There is a new Alberta-based poll from Janet Brown and this commentary is worth some reading and reflection about the current state of Alberta’s political culture.  The CBC headline says “Alberta NDP would likely form a majority if election held today…”  This is a very popular topic with about 3400 Comments on the CBC post.

Historically, Alberta has not been very hard to govern.  That changed about halfway through the Klein era.  Now we are as divided, polarized, and influenced by extremist narratives, just like the Americans.  Without a common vision of the future and an accepted narrative of the present, we have become very difficult to govern, regardless of the party in power or the skill and trust in leadership. All we can surmise from these poll results is that Kenney’s Leadership is in trouble, at least for now.  He is chronically evaluated as the least effective Premier in the country in his handling of COVID.  While that is not the only metric to evaluate the Kenny Premiership, it is a pretty good proxy for many other considerations.

The latest Leger Tracking Poll saw Kenney recover to 47% COVID performance satisfaction a couple of weeks ago, but now he is back to 29%, only slightly ahead of his lowest rating in a year, at 26% in early February. 2021. That said, Kenney’s political skills and ability to hold on to power should not be underestimated.

He is the UCP. He imagined it, designed it, and created it. And he leads it and brought it to power by feeding off anger and anxiety.  He masterfully manipulated those Albertans who have legitimate fears of externally imposed and volatile changes impacting our economy by telling them comforting deceits about Jobs, the Economy, and Pipelines.

But he’s not going to resign, especially not for the good of the party. He is the leader of the UCP and it is fair to say he IS the UCP Party. But to succeed in the next election, and stay in power, he needs followers, lots of them with both lucre and loyalty.  His approval rating is still slightly ahead of where Getty and Stelmack were then they resigned.

The internal cracks in the UCP Base are now obvious with the open disloyalty of about 18 Caucus members. The discontent of the Base is now an issue and the disaffections with the UCP leadership are getting deeper and wider and more devastating.  His Libertarians have the Wildrose Independent Party option and they are polling at 10% in rural Alberta.

The Evangelicals only have him as a viable option for now, but they will evaluate him on the results of implementing the Theocratic School Curriculum they want to be imposed on Alberta.  Do not be surprised if a strong Social Conservative theocrat like John Carpay of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms becomes an open challenger to Kenney at some time in the near future.


The Disaster Duo

Authoritarian Strongmen leaders rely on fear and terror to sustain power. Kenney’s Authoritarian aspirations are obvious but, while he is a scary guy, he is not personally fearsome,  we have seen that he does the capacity to inflict harm on anyone he chooses through his abuses of political power, which he has used in many ways already.  That exercise of Authoritarian power will cause many who rely on provincial government funding to be intimidated and not engage in political activism against his leadership.
These numbers and analysis are interesting but they are not probative of anything we can say for certain, except that the next election is supposed to be two years away.  We can only imagine the range of possible scenarios that can play out in Alberta’s economy. society, environment, and politics in the meantime.

If you want our politics to change, and I mean real change. it is going to be up to Albertans to take their personal Citizenship Responsibilities seriously.  That means becoming More Aware of what is going in issues, policies, and programs that concern you.  You must take some time to become Better Informed and careful about where you get your information.  then you must make a commitment to become Effectively Engaged in using the Power of your Vote starting with the local and school board elections this October.

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