Politics has been getting dirtier than usual in Alberta in the last couple of years.
That can happen when the price of crude craters, a political dynasty implodes and a perfect storm of tremors produces a socialist government in a conservative province.
But Alberta politics are about to go from above average dirty to downright filthy, with big consequences for the party in power.
Here are three reasons why.
The Rachel Notley NDP government doesn’t have a hope of being re-elected two years from now.
The latest poll doesn’t have them treading water. It has them drowning, with barely one in five voters willing to renew the contract. That’s end of days territory. Cue the orchestra for the classic Ventures tune Wipeout. That’s what’s playing in Rachel Notley’s jukebox all day long.
WATCH: Sandra Jansen added to NDP cabinet as Premier Notley announces shuffle
Jason Kenney is the leader of the new United Conservative Party (UCP) in Alberta. He has a lot of experience in advocacy, retail politics and government. But the tireless, relentless and focused warrior doesn’t have much experience with defeat.
He has never personally lost an election.
Now, maybe he has lost the odd election in high school. I haven’t looked. I haven’t cared. But in professional politics, he has won every single time he’s run.
WATCH: Who will lead the UCP caucus until Kenney gets a seat?
Most recently, he won the leadership of the Alberta PC so overwhelmingly that nobody remembers the names of any of those who ran against him.
In the more significant contest he just won for UCP leader, he took nearly two out of every three votes.
Kenney doesn’t just manage to win. There are no photo finishes in his background where he is just a nose ahead of his opponent.
He scorches the earth. He forces competitors to revisit whether they really want to stay in politics and makes some of them reflect on why they got involved in the blood sport in the first place.
Two years from now, Rachel Notley may join that elite group of people who regret going to war with Jason Kenney.
WATCH: Full Speech: Jason Kenney addresses United Conservative Party of Alberta after leadership win
Jason Kenney is a devout Roman Catholic. He takes his religion seriously. He doesn’t just use it the way a pothead uses cannabis. He doesn’t just try to mood elevate by zoning out.
He is as intellectually strong on theology as he is on political ideology. Kenney isn’t a dabbler in anything. Unlike many who underestimate him, he studies and prepares.
There is a controversial cow in Alberta right now that the NDP and activist allies want to milk.
It has to do with sex education in the Alberta Catholic school system.
WATCH: Battle over sex-ed in Alberta Catholic schools
Some fools are trying to promote the idea that Catholics don’t care about consent and even tolerate marital rape.
If Notley wants to get on the wrong side of Catholics and other Christians, good luck with that.
Some will applaud her for that because some people applaud anyone who bashes Christians.
In the politically correct environment we live in, Christians are one of the few groups that can still be attacked without mercy.
But if the New Democrats want to put Jason Kenney up against the wall for devotion to his faith or attack members of his faith as a way of attacking him by stealth, he will feed them to the political lions of his powerful mind.
There are three reasons why the NDP in Alberta is headed for a wipeout, and you now know what they are.