A Letter to UCP MLAs

Dear UCP MLAs:

I’m a constituent without an MLA because your new leader decided I don’t need one. Apparently urban issues (unlike rural issues) are the same all across the city and I can take my concerns to the UCP MLA in the next riding.

Anyway I’m just checking in to see how you’re doing. It’s been a horrible year, right?

Things got seriously bad after Jason Kenney’s Best Summer Ever turned into a healthcare nightmare that tipped our hospitals into crisis mode (remember the Triage Protocol?) and led to vaxx mandates, vaxx passports and the anti-vaxx pushback.

And then it got even worse.

When Kenney finally realized his job was one the line, he tootled all over the province shoring up his base, leaving you to your own devices. I know, I know, it’s hard to get anything done when your leader is fighting for his political life.  

The May leadership review was a disaster and Kenney was out on his ear. Leaving you to decide who to back as the next UCP leader.    

Then your party elected Danielle Smith.  

The worst was over, right? Wrong.  

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water…

On Day One of her premiership Smith declared the unvaccinated were more discriminated against than any other group in 50 years.

Dear UCP MLA, you know how systemic racism works, right? You’re aware of the history of residential schools in our country and the continued mistreatment of Indigenous peoples. You’ve witnessed the rise of Islamophobia and transphobia, and homophobia, and anti-Semitism, and inequality against women.

Premier Danielle Smith

Surely you don’t need me to tell you what your leader said was appalling…and her so-called clarification of what she really meant by her disgusting statement didn’t help.   

Also on Day One she told talk show host, Ryan Jespersen that while Jason Kenney believed in “ordered liberty” (freedom limited by a need for order), she did not. She was a “libertarian populist.”

She said the foundation of libertarianism is the “free individual with free agency” around whom are the family, community, and free enterprise. (In some kind of disordered blob, I guess).

She didn’t address the “populist” part, so I’ll direct you to poli sci prof Lisa Young who said populism is a belief that ordinary people are being kept down by the elites (the “Notley/Singh/Trudeau alliance), scientists (who wouldn’t give ivermectin a chance) and experts (like those people at AHS who deserve to be fired for refusing to magically produce 1000 ICU beds when Kenney snapped his fingers).*  

By then you may have felt a little uncertain about your new leader, but you didn’t want to rush to judgment, right?    

Then came the bombshell.

…She filled the ocean with sharks

Last week you discovered your new leader has been merrily posting her thoughts on a right-wing website where she:

  • endorsed anti-vaxx groups (no surprise)
  • shared vaccine misinformation (no surprise)
  • questioned the efficacy of mRNA vaccines (no surprise)
  • touted her Alberta Sovereignty Act as protection from, among other things, a digital ID based totalitarian surveillance state, she referred to China’s social credit scoring system here (wait, what?)
  • reposted Russian disinformation suggesting Ukraine may have been the aggressor against Russia (What??)
  • suggested “would be global government tyrants” hoping to convince the “conspiracy theorists” that there’s no plan to form a global government should refrain from negotiating global agreements under the auspices of WHO (WHAT???)  

So that’s why I’m checking in with you dear UCP MLA. Are you okay with this stuff coming from the lips of your party leader, now premier of the province?    

You have a decision to make.

You’ll need to decide whether you’re going down the libertarian populist rabbit hole with your leader or you’re taking a stand.

If you decide to take a stand, you can start by voting against Smith’s Sovereignty Act, because despite her recent comment that her government would abide by decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada after all, she’s never said her government wouldn’t reject federal laws.

If she’s sticks with her position, she will expect you to join her in violating the rule of law. The one that says no one (not even a premier) is above the law. Remember it’s the courts, not the Alberta government, who can decide a federal law is invalid and until that law is tested in court, the Alberta government must abide by it.

So I’m just checking in with you, dear UCP MLA, to ask whether you care about democracy enough to rein in your leader before her brand of libertarian populism polarizes Albertans and undermines our democratic institutions to the point where it will take us years to recover.   

And yes, I understand this has been a tough year to be a UCP MLA, but it’s going to get a whole lot worse if you don’t get out of the water now before the shark rips you (and us) to bits.

*My examples, not Lisa’s

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66 Responses to A Letter to UCP MLAs

  1. Beverly Mah says:

    So embarrassing to be an Albertan in Canada. 😦

    • Agreed, Beverly.
      Radio show host Charles Adler said Smith is Alberta’s premier, she’s not a talk show radio host anymore. This is beyond the pale. And if her MLAs don’t rein her in they’re just as culpable as she is.

  2. Mary Axworthy says:

    Wonderful Susan! Every day is another appalling statement by the Unelected Premier of Alberta. I tried to call my MLAs office Friday to express my outrage, but there was no answer. I plan on calling every Calgary MLA’s office this week to express my concern and demand that an election be called. The people of Alberta did not vote for any of this.

    I doubt that UCP MLAs will have the guts to stand up to her, but maybe unlike Republican Trump lackeys, they will see their re-election chances going down and take a stand or split off. Mary

    • Mary, that is a brilliant idea. Hopefully everyone who reads your comment does the same thing. If nothing else we might convince the UCP that with Danielle at the helm they’re toast. That might persuade them to stage a palace coup.

    • Richard Pearlman says:

      Isn’t it time for the UCP to admit that there is no possible way for the party to be united. IDanielle Smith has already telegraphed that she wants to give more power to the rural citizens of Alberta thus no by-election in Calgary-Elbow the same time as she campaigns in her chosen riding. Playing off rural and urban Albertans against each other should insure a win for the NDP. This is barely one week since Ms Smith has been sworn in and she can’t get herself off the front page of the papers for all of the wrong reasons. She should call an early election and let the people decide if she deserves a new mandate. Hopefully Albertans will see through Ms Smith’s lunacy and get rid of her before she can do more harm to Alberta.

      • I agree Richard. Of all the stupid things Smith has done to date, implying that Calgary voters are not as important as rural voters takes the cake. It’s hard to believe she’ll govern for ALL Albertans after she’s made it crystal clear the rural voters are her priority. Given that any party that hopes to win a majority in Alberta has to capture two out of the three (rural, Edmonton, or Calgary), she’s taking one heck of a gamble.
        Who knows, maybe she’s spent so much time in her online echo chamber that she’s convinced herself she can pull it off.
        All I know is it’s unnerving to discover your premier engages in speculation about fall flag operations in Russia and global government conspiracies. I’ve had friends go down this rabbit hole. It’s almost impossible to get them back, but at least they’re not in charge of the province.

  3. Jaundiced Eye says:

    Daniel Smith does not want Calgary Elbow to have any representation in the Alberta Legislature for the simple fact that a UCP candidate MAY not win the riding. One more example of Smith’s distain for democracy. UCP friendly constituencies need only apply, the rest can go pound sand.

  4. Jaundiced Eye. you’re right. Smith’s response to Jespersen’s question about why she wasn’t calling a byelection for Calgary-Elbow was bizarre. She started by saying the rurals are very “spaced out” (um, yep) Jespersen countered that Brooks-Medicine Hat has roughly the same number of people as Calgary-Elbow. She said the issues in Calgary Elbow are virtually the same as another other riding, so any other riding can represent them (us). Jespersen pushed her some more and she said in the rural areas you’ve got local healthcare issues, local education issues, local highways issues, (yes, the lack of doctors in Brooks is SO DIFFERENT from the lack of doctors in Stettler, and the road work, well, it’s amazingly different).
    She added that Calgary Elbow was a very progressive riding and their constituency association wants to run a robust race. It’s not as if they haven’t had time to prepare, they’ve known Schweitzer was leaving since May. This supports your observation that UCP ridings will get byelections, the rest can “go pound sand.”

    • Valerie Jobson says:

      She was speculating on Kenney’s former radio show about revisiting the Springbank dam, which is now under construction. Jeremy Nolais pointed out that could lose her all of Calgary including Calgary Elbow.

      Honestly, she cannot shut up, just blathers on and on without thinking. Does she always talk so much and so fast?

      • Valerie,
        I wonder if Smith is one of those people who spouts the last thing she hears. When she went on Ryan Jespersen’s show she kept referring to a podcast called Vancouver is Dying as proof that the focus on covid resulted in a rise in opioid deaths. She’d listened to the podcast on her way over to Jespersen’s studio. It doesn’t appear that she did any independent research to understand the impact of covid on Vancouver hospitals and the relationship (if any) on increasing opioid deaths, let alone checking to see how well the Vancouver example translates to Alberta. Nevertheless she pushed the program as evidence that diverting healthcare resources to combating covid caused opioid deaths in Alberta to rise. You’ll recall Kenney and Mike Ellis said the exact opposite, that opioid deaths were falling, so which member of the UCP government are we supposed to believe?

  5. Bob Raynard says:

    I assume the UCP executive, who I expect are primarily Kenney supporters (and therefore Travis Toews supporters) are wondering what has gone so appallingly wrong for their party.

    At this point some of them must be hoping she loses her upcoming by-election.

    • Janna says:

      Bob, what went appallingly wrong was 1, they exist, and 2, Kenney.

    • Bob, agree with Janna’s #1 and #2 below. The Wildrose left the PCs because they couldn’t hack being part of the entitled, self-serving conservative party. The WR lost the 2015 election (thanks to Smith), then they lost the party when Smith crossed the floor to join the PCs.
      Then along came Kenney with his pitch (we must merge to form a “new” conservative party because only a merged party can defeat the NDP).
      The WR and the PCs are not cut from the same cloth (the lust for power can only them together so long) and then along came Smith who picked up where Kenney left off, putting his populist rants on steroids.
      I agree with Janna, Kenney started it, and Smith is going to finish it.
      It’s not going to be pretty.

  6. Dwayne says:

    Susan: Thanks for another great blog. It just got from very bad, under the last leader the UCP had, to even worse, under the new leader of the UCP, Danielle Smith, who is now our premier. How much damage can she do, both verbally, and with her actions, seems limitless. In fact, it is limitless. Danielle Smith was really bad as the Wildrose leader, and her time as a politician came to an end, because the mistakes she kept making. She had very bad ideas, kept on contradicting herself, had loose cannons for candidates, that were allowed to go off, unrestrained, and betrayed her party faithful, and her constituents, with the floor crossing to the Alberta PCs, that Preston Manning was behind the scenes helping out with. Now, Danielle Smith rejects democracy, as the constituents of Calgary Elbow, don’t have an MLA, for a while, after Doug Schweitzer resigned, and Danielle Smith won’t support a by-election, because it’s too costly. Yet, the UCP had done things that are far more costlier than what a lone by-election would cost, including $1.6 billion lost from bad accounting practices, lost $4 billion on a pension fund mistake, has lost over $2 billion from the Heritage Savings Trust Fund, as two different times, the money was lost from it, and on, and on. Danielle Smith even contradicts herself again, and in other ways. She says she respects rural Albertans, and their wishes, yet she is intent on abolishing the R.C.M.P, and wants a provincial police force, even though rural municipal leaders have said they still want the R.C.M.P. Rural municipal leaders said that a provincial police force for Alberta would be a very costly mistake, that would be at least $1 billion. Showing any fiscal discipline is beyond the UCP. Danielle Smith also thought she could challenge the federal government. That was something she had to realize she couldn’t do. She still wants to try it, but will fail, and Albertans will pick up the tab. Other UCP leadership candidates, the last UCP leader, and a former prime minister, Brian Mulroney, even deadpanned Danielle Smith’s idea of challenging the federal government. Danielle Smith is going to play the discrimination card, and take the word out of context. This is quite rich, and also hypocritical of her, because in her time as head of the Wildrose party, she had candidates who were making racist comments. It came to light today, that Danielle Smith made some inappropriate comments about the situation in Ukraine. Furthermore, Danielle Smith is looking for scapegoats. She has them in Dr. Deena Hinshaw, as well as the AHS. From what I’ve heard, recently, covid cases in Alberta have bumped upwards. It’s going be a very ugly situation with Danielle Smith as premier of Alberta. Hopefully, she won’t last beyond 8 months. I’ll share some more fitting music. This is from The Eagles, and it’s a Bernie Leadon and Don Henley composition, from 1972, Witchy Woman. It is in my music collection, and I did see The Eagles live in 2013.

    • bruce jackson says:

      right on!!

    • Mike J Danysh says:

      Dwayne, you’re right that Danielle Smith is going to be very bad for Alberta. She comes across as erratic, ignorant, and impulsive. She’s also nearly as good at U-turns as Liz Truss.

      I expect Smith will TRY to damage as much as possible, though she’ll think of it as “saving the province.” I hope (Lord, how I hope) Canada’s courts and system of government will slow her down. We may yet witness Queen Dannie of Qberduh tell the Supreme Court where to stick its decisions. What we witness after that is anyone’s guess. I’m hoping for an RCMP constable with an arrest warrant for contempt of court. Is that too much to ask?

      • Dwayne says:

        Mike J Danysh: I agree with your comments. Hopefully, Danielle Smith’s time as premier will be very short lived. Also, we can only hope that the UCP will be finished in 2023.

  7. Dwayne says:

    Susan: Here is my final song pick. It is from a supergroup, Led Zeppelin, and is off of their debut album, released in 1969. It is a John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant composition, Your Time Is Gonna Come. This is also in my music collection. Led Zeppelin was created in 1968, by Jimmy Page, after the previous group he was in, The Yardbirds, broke up, in July of that year. The Yardbirds also contained 2 other guitar legends at different times, Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck. This is another fitting song.

    • Dwayne, thank you for your comments and the musical selections. As I read your first comment I was struck by the examples of hypocrisy.
      For example, Smith is pushing ahead with a provincial police force which she says will augment the RCMP. It’s not clear what she means by that (she never bothered to explain) but she says the RCMP should focus on federal issues like illegal guns coming across the Canada/US border, but not lift a finger to do anything about them once they’re here because that would be the provincial police force’s job.
      That’s a recipe for confusion because the police (be they the federal RCMP or the provincial police) cannot enforce and not enforce the Criminal Code at the same time.
      Life under the Kenney government was shambolic. Life under the Smith government will be chaos.

  8. Verna Milligan says:

    Thank you, Susan. I, too, desperately hope that the UCP MLA’s will rein in their newly non-elected leaders’ “brand of libertarian populism”. For a case in point: just take a look at the current chaos in the UK. Seems their (similarly-chosen) UK leader, Liz Truss, promised to “unshackle the City of London to fuel growth”. Within weeks of being formally recognised by the Queen, Ms. Truss ‘plunged’ dramatically into implementing her “aggressive free-market, libertarian policies” in her mini-budget. The UK Pound immediately ‘plunged’ to a record low, Bond Markets crashed, and even an immediate U-Turn by the PM and the firing of her newly appointed (and similarly-minded) chancellor of the exchequer has not calmed the markets or economic chaos. And Monday may determine if Ms. Truss was able to “hang on by a thread.”And what of her Members in Parliament?

    • Verna, great comparison! What’s interesting about Truss and Smith is that they’re both libertarians who believe their ideologically driven policies will “unleash” the full potential of their country (or province in Smith’s case). Then when they put their policies into place everything blows up.
      I read a recent article which said the Conservative members who supported Truss fully understood what Truss was going to do but thought she’d “pivot” once she got into power. Why? Why would anyone think a libertarian ideologue is going to “pivot” off of a position that carried her into the PM’s office?
      It took Truss six weeks to plunge the country into chaos. She’s done U-turn after U-turn, but I think it’s too late to salvage her career.
      I wager Smith will accomplish the same thing in half that time.
      Here’s the article https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/uk-leader-liz-truss-goes-from-triumph-to-trouble-in-6-weeks/2022/10/16/7eb88bce-4d55-11ed-ada8-04e6e6bf8b19_story.html

      • Valerie Jobson says:

        Here’s a good video that talks about lobby groups and think tanks which have influenced Truss’ economic ideas, also on climate change denial.

        “Tufton Street is a road in Westminster, London, located just outside of the Westminster Abbey precinct.[1] It has a rich history, but today – because it hosts a number of right-leaning lobby groups and thinktanks – the street name is most often used as a metonym for those groups.[2][3][4]


      • Valerie: the Tufton Street video was fantastic. We need one for Take Back Alberta, Project Confederation, the Fraser Institute, etc

  9. keleemaui says:

    I live in Calgary Glenmore – and my UCP MLA is Whitney Issik. I sent her two emails asking which leadership candidate she was backing and got no reply – not a peep – and I did point out that we in her riding need to know where she stands on issues – not a peep

    • Linda says:

      Kelee, I can tell you that the last time I was in a public town hall meeting with Whitney the town hall presentation was effectively a vote campaign platform. This before the Kenney leadership review. As per Whitney, all UCP MLA’s have ‘big brains’ & ‘work hard’. Good luck with getting any reply regarding whether she supports the appalling Ms. Smith. No doubt you’ll be told Danielle has a ‘big brain’ & ‘works hard’.

      • Dave says:

        Perhaps the UCP MLA is confusing a big head with a big brain. As for working harder, I would rather they work smarter.

    • Wow, Keleemaui and Linda: if Whitney Issik is what we can expect from our UCP MLAs we’re probably better off with no representation in Calgary-Elbow. The comment that all UCP MLA’s have “big brains” and “work hard” is beyond the pale. If this were true Kenney wouldn’t have tossed Todd Loewen and Drew Barnes out of the party.
      By the way, big brains and working hard only count if you’re also blessed with good judgment. Otherwise everything you do is counterproductive.

      • Mike J Danysh says:

        Friends, I’m afraid that UCP MLAs will do what backbench MLAs always do: keep their heads down, mouths shut, vote the party line—and hope nobody notices. In submission lies survival. Besides, I strongly suspect most of them AGREE with Smith. It’d take a direct threat to their legislature seats to make them speak up.

  10. B. says:

    There’s no way that the MLA for our riding, Red Deer South will reign her in – Jason Stephan is just as unhinged as Danielle Smith.

    • B. I think you’re right. It won’t be Smith’s MLAs who’ll rein her in, it will be their constituents putting pressure on their MLAs.
      Smith just issued a press release in which she “categorically” condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine and noted that “prior to re-entering politics earlier this year, I made some ill-informed comments on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. My knowledge and opinion of this matter have drastically evolved since that time, and I apologize for those previous comments.”
      Her “knowledge and opinion” have drastically evolved since when, February 24, 2022?
      She’s an educated woman who led the WR in 2015. She says she deserves our trust, and yet she was unable to evaluate the information the rest of the western world could understand, namely that Russia was engaged in a vicious and unprovoked attack on Ukraine.
      She just doesn’t have a clue.

      • Mike J Danysh says:

        Do I smell tire smoke? I’m beginning to wonder if Danielle Smith has permanent whiplash from the U-turns.

        This is a clear case of getting caught without a clue and being forced to recant. Unfortunately it’s not an uncommon idea: make peace by making deals with the aggressor. Neville Chamberlain was praised for achieving “peace in our time” (1938)–until Adolph Hitler broke that peace.

  11. Kimberlee Wolfe says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I am sick to my stomach knowing this woman is “representing” our province.

    • Kimberlee, it’s shocking how poorly Smith has handled herself over the past week. Doesn’t bode well for the future does it. As the journalist Max Fawcett said, she’s her own lake of fire.

  12. JCurrie says:

    The problem is that the members of the UCP don’t really care about how crazy she is as long as she can possibly win the next election and ensure their continual feeding at the trough. Until they see the rest of us as a threat to their power they won’t do a thing unless they feel forced to. Obviously their “concerns” pre her election didn’t mean much at all. How many have resigned?

    I read an interesting essay on how Smith’s game is to convince all of us that the antivaxxers and her assorted misfits/scoundrels and dangers to democracy are really in the majority so that the rest of us (the real majority) start feeling and thinking like victims. I think this strategy has been very effective in the US. I agree with putting pressure on them whenever and however we can. Plus supporting the NDP while they try to tear it down. It is all completely appalling. But let’s not be naive. They will be just as appalling and destructive as we fear if we give them a chance. They are pretty transparent about what their intentions are. We also need a cadre a lawyers prepared to take on some of the legal ramifications of her threats.

    • JCurrie, I agree. Smith seems to be following the populist’s playbook. I note that while she’s apologized for her comments about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, she has not yet issued a real apology for saying the unvaxxed have been the most discriminated of any over the last 50 years. Perhaps she sees the rural voters and the unvaxxed voters as one and the same. I hope that’s not the case because it would widen the gulf between Alberta’s rural and urban population.

  13. GoinFawr says:

    Aside from a personal credit rating being less regulated and more opaque, can anyone describe to me what the salient differences are between China’s ‘social credit system’ and a personal credit rating with the banks?

    I mean, private credit ratings are affected by political/economic views too (ever tried to run for office on a McGeer monetary platform?), can restrict someone’s ability to travel, and affect a person’s career opportunities, etc…sounds like all the effects for the individual are about the same, no?

  14. Jaundiced Eye says:

    Did I hear Daniel correctly? Ukraine should be negotiating(kowtowing)? Negotiating with Putin at this point would be like negotiating with the arsonist after they set your house on fire. Nothing to be gained, everything to lose.

    • GoinFawr says:

      Danielle Smith is now passing the buck to Trudeau on the matter of Ukraine, but it’s pretty ironic if you ask me,

      “I respect federal jurisdiction. It’s up to them to weigh in on international relations and negotiations.”

      Yep, that’s Danielle Smith, she says she wants to make Alberta ‘sovereign’. Hang on ’til spring Alberta.

      • GoinFawr: I missed Smith passing the buck to Trudeau. Her comment about respecting federal jurisdiction is laughable given where she’s going with the Sovereignty Act. Surely we’re not the only ones who see the hypocrisy here.

      • GoinFawr says:

        Re:”Surely we’re not the only ones who see the hypocrisy here.”

        It’s satisfying knowing that The Base are finding out from one of themselves just how easily duped they really are, maybe they will learn something from it this time.

        While the wool is being pulled over their legally and, thanks to 420 Trudeau and Notley, bloodshot eyes Tyler Shandro’s vital partner must be simply delighted about this resolution:
        I’m sure the UCP appointed ethics commissioner will find that Mr.Shandro himself expressed little interest with the news, cough.

      • GoinFawr says:

        Actually the resolution I linked is from 2020, but it seems more than safe to say that D.Smith won’t be rescinding it, nor has Tyler Shandro’s vitally interested partner been lamenting it.

    • Jaundiced Eye. I’m sure you heard Danielle correctly…negotiate, give up your nukes (which Ukraine destroyed in 1994) and bend to Russia’s rule. Absolutely nothing to be gained. Today she backtracked, but not before her position made international news. Exactly the kind of publicity a province seeking out international investment needs, right?

      • Valerie Jobson says:

        GoinFawr’s link about the private health care resolution is from 2020. The AGM is Oct 21-23 this year. Here are their proposed resolutions.

        Click to access Plenary-Agenda-2022.pdf

        It is interesting that in 2020 the resolution was voted on by 793 people and less than 53% supported it.

      • Carlos says:

        Well I agree with you Susan that we do not need this kind of publicity but I doubt Danielle Smith is at all worried about it. I am sure she does not mind it.

      • GoinFawr says:

        Thanks for the update with the link Valerie!

        Resolution Two of “Policy”:
        “Resolution 2Proponent: Cardston Siksika
        b) Protect agribusiness from Federal Regulations that are harmful to Agribusiness and theglobal food supply.
        Alberta is a world leader in agribusiness and efficient farming practices. The Federal Government is threatening the ability of agribusiness with reducing fertilizers and other modern farming practices in the false name of climate change.”

        So ‘climate change’ is a ‘false name’.

        Resolution 3
        Proponent: Vermillion Lloydminster Wainwright
        Location: 203.1 (Energy)
        Update Type: Add New
        Updated Wording
        c) review our electricity pricing system with the goal of reducing transmission and
        distribution costs.
        We should focus on ensuring that new generation is reliable and affordable for Albertans.
        The costs to move new generation to the distribution system should be as limited as possible. ”

        Sooo in other words utterly and completely ‘limited’ to hydrocarbons by debunked socioeconomic dogma, regardless of the externalized, actual costs to Albertans, Canadians, and everyone else.

        Seems it just goes on like that for 36 pages, pledging allegiance to the oil companies, or worse, or both at the same time.

      • Valerie Jobson says:

        You’re welcome, GoinFawr. 🙂
        Check out Resolution 7, some of them have come round to admitting climate change and the global energy transition are real. We’ll see if they can pass that one.

  15. Sharon says:

    Tough being a. MLA in Dangerous Danielle’s caucus, especially if you live in an urban area. Her cabinet of clowns will be mainly from rural areas as that is who she represents. Calgary Clown Party members may not be impressed. Nor will the 81% of the Alberta population who live in urban areas. Seems every time this twit opens her mouth she sticks both feet in and has already learned the art of the Kenney nonapology. A sick joke and a disaster.

    • Dwayne says:

      Sharon: Danielle Smith has already alienated any rural base she thinks she supports. This is happening in more than one way. Rural municipal leaders have said that they don’t want a provincial police force for Alberta. They say it will cost at least $1 billion. It might even cost more. They want to retain the R.C.M.P. Danielle Smith isn’t listening to their concerns, and wants to have an provincial police force in Alberta. Furthermore, there are many people in rural Alberta, as well is in urban Alberta, who have Ukrainian ancestry. Danielle Smith’s remarks about the present situation in Ukraine, are not acceptable.

    • Sharon, that statistic (81% of Albertans live in urban centres) makes Danielle’s strategy sound even more bizarre. She must be banking on a combination of the first-past-the-post effect in Calgary and massive rural support to eke out a majority in May 2023.
      What I can’t figure out is why she said any of this out loud. She could have kept quiet about her willingness to lose half the seats in Calgary but she didn’t.
      Telling the city it doesn’t really matter just doesn’t strike me as smart politics.

      • jerrymacgp says:

        Not all Alberta cities are alike. There are the two big metropolitan centres with over a million population, and politically they share a number of characteristics with other large cities: a general tendency towards a more progressive political culture, and a communitarian worldview that comes from living in relatively close quarters with large numbers of their fellow citizens. Hence the recent elections of progressive mayors and city councils in both Calgary and Edmonton in the last few civic election cycles.

        But the smaller cities — Red Deer, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Fort McMurray/RMWB, and Grande Prairie — tend to have more conservative outlooks and politics. Sure, one of Lethbridge’s two MLAs is a New Democrat, but they elect conservative MPs time after time. Red Deer is as redneck as they come, and Fort Mac and Grande Prairie are both so completely wedded to the oil and gas industry that NDP is a swear word. All of these cities vote just like rural areas, not like big cities, and so that 81% statistic is basically irrelevant.

      • jerrymacgp, well said. thanks.
        On an unrelated but equally relevant note, I just saw an article in the G&M saying that high energy prices are not driving an uptick in employment in the energy sector. Stats Canada says the total employment in Alberta’s oil and gas sector now is only 75% of what it was in 2014. I imagine there are quite a few people in the industry who are unemployed and looking for someone to blame. Unfortunately they believe Danielle Smith who says it’s all Notley and Trudeau’s fault when in fact the world is changing and leaving these guys behind.

  16. Valerie Jobson says:

    Wow, Justin Ling posted again today about her sources of information. It’s getting worse:

  17. Jaundiced Eye says:

    Surely, Smith’s boss, Pierre Poilievre, and his boss, an unelected Stephen Harper, must be apoplectic due to Smith’s performance so far.

    • Carlos says:

      I have to say that I doubt Pierre Poilievre is at all angry about Danielle Smith because his own record is worse and he definitely enjoys the same conspiracy theories Danielle Smith spreads.

      • Carlos, I was listening to Justin Ling on the radio. He said that in his opinion the difference between Poilievre and Smith was that Poilievre didn’t actually believe these conspiracy theories, but was playing up to those who did, whereas Smith did believe them and was being played.

      • Jaundiced Eye says:

        That was a heads up play by Justin Ling to sign up for Smith’s podcast. I hope he taped all of the episodes.

    • Jaundiced Eye. I would hope that Smith’s colleagues in Cabinet and Caucus are equally horrified by the woman who doesn’t appear to be able to distinguish between real facts and conspiracy based theories.

  18. Carlos says:

    ‘Also on Day One she told talk show host, Ryan Jespersen that while Jason Kenney believed in “ordered liberty” (freedom limited by a need for order), she did not. She was a “libertarian populist.”’

    That Danielle Smith does not believe in any kind of order is obvious just by observing the chaos of her very first week and I think we have not seen her full performance yet. She is an opportunist and any kind of order stops her creativity of taking advantage of others has we have seen very well in the past and recently. I think she would thrive in a society of total ‘Libertarian Populist’ now in a theater near you in Haiti. What a better example of human beings using pure Libertarian Populist Capitalism’.

    • Carlos, I wonder whether Smith is paying any attention to the debacle unfolding in Britain. When the libertarian Liz Truss swept into power the libertarian think tanks were thrilled and now a few weeks later they’re desperately trying to explain the cause of her downfall. So far they’ve said she had good policies but rushed them in too quickly, and she had good policies but didn’t explain them properly to the public. Not one has considered whether it was her libertarian policies that led to her ignominious end.
      I don’t think Danielle Smith is a clever as Liz Truss. I foresee a similar end to her political career, the only question is how quickly will she implode and how much damage will she do to Alberta before she does.

  19. Dave says:

    The smarter ones that might read such a letter are probably already making plans to quietly retire or get out of Dodge some other way before it gets too ugly.

    The rest – well they probably either don’t get it or don’t want to get it.

  20. Joanne M Helmer says:

    i think the international group Harper leads are thrilled with Danielle Smith’s performance so far. she is a disrupter, which means no policy, just chaos. just like trump. that’s the plan. anything to overturn people’s confidence in government. Kenney was good at it and Smith might be better.

  21. JCurrie says:

    I agree with Joanne, disruption, confusion, anger, violence, thuggery are what it is about. It is shocking to see the level of hatred being spewed out at people when we need social/cultural cohesiveness more than ever. Important to keep our heads together and to keep reaching out to others and standing up for what is right. For me it is so easy to get completely discouraged at all the challenges we are facing yet we keep on making things worse…..
    And thank you to the person who recommended the twitter site, Led by Donkeys, from the UK on Susan’s site. Brilliant videos on Boris Johnson and his cohorts, Brexit, and the corporate interests that are all behind them. I strongly recommend this twitter account and wish there was someone here with the videography skills to do mini-histories for people like Kenney, Ford, Smith etc in Canada. A good way of understanding the history of these people and how they have been consistent all the way along. Like Trump, they have not been stopped so feel entitled to get away with saying and doing anything that benefits them.

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