Premier Danielle Smith?
The name and title combination probably don’t have a familiar ring to most Albertans, but they may become front page news in the future.
This young woman may become the official leader of the Wild Rose Alliance Party in the very near future and galvanize the political right in Alberta.
Right now there is no mainstream politically right wing party in this province. Few if any Albertans with a functional cerebral cortex would hang that label on the Progressive Conservative Party in Alberta.
The biggest obstacle in Danielle Smith’s path to the premiership is the public perception of the fringe parties in this province as a collection of cartoon characters with an unsophisticated view of a world where religion and politics are ideological Siamese twins.
Right now the perception is accurate except for the potential of the Wild Rose Alliance under a strong and rational leader like Ms. Smith.
She has an impressive background in political and economic analysis from her experience as a political columnist for the Calgary Herald and host of a Global T.V. political affairs program.
She recently resigned her position as an Alberta-based director for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and most believe her coronation as Wild Rose Alliance leader is upon us.
Personally I like the idea of a united right under a dynamic new leader and party. Our neighbours to the east in Saskatchewan have reaped the rewards of a brand new direction which has led directly toward stable growth even in the middle of a global economic hurricane.
Brad Wall has managed to right the wrongs of unchecked socialism and disgraced politicians who did jail time in one term as leader of the Saskatchewan Party.
He brings little baggage to the premier’s office because he is a young and dynamic leader with few obligations to the old boy’s network in politics.
The Brad Wall example should be a blueprint for Danielle Smith in her pursuit of the big job here in Alberta.
She should also add historical precedence to her campaign, because Alberta has a long history of massive political change after a party goes by its shelf life. The PCs in Alberta are long past their “best before” date.
Over the years I have joined the provincial PCs three times to place a vote for an individual candidate based upon personal loyalties or, in the case of Ted Morton, a direction I could endorse for that party.
I have never been entirely comfortable with the philosophy of the provincial PC party because they have been in long enough to amass an obscenely large portfolio of mistakes including ill-advised business deals with people like Peter Pocklington.
The latest questionable venture is a carbon capture project with a multi-billion dollar price tag which is more politically correct than fiscally sane. Right now Ed and the boys should be vigorously defending this province from a merciless attack from tree huggers with a superiority complex.
The stakes are high and I see little evidence that this government is ready to step into the ring to protect Alberta’s interests in the new order of green hysteria. That is why it is time for Danielle Smith to make her move.
Jim Sutherland is a freelance writer living in Red Deer.