The game’s afoot: Jason Kenney buses unfamiliar faces in camo caps to Tory youth meeting at Red Deer PC convention

Posted on November 06, 2016, 2:34 am
6 mins

PHOTOS: Candidates for the Alberta Progressive Conservative leadership in Red Deer, from left to right, Stephen Khan, Jason Kenney, Byron Nelson, Richard Starke, Sandra Jansen and Donna Kennedy-Glans (photo by Dana Popadynetz, used with permission). Below: Stephen Harper, as seen at the PC policy convention in Red Deer, and one of Mr. Kenney’s supporters in his Kenney camo caps.

I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,

Straining upon the start. The game’s afoot:

Follow your spirit, and upon this charge

Cry ’God for Harry, England, and Saint George!’

That’s King Henry speaking, words provided by William Shakespeare, by the way.

harperBut no one was going to shout “God for Harry, England and St. George” or any Albertan version of it in Red Deer last night, where the five Progressive Conservative leadership candidates had a debate with Jason Kenney, who is running for the same job they but with the intention of destroying the former natural governing party of Alberta.

The game, however, did appear to be afoot.

Mr. Kenney, until recently a Calgary Member of Parliament and minister in the cabinet of former PM Stephen Harper (who was at the PC policy convention in the Central Alberta city to cheer on his former subordinate), proposes to achieve his goal by merging the PCs with the Wildrose Party to create what MLA Richard Starke, one of the Faithful Five, termed “some new Franken-party.”

If the socially conservative Mr. Kenney succeeds in this goal – which by the sound of media coverage of the event he is prepared to do by hook if not crook – he will be duplicating the reverse hostile takeover of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada by the Reform/Alliance Party in 2003 that was engineered by Preston Manning and carried out by Mr. Harper and his minions.

After that, the merged national party was renamed the Conservative Party of Canada – nothing progressive about that crowd – and pretty well all remaining Tories anywhere to the left of Genghis Khan were purged. Count on it, Mr. Kenney has the same thing in mind for his vision of a merged Wildrose-PC entity, which he tells supporters is the only way to defeat Alberta’s NDP government.

camo-hat-2The only difference this time – since there are Wildrosers like Opposition Leader Brian Jean who are just as unenthusiastic about Mr. Kenney’s project as substantial numbers of members of the traditional big-tent PC Party – is that this time Mr. Kenney and his advisors propose to pull off a double reverse hostile takeover!

Which is where the bit about the game being afoot comes in: Another of the Faithful Five, former cabinet minister Donna Kennedy-Glans, observed with distress Mr. Kenney’s teen-aged supporters being bused into Red Deer to take over the PC youth wing, which gets to appoint 20 delegates who get to vote for the leader at the party’s leadership convention in March.

“There’s obviously something afoot here,” she told the CBC, noting most of young ’uns outdoing Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s supporters by wearing camo Kenney caps hadn’t been PCs very long and seemed to be social conservatives.

Before departing for kiddie-coup preparations, the young folks were escorted into a room where they could have their pictures taken with Mr. Kenney and Mr. Harper, if you had any doubts left about where the former prime minister of Canada stood on the project.

“Kennedy-Glans said these newer supporters are trying to dominate policy discussions that have been studied at the grassroots level of the party,” a CBC web reporter wrote. Ms. Kennedy-Glans elucidated: “I think they are trying to usurp some of that. And that bothers me.”

Mr. Kenney told media the yout’ were recruited during his travels around Alberta in his new blue Ram pickup truck over the summer, and expressed the view most Tories would be pleased to have some folks around.

According to news reports of the event, Mr. Kenney touted the model of the Saskatchewan Party – led by Brad Wall, the man he calls “the real leader of Western Canada” – as the way to unite the PCs and Wildrosers. An observer at the meeting I spoke with by phone (I had another engagement in the capital city) noted the number of AGM goers who sat on their hands during Mr. Kenney’s comments.

Each of the Faithful Five – the others are MLA and former cabinet minister Sandra Jansen, Calgary lawyer Byron Nelson and former MLA and cabinet minister Stephen Khan – took pains to declare support for a revitalized Progressive Conservative Party. This put them all at odds with the celebrated Mr. K, who performed his feat on Saturday at … the Red Deer Sheraton.

Exeunt. Alarum, and chambers go off!

This post also appears on Rabble.ca.

7 Comments to: The game’s afoot: Jason Kenney buses unfamiliar faces in camo caps to Tory youth meeting at Red Deer PC convention

  1. ken

    November 6th, 2016

    Jason Kenney is a well organized politician with succinctly crafted sound bytes that are perfect for the minds of Albertans who are disenchanted with the ND government. Jason Kenney’s backers are the same clowns that advocated the slash and burn Klein government and all of the billions of dollars in taxpayer money wasted on private sector so called investment . I read the Postmedia propaganda. Kenneys name is splashed all over the The Herald and the Edmonton Journal as an enthusiastic endorsement of his candidacy. The media propaganda rags are intertwined with the fossil fuel industry to get rid of an honest government. That is why the Notley government is under constant attack. The far right wing and their minions want to return to the economic rape and pillage politics of the 1990s and the continued destruction of the middle class.

    Reply
  2. TENET

    November 6th, 2016

    Everyone expected the roster at the Red Deer rabbitt hole to resemble the Republican contenders, only smaller.

    Both the Republicans and their Canadian cousins have tarnished their brand, set up feuding camps, utter the same unacceptable rhetoric, cater to the same base, and pledge servitude to the same 1%. Where else would the red necks congregate but Red Deer?

    Even if they manage to unite the right, the real power will remain in the same group the caused the division in the first place.

    Win or lose, in the unlikely event that Trump should unite the quarrelling conservatives, they will nevertheless try to hobble the democratic process, vilify the free press, they will degrade women, ridicule the handicapped, stigmatize minorities, and move the poor further to the margins. Welcome to Red Deer.

    Reply
  3. Filostrato

    November 6th, 2016

    Handing out baseball caps with your name on them? Doesn’t that sound like something coming from the groper-in-chief south of the border? Really. Couldn’t Kenney think of something a bit more original?

    And didn’t the parents of these young people warn their kids never to take anything from a stranger driving around in a car and giving away free stuff?

    Also, re picture #2 – where’s my anti-nausea medication? I haven’t had much cause to use it for over a year.

    Reply
  4. David

    November 7th, 2016

    Mr. Kenny lives up to his reputation as an organizer. If he was around 60 years ago, he would have probably made a very good old time political boss. There are not as many ethnic voters in Alberta and perhaps a weekend trip to Red Deer was not as appealing to them or Mr. Kenney, so what is an organizer to do? … round up the youth instead! Perhaps they are more used to long bus rides, the cost of which may be worth the 20 or so delegates he may get from this stacking the deck. However, it has also galvanized the attention of the other candidates now – it is very clear, there is him and them.

    Perhaps Mr. Kennedy did a great service to PC unity this weekend, but it may not work out the way he hopes.

    Reply
  5. Kang, the amateur by comparison barbarian

    November 7th, 2016

    In my view the low point of Kenney’s career came when his administration burned the books in 16 Federal research libraries and the Federal Agriculture research station libraries across Canada. Nothing went on to computers and irreplaceable scientific papers and books dating back to the 1800s were lost.

    The gigantic Lethbridge Agricultural Research library was put in the dumpster just a couple of weeks before the election.

    Reply

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