Monday, April 25, 2022

History of Team Brutus

Boris considers his "team"

As the Alberta "United" Conservative Party vote-buying orgy/leadership review goes on ("Even Mr. Kenney’s supporters acknowledge that shifting to mail-in ballots plays in his favour, which is part of the reason why he is facing allegations of cheating"), abuse pours in upon UCP backbench caucus members who are simultaneously considering whether the caucus should simply remove Kenney from the leadership.

“The idea that you have a caucus with people in it who publicly express that they do not want the current leader is so insane and crazy and out of the political normal,” said Ken Boessenkool, who served former Prime Minister Stephen Harper as a senior campaign adviser, and former British Columbia Premier Christy Clark as Chief of Staff. “Politics is a team sport.”

Boessenkool has good reason for believing leadership accountability is insane and crazy and all. He's a strategist, and loyalty to the leader who employs them is how strategists earn their retainers. But the "team" he refers to are all elected representatives of the people of Alberta, not hired flaks. When the leader is putting them out of favour with their constituents and likely to cause them to lose their seats in the next election, to whom does the "team" owe loyalty?

As a Canadian political strategist, Boessenkool more or less has to avert his or her eyes from examples from beyond his own employer's office suite. Even the Conservative Party "team"in Ottawa recently fired its leader, though that only triggered the leadership campaign of Pierre Polievre, whom most of the team appears to despise. (More work for the strategists, however.)  And look at Britain, mother of parliaments, these days: "To back or to sack: The Tory Party in disarray over Boris Johnson" goes the headline, describing the caucus members can't decide to fire the prime minister from leadership now or wait a little longer.

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