Alberta Politics

Will the PC Party finally disqualify Jason Kenney?

He’s not running to be the leader of the Progressive Conservative party. He’s running to destroy the party so that he can then form a new party that he’s going to run and become leader of,” Progressive Conservative Party member Jeffrey Rath told CBC Calgary.

The Priddis-based lawyer has filed a complaint with his party alleging that leadership candidate Jason Kenney’s vision runs counter to the party’s constitution and that he should be disqualified.

Kenney is running to dissolve the PC Party, not to merge or unite it with the Wildrose Party.

Despite running under the slogan “Unite Alberta,” Kenney’s goal is to win the leadership and then dissolve the party. If that does not run counter to the party’s constitution, I am not sure what else would.

The PC Party was foolish for allowing Kenney to run in the first place. Facing a lethargic and uninspiring group of “renewal” candidates, Kenney appears to have easily locked up the support of enough delegates to secure a victory at the upcoming convention.

Rath’s complaint is a Hail Mary pass but it could work. It could be difficult for the PC Party executive to disqualify him now but they should if they want their party to exist in a year from now.

The Kenney campaign’s record of flouting the rules has given the PC Party’s executive plenty of reasons to consider disqualification. One of his chief strategists was even suspended from the party for a one-year period. Some moderate conservatives in the PC Party, including former leadership candidate Stephen Khan, believe Kenney’s plans to dissolve the PC Party and form a new party will lead to the creation of a party dominated by Wildrose Party supporters – “Wildrose 2.0.”

Wildrose leader Brian Jean, who had previously endorsed plans for a new party, recently announced that his plans would have conservatives rally behind the current Wildrose Party structure. That’s rebranded Wildrose Party.

Wildrose MLA Leela Aheer, who was recently acclaimed as the Wildrose Party candidate in Chestermere-Rocky View, even announced on a Facebook video that she was proud to be running for the Wildrose Party in the 2019 election, with no mention of a new party.

This goes back to my long-held belief that the Wildrose Party needs the PC Party more than the PCs need the Wildrose. In two consecutive elections the Wildrose Party has struggled to break out of its rural Alberta base and might only be able to win an election if the PC Party is completely removed from the picture.

In 2015, the PCs were arrogant, out of touch and deserved to lose the election. But unlike the Wildrose Party, the PCs have a record of 44 years of straight election victories and a brand that many Albertans still respect.

It would not be unimaginable to see the PCs bounce back to win another election. But they won’t be able to win any future elections if they allow Kenney lead them to extinction, as he plans to do.

7 replies on “Will the PC Party finally disqualify Jason Kenney?”

Jason Kenney published his platform months before he registered as a candidate in the leadership race. The PC board knew exactly what he was running on when they accepted his nomination. They should be estopped from rejecting him from the race now based on Kenney’s good faith reliance to his detriment – he’s spent a lot of time and money on this race, based on their initial decision to admit him as a candidate. Any such decision now based on his platform would justifiably lead to a court challenge, and paying damages to Kenney could clean out the party’s coffers.

In Rocky Mtn. House during his tour of tax payer funded exploration of Alberta, that’s right, he was still drawing from the federal paymaster, until the end of October/2016, he blatently insulted the PCAA during the entire, its all about me, time that we were there. He stated and I quote, they are broke, incompetent the poll they took during our AGM was nothing but a , straw poll and they have no members. One of our outstanding buisiness leaders got up, came across the room and whispered in my ear that he has a buisiness to run and over 200 employees to keep employed in our town alone and has better issues to work on than listen to this fool. His words not, mine. Oh! By the way he even brought with him his own fake cheering squad that would uuuj and aaah on cue and feign shock, and ahh, and then laugh on cue when he attempted self humility. It was an evening of insults to our intelligence at best.

I think it is a little to late now to kick out Kenney. It was probably already seriously considered at the beginning of the race and for whatever reasons – perhaps including the hope he would not be successful and some desire to avoid confrontation, the PC executive decided not to go there and they kicked the can down the road. Now, it appears he may be successful and kicking the can down the road is not looking like a wise strategy any more. However, if the PC’s do finally stiffen their spines, which I doubt, there will be hell to pay as I am sure they fully realize. Kenney and his supporters will be enraged at being led on for the last nine months and the PC’s will come across looking very anti democratic and bumbling.

The only remaining hope for the anti merger PC’s is that the selection of Kenney as leader is a step towards, but not the final step in the dissolution of their party. It is possible the party could choose Kenney as leader, but in the subsequent vote on dissolution decide not to dissolve. Yes, it would be strange, unusual an awkward, but so too is having a serious contender as a leadership candidate wanting to dissolve the party he is running to lead. We are already in the twilight zone here, so what’s a few more strange surprises.

I’m guessing that there has been an influx of new members – call them Kenney PCs – that are electing the pro-Kenney delegates for the leadership convention. If so, the same new members will also support a dissolution motion.

In today’s Edmonton Journal, Jason Kenney tells Graham Thomson that he might not dissolve the PC party after all: “I have never said it involves dissolution …”.

The Wildrose wants to take over the PC’s, not merge and the PC’s don’t want to dissolve – they haven’t yet launched, but I think central control for Unite the Right is now thinking “Houston we have a problem here”.

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