The View From Here – Questions about Kenney’s tactics in the UCP leadership race need answers before April 16

Tom Henihan

Now that the race to form the next government is underway, it is a good time to weigh up the implications and pitfalls of having someone of Jason Kenney temperament as premier of Alberta.

Lacking charm and social graces, pugnacious and of questionable integrity, it seems that friction and turmoil accompany Jason Kenney everywhere he goes.

The number of UCP candidates who have had to withdraw reflects poorly on the UCP and by default on his ability to lead.

And it is not only the number of candidates but the reasons some of those candidates had to withdraw that compromises the UCP.

UCP candidate Lance Coulter stepped down following reports of him fraternizing with the neo-Nazi affiliated “Soldiers of Odin.” More recently, there is the case of sad Caylan Ford, who withdrew because she was “saddened” by the “demographic replacement of white peoples in their homelands.”

Candidates espousing xenophobic and racist sentiments will always put a question mark over the party they represent.

On both a personal and political level, the growing number of revelations regarding Kenney’s ethical behavior is beginning to paint the picture of a man who cannot be trusted.

There is the matter of misrepresenting his residency arrangements in Calgary when claiming expenses as an MP and most recently and most damning, the question of whether he conspired with Jeff Callaway, a so-called kamikaze candidate who ran knowing he would concede and put his support behind Kenney.

As a kamikaze candidate, Jeff Callaway had the function of saying things to criticize and undermine Brian Jean, things Jason Kenny wanted to say but found it politically expedient to do it by proxy.

If that story has any credence, it would suggest that Kenney’s dishonesty is not just impulsive but premeditated, carefully planned and utterly treacherous.

The matter of Jeff Callaway being a kamikaze candidate in order to do Jason Kenney’s bidding in the UCP leadership race is a serious allegation and Albertans deserve the entire story before they vote on April 16.

If Kenney’s campaign engaged in what would clearly be unfair and underhanded practices to win the UCP leadership, his win should be deemed invalid.

To behave in such an underhanded manner is to betray everyone in the party and deviously set about tricking and deceiving those you say you want to lead.

Do Albertans want Kenney’s brand of archaic leadership to pull the province back into an adversarial and isolationist mindset, a negative mindset constantly inflamed by Kenney’s vitriol and hot air. It is surprising how politicians can behave duplicitously and still manage to get elected and re-elected, while a person in a minimum wage job were similarly deceitful they would be fired for being untrustworthy

It is not surprising however, that at one time Jason Kenney and Derek Fildebrandt were close political allies.

Fildebrandt is the leader of the fledgling Freedom Conservative Party of Alberta and well known for his ethical lapses and poor judgment, attributes that Kenney might have recognized when, as Fildebrandt alleges, Kenney propositioned him for the kamikaze candidate position, which Fildebrandt says he turned down.


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