Edmonton – July 20, 2016 – Conservative MP Jason Kenney, who recently launched his bid for the leadership of the Alberta Conservative Party, has twice declared that former Con boss Stephen Harper "was the greatest prime minister of the 20th century." Indeed, during his time in office, Harper governed more like a leader from the 20th century than a modern prime minister in the 21st century, when he was actually in power. And that’s probably why Kenney liked him so much.
Now that the NDP is governing in Alberta, members of the Wildrose Party – and many of those involved with the Alberta’s Conservative Party – long for the good old days when Ralph Klein was running the province, and they see Jason Kenney as the saviour who can bring Alberta back to “the way it was.”
Kenney’s backers want a return to the days when corporations didn’t have to pay their fair share of taxes, and were able to run roughshod over the public interest. They want to go back to the time when men controlled women’s reproductive rights. And they want a return to the days when LGBTQ Albertans were confined to the closet, unprotected from bullying and violence at school and at work.
For his part, Kenney has indicated that he would like to take Alberta back to a time when big oil and the government didn’t have to deal with the nuisance of climate change. When agricultural workers had no rights or protections, taxes were flat, and the wealthiest Albertans paid no more than anyone else.
For those who would like to set the clock back in time, Jason Kenney is their man. And if he wins the Conservative leadership race, and successfully unites the Wildrose and Conservative parties, he will purge what is left of the “progressive” portion of the old Conservative party. Then he will be able to satisfy those longings for the good old days in Alberta, when things weren’t so progressive.
Fortunately for those who would like to continue to moving forward in the 21st century, there is Rachel Notley and the Alberta NDP.