UCP—closing time.

THEY have a ‘plan’. And they stuck to it. 

Now they’re stuck.

It’s the fall of 2019. The UCP led by Jason Kenney breathlessly announces to a gathering of Manning Institute faithful the ‘plan’. 

It’s bold. 

And among the nodding heads, mostly grey and wizened with the years, UCP fellow travellers listen as Premier Kenney outlines the journey ahead.

It’s very bold. 

The rank & file UCP are pleased — extremely pleased with the ‘plan’. 

And then something happened…

The pandemic became a ‘thing’ in the early going of 2020.

But!  The UCP has a ‘plan’.

And so it was the UCP ‘plan’ birthed in a Manning Institute bunker, the home of righteous crusaders pining for a New Jerusalem on the prairies, the bulwark against most everything not UCP-centric continued to execute thee plan come hell or COVID-19. 

Thou shalt stick to the ‘plan’, praise be Preston. 

Thou shalt dig coal and smite those that sing from a different songbook. 

Thou shalt pick fights with doctors, and reward hack journalists who are of no-account. 


This is a ‘call out’. 

We are talking to you — yes, you! — the conservative progressive, who had no more time for the New Democrats  (who are hardly ‘new’ after 7 decades and in desperate need of a rebrand). 

The UCP will surely be un-elected, as much as the last two governments in our legislature have been flushed. And this is no time to give UCP faithful and their ridiculous ‘plan’ any more consideration other than a warning.

Recall the conservative bunch in Ottawa who toyed with their supporters on the plains (think Mulroney at the end of days). If you are a sitting UCP MLA and not up in arms because of the stupid ‘plan’ you will not be able to buy a job in our province.

You will be loathed. 

And no amount of New Jerusalem thinking will provide you with redemption.  

The Preston cannot save you. You must save yourself — now.

And as for Mr. Manning and his political notions rooted in the 20th century. You have had three opportunities to remake the country in your vision. Reform — that didn’t turn out so well, did it? The Manning Centre as the means to groom professional politicians; you couldn’t keep the lights on for your magazine and the screed you recently scribbled for the National Post going on and on and on about ‘rights’ in a pandemic, well… that’s another ‘plan’ the UCP can do without. 

You are dangerous. Your ideas are out of step. The political & economic future for Alberta is very much in doubt thanks to the Manning Centre’s tone deaf inculcation of our current political masters. 

Please retire.  Go gently into the night. 

But do go… now.

This column is the consensus opinion of the writers Donna Kennedy-Glans & Don Hill. If you haven’t already, please subscribe to BEYOND POLARITY scroll down on your phone or tablet, or look to the right in the panel beside this post. Enter your email to FOLLOW, a wheel spins, hamsters get fed.

11 thoughts on “UCP—closing time.

  1. Donna and Don, I do understand your commentary and I do have an edegree of sympathy for your position. The problem with your commentary is quite simple: you don’t really identify a solution. You note that the NDP are there but please, please, please do not look to that aggregation as a viable alternative.

    No matter what the situation we see right now, I absolutely have a great deal of difficultyour in seeing them as a viable alternative. An alternative? Certainly. Viable? Absolutely not; not under any circumstance.

    That does not mean that I will vote UCP but it does mean that I will never, under any circumstance vote the NDP.

    So, please address yourselves to that question.

    Thank you.

  2. I apologize to readers for the disjointed nature of my initial comment. I prepared that comment using a tablet rather than my computer. The result was some spelling mistakes and grammar problems. Sigh! I think, however, the gist of my thought process (some might not grant me that descriptive) is fairly clear: I agree with much of the column but we do not have a prescriptive. I truly do not think the NDP is an acceptable alternative but, what else is there? Please, someone, come up with a viable alternative. Please note the stress on the words “viable alternative.”

  3. I agree very much with your thoughts. Something to consider though, the true nature of the UCP and “the plan”, were never hidden. It was all on full display at election time, and Albertans overwhelmingly voted for them, because they weren’t the NDP. Most of my friends made this point to me during the last campaign, they are all now very unhappy with the government. I hope people actually start to pay attention, rather than just firing governments that never deserved to be elected in the first place.

    1. Goethe,,,, people do not hear what they do not understand… nice words, that people were nodding to during the election all of a sudden have meaning..

  4. Hold on, here.

    What you are doing is calling the electorate idiots for being told something (that you claim is “not good”) and then voting for that something and now being told that they did not know for what they voted.

    I must be honest, I have my doubts about the electorate sometimes (ex. J Trudeau and southern Ontario) but that is their choice. The choice may be silly (in my view) and also disastrous to Canada (again, my view) but to denigrate the ability of the electorate to choose – even in a silly fashion – is to deny the validity of democracy.

    1. Ken, look out the window. Cold, eh? Unprecedented cold. That’s why smart people tend to alter a ‘plan’ to suit the weather — political climate, inclusive. And when it becomes self-evident that continuing with the UCP’s aforementioned ‘plan’ for the (former) Petroleum Paradise — no matter what — well, what does that say about the people who do? The ND were un-elected. The UCP is the outcome. That’s not calling the electorate anything but the obvious — frustrated with the binary choiceless choice, best expressed as a Zen koan: If you answer my question incorrectly, I will smite you with a big stick. And it you answer my question correctly, you will be clobbered with the big stick. What is your answer? Look up GAN (generative adversarial networks) (given the weather warnings). If you think its clever to persist with a pre-pandemic edition of ‘this is what democracy looks like’, please…you go first and show us poor plebes how it’s done. Outside with no clothes on. Why worry? Go ahead… there’s the UCP ‘plan’ that should save you. And we’ll always have The Preston! Now about them waters in Casablanca…

  5. Donna and Don, I’m surprised that you don’t mention the Alberta Party. I joined during the last election when I saw how polarized the options were. Somehow we need to find a way to incorporate rational discourse in our democracy. Perhaps the answer is to outlaw political parties as is done Nunavut. The Alberta Party, where open discussion is encouraged, is at least a small step towards that happy place!

  6. If Kenney had done a better job with the pandemic he would be worried about the next election. He didn’t implement a province wide mask law until December 2020 and his government’s behavior was widely inconsistent which sent the wrong message to the public. Why should people follow the protocols when the government clearly doesn’t? He also chose to cut health care workers who are essential in ensuring the safety of the our workplaces. I have a feeling that other premiers probably would have been more receptive in dealing with this pandemic and be willing to change their strategy when they saw the cases climb. The only thing that is going to save him is the vaccines but the new variants out there there are still things that could go very wrong.

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