After a stunning loss in Monday's provincial election, Danielle Smith, leader of Alberta's Wildrose Party, said her party will reconsider its stances on certain issues in time for the next general election.
"Our members have now seen that some of our policies were rejected by Albertans, quite frankly," stated Wildrose Party leader Danielle Smith.
To change or not to change? That is the question Danielle Smith and her Wildrose Party are asking following Monday’s defeat, which surprised pollsters, pundits and voters as many expected at least a Wildrose minority government.
In an interview with the Globe and Mail, Smith explained that her party will revisit some of the contentious issues some voters found divisive during the 28-day campaign trail. Although the self-proclaimed libertarian didn’t say her party will completely change party policies, Smith did note they will reconsider conscience rights, climate change policies, the establishment of an Alberta pension fund, setting up of a provincial police force and others.
“You can only govern with a mandate from the people, and if the people aren’t interested in going a certain direction, you have to be the one to change,” stated Smith Tuesday. “You have to be the one to modify your policies to be able to fit where Albertans are. There are clearly some policies that cause them some pause, cause them some concern. And we have to address those.”
She said that climate change created a great deal of concern for voters days heading up to the election. Smith added that the Wildrose has to conclude whether or not the province wants a “comprehensive policy” to tackle greenhouse gases.
If the party changes, will it alienate its base? During the campaign, Smith criticized Alberta Premier Alison Redford for consistently changing the Progressive Conservatives’ policy stances in order to garner votes from Liberals and New Democrats. If Smith does the same thing, will she not only be playing politics but also hurt the current Members of the Legislative Assembly and their re-election bids in four years?
Policy discussion will most likely take place in autumn during the Wildrose annual general meeting.
Redford and the PCs continued its 41-year dynasty by winning a 61-seat majority government. Smith and the Wildrose increased its influence in the legislature from four to 17 seats. Raj Sherman and the Liberals remain as the third party Opposition, but fell from eight seats to five. Brian Mason’s New Democrats gained an extra two seats to four and Glenn Taylor and his Alberta Party have no seats for the upcoming spring session.