September 2nd, 2022 | Grant johnson

danielle smith isn't the answer for alberta

She couldn't win before and she probably won't this time.
the views expressed in this article do not reflect the views of all postcanadian contributors.
So, it looks like Danielle Smith is going to be Premier of Alberta after all. What a long, strange road it’s been. I remember her indignantly leaving the nomination contest in Highwood after losing to Carrie Fischer and not looking back. In fairness to Danielle, running against someone named Carrie Fischer was probably impossible as people thought they were voting for Princess Leia. Voters at all levels never miss a chance to display just how dumb they truly are, but at the time it seemed like an informed rebuke to what was perceived as traitorous and megalomaniacal behaviours displayed by the former Wildrose leader.
I thought she was done. She seemed to think she was done, too. I remember listening to her debate Covid policy with the bellowing woke podcaster, Ryan Jespersen, and she said if she ever got back into politics, she’d like to do it on a local level as a town councilor, or something.
Flash forward a year later and she’s running for Premier.
Here’s some of the biggest problems with Danielle being Premier.

1. She’s a woman

Women aren’t cut out to be political leaders. My evidence for this is every female political leader not named Margaret Thatcher that’s ever existed. In the case of Danielle, specifically, she made the classic female mistake of falling for a high status, alpha male’s charms in the form of Jim Prentice.
Remember back when Jim Prentice first arrived in Alberta? People were jazzed about his arrival. After years of palooka Ed Stelmach, followed by the “not a nice lady” Alison Redford, Albertan conservatives thought they finally had the guy they needed. (Not all conservatives, the rural folks, as usual, seemed to sense something wrong early on.)
After Jim trounced the Wildrose Party in four separate ridings during the 2014 by-elections, Danielle Smith was a defeated woman. She had been conquered by her male rival and her admiration for his dominance overwhelmed her ability to resist his lure. She destroyed her party in order to pursue self-interested rewards by demonstrating fealty to him.
What if she falls for Trudeau’s charms?
Danielle Smith can’t be trusted, as a woman, to govern the province.

2. She can’t lead

Last time around the rural and socially conservative wing of Wildrose were causing her problems after her election loss in 2012. She didn’t know how to bring people together, listen and/or respond to concerns and hold the party together with any sense of unity and teamwork.
I spoke with a former Wildrose candidate and he said her communication was horrible. The 2012 election platform was top down and half-baked. She announced “Danny-dollar” resource rebates (like Ralph bucks) apparently without consulting the Wildrose team. The candidate I talked to in particular had no idea that they were on the way until they were publicly announced.
Another guy I talked with who used to work for her said she can’t make decisions. (This guy also worked with Brian Jean and had nothing good to say about either of them.)
Danielle’s strength is that she looks good and sounds good and says the right things that hardcore conservatives want to hear. The weakness of her leadership is in the nuts-and-bolts abilities to get things done and manage and delegate and decide and organize.
It’s the Justin Trudeau problem all over again. She’s a hood ornament that functions as a good salesperson, and people are charmed into overlooking her deficits. If Danielle Smith was 40 pounds heavier nobody would give a shit about what she has to say or what she wants to do.

3. She has shown us that she’s a wrecking ball

Danielle Smith is not an amateur. She has experience in politics both during her time as a trustee on the Calgary School Board and during her tenure as the leader of the Wildrose Party. Both of those experiences ended in abject failure.
In the case of the trustee position, Smith helped to create so much dysfunction that Lyle Oberg, the Minister of Learning, had to dissolve the entire board. In the case of Wildrose, she not only lost the 2012 election (after polling as the frontrunner for the entire campaign), she continued the losing streak with the 2014 by-elections (losing every single riding). Then she attempted to destroy the party with a mass floor-crossing. Then she preceded to lose the nomination for her own seat.
She’s 51 years old with a track record of total political failure.
Her "experience" speaks for itself. When it comes time to lead, manage and govern, she can’t. She’s a disaster.
This time around she’s all about freedom from Covid mandates and fighting Ottawa. Sounds good to me, but not if the consequence is going to be dysfunction and chaos and getting nothing done. I’d love to take the boots to Ottawa and make Alberta more like Quebec, but a Danielle Smith led Sovereignty Act is probably nuts, just as Jason Kenney put it…

“It would never become law. Alberta would become a laughingstock, with the lieutenant governor doing her job, which is to ensure the law, the Constitution is respected,” he said.
Kenney cited the published analysis of Howard Anglin, his former principal secretary, who has referred to the proposal as a “political and legal hoax” that undermines investor confidence.
“We should be talking about real, practical ways to fight unfair Ottawa policies, to fight for a stronger Alberta and that’s exactly what we’re doing,” Kenney said.
– Calgary Herald August 13, 2022

Calgary Herald

August 13, 2022

Now, make no mistake, Jason Kenney is the cucky-est cuckservative to ever cuck. As was written about at Poletical back in 2018, in Will Kenney Cuck?. Since 2018 we’ve seen Jason Kenney do everything he could to avoid being anything other than a fighter for Alberta. Strongly worded letters every time Ottawa abuses Alberta just doesn’t cut the mustard. Doing nothing about the Equalization referendum (and dragging his feet on it in the first place) was egregious. It’s obvious now that Jason Kenney was playing a long game. He likely wanted to become Prime Minister, so he was going to do the traditional Alberta Premier thing in which he feigns outrage for the cheap seats, but complacently accepts whatever status quo Liberals put upon him (and us) in the meantime.
Danielle Smith doesn’t want to play that game and is actually proposing doing real stuff and I believe she means it. The problem is that the stuff she’s proposing is fraught with landmines and unintended consequences and requires intelligent execution. Bringing her wrecking ball track record to Alberta and the rest of Canada isn’t what we need right now. Justin Trudeau would like nothing better than to have some half-baked Albertan firebrand flailing ineffectively at him so he can take the patriotic high road in contrast.
All of this assumes that Smith can even keep the party together in order to do this, which is dubious.

4. She can’t beat Rachel Notley

She couldn’t even beat “Alberta’s first NDP Premier", Alison Redford. Today Alberta has 500,000 more people than it did back when Danielle lost in 2012. Many of those 500,000 are from overseas and other provinces. Most of them aren’t coming here for “freedom” and “Alberta sovereignty” …they’re just coming for the cash and when it’s time to vote they vote left.
Do you really think a city like Calgary that elects people like Jyoti Gondek as mayor and loads up the council with people like Gian-Carlo Carra and Courtney Walcott is going to vote for Danielle Smith? They couldn’t bring themselves to vote for her ten years ago, what makes people think they’ll do it today?
Yes, a united right-wing definitely would give Danielle an advantage compared to ten years ago. The lines are more clearly divided when choosing between NDP and UCP instead of Wildrose and PC, but Rachel Notley is consistently polling at about 44% and she’s a proven leader. The NDP will have the unions and the media and the immigrant vote and the approval of Calgary’s municipal government. The NDP are also raising almost twice as much money as the UCP. The “Stop Danielle” campaign will be way more weaponized and hegemonic than what we experienced in our pre-woke 2012 campaign.
With Danielle at the helm, Rachel Notley will take most of Calgary and the entirety Edmonton and probably Lethbridge and a couple of rural seats up north and hit 44 seats fairly easily.
So, what’s the solution?
Probably Travis Toews.
I know he’s a company man and you get Ed Stelmach 2.0 vibes off the guy, but on the other hand he’s a cattle rancher, accountant, was President of the Cattlemen’s Association and has been pretty successful as Minister of Finance. He doesn’t have a killer instinct like most of us would like to see, but he has seen firsthand the results of all of Jason Kenney’s mistakes. He knows you can’t just be all talk and no action as this campaign video indicates.
Travis Toews is the John McCain to Danielle Smith’s Sarah Palin. I know we’d all like a Ron DeSantis, but for that you’re going to have to vote for Paul Hinman and the Wildrose Independence Party and that party is not quite ready for the big leagues… yet.
If you’re supporting Danielle Smith, think twice, vote once… and make it smart. There’s been so many foul ups with these stupid popularity contests over the years it would be nice to finally get a result that gives us someone decent, worthy and capable of winning multiple majorities in a row in order to take Alberta where we need to go.
Don’t blow it again Alberta.