What to do if Smith wants to remain prime minister

We are less than eight months away from the 2023 local elections. Daniel Smith has done his job to unite a notoriously troubled party, defeat his rival his NDP to retain the prime ministership, and deliver on promises made in the election campaign (such as setting the table). is truncated. Act of sovereignty.

Ted Morton, a former Alberta cabinet minister and emeritus professor of political science at the University of Calgary, said that while Smith worked to achieve party unity, he also focused on solving problems facing Alberta. can win a majority government.

On the issue of party cohesion, Morton said Smith got off to a good start with her victory speech, in which she acknowledged and praised her leadership rivals.

“[She should] Treat them with respect and offer them important government positions,” he said in an interview.

Smith also said that the United Conservative Party (UCP) will not only focus on defeating the federal “NDP-Liberal Coalition”, but will also focus on “economic growth and a balanced budget, debt relief and tax cuts.” He said we need to do more than just be known for what we do.

“We also need to show Albertans that they can trust us to care for the vulnerable and the elderly with compassion, especially at this time of high inflation,” she said. .

Marco Navarro Ginny, director of the Haltain Institute, said he doesn’t yet know if Smith will be able to “get the party together” on his side, but he thinks she’s going to do the job.

“Contests of this sort tend to be quite divisive, and she is able to heal the wounds, so to speak. If she reaches out and does the right thing, they’ll probably respond well,” he said.

Contrast with Federal Tories

Melanie Thomas, a professor of political science at the University of Calgary, said Smith’s victory was far from the “clear overwhelming majority” that saw Pierre Polievre become the leader of the Federal Conservative Party with 68% of the vote. says. Smith won in the sixth round of the ballot with 53.8% of the vote against Travis Toos, former Finance Minister of Prime Minister Jason Kenny.

“[After Poilievre’s win,] The Jean Charest part of the party basically learned that “we don’t have much grounds” and most of the party is OK with that. told to

“I wouldn’t be surprised if the language of unity is something other than the veneer that is being done at this point.”

In his speech, Smith emphasized the importance of UCP unity and urged supporters of other candidates to unite to prevent the NDP from winning. first majority government.

Thomas said the prime minister will have various indicators during Smith’s tenure to predict what will happen to her in the 2023 election.

“Most new leaders have this honeymoon period … in their first year of news coverage after taking office, before declining to become more neutral. [Former Ontario premier] Kathleen Wynn didn’t get it [honeymoon period]”They were losing donations everywhere,” she said.

“I use that as an indicator. …It’s a tough row to hold. Lots of moving parts.”

sovereign law

During the campaign, Smith received much attention, both positive and negative, for proposing sovereignty legislation to oppose federal policies deemed to violate Alberta’s jurisdiction.

Morton said how the law is actually implemented is important.

“The act itself is 10 percent. 90 percent is the implementation,” he said. “The premise is that it’s time for Alberta to play offense, not defense.”

Smith said the Sovereignty Act would give Alberta the same powers Quebec has within the Commonwealth, governing itself as a state within a nation.

During the campaign, Quebec passed a unanimous motion that the state of emergency law invoked by Ottawa in February should not apply to Quebec, and British Columbia decriminalized hard drug use and possession. She said there are precedents such as receiving a criminalizing federal exemption and Saskatchewan Prime Minister Scott Moe’s refusal. To enforce Ottawa’s fertilizer reduction regulations in his state.

Areas where sovereignty legislation is desperately needed, according to Smith, include allowing states to circumvent Bill C-69. Bill C-69 has been dubbed the “New Pipeline Ban Act” by conservative parties. Among other things, federal firearms regulations.

Morton says the struggle between Alberta’s premier and Ottawa has been a consistent theme over the years, with premiers “usually losing in court, but they knew they were going to lose in court.”

“But within a year or two after that, they were able to turn a legal loss into a policy victory,” he says.

He adds that the same is possible with Smith.

“With hard work, coalition building and public attention, it is possible to turn legal losses into policy victories,” he said.

“Frankly, Quebec has done it over and over again in the field of language law. They lose in court, but then extract concessions from Ottawa.”

Lee Harding


Lee Harding is a Saskatchewan-based journalist, think tank researcher, and contributor to The Epoch Times.