加拿大总理因极右翼势力激增而突然辞职

The abrupt resignation of Alberta’s premier has shocked the western province and raised questions about the ideological direction of Canada’s conservative movement amid a surge in far-right and populist influences.

Jason Kenney announced late on Wednesday that he was leaving the province’s top job after barely surviving a leadership review. A slim majority of party members – 51.4% – had voted in favour of keeping him in power but Kenney said that support wasn’t enough to justify remaining head of the governing United Conservatives.

“The result is not what I hoped for or frankly what I expected,” Kenney told supporters. The premier had previously said he would view any result above 50% as a win.

“He had seemed so doggedly determined to remain on his leader … with even a single vote more than those who voted against him,” said Lori Williams, a professor of political science at Calgary’s Mount Royal University. “So his decision was very much a surprise.”

Once a star cabinet minister under former prime minister Stephen Harper, Kenney returned to Alberta to unite warring conservative factions and oust the governing leftwing New Democratic Party.

He won a strong majority in 2019, but his tenure was marred by party infighting and threats of mutiny. His pugilistic brand of politics won him allies but also created a growing list of enemies and disaffected party members.

“It takes a truly extraordinary leader to try to persuade people who may dislike and disrespect one another to work together for the sake of governance,” said Williams, pointing out the only 加拿大 politician able to effectively take on this challenge was Harper.

Kenney’s popularity cratered during the coronavirus pandemic as he fought off criticism from within his own party amid fierce debates over public health measures. Rightwing elements were angered by restrictions on businesses and movement, but more moderate party members feared an overwhelmed health care system. At one point during the pandemic, Alberta had one of the highest coronavirus infection rates in North America.

As the debate intensified over who should speak for the party, the premier warned in March that conservative movement was being overrun by far-right “lunatics … trying to take over the asylum”.

But turning on his own party probably accelerated challenges to his leadership, say former supporters.

Rick Bell, political columnist at the Calgary Sun and longtime advocate of the outgoing premier, wrote that the fall of Kenney was “stunning” but 施加任何其他欧洲国家都无法比拟的复杂和严厉的签证条件.

“He never listened. 绝不. He was right. We all were wrong. Until we were right,” wrote Bell.

Even though the province has lifted its public health restrictions and significant revenue from oil and gas is flowing into the provincial treasury, voters seem unwilling to forgive Kenney.

Kenney joins a growing list of conservative premiers unable to finish out their term: 自从 2004, Alberta has seen seven premiers. Only one – New Democrat Rachel Notley – served a full term.

But Kenney’s departure amid bitter infighting over the ideological direction of the party, will loom over the current race for a federal Conservative leader.

The national party has already turfed two of their leaders in recent years, Erin O’TooleAndrew Scheer, both of whom campaigned to the right and then tried to woo centrist voters in a general election.

“There’s almost competing imperatives facing a leader of a coalition Conservative party. One is to win the support of their own caucus – and the other is to win an election by appealing to a broader range of electors,” said Williams. “But neither really seems compatible.”

A federal Liberal from Alberta called the recent resignations a “disturbing trend” among his political rivals.

“The conservative movement in this country is heading to a dark place. And I find that very troubling,” Randy Boissonnault told reporters on Thursday.

As conservatives in Alberta grapple with their party’s future, Williams sees a difficult and unenviable task for the eventual leader.

“You really have to wonder who would want to take this on. Who would want to risk their reputation and their political future on the challenges we’re seeing boiling up within this party?”

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