And the Winner is…?

Ms Soapbox is draped across her fainting couch anxiously awaiting the outcome of the UCP leadership race and is too distraught to post a blog.*

She would welcome her readers’ thoughts on:

  1. Will Danielle Smith become the next UCP leader?
  2. If yes, what percentage of the vote will she garner?
  3. If yes, how long before the UCP breaks apart?

*Actually she’s working on a project which turned out to be more time consuming than she anticipated.

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37 Responses to And the Winner is…?

  1. Jim McPhail says:

    Okey-dokey, Susan!
    My uninformed opinion is that with the UCP foundation on ultraright neoliberal, libertarians, she will win with 60%. The supportive media coverage by Fossil Fuel-owned or -captured will create a steamroller impression for her, affecting opposition turnout.
    I think the UCP will last with the desperate FF industry preferring the nutcases on the far right.

  2. Anthony Bennett says:

    The breakup will start slowly and gradually become the dumpster fire we all know is coming

    • Anthony, I agree. I don’t think Danielle Smith has what it takes to lead this bunch.

      • Dwayne says:

        Susan: I’m pretty certain you saw the UCP leadership election results. What kind of damage can Danielle Smith do in just eight months? The possibilities are endless. Let’s just hope that time goes by fast, and the UCP get thrown out. Where will Danielle Smith get a seat? How will this happen? Which UCP MLA will get some six figure cushy patronage job in return for giving Danielle Smith a seat in the Legislature?

  3. Liane Sharkey says:

    As long as we have known each other*, Susan, I don’t think I have EVER visualized you draped on a fainting couch….nope, still can’t….and as a Québec-Ontarian, I don’t know the answer to your questions, but I do what I hope are the answers….

    *46 years, I believe

  4. Diane says:

    Likely, too high, not soon dnough

  5. Liane, oh if you could see me now, waving a tiny frilly handkerchief in front of my face, as I struggle to write these words. Sigh.
    PS 46 years, wow! We’ll be celebrating our 50th anniversary soon.

  6. Michael says:

    Maybe wishful thinking on my part, but no, 44 %, and after the next election.

    I think she will be ahead on the first ballot by a long way, but have few second choices. Not enough to put her over 50 %, and someone (my money would be on Toews, though I would prefer Schultz, Sawney or Cheer – and it would be a very small amount of money anyway) will pass her eventually. A la Stelmach, Redford, Dion, and Joe Clark.

    • Michael says:

      I was not too far off I suppose. She did not win on the first ballot and in fact had lower than the 44 % I guessed. I guess I assumed that voters whose first choice was anyone other than Todd Loewen would not have her as second choice, but it looks like a lot of Brian Jean voters chose her.

  7. @TheFrenchWong says:

    Because DS doesn’t occupy a seat as an elected MLA, there will need to be a by-election. I don’t know how quickly that can happen, but the Legislature’s sessional calendar for 2022 indicates the assembly will only sit on very few days for very few hours between Halloween & December 1st; by my calculations, this amounts to 16 days, or 66 hours. No word yet of course on what the 2023 sessional calendar will look like, so we don’t know yet how much time will be spent doing how much damage to our province in the new year. Another point of speculation mentioned by a friend who works in a non-partisan role at the Alberta Legislature is that there are Elections Alberta rules about the amount of time that has to elapse/exist between a by-election & a general election (have yet to spend any time looking at the rules, but wonder if you or a follower might know). I think DS winning the leadership race is a foregone conclusion but am hoping that bureaucracy & procedure will save us in the end; either that or the dissolution/explosion of the UCP as a whole (which I welcome & which can’t happen too soon).

    • Gerald says:

      Vague memory, but I think the by-election needs to be called no later than 6 months before next election – so mid November 2022? Of course, the clown party government may elect to go the full 5 years.
      But delaying a by-election raises concerns – a long term, un-elected leader eventually flouts constitutional convention.
      And our Lt. Governor has already demonstrated she’s the adult in that room.

  8. keleemaui says:

    I predict and want a Danielle win – she is so out in “right field” that she will surely lose the next election and the whole UCP mess will implode before that

    • @TheFrenchWong says:

      Some friends & I discussed buying party memberships just to have a chance to affect some change in this pay-to-play, thoroughly undemocratic sham. We have since decided not to & wonder if DS has been so outlandish in the interest of stuffing UCP coffres with the money of unsuspecting citizens like us; a distraction fundraiser of sorts in the hopes they might finally outfundraise the AB NDP for the first time in two-ish years. Not implausible…

  9. Janna says:

    I knew Kenney would win by a large margin last time, just how large surprised me (but then I’m confident there was significant cheating. I bet even he was shocked at the numbers and thought he should have pulled back a little to make it look less bad).

    This time I’m unsure. All the candidates are awful but then every single UCP MLA is awful. They were picked for their awfulness.

    Having said all of that, if Smith doesn’t win, it will be Toews.

    So those are my two picks.

    The UCP will implode fairly soon. They may last till the next election in a desperate attempt to retain power but even that is stretching it IMO. However, I’ve been quite surprised that more of them didn’t leave the party and sit as an independent. Whatever Kenney has on them must be pretty impressive. So they might grudgingly toe the line. If they lose the next election there will be a massive implosion IMO.

    And I say IF they lose the next election. They should lose by a large margin but Albertans don’t appear to be that smart. I thought there was no way Ford would get re-elected in Ontario and look how wrong I was there!

  10. Sheila Bannerman says:

    My predictions are that
    a) If Danielle Smith is elected, the UCP will likely break apart
    b) If they don’t break apart, it is unlikely (but unfortunately not impossible) that they will win the next election.

  11. David Watson says:

    yes 2. 70% 3. one year David Watson


  12. Dwayne says:

    Susan: I’ll offer my thoughts on the UCP, and on Danielle Smith. The UCP are broken, divided, and fractured. They will not last much longer. Its creator, the hardcore supporter of the carbon tax, Preston Manning, can only watch from the sidelines as the UCP falls apart. Danielle Smith has hindrances for her aspirations of being premier of Alberta. The first issue is that she sticks her appendage in her mouth, one too many times, and what she says doesn’t mesh with reality. Another issue is that she does not keep her associates under control, and this doesn’t help her. In addition, Danielle Smith has bad ideas that would cost Alberta a lot of money, while public services, including healthcare, education, and social programs get destroyed, and more privatization kicks in. What Danielle Smith will do, is going to affect the outcome of the next federal election, and hinder the CPC from getting back into power. This will mirror what Ralph Klein did, before a federal election, around 17 years ago. The CPC did not get into power back then. I’ll share some fitting music. This is a Mick Jagger and Keith Richards composition from 1969. It is from The Rolling Stones and the song is You Can’t Always Get What You Want. The late producer of this album, Jimmy Miller, plays drums on this particular track, instead of Charlie Watts, who passed away, not that long ago. This song is also in my music collection, and The Rolling Stones played this song, when I saw them in concert, 25 years ago, this month.

  13. Dwayne says:

    Susan: Here is my final song pick. This is a Randy Bachman composition, Undun. It’s from his time with the Guess Who, and it was released in 1969. This song is also in my music collection. I saw Burton Cummings 4 times live, and met him. I’ve seen Randy Bachman 8 times live, and I’ve also met him. The Guess Who are a really great Canadian band. This song is also fitting.

  14. Linda says:

    Susan, hope you are enjoying your stint on the fainting couch:)

    About the election. Not being part of the UCP (thank the powers that be!) I’ve no idea of what the behind the scenes machinations are, but based solely on media sounds like Danielle will finally achieve her goal to be queen – er, premier – of Alberta. In honor of your Alice theme in an earlier blog, I envision her as the Red Queen, shrieking ‘off with their heads’ to any suggestion that dares contradict her edicts or presents a reasonable alternative. Should this horror show happen, Albertans should brace themselves for a barrage of crazy. To be fair this may occur regardless of who is elected, but in my opinion Danielle is most likely to act in extreme ways to the detriment of all Albertans. I’d add, this has nothing to do with her gender. Nope, it has EVERYTHING to do with her desire for power & feelings of entitlement. If I were an MLA who had ever disparaged or disagreed with DS, I’d be strapping on the Kevlar in the hopes it would deflect the knife coming my way……

  15. Dave says:

    I still have faint hope that the UCP will come to its senses, but perhaps partly based on its past choices and actions, that is expecting too much. At least Kenney looked fairly solid on paper with lots of political experience and some success as a cabinet minister. Smith – well her past history of consistent political disaster is already well known in Alberta. However parties do not always make good leadership choices and sometimes they are fatal – Strom (Social Credit), Sherman (Alberta Liberals) and Prentice (Alberta PC’s), just to name a few Alberta examples.

    If Smith does win, I think it will be in the low to mid 50% range and show a party that is very divided. Wouldn’t it be ironic, if she gets over 50%, but close to or less than Kenney got in his leadership review vote? That would sure say something!

    However, I don’t think the UCP will break apart right away. Those not comfortable with Smith will probably just quietly retire and not run again, some will be continue on in the hopes of staying in power, getting a cabinet position after the election, etc… Much like with Kenney, the grumbling will be more in private. Although, if the UCP loses the next election, then it will get uglier fast. Perhaps Brian Jean will stick around and try clean up the mess again, or maybe like many others he has had enough of all the UCP stupidity and become tired of this.

  16. Bill Albers says:

    In terms of question 3, The UCP has already broken apart

  17. Carlos says:

    When I think a bit deeper about what is happening in our province it scares me. Not just Danielle Smith but the whole cabal around the UCP.

    Even more scary is that Rachel Notley is also not very popular, never mind the NDP.

    Interesting that we have been talking about voting systems and suddenly Quebec seems to have become aware of the injustices of their archaic system, but as before the premier vetoes electoral reform and that is it. Having the majority feels good .

    In this case in Quebec 3 parties had between 12 and 15% of the vote but look at the seats

    1 – QS – 15.43% of the votes and 11 Seats
    2 – PQ – 14.61% of the votes and 3 seats
    3 – PCQ – 12.91% of the votes and no seats

  18. Carlos says:

    I forgot to mention on my previous post that the reason I mentioned about Rachel Notley is because a survey has been released about Danielle Smith and it is not pretty and she continues to make it worse with even more amazing statements about an early election.

    This article from David Climenhaga is a great source of information on Danielle Smith

    • Dwayne says:

      Carlos: What’s also very concerning is that someone in Alberta can become premier, without being elected by the voters to that position. They just go and become a member of a political party, and then can become premier, or even an MLA. This isn’t right.

      • Mike J Danysh says:

        Dwayne, it sure isn’t right nowadays that someone can get elected by a tiny fraction of Albertans and waltz into the Legislature to become premier. Unfortunately, that’s the system we’re stuck with. At least Queen Dannie won’t be able to posture in Question Period until she wins a by-election (or waits till the general election next May). Until then, she’ll have to appoint a deputy who can speak officially, from the floor of the Legislature during debates.

        The Westminster system and first past the post voting came from Great Britain. Both were optimized in the 19th Century while Britain was at its height of colonial glory. The entire system worked very well—as long as both politicians and voters were white males who owned property.

        Fast-forward 150 years and the ancient verities ain’t so veritable anymore. Canada’s constitution was modernized in 1982 when we “repatriated” the BNA Act (“Thanks, UK, we can take it from here”). Version 2.0 includes the Charter of Rights and Freedoms—and became a template for other nations looking for a 20th-century alternative the US rights to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Sorry I can’t provide a reference, just memory of something I read somewhere.

        Queen Dannie and the Free Alberta cabal have one good idea. The Constitution should be a living document. Periodic review is a very good idea. Revision is a totally different issue, and nearly impossible—darn it.

        I do not, repeat NOT, agree provinces need more “sovereignty.” Quebec has played that tune till the band is tired of it. No, I think Canada needs a stronger central government. Two obvious examples are provision of health care and environmental protection. (For fun, think of some others yourself; an exercise for the reader.) Canadian confederation is now a loose group of squabbling princely states, more-or-less incorporated into a weak empire that has to persuade the princes to cooperate.

        I’d rather have a strong central government in Ottawa, than a premier who can do whatever he damn well pleases. Jason Kenney is an object lesson. Danielle Smith looks set to become a worse one.

      • Carlos says:

        Mike I enjoyed very much reading your post.

        I very much understand what you are saying and agree with you, especially in your statement about a stronger central federal government. Like you I am very disappointed that our incompetence at provincial level can have very detrimental consequences. The fact is that it seems obvious that our political system is failing but we seem completely incapable and incompetent to even understand how to govern democratically, fairly and uncorrupted.

        The idea that you also mention about the Constitution and its rigidity is a similar problem as the Bible Belt religious rigidity that makes people having to accept concepts created centuries ago when the realities of life were absolutely foreign to us today.

        The Constitution is becoming that Bible and we seem to prefer the long term consequences of not reviewing it and just march along with our infights which sometimes makes me wonder how many homes we could build with the millions spent on litigation years and years. Things like the new bill by Danielle Smith on how to kick the Federal Government and the rest of Canada while at the same time we go there to ask for Canadians to come work here. If she gets to implement this bill, imagine the millions of dollars we are going to spend in constant fights with the Federal Government. We are all Canadians and we brag we are tolerant and kind. Well if that is the case I am sure we can resolve our challenges by cooperating as adults. What I have witnessed in political terms in the last 2 years alone is sufficient for any young mind forming their adult years to feel our system is considerably sick and needs reform so that we can all move into the future with confidence and not just this daily existence of scandals and awful attitudes towards citizens like the UCP has served us in the last 3 years especially towards doctors, nurses and teachers. This is unacceptable.

        Thank you for your ideas

    • Mike J Danysh says:

      Hi Carlos, thanks for your kind words. If only we were running things, why, everything would be fine ‘n dandy! 😉

      Your point on political incompetence is well taken. I wonder, though, how much is lack of ability and how much lack of training? Preston Manning invented his combination think-tank and Conservative politician-wannabe training centre, now called Canada Strong and Free (Manning is apparently no longer relevant). What if there was a non-partisan school for ALL political rookies? Imagine, at least, a crash course in how government works, and how it doesn’t. Call it Politics for Beginners: Theory, Practice and Limitations. “Courses include laws governing the government; parliamentary procedures; responsibilities of elected office (fiduciary, legal, ethical). Must pass (minimum 70% on final exam) for acceptance as a political candidate.”

      (Yeah, I know. Another pipe dream, kinda like making Alberta drivers pass a written and driving test for their licence renewal every five years. But there’d be less risk of would-be politicians rebelling than of FreeDumb Convoys all over the place!)

      Like you, I’m uneasy at the thought of politics and religion becoming intertwined. The Constitution of the United States was written specifically to separate Church from State—for good reason. Centuries of the “Divine Right of Kings” convinced Washington, Franklin et al they’d do better with some daylight between the White House and the Papacy/ Patriarchy/ whatever. The mess their current successors have made convinces me the Founding Fathers were correct.

      Is it that bad in Canada? No, but it could get a lot worse than it is. American attitudes seep (sometimes flood) across the border. The loudest current examples are the anti-vaxxers and Freedom Convoy participants—and their supporters. Then there’s the Alberta separatists, egged on by Jason Kenney and now courted (quietly, with protestations of innocence) by Danielle Smith. At least some claim religion as inspiration for their actions. If the Constitution is like the Bible, it’s being profaned by those who twist the Charter of Rights and Freedoms for their own selfish purposes.

      I really think political grandstanding, “throwing red meat to the Base,” is more of a problem here. Kenney and Smith are prime examples. Ralph Klein was no slouch, either. Pierre Poilievre could give master classes. Then there’s Preston Manning; the Ford brothers; Christy Clark; so help me, I can’t think of a true Liberal example, though there must be some. (Christy doesn’t count, her party was Conservative all the way up to the party executives.)

      We have to remember that actions provoke reactions. You recall how Notley won in 2015, and Cons went nuts. The shock and anger of losing (“How DARE they beat us. US!!!”) opened the door for Kenney. He was eventually kicked out for being too strict/ not strict enough on Covid by his Base/ everyone else. A classic case of “being hoist on his own petard” (blown up by his own IED, in modern terms). It’s a lesson Queen Dannie and her Free Alberta cabal should remember. Or not.

      We’ll have to be patient. It’s always a temptation, when a political opponent wins big, to View the Matter Darkly, and View with Alarm. Canada’s political and (especially!) legal systems are more robust than America’s. Danielle et al will find it harder to provoke a fight than they realize, or than we fear at the moment. Remember, the Supreme Court is the final arbiter of whether legislation passed in Canada is legal. Bible Bill Aberhart found that out to his cost. Stephen Harper got so mad at having legislation tossed out (“Dude, you can’t do that here. Signed, the Supreme Court of Canada”) he tried to pick a fight with Justice Beverly McLachlin. She brushed him off, and the country (mostly) laughed.

      A recent poll (sorry, can’t find a link) showed Albertans are not enthusiastic about picking fights with Ottawa; only about 25% supported Smith’s posturing. (Or was it 25% supported separation?) Her noise isn’t as popular as she and the UCP base believe. Once the Alberta Sovereignty Act is declared unconstitutional, I believe the majority opinion in Alberta will be, “Serves you right. Now shut up and govern.”

  19. Carlos says:

    I have been reading more than usual these days and I find articles from good sources that I have to share especially with people in this blog that have in my opinion a very high degree of clear understanding of political corruption that has affected politics for years but that never reached the levels of current lunacy. In fact tonight we may be so lucky and get a new premier by proxy that as far as I am concerned has no competence to run this province.

    Here is an article that I think political junkies like me will enjoy tremendously. I suggest you read it all – it is long for an article but very worth it. Knowing this information changes the way we look at politics and what it actually means to us. Unfortunately this kind of politics are abhorrent to me.

    Thank you

    • Dwayne says:

      Carlos: I’m sure you have seen the UCP leadership results, and who won. It’s very appalling how someone became premier of Alberta in this fashion, and with barely under 54 percent of the vote. It’s sickening, actually.

      • Carlos says:

        Well that is our brand of democracy I guess just like Britain – the same is going on there now with Liz Truss, apparently another big bomb like Daniele Smith. On her first day she almost got Britain on a market crisis.
        Interesting to note, very unfortunately how many women involved in extreme right wing politics.

      • Michael says:

        Much as I dislike Danielle Smith and most of the UCP, I really don’t like this whining about becoming premier with only X % of the vote of X percent of the electorate in Alberta. It is like the Conservatives complaining that they had more of the popular vote (or H. Clinton doing the same in the states), when that is completely irrelevant. Everyone knew the rules before the campaigns started.

        Proportionally, a lot more Albertans are UCP members than are Conservative Party members in the UK, as far as I can see from the numbers. So Smith has more support than Truss I guess. Should party leadership be decided only by the caucus ? I have seen that argued, but that disenfranchises votes who are supporters of that party, but live in ridings that the party may have very narrowly lost. Should anyone who wants to be allowed to vote for leaders of parties they are not members of ? That lends itself to abuse. Raj Sherman springs to mind.

        I am ALL for electoral reform, as I think first past the post is antiquated and unfair. But within a given party, I don’t see how you can get around having the actual party members having a say in who leads the party. One member, one vote seems a reasonable enough way of doing that, though you could argue for points systems, or elected members having greater weight.

        Clearly, premiers and prime ministers in Canada have too much power relative to other party members and elected representatives. But in a system where, even after electoral reforms, the leader of the largest party/coalition gets to be PM or premier, I don’t see how we can complain about cases, which are inevitable, where the new leader is in charge for a while before facing the electorate as leader of their party. All of Prentice, Redford, Stelmach, Getty were in this position. As were Campbell, Turner, Martin, in Ottawa and Douglas-Home, Callaghan, Major, Brown, May, Johnson, and Truss in the UK.

  20. GoinFawr says:

    If you’re in Strathcona, grab your bug out bag and start running! See you in 8 months!

  21. GoinFawr says:

    ‘And the Biggest Loser is:’
    the answer was always going to be, Albertans.

    In her acceptance speech Ms.Smith thanked ‘Albertans’ for this second chance.

    Somebody better remind this newly purchased machine boss that less than 1% of Albertans does not a mandate make, and, if she had a shred of integrity Danielle Smith would call an election TOMORROW. Right after the UCP hikes oil royalty rates.

    Don’t worry, I won’t be holding my breath or anything.

  22. JCurrie says:

    I agree with Mike that is is mainly the federal government which has managed the tumult of the last three years while the provinces whined and dined on federal handouts, making sure to put money aside for their own political ends. And of course more of the same will come from Smith who will kick the federal government in the teeth but be the first one cap in hand when it suits her (like DeSantis).

    I have to almost laugh when I read about her view of Albertan independence. A resource-based state can never be independent because they depend on their corporate overlords, world prices (not set by them), the vagaries of the market and people to buy their product. For awhile Smith will benefit from lots of money flowing into the coffers due to a frightening war in eastern Europe while basic infrastructure (think downtown Edmonton), our heathcare and education system and the omininous threat of global warming and disaster planning will continue to be neglected. This will allow her to move forward on an illegal privatized h

    I am not even counting the continuing effects of pandemics which are here to stay with the kind of public health response mounted by the provinces and soon to be made much much worse by Smith who I understand plans to apologize to convoy members and antivaxxers.

    Important to remember, however, that Smith is the natural outcome of a resource-based province which has had, with a few notable exceptions, corrupt and exploitive policies for a long long time just as Truss is the natural outcome of decades of Thatcherite policies. Kenney had a lot to do with creating this monster. . How bad do things have to get here before people wake up?

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