Alberta Politics

How much longer can Jason Kenney survive?

Premier Jason Kenney managed to out maneuver disgruntled United Conservative Party MLAs by convincing them to withdraw a motion of non-confidence by pushing ahead his leadership review to April 2022, but he still has his party to contend with.

A growing number of UCP constituency associations have passed motions calling for a leadership review to take place before March 1, 2022. The CBC first reported that more than 10 constituency associations had passed motions, and Postmedia columnist Don Braid tweeted that number was 16.

Text of the UCP motion calling to hold a review of Jason Kenney’s leadership before March 1, 2021.
Text of the UCP motion calling to hold a review of Jason Kenney’s leadership before March 1, 2021.

Calgary-Fish Creek UCP MLA Richard Gotfried, who has been publicly critical of Kenney’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, posted the text of the motion on Twitter.

Gotfried noted that his constituency board passed the motion two weeks ago with 21 votes in favour and none opposed.

For Kenney’s opponents in the UCP, 22 is the magic number of constituency boards required to force the leadership vote before March 1 and quite possibly at the party’s upcoming annual general meeting in Calgary in November 2021.

Kenney’s leadership has been in a constant state of turmoil for most of the past two years and a recent poll from ThinkHQ showed him plummeting to a dismal 22 per cent approval rating. According to the poll, Kenney is deeply unpopular with every demographic and regional group of Albertans.

14 replies on “How much longer can Jason Kenney survive?”

I think the UCP have managed to fumble and fail on everything they touched, and they have also done so many very pricey shenanigans.Their days may be numbered, unless the UCP manages to con and cheat their own way back into power.

The real question is, how many of the UCP CAs pushing to give JK the boot are the pro-pandemic, death caucus types that want to see us open up completely and let COVID-19 ravage the province unchecked? As opposed to more centrist opponents from both within and outside the party who seek to maintain and enhance public health measures until the pandemic is truly behind us?

If they fire him, what knuckle-dragging Neanderthal will replace him?

That, Jerry, is what makes Alberta politics fascinating, although with lives in the balance. What will Covid-sensible UCP MLAs do if they wind up with an ‘open ‘er up’ leader? I am wondering if we will see them start forming some sort of alliance with the NDP. This could be anything from a formal coalition to simply cooperating on private members bills to see sensible legislation passed.

I have also wondered how carefully the ‘open ‘er up’ MLAs have monitored the views of their constituents. When they resist restrictions are they representing the views of the majority of their constituents, or just the ones that make the most noise?

He is a tricky one and a stubborn one too. Perhaps not having had a career before politics or much of a life outside of it is also what leads Kenney to try hang on.

Also, its not like the UCP has any obvious strong contender or contenders to consider as a likely successor. However, I suspect the party is generally realizing now Kenney will likely to drag them down with him if he stays, so they will find some way to dislodge him eventually, but I doubt this will be quick or easy.

The UCP may now be in the same bind as the Old Tories were, after Ed Stelmach, Alison Redford and Jim Prentice all failed to save the oil companies. At least it’s happening a lot faster under Kenney’s utterly failed Libertarian-Republican stupidity.

Doug Schweitzer, Travis Toews and Jason Nixon probably have the best chance of usurping Kenney, if repeat IF Kenney can be toppled by the party as a whole. As of Friday the 9th, 16 constituency associations had passed resolutions calling for a leadership review. Six more, and the UCP has to actually do it. Here’s hoping….

Another name that comes up is Rona Ambrose. I do wonder, however, if Ms. Ambrose, or any other outsider, would even want to takeover such a divided party, given the mindset of the nutjobs Jason Kenney has assembled.

It would be interesting to see how each of the 3 people you mentioned would handle Covid. Calgary MLA Schweitzer, I assume would be Covid sensible; Sundre MLA Nixon has already spoken out against restrictions. I am not aware of any public comments Toews has made, but given the Covid numbers from Grande Prairie area, I wouldn’t be very optimistic about Mr. Toews.

As insiders, all 3 are aware of how the caucus splits regarding Covid, which is what I would love to know myself.

Kenney’s biggest downfall were the repeated lockdowns. He should have opened the province entirely up and stayed there. Our culture is conservative and he doesn’t qualify.

How many deaths would you be willing to tolerate if we’d opened up and stayed open, as you suggest? We’re at 2,830 now, according to the latest figures from Alberta Health.

Provinces that have kept more restrictions in place longer have seen far lower death rates than Alberta. Alberta is at 64 per 100,000 population, and Saskatchewan is at 63 per 100,000. Meanwhile, Nova Scotia’s at 10 deaths per 100,000, New Brunswick’s at 9 per 100,000, Newfoundland & Labrador is 2/100,000, and PEI shows 0 per 100,000. And remember, demographically, Atlantic Canada is a much older population with a higher proportion of seniors than Alberta, so if all else were equal you’d expect higher death rates there than here.

The real issue is, and has been ever since this all started, that the province insists on pretending the pandemic is over and reopening far too soon, while the virus is still running rampant. Cases increase dramatically, hospitals are overwhelmed, and the province is eventually forced to backtrack, but responds late and inadequately, leading not only to continued stress on the health care system and more death and suffering, but ongoing economic uncertainty as small and medium-sized businesses have an ever-changing regime of public health measures, instead of just getting it right the first time.

The folly of ending the basic public health strategy of Test-Trace-Isolate is just pouring gasoline on the fire. Our low vaccination rates, especially in the smaller cities and rural Alberta, and the unchecked ability of the virus to circulate freely in elementary schools, are additional contributing factors.

The bottom line is that thousands of Albertans have died that didn’t need to, because of this government’s negligence.

Penny Y: There were never, and I repeat, never any repeated lockdowns in Alberta. The UCP didn’t do what the conservative governments did in Ontario and in Quebec. In both of those provinces, their governments imposed lockdowns. Opening things up, as was the case on July 1, only exacerbated the Covid-19 pandemic in Alberta, and it made things worse. We had numerous deaths from Covid-19 in Alberta, due to what the UCP did wrong, which included not heeding warnings of doctors. If Alberta’s culture is conservative, it’s made up of pretend conservatives and Reformers who need a reality check. Peter Lougheed was an actual conservative, and he had disrespect for these pretend conservatives and Reformers in Alberta, who did so much damage to Alberta, with all their very pricey shenanigans, and gutting of the services we all would normally take for granted. The UCP thought that Covid-19 was no big deal, and on repeated occasions, Alberta let the whole country on a per capita number of individuals with Covid-19. The UCP are always on the wrong path, and it’s costing Albertans dearly. It’s unacceptable to let this sham of a government continue to do what it does.

Penny Y: Alberta has a very backwards mindset, which doesn’t help things one iota. Allowing personal liberties that compromise the safety and well being of others is very foolish at best. This “conservative culture” in Alberta, under the UCP, has cost Albertans their lives. It isn’t worth it.

The next shoe may drop when the 3rd quarter fundraising numbers are realeased, around the 21st of October.

What I’d like to know is what are the other ridings besides Calgary Fish Creek and Three Hills (I think).

Fish Creek is Gottfried – PC branch of party. I think the other riding is Wild Rose branch.

If both branches of the UCP want Kenney gone, if they do show him the door, does the party even stay together?

The bigger question we should be asking is why a communist blog like this still has readers? The iron curtain fell 30 years ago. I can’t wait until we finally have fully private health care in Alberta!

Jessica T.: For starters, this isn’t a communist blog. It’s quite obvious that you fail to understand what constitutes communism. Also, if you fancy private healthcare so much, you should just move to America and see how their user pay healthcare system is. It leaves many people financially burdened, to the point of even going bankrupt. Under Covid-19, in America, it makes that even more so. Albertans will not benefit from the neoliberal dream of Ralph Klein, as well as the UCP, wanting private for profit healthcare in Alberta. The author and creator of this blog should block you, but that’s up to his discretion. Coming on here and claiming that it is a communist blog, is absolutely absurd. Nobody is asking you to read this blog.

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