No one saw Daniel Smith coming. She has spent more than seven years in the political wilderness after leading Alberta’s massive parliamentary shift from her Wild Rose Party to the Progressive Conservative Party in 2014. 2015. Smith lost her nomination from her own political party and became a talk-her radio host. When Smith announced her intention to run for leader of the United Conservative Party (UCP) last spring, few thought she had a realistic chance of winning the race.
By the time other United Conservative Party (UCP) candidates realized just how strong Smith’s campaign was, it was too late. Smith controlled the narrative for the entire campaign with the proposed Sovereignty Act, with other candidates placed in passive roles. Her campaign took a negative turn as her competitors of Smith banded together to attack her. Former Prime Minister Jason Kenny broke with political convention and repeatedly opposed Smith’s campaign. It took six votes for Smith to secure a narrow victory over former UCP Finance Minister Travis Toos. Smith was the leader of the party, but her ability to maintain unity within such a difficult party was questioned.
Will Alberta’s conservatives split again as they have in the past? UCP opponents certainly hoped they would.
Prime Minister Smith’s cabinet elections and the party’s upbeat annual meeting held near Edmonton over the weekend have left people wanting to see the party collapse and descend into the infighting that has characterized Canada’s conservative parties in recent times. shattered the hopes of
With Smith’s cabinet elections, most of Jason Kenny’s top cabinet members remained in senior positions. Smith returned his arch-rival for leadership, Travis Touse, to his position as Alberta’s Minister of Finance. With five of his six UCP leadership candidates given cabinet roles, Smith has made it clear that he holds no grudge against the atmosphere of his race in leadership. Smith carefully constructed his cabinet to maintain party unity and avoid prominent conservatives walking out the door early in the government.
Smith’s next hurdle was the party’s AGM. The General Assembly can be a minefield for political parties. Internal elections for party committee posts can lead to divisions among party members, and outbursts from attendees can derail the rally. maintained the party’s message of unity when introduced to the keynote by its rivals. Smith said she learned some tough lessons in 2015, and the importance of maintaining peace within her party is clearly a top priority for her.
Smith’s next challenge is Alberta’s general election, due by May 2023. votes taken Now that Smith has taken office, it shows that she is not enjoying her honeymoon as the new leader.Although Alberta does not have a viable conservative party that can split the vote like it did in 2015, Alberta’s propensity to vote conservative cannot be taken for granted.
Smith’s speech at the annual meeting made it clear that she intends to stick to her platform of pursuing provincial autonomy, stating that “Alberta will no longer ask Ottawa for permission to seek prosperity and freedom.” I made it She received a standing ovation when she repeatedly stated the state’s refusal to enforce federal policies and laws deemed unjust to the state.
Smith repeatedly referred to the “Trudeau/Singh” alliance in Ottawa. Rather than campaigning directly against popular former prime minister Rachel Notley, Smith will continue to focus on fighting Ottawa. Whether or not the initiative to pursue provincial autonomy succeeds, she is likely to be an effective tactic because she will gain the support of Alberta. Either emerge as a prime minister or be bullied by a federal government that does not respect state rights. Both scenarios strengthen her campaign against federal officials in state affairs.
If Daniel Smith wins a majority government next spring, Canada will have the most militant premier seeking provincial autonomy seen outside Quebec. given orders to confront Ottawa from the , which she takes seriously. With Saskatchewan and Manitoba questioning federal initiatives such as the recent firearms ban, other Prairie mayors are no doubt keeping a close eye on Alberta’s efforts.
Smith has prioritized unity within her party, but is determined to undermine regional unity within the country. continues to confuse skeptics and cannot be underestimated. .
Views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Epoch Times.