In what really wasn’t a surprise move the most opportunistic member of the Alberta Legislature put out a short statement, deleted her twitter account and ran away from Alberta politics. The bottom line is that Sandra Jansen had burned every possible political bridge in Alberta with her crass opportunism and rather than face a pending electoral loss with dignity, she chose to toss her party and constituents under the bus as she chooses not to run mere weeks before a potential election call.
It wasn’t all that long ago that Sandra Jansen was in the headlines claiming she would fight to keep that seat for the NDP until the bitter end.
The reason that Jansen’s apparent willingness to run again made headlines was that few people expected her to show the strength of character to run in what was sure to be a tough race to say the least. Clearly the critics were right as Jansen pulled the escape hatch without warning.
When the going gets tough, Sandra gets going indeed. Jansen waited until the very last day before the deadline to run for the leadership of the PC party before dropping out. The reality was that she was actually still scrambling to get her nomination signatures in order to enter the race and it became abundantly clear that she didn’t have nearly enough support to make a respectable bid for the leadership of the party much less win it.
Rather than bow out with dignity, Sandra claimed she had been bullied out. Not surprising from her of course as Jansen has long had a pattern of playing victim when things don’t go her way.
I don’t doubt for a second that some nasty things had been sent to her and said about her on social media. Like it or not, that is simply a factor in public life whether one likes it or not and she knew that.
Sandra Jansen does indeed draw more vitriol and ire from political opponents than most MLAs do. That is because she invites it. Sanda Jansen has always been one of the most vocal attack dogs on social media and has a habit of claiming to be the victim when the shit inevitably es flying back at her. That only draws more vitriol of course.
When not claiming victimhood, Jansen is also well known for hiding from her legislative duties when she finds herself in trouble. We saw this when Jansen did a disappearing act after having insulted every tradesperson in Alberta with her dismissive, elitist statements about electricians. She is rather cowardly when she gets herself into the soup.
While Jansen tried to rebrand herself as an advocate for gay rights, we can’t forget that she was the MLA who tabled Bill 10 on behalf of the Progressive Conservative Party in 2014. That bill was designed to undercut a Liberal private members bill which would have entrenched gay straight alliances. Bill 10 was so odious in its intent and content and Jansen blew her own bill so badly that it had to be pulled from the legislature and re-written for the next sitting. Jim Prentice had to essentially take over the job for Jansen as can be seen below while she stands meekly aside. It was a low point in that administration.
I don’t think Jansen is anti-gay by any means. I don’t think she really supported that bill and I doubt that she had much to do with the writing of it.
What Jansen’s being willing to table Bill 10 demonstrated in spades though was that pure self-serving opportunism which has always been the prime driver in Jansen’s career. It got her into the spotlight that she loved and kept her in cabinet potential. Being on the front bench was far more important to Jansen than personal principle ever was.
That utter lack of principle was on full display yet again as a petulant Sandra Jansen crossed the floor to Notley’s NDP. Sandra wanted back in cabinet at all costs and truth be told, if the Social Credit Party had won the election Jansen would have crossed to them, donned a crucifix and led pro-life rallies in hopes of endearing herself to the party leadership.
My biggest beef with Jansen is that utter lack of principles. I am still an idealist to a degree. I respect people who stay consistent to their beliefs even if those beliefs are not ones that I share. Socialists dedicated to the NDP at least have an ideal albeit a flawed one. Jansen had no ideals aside from charting her own personal course. Pragmatism is essential at times and people change views but flipping from PC to NDP was based solely on opportunism.
I guess it is fitting that in going out that Jansen screws her own supporters the most. Volunteers were lining up to help Jansen get re-elected. Donors coughed up funds to Jansen’s constituency. The NDP dedicated all sorts of resources to Jansen’s constituency along will giving her profile at all major announcements.
In the end, it didn’t matter how many people put their necks on the line for Jansen. When it was clear that her chances of winning the election were slim, Sandra abandoned them. Sandra is in it for Sandra and she just couldn’t see the benefit of putting in all that work only to no longer be in government.
I am looking forward to many positive changes in the Alberta Government in 2019. One of those changes came early in that one of the worst politicians to have graced the Alberta Legislature in some time has decided to leave earlier rather than later.
Goodbye Sandra Jansen. You won’t be missed but you will be remembered.