Premier Doug Ford’s early actions are a template for what United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney will do if he wins the Alberta election next year.
Kenney would likely do both with even more delight, and more support from his party base.
Ford grafted himself onto Ontario’s traditional Progressive Conservative Party. Kenney created his own party that tilts considerably further to the right.
His mandate just keeps getting stronger after successive leadership victories, his own win in Calgary-Lougheed and now two victories in summer byelections.
These were twin cakewalks in Innisfail-Sylvan Lake and Fort McMurray-Conklin, with massive UCP majorities.
Devin Dreeshen carried the Innisfail area despite a story in Vice about his past as a Trump campaigner, and his odd refusal to own up to it when he was pursued by a reporter.
Even his own party was a bit baffled. In UCP circles it’s no shame to say you favoured Trump in the 2016 U.S. election but now think he’s a jerk.
Dreeshen won a stunning 81.76 per cent of the vote, according to unofficial Elections Alberta results. His NDP opponent, Nicole Mooney, drew only 9.23 per cent.
A touch of Trumpism sure didn’t hurt the UCP in this byelection.