Bobbsey Baird is out; Is Bobbsey Kenney in?

This might be a last chance to write about the Bobbsey Twins of Canadian Conservatism. They are sure breaking up that old gang. Without the Hair to crack the whip over those sled dogs of his, they are scattering to the sounds of different drummers.

The first Bobbsey Twin John Baird has already left for the allure of anonymity in the private sector. And nobody cares how he spends his idle hours as he accepts the right directorships and consults for special billionaire friends. Would he have survived in his Ottawa area electoral district in the 2015 Liberal sweep? It is unlikely.

But the Bobbsey Twin long-considered heir apparent to Stephen Harper, Jason Kenney is still standing in his Calgary Midnapore seat after the October 19 devastation. Kenney is the Conservative Party’s expert on pandering to ethnic groups. (Ontario Conservative Patrick Brown paid close attention to Kenney’s advice on the 100,000 Indian Sub-Continent immigrants in Ontario to elect him provincial party leader.)

This ethnic expertise of Kenney was what the Conservatives were counting on in the election. He let them down. His problem was that in the cascading crumbling of the Conservative Party, Kenney was not only the main attack dog on the Islamic State terrorists. He was kept busy answering for Canada’s military, immigration and anything else the Prime Minister did not want to handle. It was only when Kenney was answering for Finance Minister Joe Oliver that the party realized how ridiculous it looked.

But the challenges ahead for the 47-year old bachelor are daunting. Kenney had much of his rigid Catholicism muted by orders of the prime minister but it is in his resume to haunt him. Maybe it will assure him support by the party’s right-wing extremists but will lose him the older, more understanding progressives that still linger in the Conservative Party, particularly in Ontario.

The conflict in Kenney’s position is that while progressives will not care too much about his attraction to women or lack there of, the questions will challenge his more extremist supporters. The guy might just be androgynous for all we know or care.

After all, Canada had something of that question with long-serving William Lyon Mackenzie-King. It was only after he died that we realized his most influential advisers were his long-dead mother and his dog.


Copyright 2015 © Peter Lowry

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