The members of The United Conservative Party of Alberta has chosen Danielle Smith as its new leader and because we’re just barely a democracy, that means she also gets to be Premier of a majority government with near total power to do whatever she wants! But just who is this new overlord of the Wildrose state? Read on to find out everything you’ll be horrified to know about Danielle Smith.
Background: Smith was born in Calgary. Take that Edmonton! She is the descendant of Ukrainian immigrants who changed their name to Smith because at that time in the Prairies, there were a lot more Kolodnickis than there were Smiths and they wanted something unique. She also claims to have Indigenous ancestry, and since we know people never lie about that we can just move on!
Political Career: She started as a school board trustee who pissed so many people off that the entire Board was dismissed. Which is a thing no one even knew could happen. She joined the breakaway Conservative Wildrose Party in 2009 and became leader shortly thereafter. She was in prime position to end the decades long Tory rule until she defended MLAs who said LGTBQ Albertans would end up in a “lake of fire.” Smith claimed she had misheard them and thought they were simply singing that Johnny Cash song.
Biggest Controversy: In 2014 Smith stunned the Wildrose Party by crossing the floor to re-join the PCs. She soon lost the PC nomination for her seat. As Winston Churchill once said “anyone can rat, but it takes a certain level of ingenuity to destroy your career and lose your seat by re-ratting.” She was forced to spend the last 8 years doing radio while she waited for a chance to get back in the game.
Signature Campaign Promise: The Alberta Sovereignty Act. A law that would allow Alberta to ignore federal legislation and court orders that it believes are harmful to Alberta’s interests. Smith considers it an important step towards true federalism. Others have suggested it is “blatantly unconstitutional”, “rehashing a move southern states tried in the 19th century to protect slavery” and “the political equivalent of when a WWE wrestler knocks out the ref so he can do something illegal to his opponent.” But really who’s to say? Certainly not the courts because Alberta won’t be listening!
How she won the leadership: She Alberta grievanced harder than the other candidates Alberta grievanced.
What she’ll do next: She could call an election to see whether the people of Alberta who aren’t members of the UCP actually want her to take the Province down this extremist path. But the polls aren’t favourable to her right now so she’ll probably just run the government however she wants while she waits for the polls to change.
Anything else we should know? If Alberta Is Calling, it might be best to send it to voicemail.