Alberta Politics
Jason Kenney: Canada’s least popular premier (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

Jason Kenney is Canada’s least popular premier

Posted on May 07, 2020, 2:10 am
4 mins

Jason Kenney is Canada’s least popular premier.

When you add in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, he’s also Canada’s least popular first minister.

Chart showing Jason Kenney is Canada’s least popular premier (Image: Screenshot of Campaign Research Inc. slide show).

I’m not going to belabour this point, but Jason Kenney is Canada’s least popular premier.

Actually, I am going to belabour the point. I’m just not going to provide a lot of smarty pants analysis. That’s because while we can speculate, it’s too soon to say why Jason Kenney is Canada’s least popular premier, or what that might mean.

Unfortunately, there are caveats. Far too many.

As far as we can tell, Jason Kenney is Canada’s least popular premier. Maybe there’s a less popular premier in Atlantic Canada, because the Campaign Research Inc. poll that indicates how unpopular Mr. Kenney is doesn’t include the Maritimes or Newfoundland.

But who can imagine any Atlantic premier being less popular than Mr. Kenney? So I’m just going to keep on saying Mr. Kenney is Canada’s least popular premier until somebody proves otherwise.

How unpopular is Mr. Kenney? Well, Mr. Kenney has both the lowest approval rating of any first minister about which the Toronto-based pollster asked questions in its monthly omnibus poll and the highest disapproval rating of any premier on the list.

Mind you, another caveat, the Alberta sample appears to be pretty small, tiny even, a mere 181 souls out of the 2,007 who responded to the firm’s online panel on May 1 and 2. And, in this province, who knows why people might disapprove of the guy?

Still, even with all those qualifiers, it’s nice to be able to say that Jason Kenney is Canada’s least popular premier, and considerably less popular than Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to boot!

The poll was published yesterday under the heading COVID 19/Coronavirus Study, so you might have missed it. The bit about Jason Kenney being Canada’s most unpopular premier is buried rather deep, starting down on page 36 of the explanatory slide show. It’s one of those online panel thingies, so all of the usual negative caveats about that apply too.

Just the same, according to Campaign Research, Canada’s three most popular premiers are Quebec’s Francois Legault with an 83-per-cent approval rating and 13 per cent disapproving, Saskatchewan’s Scott Moe (80%/16%), and British Columbia’s John Horgan (73%/13%). Ontario’s Doug Ford was fourth (76%/17%).

I suppose because they’re a Toronto pollster, Campaign research threw in Toronto Mayor John Tory (75%/17%). In fairness, though, Toronto’s population is more than twice those of Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and a bit larger than both combined, so fair’s fair.

Plus Campaign Research added the prime minister (65%/29%).

Canada’s second-least popular premier, according to this, was Manitoba’s Brian Pallister (51%/37%).

And then came Mr. Kenney, in a distant last place with an approval rating of 44 per cent, and a disapproval rating of 48 per cent, the only leader on the list with a higher disapproval rating than approval rating.

Have I read too much into this? Almost certainly.

But who cares? It’s just nice to be able to say … Jason Kenney is Canada’s least popular premier.

21 Comments to: Jason Kenney is Canada’s least popular premier

  1. Dave

    May 7th, 2020

    This is not a surprise to me. The virus crisis does not play well to any of Kenney’s strengths. He is good at political organizing and partisan campaign style attack speeches. He is not as good as Trudeau at empathy, not as good as Legault at projecting cool, calm, competence or even as good as Ford at harnessing some of the more populist frustrations around what is happening.

    Kenney at times now seems almost unengaged, as if this crisis is an inconvenience that has put on hold his grander political plans, which it probably has. A less ideologically rigid politician would probably have put his battle with the doctors on hold some time ago and also quickly ended another stubbon battle to keep packing plants open at all costs, when it became clear what the damage from that was.

    I don’t think the UCP quite realizes it yet, because Kenney does have considerable political talents, but at this time he is like the captain of the Titanic stubbornly charging ahead, when he really should be changing course. However, I think the voters do sense how out of step he is with what is really needed at this time and that is what these poll numbers are about.

    Reply
    • Comment

      May 7th, 2020

      Well said.

      Reply
  2. Just Me

    May 7th, 2020

    This far from astounding revelation must be tied to some of the so called promises that Kenney didn’t keep.

    I will begin …

    At the moment of his election, there would be a enormous, unprecedented, and never-ending economic boom that the world has never before seen.

    At the moment of his election, all the ills that the socialists and their globalist masterminds has wrought on Alberta would be vanquished as completely erased.

    The conspiracies formulated by the true enemies of Alberta, the Rockefellers, George Soros, the UN, the House of Saudi, and Vladimir Putin would be undone and rendered harmless.

    Canada would be returned to the bosom of the Conservatives. Thanks to the overwhelming electoral win by Andrew Scheer, all the resources of Canada would be returned to its rightful owners, Alberta and its fossil fuel industry.

    And Kenney himself would be well on his way to returning to federal politics and stepping into his destiny as the Prime Minister of Canada.

    Of course, once Kenney woke from his blissful slumber, he found that none of his hopes and dreams had come to pass. Trudeau and the Liberals were still in power – even more firmly entrenched thanks to support from the NDP and the Bloc Quebecois.

    His engineered “Resistance” was been broken and his ally Doug Ford is now close and supportive of Justin Trudeau and the Liberals.

    And even poor Andrew Scheer has been kicked to the curb and teetering into amazing irrelevancy. Worse, the new Conservative leader will soon be Peter MacKay, the one person Kenney wishes would throw off his mortal coil and disembark from the planet.

    Add into that that the price of oil has plunged to negative levels, making it not even worthy to give away. Kenney’s grand designs of billions for the fossil fuel industry, financed by Ottawa, has been replaced with the meager pot public pensions saved by Alberta’s public employees.

    Unemployment has reached levels never before seen by any living Albertan, public services are eroding, and trust of Kenney’s UCP government is reaching sub-zero levels.

    Kenney-DOH! is the worst premier Alberta has ever had? What a difference a year makes.

    Reply
  3. Abs

    May 7th, 2020

    Earlier this week, Kenney was telling us yet again to be like buffalo, and herd together. He might have ripped this off from Winston Churchill, who frequently said, “Let us go forward together.”

    Kenney said this as he was about to start the process of dismantling and selling off Alberta’s provincial parks, the legacy of the people. He said this as meat packing plant workers were fearfully resuming work at the Cargill plant, where 1000 have been infected with the coronavirus, and two have died as a result. Kenney said this weeks after his Minister of Health ranted and cried on the driveway of an epidemiologist, in the middle of an unprecedented pandemic. He said this after he laid off 26,000 education workers during the pandemic, tossing them to the winds of fate, and federal financial assistance.

    So it seems that Kenney is running the people of Alberta, the people he portrays as ungulates, off a proverbial cliff. Buffalo don’t jump; they break their necks.

    The Covid-19 pandemic is to Kenney what Dresden was to Churchill. Scorched earth is all that will be left of Alberta, and us, after he gets through with us. If this poll is correct, Albertans finally got a clue-by-four, but it may already be too late to stop us from hurtling over Kenney’s cliff. What can stop the momentum?

    Reply
    • Simon Renouf

      May 7th, 2020

      I believe Mr Kenney is more familiar with those buffalo that have wings.

      Reply
    • Murphy

      May 7th, 2020

      Kenney is, as the Texans described W., a “post-turtle”. The term refers to the observation of a turtle observed on top of a fence post which clearly could not have put itself in such a position. So whatever is being done to Alberta and Albertans is being done at the behest of the people who installed Tailgunner Jay on top of his fence post. These people have always had their way in Alberta, including during the interegnum of the NDP. The immolation of Dresden in no way impaired Winston Churchill’s career and Churchill’s reputation still reaps the fruits of unceasing propaganda work to obfuscate the nature of that particular war crime, among a host of others that constitute the role of the Superfriends in WW2. Let’s hope that Tailgunner Jay is not so fortunate.

      Reply
    • jerrymacgp

      May 7th, 2020

      Maybe there’ll be a new tourist attraction in Alberta: Head-Smashed-In-Albertan-Jump … maybe it’ll be up in Fort Mac.

      Reply
  4. Derek

    May 7th, 2020

    Yeah it’s very nice to say. I cannot fathom how he’s even at 44 percent approval.

    Reply
    • Athabascan

      May 7th, 2020

      You can’t fathom it, because it isn’t true. Even before the pandemic he was throwing people out of work, and stealing teachers’ and nurses’ pensions. Then he cut back funding for Healthcare and Education.

      There are way too many people in Alberta who have been negatively affected by Kenney’s criminally cruel policies. It is impossible that 44% of Albertans approve of him. The poll is flawed, or purposely misleading.

      Reply
  5. Political Ranger

    May 7th, 2020

    Yeah, doesn’t surprise me one bit!

    What does surprise me is that so many people care enough to comment. To know Kenney is to detest him.

    He is just another conservative and observant and thinking people are becoming aware that conservatives do not have any policies or prescriptions for a better, more fair and just Canada. They are, to a person, in it just for themselves, their own social or usually financial gain.

    So, get used to seeing these charlatans and carpetbaggers being called out for what they are.
    But please! Let’s get past these protestations of surprise and dismay. These people are right-wing nutjobs; they always have been. They have never been nor ever will be, good for society.
    The only question worthy of any serious political ruminations is, What are we going to do about it?

    Reply
  6. Adam

    May 7th, 2020

    What a lot of people don’t seem to understand is it doesn’t matter how high or low is his approval rating. Us Albertans are not his prime constituency. The dying fossil fuel industry and its desperately divvying dollar bills are his main constituency. Voters are simply the tool that the fossil capitalism industry uses so its political wing (UCP) can cling to the last vestiges of power.

    Reply
  7. Scotty Donaldson

    May 7th, 2020

    Did you hear? Jason Kenney’s the least popular premier in Canada!

    While some aren’t that surprised, especially K-Boy-watchers, there are some smarty pants questions as to why he is the least popular premier in Canada. Since I do wear those kind of strides, I have to ask about the premier next door. Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe who sang back-up vocals for the K-Boy when their hated Liberals were shut out of their adjacent provinces in last year’s federal election—proof, sang Moe’s alto—that Ottawa was out to shaft their bitumen industries, and predictably co-lamented the rising ripple of Wexit to J.Q.Kenney’s soprano. For premiers joined at the tar-pits like these two, how can Moe survey markedly better than Duke of the Albetarian Bitumen Mines?

    Such conundrums compel me to consult my better half, which I’m normally disinclined to do since it makes it look like she’s smarter than I am—and wears the pants, too.

    Anyway, she cited Ontario’s D’ohFo who just months ago might have polled lowest, but today polls just behind the most popular three: it’s the demeanour of empathy, she pronounced: “D’ohFo’s doing the BoJo,” she says, referring to the abject mea culpas UK PM Boris Johnson had to endure during Question Period on his first day back in parliament after having been hospitalized for COVID19 himself; “The Opposition couldn’t lay a glove on him,” she observed. Same way with John Horgan, she says: “He’s like a tough union boss, a suck-it-up kinda guy, whereas his Health Minister Adrian Dix exudes sincere empathy” about BC citizens’ privations during this extraordinary time. “That’s what people want—empathy—at a time like this; maybe that’s why Kenney’s so different from the rest…” She does a funny impression of the D’ohFo approaching the microphone—only those pants look pretty good on her—way better n D’ohFo’s 4000-dollar suits.

    I figure K-Boy’s doing the exact same thing as tRump: the combativeness, the long, long pressers, the preposterous prognostications in order to shore-up potential erosion to the all-important voting base who are as vulnerable to the virus as anybody else. But that’s just me.

    I guess comparison to Manitoba’s Brian Pallister, second least popular premier in Canada, might solve this curiosity. But I didn’t bring it up with her—she was born in St Hubert Hospital (where the nuns helped her mother with a name —which is how a Jewish baby girl gets named Francine)—so I’m reluctant to seek her advise on Brian, being sure she’d have it, and my lazy ass would be sent out to weed-whack the spring grass in fat-pants only that smart.

    But, did somebody say Jason Kenney’s the most unpopular premier in Canada?

    Reply
  8. zoe

    May 7th, 2020

    Your statement makes it all to obvious and renders your ‘conclusion’based on 181 surely believable ‘votes’ completely transparent> And a piece of leftist garbage.

    Reply
    • Magda

      May 8th, 2020

      Don’t be rude, Zoe. And it’s spelled “too”.

      Reply
    • Athabascan

      May 9th, 2020

      That’s right Zoe, all truth is leftist garbage. Let us all embrace right-wing lies as truth instead.

      Everyone loves Kenney. He is the most popular premier in Canada. Feel better now?

      Reply
    • Alan

      September 1st, 2020

      Can you explain to us true conservatives where you find the gall to call anything a leftist piece of garbage when you are the one supporting a Liberal turned Reformer , who has never been a true Conservative, in Jason Kenney? Have you even bothered to check into Kenney’s Liberal past? As a lawyer I knew would say Wouldn’t a skunk smell the same if you called it a cat. The fact is there is nothing conservative about Jason Kenney and we aren’t dumb enough to believe his lies, so why are you?8

      Reply
    • Alan

      September 1st, 2020

      Can you explain to us true conservatives where you find the gall to call anything a leftist piece of garbage when you are the one supporting a Liberal turned Reformer , who has never been a true Conservative, in Jason Kenney? Have you even bothered to check into Kenney’s Liberal past? As a lawyer I knew would say Wouldn’t a skunk smell the same if you called it a cat. The fact is there is nothing conservative about Jason Kenney and we aren’t dumb enough to believe his lies, so why are you?

      Reply
  9. Sub-Boreal

    May 7th, 2020

    Stop repeating yourself! Your gloating tone is getting tedious. You need to stop saying this.

    I’ll say it instead: Jason Kenny is the least popular premier.

    Reply
  10. Comment

    May 7th, 2020

    “…Jason Kenney is Canada’s least popular premier.”

    I’ll drink to that.

    Reply
  11. lost in in the colonies

    May 8th, 2020

    i’m repeating myself but don’t think it can be said enough

    not a surprise at all that his idiotic policies are biting him in the ass
    Kenney is a boneheaded, obtuse and fractious wanna be republican
    socialism for the oil industry and wealthy, hardass, free-market bootstrap capitalism for the middle class and regular folk

    what he is really good at is pushing the buttons of a bunch of petrostate groomed and hoodwinked Albertans using lies and half truths to keep them distracted from what’s really going on and casting blame and pointing at the “libruls” and trudeau and whoever else might be handy

    Reply
  12. Alan

    September 1st, 2020

    It was former MLAs from the Lougheed government who taught me that Reformers can’t be trusted. Looking after their own well-being and that of their rich friends while spreading lies is all they care about and Kenney is certainly doing that. Even his reform party buddies are filling their pockets with taxpayers money including Stephen Harper and Preston Manning. Using the excuse of Expert Panels is how he is doing it. Ironically even Ralph Klein accused Kenny of spreading lies and stealing from seniors and he is still doing it.

    Reply

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