And so the double-reverse hostile takeover of Alberta’s two main conservative political parties is now complete, first of the Progressive Conservatives by the Wildrose Party, then on the Wildrose Party by the Conservatives, in each case with Mr. Kenney, the consummate political insider, as the catalyst.
Mr. Kenney’s supporters will party tonight, and so too may the NDP Government’s political strategists – for, while they realize re-election will be an uphill fight, and despite Mr. Kenney’s formidable talents as a campaigner, the social conservative baggage the new UCP leader carries is heavy, and may well not appeal to Alberta’s increasingly liberal silent majority.
Mr. Kenney’s victories did not come without flaws and controversies.
In a distasteful exhibition, candidates for the PC Party leadership who seemed to present a real threat to Mr. Kenney were bullied into leaving the race. One joined the NDP, another left the party completely, another has made her peace with the UCP.
The pleas Thursday night to halt the vote by Mr. Kenney’s two remaining opponents in the UCP leadership race, Mr. Jean and Calgary lawyer Doug Schweitzer, also highlight practices that are questionable at best, unsavoury at worst.
The right-wing media echo chamber will be onside in the run-up to the next Alberta general election, of course. The financially troubled Postmedia newspaper corporation’s last gasp may well turn out to be the full-court press for Mr. Kenney that has already begun in its pages. Last night, one of Postmedia’s columnists was already calling this entirely predictable result “a miracle”!
Alberta PoliticsJason Kenney wins, completing double reverse hostile takeover of Alberta