Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Will the Real Danielle Smith Please Stand Up

Recently defeated in the Alberta Provincial Election, having snatched defeat out of the jaws of victory, Danielle Smith is now making a tour of the media explaining away the outcome.

Remember, depending on the never ending polls or the mainstream media ever ready to be her cheerleader, the Wildrose Party was supposed to win a substantial majority, ranging from 46 to 60+ seats.  Instead the Party arrives at the gates of the Alberta Legislature with Official Opposition and only 17 seats.

One can argue that the majority of those seats, all but one in rural Southern Alberta, have a strong social-conservative bias.  Social-Conservatism appears to be a strong base in the Wildrose Party, witness the fact that after Danielle declared herself to be pro-Gay and pro-Choice prior to the Leader's Debate, she was called on the carpet for having "gone rogue" away from the Party message.

This morning on CBC Radio, Smith was heard to say and I paraphrase "In the future we will only go as far as Albertans are willing to go", in reference to policy within the Wildrose Party such as 'conscience politics'.  This tells me that the hard policy issues will be watered down by the Party in order to get elected, then once elected with a majority they can be brought forward.

A similar tack was used by the Harper Government, avoiding the Abortion issue until a majority was achieved and now Conservative MPs, notably  Conservative MP Stephen Woodworth  wants to debate the pro-life position and is actively trying to bring the issue to the floor of the House of Commons.  See the following .

Of concern here, Harper doesn't seem to be beating back the debate as Ralph Klien was able to do within the PC Party when he was the Leader, followed by Alison Redford's clear position on the matter.

I for one will be watching with a re-newed interest as the language of the Wildrose Party becomes available through media reports and debate in the Legislature.  The Party has a very Conservative base to play to and we need to see how they articulate positions of concern to moderate, centrist Albertans.

Let the games begin!

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