ALBERTA IS NOW HARD TO GOVERN
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.
KENNEY IS STANDING ON SHIFTING GROUND
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.
EXPECT ABUSES OF POWER TO STAY IN POWER