In 2019 Jason Kenney had it all, a united right-wing movement that saw the once battling Wildrose and Progressive Conservatives joining together to topple the one-term NDP government.
Kenney riding his Blue Truck was in his element, crossing the province speaking to supporters, and shoring up support to Unite Alberta. Things looked like easy sailing for the leader of the newly minted United Conservative Party.
But in Politics can turn on a dime and can. The last month has not been good for the Premier. Kenney has seen the return of his political foe Brian Jean, he has seen his support for leadership dwindle, and he now has members of his caucus calling for him to step down and resign as leader.
First it was Jason Stephans (Red Deer South) calling for the Premier's resignation in an editorial in his local Red Deer Advocate, then Thursday afternoon the trickle of bad news became a flood when presidents of the UCP riding association and members of the UCP Caucus stood outside the halls of democracy at the Alberta Legislature to call on the resignation of the entire provincial UCP board, and to continue the vote against his leadership on April 9th.
Standing alongside Jason Stephans in Edmonton with Airdrie MLA Angela Pitt, Airdrie Cochrane MLA Peter Guthrie, and Bonnyville Cold Lake St. Paul MLA Dave Hanson. Former UCP MLA - turned Independent MLA Todd Loewen and Drew Barns were both in attendance.
24 hours prior the UCP board had called for the leadership review to be held via mail-in ballot and be pushed back to May. This upset grassroots conservatives but also members of the governing party.
Now the UCP has been known to be like the phoenix in the ashes, I have said this to my Liberal friends, I've said this to my NDP friends, and I have said this to my disgruntle Conservative Friends, "Jason Kenney does not go down without a fight."
People like Jason Kenney don't come around too often, only a few former Canadian politicians can be held in the same realm as Jason Kenney. Love him or Hate Him, Kenney knows one thing, and that is How to Win.
While the leadership review has been now pushed back to May, unless something dramatically changes over the next few days. We will not know the fate of the party until 1 year before the 'scheduled' general election.
Jean and the MLA's in front of the legislature today have cracked the armour that is Jason Kenney, the flood gates are open and people are ready to take the fight to Kenney, in what may be the first electoral fight he has ever faced.
The once United Conservative Party has become a shell of itself and the next two months Kenney will need to use all his political ammunition to defeat his former political foe, his demons within the UCP caucus and win over the hearts and minds of the general public before May 2023 when not only do 14,000 UCP Members get to vote, but 2,822,303 Million Albertas will be able to cast their ballots for or against the UCP and Jason Kenney.