ralph Klein & Ed Stelmach stayed on until their replacements were chosen by the party; Joe Clark called for a leadership race & became a candidate to replace himself — although he didn’t win — and Pierre Trudeau was called back from his 1979-announced retirement by the Liberal Party apparatus after the Joe Clark minority government fell on the budget with no new Liberal leader in place — and went on to form a Liberal majority government in 1980, which then brought us the Charter of Rights & Freedoms in 1982.

    The other issue we need to keep in mind is, given the extremist roots of the most vocal opposition to Mr Kenney from within his own party, how bad will his replacement be? We certainly won’t be better off with that perpetual bad penny of Alberta right-wing politics, Danielle Smith, nor with WEF global conspiracy theorist Brian Jean. With some pundits citing the evangelical Christian fundamentalist Finance Minister Travis Toews* — former board member of the Peace River Bible Institute in Sexsmith — as a potential “moderate” candidate, we’re really going down the theonomic, extreme-right rabbit hole.

    Be afraid… be very afraid.

    *My MLA.

    • GoinFawr says:

      If they want to improve their standings in the (Real Minnesotan) Alberta polls the UCP should appoint as their leader either T.Lich, a Jericho Marching Trucker Convoy willing to surround Rodgers Plaice by Tuesday, or any one of the Coutts 13.

    • jerrymacgp, you’re right, there is precedent for Kenney staying on after his meager 51.4% showing. It beat (barely) the 50% threshold and avoided automatically triggering a leadership election. But I don’t think Klein and Stelmach’s decision to stay on created the same level of anxiety and suspicion as Kenney’s decision to do so.
      Nothing is straightforward with this man.
      The previous provincial and federal leaders said they needed a bare minimum of two-thirds of the vote to stay on. Kenney dropped the threshold to 50%+1 and justified it by pretending the leadership review was an election. Over 50% puts you in government, it doesn’t signify that you’re a fit leader.
      Later on his radio show he obfuscated things even more. He said “In the future we’re going to have to consider these things, how you get an electoral mandate of over a million votes and 16,000 people can essentially up-end that.” This is a very slippery statement. In 2019 the million votes went to the United Conservative Party, not Jason Kenney, and last week the 16,000 votes were cast against Jason Kenney, not against the United Conservative Party.
      As I said above, he’s talking like an authoritarian leader: The party is the government and I am the party, therefore I am the government. It’s wacko.

  9. Jaundiced Eye says:

    I believe Jason Kenney’s cruelty did not rise to the level of expectation of the 48.6 per cent.

  10. Mike J Danysh says:

    The more-or-less end of Jason Kenney doesn’t really surprise me. He’s so utterly unsuited to a leadership role it was pretty much a foregone conclusion. (Yes, I’m being [a] wise[-@$$] after the fact.)

    Kenney kicked the old faultlines between the Old Tories (the few who are left) and the childish no-I-won’t crowd until they broke apart again. The resultant Toryquake is intolerable to the kingmakers of Calgary. You know, the rich families who bankroll the UCP/Wildrose/Tory trifecta. The thought of losing the next election to a non-Con party, no matter that Notley & Co. are effectively Old Tories, is unthinkable. Waste money on peons? Heaven forbid!

    Therefore, the powers behind the throne—I firmly believe—sat their former minion, Jason, in the hot seat and proceeded to lay down the law. The party can’t win when it’s split evenly down the middle. That’s how Notley’s NDP got in the last time. Never again! So Jason had to go, for the good of the party (and its corporate masters).

    “Cynical”? Oh Lord, yes, I’m cynical about politics in Oilberduh. Since Peter Lougheed retired, there’ve been only two premiers who weren’t obviously captured by the oil industry. Ed Stelmach was the first. He lost his job because he dared to suggest the oil guys pay a bit more to the guv’mint. Dave Hancock, the interim premier nobody remembers, was the second. He was probably as “captured” as any, but didn’t have the time or the popular support to do anything blatantly subservient to the oilpatch. The rest? The Legislature might as well have a sign that says, “Government of Alberta: HR and PR Department of the Oil Industry.”

    So what happens next? Kenney’s out. He gets to stick around till the party elects the leader approved by the kingmakers (no guesses who that’ll be). Whoever gets stuck with it will have conniptions trying to get the far-right and insanely-far-right factions to shut up and stop fighting in public. (Nothing will stop them from fighting in private.)

    If the sensible people are lucky, there’ll be time for the newly anointed UCP “leader” to show his/her true colours before May 2023. I’d be very surprised if the UCP moves even a little back toward the center—although that would surely suit the business crowd in Calgary. They’ll have a hard time finding a complaisant “leader” who can guarantee stability (i.e. no tax increases) yet still satisfy the Base and their appetite for red meat.

    “May you live in interesting times.” Oh yes. We do.

    • Mike J Danysh: great comments about why the more “progressive” conservatives haven’t endured. I agree with your point that it would be very surprising if the UCP moved even an inch closer to the centre.
      When Doug Schweitzer announced he would not be running for leader he also announced he wouldn’t be running in the next election. He didn’t have to make these two announcements at the same time, but by doing it now, he’s saving himself the embarrassment of having to announce he’s not running again right after some crackpot is crowned leader.
      I’m sure there are a few UCP caucus members who are asking themselves whether they’d be willing to serve in, oh pick a name, Drew Barnes? or someone of the same ilk’s cabinet.

      • Mike J Danysh says:

        Susan, Schweitzer is cutting his losses. He’ll have no trouble getting a job at some law firm or other. I wonder what the “cooling-off period” for ex-MLAs is these days? And whether it’s enforceable–and whether ANY government will bother?

      • Mike, I suspect Schweitzer will go back to his old law firm Dentons, the one that Steve Allen hired to work on the Anti-Alberta Energy Inquiry.

  11. Paul Pearlman says:

    Jason managed to alienate all factions of the Clown Party then he sort of resigned, is that like sort of pregnant !!! We should all chip in for a tank of gas for the big Blue Truck . Maybe Scott Moe will give him a position in Sask as his butler/chauffeur if he can handle that . Good Bye and of course Good Riddance!!!

    • Paul not only should we chip in for a tank of gas for the big Blue Truck, I’ll even volunteer to fill his tank because as we all know Kenney can’t get the gas nozzle out of the tank once he gets it in there. To tell you the truth, neither can I, but at least I’m smart enough not to get someone to video the whole thing and post it on Twitter.

  12. Linda says:

    Regardless of who will eventually replace Kenney as the UCP leader, my hope is that Albertans will not vote UCP come the next election. Which must take place by May 2023, hallelujah & may we get rid of the UCP. Susan, as always an excellent analysis of facts as opposed to rhetoric by Kenney & crew as they try to explain what went wrong.

    Our own MLA mentioned at the local town hall that the party was very proud that they had implemented some 80+% of the ‘promises’ laid out in the UCP platform since elected. I confess I’ve no real idea of what made up the agenda. I do recall promises of a booming economy, a balanced budget (achieved recently due to stellar oil & gas prices), jobs for all & diversification of the economy so Alberta no longer would be a boom/bust province. Well, one out of 4 isn’t bad I guess, even though it was not due to actions taken by the UCP.

    The track record: Kenney proved he was not a leader. He is a politician & even his enemies would have to agree he works hard – when he isn’t on vacation during a crisis, that is. Or in hiding, it is a bit difficult to tell the difference. As for the UCP, good golly Miss Molly, those folks can’t agree which way to up. We need a government that actually performs the work of government, not personal agenda achievement. One that does what is best for the majority of Albertans as opposed to doing what is best for themselves personally. Or am I dreaming the impossible dream?

    • jerrymacgp says:

      A balanced budget — made possible only because the world price of oil ramped up after Feb 24th — yes, I realize it was already climbing before the Russian invasion of Ukraine due to other market forces, but the war really amped those forces up to maximum.

      The only way Kenney, Savage, Toews, et. al. could claim any credit for that would be if they bribed Putin to start his war.

      • Mike J Danysh says:

        Jerrymacgp, I can’t believe any government in Alberta has enough clout to influence Putin–or anyone outside Canada. Besides, ol’ Vlad has more than enough delusional beliefs to justify any self-destructive brainstorm.

        But I can’t help but wonder, whether Kenney et al sent their accidental benefactor Vladimir a very private thank-you note….

      • GoinFawr says:

        Unfortunately THIS would be the time for a responsible government to increase Alberta’s non-renewable royalty rates, at least past the point of ‘laughingstock of oil producing states’ marker.

        For perspective, when the NDP did their review in 2014 the price of oil and natural gas were plummeting, so the oil co’s all came to Albertans with their ‘hats in hand’.
        And everybody knows that, unlike Rachel Notley and the NDP who served all Albertans, the UCP certainly aren’t going to bite the hand that is buying them while it is buying them so well, regardless of their sworn obligations to every Albertan to get the best deal for the province while the getting is good.

      • GoinFawr says:

        The UK knows how to strike while the iron is hot,
        https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/britain-gas-oil-tax-1.6466747

        Any responsible Alberta government with a conscience would follow suit, but don’t worry, I know I’m just dreaming over here…not holding my breathe even for a moment.

      • GoinFawr: I agree. But no that won’t happen here. People are already wringing their hands over the Feds’ luxury tax. Apparently it’s unreasonable to tax new cars and planes priced above $100,000 and boats priced above $250,000. Pity the poor multi-millionaire.

      • GoinFawr says:

        “I agree. But no that won’t happen here.”

        Oh, you never know Susan, enough responsible Albertans could re-elect Ms.Notley and the NDP back into office next year, and with a community minded mandate the Alberta Government will then actually attempt to execute, rather than the stack of overt lies and CT’s the Crazy Rose UCP (or whatever it will be calling itself by then) led by T.Lich will be running on. You never know…

    • Linda, I did a post a couple of years ago about Kenney’s famous “promises made/promises kept” assertions. As you would expect it’s a load of hooey. Take for example the promise of getting Albertans back to work. You’d think the metric to determine whether he’d met that promise would be a decrease in the number of Albertans unemployed or underemployed, but no, Kenney said he met that promise by passing legislation like the Carbon Tax Repeal Act, the Job Creation Tax Cut and the Red Tape Reduction Act. Any blowhard elected to public office can pass legislation, that doesn’t mean it will have the desired impact and it clearly didn’t have that impact back in Dec 2019 when Kenney said he’d made this promise and delivered on it.
      As you said at the end, we need a government that actually does the work of government, not just work in its own self interest to stay in power.

      Here’s the link: https://susanonthesoapbox.com/2019/12/09/promises-made-promises-keptor-not/

  13. Dave says:

    I had always thought that golden boy Kenney was way over rated. He was only able to spot a good opportunity in Alberta and take advantage of it. However, perhaps that was just timing as it was right after the Conservatives lost power in Ottawa and he was no longer a cabinet minister.

    Yeah, COVID sure didn’t help Kenney, but by that point he already made many mistakes and alienated a lot of people. COVID may have hastened his political decline, but it wasn’t the sole reason for it. As for Alberta being ungovernable, it was the split in the right that brought that about. One which Kenney and his faux grassroots approach did little to fix and if you tack too far right to compensate, you risk losing moderate conservatives as well. This is something the Federal Conservatives need to remember as they seem to be heading towards repeating these same mistakes.

    Sadly, I think the UCP will learn nothing and forget nothing from the Kenney era debacle. His supporters will blame his fall mainly on COVID and Alberta being ungovernable. His opponents will believe Kenney was the source of all the problems and everything will be good if they just replace him. Sorry, but Albertans are not going to like the war on doctors, coal mining in the foothills or the UCP education curriculum any better under a different leader.

    Maybe the UCP can somehow reinvent itself as a more moderate party, much as the PC’s transformed themselves over the years to suit changing times. However, I doubt it.

    • Dave I agree with your assessment of Kenney. I have very little faith in UCP supporters. The most recent Leger poll showed the UCP jump ahead of the NDP with 42% of decided voters saying they’d vote UCP and 40% saying they’d vote NDP. What’s strange about this poll is the 42% who said they’d vote UCP have no idea who the UCP leader will be. You’d think, given this uncertainty, they’d say they were “undecided” but no they said they’d vote for the conservative party. Makes you wonder whether they’d still vote UCP if their leader was the Son of Sam. I find the whole thing unnerving.
      Here’s the link: https://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/ucp-surges-ahead-of-ndp-with-kenney-out-of-the-leadership-picture-poll .

      • Linda says:

        Susan, you make an excellent point regarding how folks might vote. I live in a staunchly conservative riding, so much so that any conservative type running for office who needs a ‘safe’ place to run in order to win ends up on our local ballot. Right now we have a UCP MLA but had the various conservative parties not joined together to form the UCP in the first place I’m sure our MLA would be whoever ran under the PC banner. Our MP is PC.

        At the local town hall I attended recently the majority of the attendees applauded & lauded the statements made by our UCP MLA. There were perhaps 3 other people besides myself who expressed opposing views via statements or questions. The rest just nodded in agreement or cheered when our MLA stated that 80+% of the promises made had been achieved. Not one asked what promises or whether said achievements had in fact done anything for the average Albertan. Unquestioning support, every politicians dream!

      • Mike J Danysh says:

        Linda, your remarks on gullible seniors voting Con regardless of what the Cons do in office reminded me of a story from the Old Tories’ barely-past-the-glory-days, when Ed Stelmach was premier. The auditor general (Fred Dunn, I think) caught the energy ministry telling a lie in an official publication. Kevin Taft, then-leader of the Alberta Liberals, called the Tories on it in the Legislature.

        The Tory benches exploded. Among other outraged howls, Stelmach himself accused Taft of damaging the “sanctity” of the Legislature.

        Read that last part again. Yes, Premier Stelmach used the word “sanctity” to describe the Legislature. As though he equated the Legislature (or at least his party’s benches) with a church.

        Now, maybe Stelmach was just upset. Maybe it was just a poor word choice. And yet…Stelmach grew up in rural Alberta, and operated his own farm before moving into politics. Is it possible that Stelmach’s slip wasn’t a slip at all? Do (some) rural Albertans of Stelmach’s generation actually equate the government with their local church?

        If you can think of some clever way to ask your neighbours, it would be interesting to know. But PLEASE be very careful how you ask!

      • Mike J Danysh says:

        Susan, I think it illustrates Linda’s point all too well that, of the UCP supporters polled, half said they’d support the party even though their choice for New Leader was “none of the above.”

      • Dave says:

        With Kenney gone (or perhaps more accurately going or on the way out), I expect there will be more volatility in the polls. Some of the Conservatives who were not supporting the UCP because of their unhappiness with him may drift back to the UCP.

        Of course, it is also all very hypothetical at this point as various people who support Aheer, Toews or Brian Jean as leader might all support the UCP at this point, but whoever wins may not appeal to all of those who support the others.

  14. Carlos says:

    Just a short one to see if i can actually post anything
    Susan you must have lots of posts from me that were not posted

    • Carlos, I’ve checked the comments section, including those awaiting approval, and the only comment I can find is this one. I don’t know where your other posts have gone. I’m not sure where the glitch is but I hope you’ll try to post again.

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