Jason Kenney’s United Conservative Party leadership race was marred by serious allegations of irregularities; so serious the RCMP brought in out-of-province prosecutor to look in to the alleged voter fraud, because neither premier Kenney, nor his justice minister would appoint a special prosecutor.
It is now a fixture of all populists, (Trump, Bolsonaro, Boris Johnston, Doug Ford and now Kenney), they all come to office under allegations of, election illegalities, fraud, obstruction or worse; each one debasing our ethical bar by normalizing political hooliganism as required credentials.
Cross-country lobbying efforts, not seen before, initiated by Mr. Kenney and Scott Moe to have the Conservative Senate majority act in partisan ways and kill bill C48, which regulates oil-tanker traffic along B.C.’s northern coastline, does violence to the fragile but growing credability of the Senate as Canada’s upper chamber of sober second thought. The Senate has already made 25 constructive amendments on this bill sending them all back to the House to be passed.
Kenney is a supporter of “triple-E senate,” an old Reform party idea that Americanizes Canada’s parliamentary system into two elected legislative houses creating gridlock we witness daily in our southern neighbour, where a Democratic Congress is thwarted by a Republican Senate. This weakness in the American system is avoided in Canada’s parliamentary system.
Kenney’s willingness to ferment senate partisanship disregards rules he doesn’t like. A short step to the underhandedness found in the allegations of his leadership-race fraud. Originally it was Kenney’s willingness to break process rules that resulted in Vice Admiral Mark Norman’s long trial.
Former Saskatchewan premier Brad Wall helps Kenney weaponize western separation as a threat, unless both bills C69 and C48 are killed. The angry old men of Wild Rose and Reform country cling to tired old regional grievance tactics of the past. Change is obviously difficult for them. They will have to learn.
Because today there is a younger generation taking over Canada’s political helm, one that rode into adulthood on the technological revolution of the digital age, which like it or not, brought rapid economic/social/political integration to the entire country and spawned a new national zeitgeist.
Canada’s old geopolitical regional barriers that dictated our political narrative for the past 70 years are being digitally dismantled and reconfigured moving forward. Kenney, I’m afraid, sees Canada through the rear-view mirror.