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article imageIs Danielle Smith Canada's next big political juggernaut?

By Andrew Moran     Mar 28, 2012 in Politics
Calgary - Danielle Smith, leader of the Wildrose Party, is looking to defeat Alison Redford's Progressive Conservatives and form a government on Apr. 23. If she succeeds, will Smith become a force to reckon with in the future?
On Apr. 23, 2012, the province of Alberta will hold its 28th general election. Progressive Conservative Premier Alison Redford walked from her office at the provincial legislature to Lieutenant Governor Donald Ethell and asked him to make it official that the legislative assembly be dissolved.
For the next 28 days, Redford will bring her case to Albertans that she is fit to be premier. Since being sworn in as the province’s 14th premier on Oct. 7, 2011, she has fought hard for the province’s oil sands development, brought forth an energy policy to the rest of Canada and has passed the 2012-2013 budget with its majority government.
Previous polls have suggested that Redford is the third most popular premier in the country. But will Redford’s rein of glory come to an end by the end of April? It is possible if Danielle Smith, leader of the Wildrose (Alliance?) Party, continues to gain significant support among Alberta’s electorate.
Danielle Smith  leader of the Wildrose Alliance Party
Danielle Smith, leader of the Wildrose Alliance Party
David Cournoyer
Smith, a journalist and former Alberta Director of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, became leader of the right-wing Wildrose party in October of 2009. Since then, Smith, who was listed as Calgary’s “Top 40 Under 40” eight years ago, has espoused the principles of libertarianism, which is something that is relatively unknown in Canadian politics.
The Wildrose leader will be running in Highwood, a southern provincial riding that is currently represented by Progressive Conservative Member of the Legislative Assembly George Groeneveld. One of her key issues that she will run on is a matter that she is most passionate about: property rights.
“One of the most fundamental roles of government is the protection and preservation of property rights. Without such protection, our entire economy would cease to function,” states Smith on her campaign website. “Property rights are the foundation of each individual and family’s financial security and prosperity.”
At the present time, the Wildrose Alliance Party maintains four seats in the Alberta legislature. Recent figures suggest that the number could relatively rise. According to a Leger Marketing poll, Smith’s Wildrose is only three points behind Redford’s PCs.
Danielle Smith  leader of the Wildrose Alliance Party
Danielle Smith, leader of the Wildrose Alliance Party
Wildrose Alliance Party
Alison Redford | Progressive Conservatives: 37 percent
Danielle Smith | Wildrose Alliance: 34 percent
Raj Sherman | Liberal: 12 percent
Brian Mason | New Democrats: 11 percent
Glenn Taylor | Alberta Party: two percent
Where did this momentum come from for Smith? As one blogger said last year, “Not only is she a libertarian (i.e. smart), she's got, er, personality.” Maybe voters feel that Smith is contrary to a dystopian view with her energy, enthusiasm and youthful ideas. The Alberta voters are smart and may feel that Smith’s libertarian principles are finally needed in the province – possibly even in the rest of the country.
Smith won’t be happy with gaining some seats, but she wants to become the next government.
“We’re not looking to just win a couple of seats. We want to form government,” explained Smith, according to a quote obtained by the Globe and Mail. “We are a totally different party, and I think one that’s in line with the common-sense, conservative values that most Albertans share.”
There are other issues that a lot of libertarians, possibly even conservatives, would drool over. Perhaps consider these remarks when discussing the regulations of business.
Danielle Smith  leader of the Wildrose Alliance Party
Danielle Smith, leader of the Wildrose Alliance Party
Wildrose Alliance Party
“What I hear from entrepreneurs more than anything is how they're getting strangled by red tape,” stated Smith. “There's reason to be fearful we could drive entrepreneurs out of business just because of the overburden of excessive government regulation.”
Prior to the official announcement of Alberta’s election calls, Smith was virtually unknown. Within a manner of a couple of weeks, Smith is known across the country (and even in the United States) – mostly because of the odd position of Smith’s head on top of a set of big wheels that looked like they represented her mammories.
Smith will continue to attack Redford’s record in the premier’s riding (Calgary-Elbow) where she will cite MLA pay discrepancies, controversial donations from public institutions and land-use laws. All of this is part of, according to Smith, the failed policies of the PCs.
“We are going to give Albertans a chance to vote for change, not just leader change, not merely promised change, but actual change,” the Wildrose leader continued to state. “[This is] the most important election in our province’s history.”
If the Wildrose Alliance makes history on Apr. 23, will Smith become a political juggernaut on the national scene in the next decade? If the country wants a political rhapsodic, astute and sanguine figure in government, who may not tergiversate on the issues once in office, she may very well become a Canadian figure.
Consider the disdain that Canadian voters hold for politicians, the fact that she belongs to a grassroots party and has only held office as high as the Board of Trustees for the Calgary Board of Education, she could be the rogue outsider.
Is Smith truly “Alberta’s rose?”
More about danielle smith, wildrose alliance party, alberta election, Conservative, Alison Redford
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