The Alberta PC Leadership Race Is a Goddamn Dumpster Fire

The flames have caused a high-profile female conservative MLA to cross the floor and join the commie army that is the NDP.

Nov 19 2016, 7:50pm

An artist's interpretation of the race to lead Alberta's Progressive Conservative party. Photo via Flickr user Ben Watts

Ok, where the hell do you start with this mess?

Do you start with Jason Kenney, everyone's favourite bouncing baby boy, parachuting into the race in an attempt to merge the warring factions of Alberta's right?

Maybe with the Progressive Conservative-bros who chased both female leadership out of the race with Trumpian-like vitriol?

Look I don't know, all I know for sure is that the race to lead the former dynasty in the land of oil and honey has turned the party in on itself. It's hard to imagine the party hitting a further low then being decimated and going from first to third but hell, here we are.

The party seems to be split between factions. On one side of the chasm are those who want to follow Kenney to implode the party and merge with the Wildrose (the official opposition) and the PC faithful who view Kenney as an interloper and want the status quo.

Now, these two groups don't seem to like each other very much.

In the war for Alberta's right wing soul, the most recent shocker is that Sandra Jansen, a high-profile PC MLA, decided to cross the floor and join forces with the NDP and premier Rachel Notley.

Jansen, a particularly progressive Progressive Conservative who was in the running for leadership, recently dropped out of the race, alongside the only other woman Donna Kennedy-Glans, because of a massive amount of harassment and an emergence of "Trump-style politics"—which she blamed Kenney for.

"My social media has been filled with filth, my domain name purchased to direct people to smear pieces on me and finally, this past weekend in Red Deer, the final straw. Insults were scrawled on my nomination forms," she wrote in a statement.

Read More: Female Politicians Chased Out of Alberta PC Leadership Race, 'Trump-style Politics' Blamed

Jansen also said that volunteers from "another campaign" (read as Jason Kenney) chased her down a hall at a meeting and jeered her and her volunteers for "supporting children's right to a safe school environment." Meanwhile, Kennedy-Glans, while not citing the same abuse as Jansen, said she is dropping out because she doesn't believe there is "room for centrist voices" in the party anymore.

Kenney has condemned both the harassment and Trump-style politics.

Jason Kenney. Photo via Facebook

Shortly after two women were chased out of a race, Derek Fildebrandt, a Wildrose MLA and Alberta's smarmiest politician, decided it would be a good time to tweet out his thoughts about leadership.

Spoiler alert: they weren't good.

"Hyper-sensitive, politically-correct, victim-as-virtue culture is creating a leadership class of wimps. People are sick of it," he tweeted.

Which, sounds more like an alt-right troll than an elected official.

Moving on, it says a lot about the NDP's centrism that the high-profile PC MLA would join them as opposed to the Liberal or Alberta party. It will be interesting to see how the more conservative parts of the progressive-conservative gels with the team in orange.

Jansen, speaking to the CBC about her decision to jump ship and swim for safety, explained that the move was because she wanted to work for a reasonable and pragmatic party again. She added that "extremists were taking over" the party and threw a jab at Kenney.

"I don't believe that there has been anything moderate or pragmatic being offered or even discussed by the people intent on taking over the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta," she said.

Premier Notley welcomed Jansen to join her party and praised her as a "strong, articulate, mainstream, progressive woman."

As for K-diddles, well, he just keeps getting into mischief as lil' rosy cheeked scamps do. First Kenney called in Daddy Harper for his support and then he pulled a stunt at a Edmonton delegate selection meeting. The former immigration minister hosted a hospitality suite metres away from where the selection meeting was taking place, which the rules say you cannot do.

The party president enforced said rules and forced him to leave. Kenney, a longtime politician, pleaded ignorance and said that he broke the rules because, hell, they were a little tricky.

"The guidelines state that the candidate is not to be 'near' a room where a DSM is being held," he wrote in a blog post. "What does 'near' mean? 10 metres? 100 metres? 1 kilometre? Is the candidate barred from the larger building entirely—a building which the PC Party does not own nor rent as a whole?"

"Clearly the word 'near' is up for interpretation."

Frankly, these days, the only thing that doesn't seems to be up for interpretation in Albertan politics is that this mess of a leadership race is fucking depressing.

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