If, like approximately 77% of Albertans, you think that Jason Kenney’s got to go, this month there’s a great opportunity to give him a swift kick in the ass: municipal elections are on all across the province.
Back in 2020, the UCP had big plans for this year’s muni elections. They changed the election financing laws so that big donors could dump money into conservative campaigns. They planned a fake senate election and a meaningless referendum that they thought they could use to drive their supporters to the polls.
But all of that planning isn’t working out so well in the face of the UCP’s COVID disaster.
Nobody’s really paying attention to the sham senate race or the phony equalization stuff. Thanks to Jason Kenney, Alberta’s conservative machine is barely operational. And that means that if we get our friends, our families and our neighbors out to vote we can serve up a real stern rebuke.
Kenney’s leadership of the UCP is on “life support,” if the pollsters are to be believed, and nothing’s going to convince what few backers he has left to pull the plug faster than a big dose of down-ballot consequences. So here’s what you need to take care of by Monday, October 18th:
Mayor and council elections
Depending on where you live, you have some municipal officials to vote for—probably a councillor, and in several cities, a mayor. Pick the lefty-est candidates you can find. If you’re in one of the big cities there are some big menus to choose from, so here are a few resources that can help you figure out your ballot:
- Climate Justice Edmonton is endorsing several candidates in Edmonton;
- The Edmonton and District Labor Council has endorsed several in Edmonton, Leduc and Beaumont;
- Calgary’s Future, a project of the Calgary and District Labor Council, has a set of endorsements for Calgary;
- For Medicine Hat, the MDLC has you covered;
- And the Lethbridge labor council also has endorsements for Lethbridge.
For all our sakes, certainly do not vote for former UCP candidate Mike Nickel in the Edmonton mayor’s race or Manning Centre alum Jeromy Farkas in Calgary. (Amarjeet Sohi and Jyoti Gondek are the safe bets for keeping those two jokers out.)
School board trustees
Everyone always forgets the school boards, but do your research and absolutely don’t skip this part of the ballot. What these people do impacts our kids! And the low attention paid to school board races—both public and Catholic—leads to a lot of yahoos bumbling into these roles. Just last week an Edmonton public school board trustee went on a tear about horse paste, for example. So please do not skip this very important part of the ballot! If you know who you'd like for council but aren't sure about the school board choice, ask your council candidate—they'll be able to tell you which one shares your values.
There are two referendum questions attached to your ballot. One of them, about daylight savings time, hasn’t been very politicized. Vote however you’d like on that one.
The other referendum question is about Jason Kenney’s very favorite conservative talking point—equalization. The Premier, under whose watch patients are presently being air-lifted away from our overwhelmed hospitals for medical help from other Canadians, argues that Alberta does too much to help the rest of the country. On Kenney’s referendum question about whether equalization should be scrapped, be sure to vote NO.
The fake senate election
Alberta doesn’t actually get to appoint senators, but an elected senate has been a popular rallying-cry for conservatives here for decades, so senate is on the ballot because the UCP think it’ll get more conservative voters to show up.
No one who wins this ‘election’ actually wins anything—it’s a scam—so don’t legitimize it. My colleague Duncan Kinney is in this race on a platform of ‘this senate election is fake and we shouldn’t be having it,’ which is the only honest campaign from any senate ‘candidate’ in this thing, so yes, vote Duncan Kinney for ‘senate.’ You get up to three picks here, so my suggestion would be to vote as well for the joke candidate Jett Thunders to really send a message. Duncan and Jett are doing a live ‘Ask Me Anything’ on Reddit this Thursday afternoon.
So that’s it—that’s the ‘heck off, Kenney’ slate: the leftiest councillor you can find (and mayor too if mayor’s up for grabs in your city); smart school board trustees for both the public and Catholic school boards, so your kids aren’t being overseen by weirdos; whatever you want on DST; NO on equalization; and Duncan Kinney and Jett Thunders for ‘senate.’ Advance voting is open now, or you can get in the big line on Monday, October 18th.
This is the online version of the Progress Report email newsletter. Don't depend on some social media or search engine algorithm to find this content in the future. Sign up to get updates on the most important local political issues in your inbox every week. If you like what we do at the Progress Report there is also one big way you can support us and that's by becoming a monthly donor. The regular donations of the 500 or so regular monthly donors keeps this small, independent media shop going.