Smith has many challenges ahead of her, but she continues to surprise



After more than a decade of tenure as leader of Alberta’s official opposition, a long period of politically disastrous floor crossings and political devastation, Daniel Smith finally achieved his goal of becoming Alberta’s premier. Did.

Smith’s work is far from over and she still has a difficult and bumpy road ahead of her. There are some serious internal rifts in the United Conservative Party (UCP), Smith has some big and difficult promises to deliver, and she faces a sure-fire general election seven months after her doing.

Her party’s name includes the word “Unity,” but it’s nothing. The UCP is the result of the merger of the Progressive Conservative Party (PC) and the Wild Rose Party under Jason Kenny, and occurred just five years ago. In the 2019 Alberta general election, right-wing political rivals drew their swords and united to defeat the NDP government. However, the political conflict did not end with the amalgamation, fostering a split within the party that ultimately led to the ouster of party leader Jason Kenney. must be put in, or the party may collapse again.

The UCP leadership race had seven entrants, but only two were frontrunners for the title. Travis Toews and Danielle Smith. Toews served as Alberta’s Treasurer under Kenney. Although Toews holds firm conservative credentials, he was seen as the founding candidate to represent his PC division of the party. Smith became a representative of the Wild Rose faction, although he had stayed out of party politics for nearly eight years. Considering how she nearly destroyed the party when she led Floorcrossing in 2014, it’s quite a feat.

Smith can’t afford to give him a strong first vote to win the party leadership like he did when Polivre won 68% of the party’s votes at the federal level. It took six votes before Smith crossed the threshold with his 53.8% of the votes. Toews he participated with 46.3%. Nearly half of party members did not choose Smith as their first or second candidate on the ballot.

Along with the party members, Smith must deal with a troublesome caucus. Travis Toews, along with several of his UCP caucus members, have publicly pledged not to support Smith’s proposed sovereignty legislation for Congress. Sovereignty law is Smith’s top campaign priority, and she has stood by her promise to make it first on the agenda of the next Congress. If her bill does not pass in a caucus rebellion, her party leadership could collapse just months after its inauguration. Smith will have to engage in some strong caucus diplomacy to ensure that lawmakers support the bill when it is introduced into Congress.

The strengths and weaknesses of Smith’s Sovereignty Act are that it has not yet been written. While Smith makes a broad statement about what the bill is intended to do, opponents make negative speculations about what the bill could or could not do, but the bill’s If Smith can elicit enough caucus participation to draft the bill, she will find a consensus and win over the already beleaguered caucuses who have vowed to oppose the bill. You can create some outs for your members.

Even if it has not yet been drafted, sovereignty legislation is debatable in principle on its own. This is the most aggressive law seeking provincial autonomy ever seen west of Ontario, and it has ruffled many. The bill doesn’t propose anything Quebec hasn’t done yet, but it’s always somehow considered extreme when a western state tries to take on Ottawa. Canadian nature. Smith will be portrayed as a separatist by her opponents, and even if it is unfounded, it will be hard to hide it. Otherwise, the members who have just elected her will revolt. they are not willing to compromise.

With a thorny caucus and a controversial speech, Daniel Smith promises to be one of the most heated provincial elections in Alberta’s history. Some say it is impossible for her to win with such power and such political burden. A year ago, I would have been one of them. I would have said there was absolutely no way Smith could revive her political career. I would obviously be completely wrong.

Smith has many challenges ahead of her, but underestimating her would be a grave mistake.

Views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Epoch Times.

Cory Morgan


Cory Morgan is a Calgary-based columnist.