October 30, 2017 1:30 pm

Angela Kokott: Jason Kenney has no room for missteps after winning UCP leadership

WATCH ABOVE: The newly elected leader of the United Conservative Party isn’t wasting any time trying to get a seat in the Alberta Legislature. As Carolyn Kury de Castillo reports, a former PC MLA is resigning his seat to clear the way for Jason Kenney.


I’m not surprised by the outcome of the United Conservative Party (UCP) leadership vote. The man who started the unity ball rolling more than a year ago has completed the task and now the real work begins.

Jason Kenney has less than two years (maybe even quicker if Notley pulls a Jim Prentice and calls an early election) to show Albertans the UCP is a big tent conservative party.

LISTEN: Political analyst Zain Velji on Jason Kenney’s victory and what’s next for the United Conservative Party

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WATCH BELOW: Danielle Smith on the next steps for Jason Kenney and the United Conservative Party

READ MORE: New UCP leader Jason Kenney will seek legislature seat in Calgary by-election

That tent has to be big enough for fiscal conservatives and social progressives. Any hint of social conservative policies will have people running to the centre – and the Liberal or Alberta Parties –or even further left to the NDP.

Social conservative policies will be Kenney’s Achilles heel and one the NDP government will be quick to expose.

LISTEN: Reporter John Himpe weighs in as Jason Kenney takes over as UCP leader

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READ MORE: With an in-place leader Alberta’s UCP assumes national significance

What makes it even more difficult for Kenney is the fact that throughout his leadership campaign he promoted his “grassroots guarantee” allowing UCP members to develop policy.

What kind of policies will the grassroots be allowed to develop? Kenney may find himself at odds with his members if those policies threaten to sink his dreams of becoming premier.

WATCH BELOW: What to expect from the new United Conservative Party leader

READ MORE: Alberta United Conservative leadership contenders vow to band together post vote



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