Jason Kenney's Pursuit of Power
by Jeremy Appel
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Pub Date 5 Mar 2024 | Archive Date 31 Dec 2023
From Jason Kenney’s days as an anti-abortion activist at the University of San Francisco, and through his years as a Canadian Taxpayers Federation lobbyist, Reform MP, top cabinet minister in the Harper government, and Alberta premier, he has been single-mindedly driven to bring his harsh moralistic worldview into the mainstream.
Kenney took on the old guard of Canada’s liberal consensus and won, playing a key role in shifting the country’s political discussion to the right. But the very right-wing populist forces Kenney cultivated would come back to haunt him.
Jeremy Appel has observed Alberta politics and reported on various aspects of Kenney’s agenda since 2017, when Kenney made his way across the province in his big blue pickup truck to rile up aggrieved conservatives. Kenneyism examines Kenney's political beliefs, his rise through federal political ranks, and his ultimate resignation from the leadership of the United Conservative Party.
"Appel rigorously tracks the rise and fall of one of Canada’s most prominent politicians. It’s all here: what motivated Jason Kenney, how he became such a successful political strategist and why he was eventually toppled by his own party. A compelling read by a journalist with keen insight." — GILLIAN STEWARD, Toronto Star columnist, and former managing editor, Calgary Herald
“Jeremy Appel's deep dive into the political life of Jason Kenney illuminates the life and intentions of an important though confusing political operative. All political watchers owe Appel a great debt for this in-depth look at such an enigmatic figure.” — NORA LORETO, author, Spin Doctors: How Media and Politicians Misdiagnosed the COVID-19 Pandemic
"Appel traces with unsparing candor how a politician who saw himself as the smartest man in the room proved instead too incompetent to hold high office. Ultimately, however, the fall of Jason Kenney is not a tragedy. The tragedy lies in the wreckage he has left in his wake." — TREVOR HARRISON, author, Of Passionate Intensity: Right-Wing Populism and the Reform Party of Canada, and Professor of Sociology, University of Lethbridge
"In this lively and readable account, Appel makes sense of Jason Kenney’s ideology and the legacy he leaves in Ottawa and in Alberta." — LISA YOUNG, Professor of Political Science, University of Calgary
"Jeremy Appel's Kenneyism takes one of the first in-depth looks at Kenney’s rise and fall in Canadian politics, and dissects the branches of conservatism and adherence to hierarchical social order that drove him to become a political animal unlike anything Alberta politics had seen before." — DAVID COURNOYER, writer, Daveberta
"Provocative, insightful and meticulously researched – Jeremy Appel takes us on an absorbing journey through the political paradox that was Jason Kenney's self-sabotaged career.” — GRAHAM THOMSON, freelance columnist and long-time Alberta politics observer
"An insightful, comprehensive investigation and explanation of the rise and sudden fall of Jason Kenney – one of Canada’s most consequential conservative activists of the 21st century." — KEITH BROWNSEY, Professor of Economics, Justice, and Policy Studies, Mount Royal University
"Kenneyism is more than the political biography of one man; it is a history of the populist far-right formations that have been gaining ground in Canada since the 1980s—in which Jason Kenney has been a central figure." — LAURIE ADKIN, Professor of Political Science, University of Alberta