Saturday, August 20, 2016
Jason Kenney and Alberta's Last Political Cowboy
With every passing day Jason's Kenney's tour of Alberta in a Made in Mexico pick up truck becomes even more outrageous, and even more expensive.
For while one might hope that Kenney is paying for his own hair cuts...
We're still paying his MP's salary.
Even though Kenney is now working full time to try to become the leader of a provincial party.
The former federal cabinet minister has met popes and presidents. He once dispatched fighter jets to vaporize jihadists of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. His luggage is still adorned with the weather-beaten tags of a 2015 prime ministerial trip to central Europe.
Now he’s drifting town to town handing out pamphlets and camo-patterned hats, steering around road-killed skunks and introducing himself to strangers over the sound of mooing cows.
And has even given up his seat on the committee studying electoral reform.
So he can pursue his grandiose dream of uniting the right, and "saving" Alberta from the NDP...
Kenney contends at every opportunity that he’s a reluctant saviour. There were “many interesting things” he turned down to pursue provincial politics instead.
“Someone has to do this, right?” he said in Red Deer.
Nevertheless, for all this stated humility, the potential payoff is massive. If all goes according to plan, Kenney will be able to crush Canada’s only NDP government and spend the rest of his working life commanding the country’s most interesting pentagonal shape.
Jason Kenney Provincial Park. Jason Kenney Highway. Heck, Alberta premiers even get towns named after them; just ask the fine people of Manning, Alta.
Which has the NDP wondering when that Con bootlegger will resign.
And has even the Globe's Con editorial board wondering whether by taking advantage of the lax election spending laws, he is the last of the Alberta cowboys.
It makes no sense to have donation and spending caps in general elections, but a spending free-for-all in the internal party campaigns that decide who will be leading a party into an election. We don’t want a system where leadership candidates with the biggest bank accounts have an unfair advantage.
Mr. Kenney is Alberta’s last political cowboy, riding the unlegislated range and free to raise money and spend it as he pleases. It’s understandable if he doesn’t want the status quo to change. The rest of us should feel somewhat differently.
And the good news?
Uniting the right won't be easy. The turnout for some of Kenney's events has been minuscule or simply pathetic.
His poll numbers are not encouraging.
At the very best, Jason Kenney faces an uphill battle in his bid to unite the right, according to an exclusive ThinkHQ/Metro Poll. Kenney’s approval numbers are not that promising on a provincial scale according to ThinkHQ president Marc Henry.
“He’s got an advantage in terms of his profile with Albertans, but his numbers are not overwhelmingly strong,” said Henry. “He’s got 37 per cent of Albertans who approve of him, but he’s got 35 per cent who disapprove. It’s kind of 'meh.'
And even a conservative radio host is calling on him to resign.
"I am a small-c conservative, I tack right on most issues, pretty much all issues," radio host Andrew Lawton told listeners on Calgary's AM770 Thursday afternoon, adding "I believe (MPs) need to be, if they are taking a public salary, representing the people they represent."
Lawton questioned how Kenney – a former director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation – could "claim a salary when you're not using that job as your primary role?"
So his conquest of Alberta is far from assured, and could still end up badly...
Which would only be what he deserves.
For that ghastly Con really is shameless.
And the end of his long and shabby political career can't come soon enough...
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