He ain’t messing around.
With one swift announcement last week, United Conservative leader Jason Kenney proposed a series of steps to provide real, meaningful, and long lasting changes to Alberta’s democratic process.
To begin with, he announced that a United Conservative government will approve recall legislation, and give voters the ultimate say in holding MLAs accountable. When it comes to democratic reform, recall has long been at the top of the list for most Albertans because it places the onus on elected politicians to fulfill their promises and put the interests of constituents first.
Recall has been adopted in dozens of jurisdictions around the world, including the United Kingdom, proving that it is compatible with our democratic process and traditions. Voters in BC have enjoyed the ability to recall MLA since 1991.
Kenney also stands ready to give all United Conservative MLA free votes and ban floor crossing without a by-election. In announcing his plan to adopt recall in Alberta, Jason Kenney is staking his reputation on the belief that voters deserve to be heard every day, not just on election day. When it comes to accountability, this a marked departure from the current government’s “do as we say, not as we do” approach.
And he’s just getting started. Under Premier Kenney, our United Conservative team stands ready to clean up election finance laws that allow special interests undue influence. We support the current ban on corporate and union donations, however these bans are meaningless with some of the massive loopholes provided by the NDP. For instance, the Alberta Federation of Labour was able to spend $550,000 on political advertising last year by funneling resources through third-party advertisers. This doesn’t pass the smell test, and under Jason Kenney we’re going to fix it. In addition, our United Conservative team will ban partisan government advertising, establish a truly fixed election date, and restore Alberta’s Senate elections that were shut down by the NDP.
With regard to leadership by example, some politicians like to talk the talk. Jason Kenney demands we walk the walk. That’s why he recently announced that if elected as Premier he will cut his own pay by 10 per cent, and he intends to cut MLA pay by five per cent. In addition, we will impose real accountability on elected officials with regard to fuel and other expenses.
For far too long, Albertans have been demanding these common sense changes, only to be denied. Whether it’s by cutting his own pay, or instituting changes to hold all politicians to account, Jason Kenney arrives on the scene ready to take action.
His approach won’t be popular among the entrenched elite and entitled. But I would offer them this word of caution: Jason Kenney ain’t messing around.
Jason Nixon, MLA
Jason Nixon is the United Conservative Party House Leader and MLA for Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre