Conservative political activist Vitor Marciano in 2012 (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

“Let’s be clear, this premier is a bully. And the people around him are jerks. And they will come after you, and they’ll come after your family, and they will come after your business, and they will spread any secret or any lie that they can get on you.”

The speaker quoted above is Vitor Marciano, an experienced conservative political operative nowadays associated with former Wildrose Party leader Brian Jean’s campaign to win the Fort McMurray-Lac La Biche by-election on the Ides of March and thereafter to relegate Premier Jason Kenney to Alberta history.

Bonnyville-Cold Lake UCP MLA Dave Hanson (Photo: David Hanson/Facebook).

He’s describing what will happen to people like Bonnyville-Cold Lake UCP MLA Dave Hanson, if they stand up and show their opposition to Mr. Kenney. 

The occasion was a Feb. 17 meeting of United Conservative Party supporters disillusioned with Mr. Kenney’s leadership and determined to hand the premier his walking papers at the party’s leadership review on April 9 in Red Deer. 

In addition to Mr. Hanson and Mr. Marciano, former Kenney organizer David Parker can be heard on a recording of the meeting in Bonnyville, 260 kilometres northeast of Edmonton, which was posted to YouTube last week and has been circulating on social media since. 

Mr. Parker, said blogger Dave Cournoyer on Tuesday, was Mr. Kenney’s Central Alberta organizer in the 2017 leadership race. Now he is a bitter foe. He is executive director of Take Back Alberta, a political action committee set up to defeat Mr. Kenney in the leadership review.

“On April 9, we’re voting out a tyrant,” Mr. Parker can be heard saying at the Bonnyville meeting. 

Mr. Marciano was at Mr. Jean’s side during the UCP leadership battle of 2017 and was given the shove as a party employee after Mr. Kenney’s victory in October that year – suggesting the premier might have been smarter, as the saying goes, to keep his friends close but his enemies closer. 

Whether or not Mr. Marciano’s colourful remark is a fair description of the current state of affairs in the UCP, it certainly suggests Alberta is being run by a crime family, not a political party. 

That’s overstating it, but the recording shows the depth of the rift in the UCP.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney (Photo: Alberta Newsroom/Flickr).

How deep is the distrust of Mr. Kenney’s campaign ethics? 

“My nomination, and our next AGM within our constituency association, will be interfered with,” predicted Mr. Hanson, who told the CBC he participated in the meeting on the understanding it wouldn’t be recorded. 

“We’ve already seen it in a couple areas in southern Alberta, where the party has stepped in and taken over constituency associations and interfered with the nomination process,” he went on. “They tried to do it with Mr. Jean up in Fort McMurray as well.”

Soon after, Mr. Marciano can be heard saying, “Joseph Stalin once said, ‘I don’t give a damn who votes, I care who counts the votes.’” Voices of agreement can be heard in the background. 

When Central Peace MLA Todd Loewen was kicked out of the UCP after a caucus vote on May 13 last year, Mr. Marciano said, nobody knew what the actual count was. “Todd wasn’t told. Nobody else was told. And Todd has since taken phone calls from more than one cabinet minister who said, ‘Todd, I voted for you to stay.’ So we’ll never know.”

The same thing happened in November, he claimed, at the annual general meeting of the Rimbey Rocky Mountain House Sundry Constituency Association, where Government House Leader Jason Nixon appears to be in deep trouble with party members in the riding.

Former Wildrose Party leader Brian Jean (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

It happened again at another AGM, Mr. Marciano insisted. “They did it as an online meeting. The chair said people have voted and you’ve lost. And that was it. No counts, no telling anybody who could vote, no confirming the number of votes, no confirming even the number of people on the meeting. These guys are prepared to cheat. … They’re prepared to do everything they can to win.”

Now don’t imagine, dear readers, that Mr. Kenney’s intramural rural opponents are unhappy with him for being too far to the right. 

“He’s now trying to paint us if you’re opposed to him that you’re a white, right wing fanatic,” complained Mr. Hanson. 

“When you’re actually a liberal, all conservatives are on your right,” he said of Mr. Kenney. “Because we oppose you isn’t because we’re all fanatics. It’s because you’re not actually conservative, you’re a liberal. …

“If you wanted to know what Jason Kenney is going to do next,” Mr. Hanson asserted, “just listen to what Rachel Notley was saying last time!” 

Well, that’s one way of looking at things, I guess. 

“If we all do our jobs,” Mr. Marciano can be heard summing up, “he’s gone on April 9, and then there’s a leadership race, and we’ll get to have some influence on who the next leader is. And whoever that person is, you know, he or she will have realized that you can’t cross Albertans too much.” There is applause. 

Well, those of us who don’t have a dog in this fight will still be watching the leadership review with great interest. One prediction is probably safe to make: Whether Mr. Kenney goes or stays, bitter division will haunt the UCP long after his date with destiny in Red Deer on April 9.

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33 Comments

  1. Given the state of the UCP and the party’s relationship with Kenney, I have no doubt that Kenney will declare at his upcoming leadership review that if the review succeeds, he will call an election the next day. Or, as V. Putin would put it, You want a nuclear war, here’s a nuclear war.

    It’s reached the point now that Kenney may not even have a base to stand on; and come an election, the UCP’s effort will rapidly devolve into a very public civil war.

    Comparing Kenney is Stalin is not out of line at all. In fact, it’s the right way to colour the state of the UCP.

    On the two occasions I encountered Kenney, I was left with no doubt that to oppose him was to endure endless and relentless torture. Kenney was infamous for having such a toxic hatred of Peter McKay, he refused to stage on the same stage as him. Actually, Kenney would demand that McKay not even be allowed on the stage. And there was the famous relationship that McKay had with CON but suddenly turned Liberal Belinda Stronach. The heiress to the Magna empire had sweet and comfortable relationship with McKay, until something went wildly amiss. The story was Stronach, who was a leadership rival to Harpo, is a typical Red Tory and was frequently battling with Harpo over pretty much everything. Kenney, being Harpo’s faithful attack dog, went after Stronach frequently and embarrassed her at every opportunity. McKay looked on troubled by the nonsense and got onto Kenney’s bad side PDQ. In the end, Stronach met with Paul Martin and set the stage for her to cross the floor and join the Liberal government.

    One of the issues that Stronach frequently broke with Harpo on was same-sex marriage. Stronach is all for it, unlike the bulk of Harpo’s CPC knuckle-dragger wing. The Martin was supportive of same-sex marriage and welcomed Stronach into the Liberal fold. I recall on an episode of Rick Mercer’s Report Stronach claimed her position was not that opposed in the CPC caucus. That is until she supported the Liberal’s legislation to recognize same-sex marriage, then raging Harpo sent his foaming at the mouth Kenney to exact his pound of flesh. Stronach was gone and Kenney’s legend for being ruthless was born.

    1. “…he [Kenney] refused to stage on the same stage as him [MacKay].” Only took me a nano-second to recognize this isn’t a typo. Staging is what Kenney does—it’s the only thing he ever does on stage.

      Belinda Stronach might have been a Red Tory, but she was accepted by Liberal PM Paul Martin only because he was at the rightward extreme of business liberalism (and nothing else: he was married). It was their respective fortunes which overlapped, not their ideologies. The rift between PM Jean Chrétien and finance minister Martin was between “Canada’s Natural Governing Party”: “le p’tit gars de Shawinigan” stood firmly astride the centre but shipping magnate Martin was a neoliberal in ideology and practice. Chrétien campaigned on the left and Martin, on the right, slashed deficits, debt, and social services. The resulting collapse meant the HarperCons were favoured by default for nine painful years.

      I remember MacKay’s post-Belinda-trist quip that “dogs are more loyal” better than any ruthlessness towards Ms Stronach Kenney Might have expressed—probably cuz Kenney never had the bone to begin with.

      Recall that MacKay was Erin O’Toole’s most competitive rival for the CPC leadership—indeed, came in second, but only after O’Toole ventured West to kiss Kenney’s premierial ring for the win.

      Now it all makes sense to me. Thank you!

    2. @Just Me – From all of the politicking that kenney is frenetically doing as of late, promising everything to anyone who might throw a vote his way, I suspect he may call an election before April 9th.

      Just as kenney obediently did harpers’ bidding, kenney also learned from harper – particularly dirty electoral tricks. Perhaps Albertans will see names disappearing from electoral lists, misdirection to nonexistent polling stations via robocalls, harassment and abuse from phone numbers purporting to represent non-ucp parties (maybe even late night phone calls from Front Porch Strategies). pierre le-peu may still have his robocall company operating in Alberta, if not I am sure there are many others representing the best interests of right wing parties in the province. It’s possible that provincial election polls will all suddenly be given voting machines to run the ballots through – no chance of anything going wrong there, never mind the deliberate thwarting of scrutineers ability ‘to observe’ that seems to be quite the tradition in this province.

      Perhaps kenney will regret allowing freedumb protestors to continue to harass residents of Edmonton and Calgary. It appears both the Edmonton and Calgary police forces are about as effective as the police force in Ottawa was for the first couple of weeks (see ongoing Beltline protests in Calgary). Ongoing protest is certainly not a surprise here in Calgary with the police seemingly protecting the rights of the anti-vaxxers throughout the pandemic – indeed both Calgary police and firefighters have held their own anti-mask/anti-vax protests in downtown Calgary. And while Calgary police were very tardy in charging anyone with mask/protest rally infractions, I believe kenney ‘forgave’ all tickets written with the exception of artur pawlovski (sp?). Perhaps the freedumbers will decide to cause a kerfuffle in Red Deer on the ninth?

      Anyway, promises made during an election campaign by a dishonest politician are no better than a ‘pocketful of mumbles’. Remember when kenney made his very public promise to invest more money in Health Care in Alberta? He simply neglected to say that money for ‘private’ healthcare providers would be prioritized. I imagine that many groups south of the 49th parallel are salivating at the prospect – who wouldn’t? Not only will they be given contracts with very healthy profit margins built in, capital costs no doubt will be highly subsidized if not completely covered.

      harper used ‘incrementalism’ whereas kenney seems to think that legislating extreme right-wing changes as fast as possible will work. In any event April will be a very interesting month in Alberta politics.

  2. Well, one nice thing about secret ballots is it gives those knifing a colleague or a leader in the back plausible deniability. So, all those cabinet ministers can claim to have been Loewen’s supporters and who can say if they were or weren’t. This of course is how politics works in the UCP.

    It is a very dysfunctional and divided party, that recording just confirms what we already suspected. Of course that is a part of UCP politics too. Some things are secret that maybe should be more transparent like votes, and others like conversations that some may expect to be more private are not.

    I could see how MLA’s would be uneasy to challenge a bully boss, or a tyrant as they called him here, too publicly. Of course, it could just be an excuse by someone unwilling to stick their neck out because they are really not that enthusiastic about the alternatives either. As bad as Kenney is, does there really seem to be a better alternative in the UCP? It is pretty much the B team or the C team.

    If the vote is close, the UCP may become even more divided. If it is more decisive, the disgruntled will probably just leave. Interestingly, there was talk earlier about 65% being the target for Kenney. Lately it seems to have changed to being just a majority. Perhaps Kenney is beginning to sense the animosity is deeper than he thought. The boss is sometimes almost the last to know what people really think about him, especially if he’s a tyrant.

    I suspect there are many other interesting conversations going on right now in the UCP we will never get to hear about because they weren’t being recorded.

  3. This leadership review for the head honcho of the UCP, and the time leading up to it, is going to be really ugly. The daggers are already out of their sheaths, and it won’t be pretty at all. If you have seen recent news clips or press releases featuring the head honcho of the UCP, he talks like he is frightened of something, and his hair looks more grey. His speech and body language are giveaways that something isn’t right. Also, the promises and vote buying antics are mounting fast, such as more money for healthcare and more beds for long term care. Those may be hollowed gestures, which won’t be accomplished, but are like a proverbial carrot on a stick, so the head honcho of the UCP can redeem himself to Albertans. We shall see what transpires after April 9. Regardless, there seems to be noticeable cracks in the UCP. Those cracks may be deepening and widening. Those may be impossible to repair. If the UCP are finished, the head honcho of the UCP will basically do what Jim Prentice did. For some reason, anyone in Alberta provincial politics, that was in the federal government prior, doesn’t seem to last very long. Also, political mergers in Alberta have had a history of failure. This is what’s likely to happen with the UCP. You also can best believe that Preston Manning has been working behind the scenes somehow with the UCP, and this experiment of his is going to end up like his prior experiment with Danielle Smith and the Wildrose experiment in 2014, or 2015.

  4. Kenney a bully? Surrounded by jerks? Sounds about right. I think of the Randy Newman song about short people in this context.

    More evidence of Kenney’s unsuitability to be premier is provided by his unethical defamatory attack on Ubaka Ogbogu, a professor of law and a frequent critic of Kenney’s policies, on Twitter earlier this week.

    https://twitter.com/UbakaOgbogu/status/1499469827932504074

    For those of you who don’t want to click the link, in Kenney’s tweet (since deleted), Kenney attacked Ogbogu as a “deranged” leftie and NDP lawyer. Kenney’s irresponsible and vile political attack on a private citizen opened Obogu up to many attacks in replies to the original tweet. As Ogbogu himself points out,

    “I’m not a member of the NDP. The Premier knows or ought to know this. But even if I was, my political affiliation is not the basis for my critique of his policies. I’m a citizen and a health law professor.

    “The first time issues managers attacked me this way, I got racist attacks by phone and email and had to remove all my contact information from the internet. This significantly affects my professional life. The Premier has made the situation worse.”

    So, Kenney is a bully not just to members of the UCP but to private citizens as well who are critical of his policies. Watch out fellow posters! Kenney may sic his dogs on you if he finds out you have been critical of him.

    Would it be fair to conclude that Kenney is also a thin-skinned narcissist who can’t accept fair criticism, and would rather lash out and harm critics? Have we ever had a worse premier?

      1. Thank you for the correction, Scott. I don’t do FB (never have and hope I never succumb to it) and was relying on what Professor Ogbogu stated in his Twitter thread. Professor Ogbogu does not have FB either, according to one of his tweets.

  5. The bitter divisions between the former Wildrose and the old Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta were very real, and only imperfectly papered over by Jason Kenney in his bid to “unite the right” before the 2019 election. They’re analogous to the divisions between the federal PC Party and the Reform Party/Canadian Alliance — remember, the Canadian Alliance was just a first, failed attempt to “unite the right” at the federal level, which began as the “United Alternative” project when it became clear to the Reformers that they would never get any traction east of the Manitoba-Ontario border.

    Whether federally or provincially, the two competing streams of conservativism are starkly drawn. One is a classic Canadian “big tent” brokerage party, not terribly ideological, politically pragmatic and flexible. Ontario’s Bill Davis, the federal party’s Bob Stanfield, Joe Clark and Brian Mulroney, and Alberta’s Peter Lougheed and Ed Stelmach are the best examples. Sometimes it drifts somewhat further to the right, like Ontario’s Mike Harris or Alberta’s Ralph Klein, but often that’s more “following from the front” rather than leading a trend as Canadian political fads weave left and right. Similarly, the Liberal Party is also a pragmatic, big-tent brokerage party; it was far more conservative in its outlook under Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin than it is now under Justin Trudeau, and former Nova Scotia Premier Stephen “Stay the blazes home!” MacNeil was probably the most conservative “Liberal” premier in recent memory.

    Then there’s the doctrinaire hard-right, pseudo-populist, business-libertarian/social conservative grievance-politics flavour of conservativism, best illustrated by such federal level figures as Presto! Manning, Stockwell Day, Stephen Harper and Pierre Poilièvre, and provincially by such figures as Ontario’s Ford brothers, Saskatchewan’s Scott Moe, and Alberta’s Derek “Fildepockets” Fildebrandt, Paul Hinman, Brian Jean and of course Jason Kenney. (Can you imagine Stephen Harper being at the forefront of ending apartheid, or signing the acid rain treaty, or the ozone layer protections of the Montréal Protocol?)

    That stream of conservatism believes in “government small enough to drown in a bathtub”, but only when it comes to regulating business, commerce, and the workplace. It believes in deregulation and unfettered rapine of the environment. But it also believes in harsh sentences for criminal offences, including capital punishment; in regulation of women’s reproductive autonomy; in suppressing LGBTQ2S+ rights and in “conversion therapy”; in privileging religious faith over secularism; in teaching “creation science” and “intelligent design” alongside — or in place of — evolution in the school system; and in neglecting the reality of Indigenous peoples and the serious untoward effects of colonization and the residential school system. It sees no contradiction in deregulation of commercial behaviour and over-regulation of individual behaviour.

    The shotgun marriage of the Wildrose and PC Party is clearly not holding together. At the federal level the divorce has already happened and the PCs have been thrown out of the house, their luggage on the sidewalk.

  6. Oh! Big surprise here. Kenney cheats! You don’t say.

    You know who doesn’t cheat and has respect for the rule of law and Albertans? Notley doesn’t cheat, but I guess that’s why she’s not premier either.

    I guess, Albertans would rather vote for a sociopathic closeted cheater as their premier than an ethical, caring, and honest woman like Rachel Notley.

  7. All of us have a stake in the outcome of the April 9 leadership vote. What happens then determines the lengths to which Kenney and the UCP are willing to go in the 2023 election. The mention of Stalin is interesting, beyond the context of vote-counting.

    Look no further than the psychology of mob families, and how that extends outward into society in general.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5611539/

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-65486-z

    We live in dangerous times. Those not raised in highly dysfunctional families may find the current times traumatic, as they are too far outside the realm of “normal”. If we look at what is happening now in terms of family dysfunction, it is possible to understand why it’s happening. This behaviour is dangerous and should never be accepted or normalized. It is sick and abusive. It will only get worse unless we reject it soundly and swiftly.

  8. Wondering if our fair blogger has had a chance to dig into the veracity of that Stalin quote, I feel it may be unfair to Stalin to compare him to Jason Kenney.

    1. Little Bird: Funny you should mention that, unfairness aside, I wondered the same thing and looked it up earlier tonight. First of all, the quote traditionally ascribed to Stalin is wittier: “It’s not the people who vote that count, it’s the people who count the votes.” That obviously works in English. Whether it works in Russian, I’m not qualified to say. It almost looks like it might, though: «Учитываются не люди, которые голосуют, а люди, которые считают голоса». It’s also sometimes written as, “Those who vote decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything.” Regardless, as is always the case in such matters, the attribution is controversial. The same line has also been attributed to Boss Tweed, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Napoleon III. If I were to bet on which one was most likely, I’d say Boss Tweed. He actually had to worry about vote counts, after all. DJC

      1. Speaking of Boss Tweed, here’s another attributed to him. When asked what are the two most important things in politics, he replied: “Money … and I can’t think of the other one.”

  9. It doesn’t surprise any of us that he wants to create a police state with him in control of a police force that he can use against anyone who doesn’t support him. The big question is why is it taking so long for the RCMP to reach a decision on these investigations, someone needs to start explaining why?

  10. The ucp either let or helped Jason Kenney cheat to win the leadership nomination. Now they’re worried that he’ll cheat in ways they don’t approve of. I have no sympathy for them. Would love to see an investigation into the rcmp investigating of the credible allegations of electoral cheating. Have they done anything? If they found a smoking gun, would they act?

  11. Interesting partisan-spectrum metric that at least one ‘neoliberal-libertarian-in-SoCon-clothing’ defines the partisan neo-right he wants as everything right of Jason Kenney—and therefore K-Boy must, perforce, be a liberal! There’s prob’ly as much a range of opinion on that position as there is of the entire partisan spectrum, but one thing most every partisan position can agree on: for the intended audience, that’s the worst thing Kenney could be called.

    Well, it is a quintessentially psephological circumstance, after all: virtually back-to-back contests, one publicly electoral, one viscerally in-party, both mortifying the party in public. We can expect a bit of hype in either case, but bringing both to the brink is not, in this case, ordinary rivalry: the brinksmanship of labelling K-Boy a liberal is extraordinary because it rather reveals an abiding UCP rift that won’t heal after either contest is over. The rift is, in fact, a chasm, and the brink is as sharp as a straight razor.

    Anyway, is there even a spectrum in which liberalism can fit? Socialism, anarcho-syndicalism, and conservatism are all socially prescriptive, so ‘left’ and ‘right’ will do. But liberalism—individualism, libertarianism, whatever ya calls it —rather intersects the continuous left/right spectrum: if through the centre (as the wily Chrétien would put it: “straight t’rough t’e ‘eart”), so-called ‘welfare liberalism’ ideally arranges society only insofar as the individual is advantaged; ‘business liberalism’ traditional ethos is about entrepreneurial freedom as an individual right. One wonders if neoliberalism is indeed a form of liberalism or if it might be as instantaneously localized on any part of the spectrum it intersects.

    However the big brains might describe it (like, even Chomsky couldn’t define anarchy), neoliberalism is a good example of how ethos is not the same as ethics: it is a globalizing movement manifesting the belief that national sovereignties’ rules and taxes impede the freedom of the entrepreneurial unit, the supposed ‘individual’. But many would disagree, I dare say even many conservatives —real ones, that is—, that today’s societies can meet the challenges they need to without taking the same interest in the global scope of serious problems as they do with their own sovereign concerns—safety, people’s health and welfare, and prosperity. Neoliberalism’s ethos of diminishing national sovereignty not only runs counter to the will of the (world) majority, it often does so by concealing its efforts to undermine democratic control of national sovereignties which, naturally, could, and probably would elect to implement such taxes and regulations as required to meet global challenges manifesting within the sovereign jurisdiction and, moreover, to cooperate with other nations for mutual benefit, not as a gaggles of individual interests.

    Today’s nominal conservatives resort to deception more and more frequently these days, even to the extent of overtly offending democratic principles (lying, voting-systems-gaming and outright electoral cheating, &c); they have in fact been discretely knackering national sovereignty in the interests of stateless corporatocracies for decades. It’s hard to say whether this unethical strategy is characteristic of a liberalism that happens to intersect the spectrum at the right end— or even what to call it (when disguised as conservatism, I call it “neo-rightism” because Conservative —or even neoCon—it ain’t), but the ethos appears ineluctably unethical. It’s dishonest to campaign on “getting government off your back,” or on “keeping government from taking away your freedoms,” or “only the individual has the right to earmark what “cher” money should be spent on,”— but really mean stateless corporations are gonna take away our ability to govern ourselves democratically. This is typical of neo-right behaviour—and probably of its very soul.

    Wanna find out? How’s about asking Kenney if he’s a closet neoliberal, see what he says.

    Margaret Thatcher, UK prime minister, wrote in 1987: “There’s no such thing as society. There are individual[s]…and no government can do anything except [that] people look to themselves first.” On surface it seems a neoliberal notion, but even though “The Iron Lady” was all about busting unions and privatizing state-owned enterprises—typical of the political right—just ask Argentina about her position on national sovereignty: it found out she’d go to the ends of the earth to defend the sovereignty of a cluster of small, strategically unimportant, remote British dependencies in the South Atlantic. No question she was a devout and formidable sovereigntist, the hallmark of Tory conservatism. One might ascribe her “no-such-thing-as-society” schtick a kind of populist campaign to get re-elected (all that was popular, at the time but, without the Falklands War, her career would have blown out like a candle in the wind long before it did). Furthermore, she was against joining the EU on the ground that it would diminish British sovereignty, and ended up supporting the “poll tax”—which didn’t necessarily disqualify her as a Tory (Torys aren’t-necessarily anti-tax)—which some in her caucus saw as opportunity to challenge her leadership, which she did not meet, resigning the party post before resigning her seat in the Commons two year later. She was the longest sitting PM in recent UK history. Those don’t seem clothes that would fit the redoubtable K-Boy. Perhaps he’s not a conservative, after all.

    But nobody but nobody would dare call Dame Thatcher (as she was elevated, post politics) a liberal. Bet against his own “The-Lady’s-not-for-turning” rejoinder, Kenney will doubtlessly be tarred with the fact that he actually was a Liberal, if he isn’t one right now. Just ask Ralph Goodale, former leader of the Saskatchewan Liberals, if his party had to change their name when his young executive assistant, Jason Kenney, once quite active in the Young Liberals, left to become director, serially, of two anti-tax organizations.

    But actually calling him a liberal? Ouch! That rift some big!

    Way to go, Team Disunited!

  12. In many ways, the coming leadership review to establish once and for all the levels of tolerance Alberta has to extreme nonsense.

    Allison Redford’s transgressions were pretty minor compared to Kenney’s full-on blow-hard style of governance. If one thinks of a likely real world comparison to Kenney, the one that comes to my mind of Pol Pot. Here we have a leader to created a cult of personality inspired by his own delusions of his own brilliance and sought out followers who were willing to do anything to maintain the leader’s lofty phantasms. In the end, Pol Pot was brought down in the most most brutal of fashions, his followers made extinct from the earth.

    I suspect that the need to rid themselves of Kenney has taken on the temperament of a crusade, and we all know what happens in crusades. There will be the most brutal assaults and counter-assaults, claims and counter-claims, slanders and libels of every description. Kenney will be the target, not only for his governance missteps, but even his very personal faults and secrets. I suspect there will be something of the equivalent of Kenney being burned at the stake, in front of the cheering UCP mob.

    I wish I could be there — giant box of popcorn in hand.

    1. Just: As awful as Mr. Kenney’s leadership is, it’s maybe just a little overwrought to compare him to a mass murder responsible for the systematic persecution and murder of some two million of his fellow citizens, roughly a quarter of Cambodia’s population. Just sayin’. DJC

      1. While the only thing that separates Kenney from Pol Pot is a literal body count, it should be remembered that Kenney has no interest in avoiding, for reasons of decency, scorching the earth, burning all bridges, and punishing all he considers to be guilty. So figuratively speaking, Kenney has left a trail of dead in his wake, and he wants everyone to know that.

    2. Just Me: You may get your wish. Better stock up on some popcorn. According to Don Braid, there has been an unexpectedly large sign up of registrants for the leadership review. There is still a couple of weeks to go for registration.

      https://calgaryherald.com/opinion/columnists/braid-huge-early-registration-signals-kenneys-leadership-vote-will-be-a-heated-contest

      This could spell trouble for Bumbles. Large voter turnouts tend to work against incumbents. Furthermore, despite Bumble’s much-vaunted organizational skills, it is extremely hard to out organize anger, as evidenced by the contents of the “leaked” recording our blogger wrote about, and sheer numbers.

      A bad omen portending a bad outcome, perhaps?

      However, we should be careful what we wish for. I note a lot of denials coming from the anti-Kenney faction about its being extremist. I think they doth protest too much. Kenney is pretty right wing. If they are to the right of him, they are, by definition, extremely to the right.

      1. Since Kenney as UCP has access to the membership lists, I’d call this far from certain.

        Doubtlessly Kenney will pump up his numbers if he knows he’s at a disadvantage. Since he has already said a simple majority is a win, it looks like there’s plenty of room for shenanigans to still happen.

        It’s already out there that Kenney has no intention of walking away from the Sky Palace, it looks like there’s more nonsense and popcorn to come.

  13. There can be one way to describe the bloodless civil war that is taking place in UCP. It reminds of Doukhobors who protested by stripping naked and buring their houses down. It felt good for a moment to relieve their anger, but as rational thoughts became clear they realized that they just screwed themselves in having a place to eat and sleep. If the author of this blog could insert a picture of a Doukhobor doing this to their house it will provide some comic relief as to the current state of the UCP.

  14. I disagree. I don’t think it is an exaggeration at all.

    Stalin was in power for about 24 years. Kenney’s reign of terror is at the 3 year mark. Give Kenney time to catch up to Stalin.

    Imagine the hellscape Alberta would become in 20 more years if Kenney remained in power.

    Let us count the excess number of deaths in Alberta in the last 3 years, then multiply it. At this rate, how many would it be in 24 years?

    The other way to look at is, imagine how many fewer people Stalin would have killed had he only ruled for 3 years, like Kenney?

    One thing is certain, Kenney is every bit as much a sociopath as Stalin was. Sociopaths DGAF about other human beings. No way Kenney got into politics to improve society.

  15. Lots and lots of entertainment coming our way. UCP convention, possible Alberta election before or after depending on where Kenney believes the numbers are.

    Then the CPC Leadership race, a few months of happy families with a new, improved leader along with flat or declining polling.

    After that short intermission the bad movie will start again. Another rerun of that spaghetti western.

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