Danielle Smith
Author: Shridhar Patel
Date: February 15 - 2023

Danielle Smith, the former broadcaster, Wildrose leader and current Premier of Alberta, is a fiscally conservative libertarian who wants to limit both government spending and involvement in the lives of its citizens.

After Jason Kenney resigned in May, 2022, as leader of the United Conservative Party, she replaced him by winning the UCP leadership race in October, 2022, then winning the Brooks-Medicine Hat byelection in November, 2022.

Her signature policy is the Alberta Sovereignty Within a United Canada Act, which has been passed by the Alberta legislature and aims to protect the province against federal government overreach in areas of provincial jurisdiction. “We have the power to reset the relationship with Ottawa, that’s what this is,” Smith said. “I hope that we’ve sent a message to Ottawa that we will vigorously defend our constitutional areas of jurisdiction, and they should just butt out.”

Smith was a member of the PC party from 1998 to 2009, when she left over concerns about then-Premier Ed Stelmach’s “free-spending ways.” She was then elected leader of the Wildrose Party in 2009, as support for the party continued to grow, largely at the expense of the PCs. While the party looked poised to win the 2012 election, it remained the Official Opposition because of its inability to win support in Edmonton and Calgary. In a post-election analysis, Smith’s defence of two Wildrose candidates who had made controversial racial and social remarks was determined to be a key error.

Despite her push for continued social progressivism within the party, the 2014 Wildrose general meeting saw members vote down an anti-discrimination resolution she strongly supported. With the PCs regaining some lost momentum through the leadership of Jim Prentice, Smith, alongside eight Wildrose MLAs, crossed the floor over to the PC side on December 17, 2014.

The move sparked a backlash and Smith ended up losing the nomination race for the Progressive Conservatives in Highwood for the upcoming 2015 Alberta election. In what would be a general theme for the election, the PCs would be decimated throughout the province, including the riding of Highwood, as they were reduced to just four seats.
Smith would then take a break from politics and worked as a popular radio host.

Since becoming premier, her popularity has increased thanks to the introduction of measures to provide relief from high inflation, and leading the charge against Ottawa’s soon-to-be introduced “Just Transition” initiative, which aims to transition Canada – and particularly Alberta – away from oil and gas.

Shridhar Patel expects to graduate with degrees in law and public policy from the University of Calgary and is scheduled to article at Calgary Legal Guidance.

Do You Support Danielle Smith for Premier?

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  1. Anonymous

    March 26, 2023 at 6:20 pm

    Reading your article helped me a lot and I agree with you. But I still have some doubts, can you clarify for me? I’ll keep an eye out for your answers.

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