Hiding From the Fourth Estate

Last week Danielle Smith announced her new “one question, no follow up” rule for journalists asking questions at her press conferences.  

She said the “one question” rule would apply to everything, not just the ethics commissioner’s investigation into whether Smith interfered with the administration of justice in her 11 minute phone call with Art Pawlowski, or the status of Smith’s threat to sue the CBC for defamation. The rule applies to EVERYTHING!  

Not surprisingly, Smith’s “one question” rule did not go down well.   

Danielle Smith

Even the soft-ball host of Smith’s radio show mentioned that in his former news career he’d interviewed prime ministers, politicians, police and professionals, and he took his responsibility and obligation to ask tough questions seriously. Why the change, he asked, and why now?

The NDP…

Smith replied that unlike the NDP, Smith allowed all media to participate in her press conferences.

Sorry, Daniel, the reference to the NDP would only be relevant if it were the NDP not, you as the premier of Alberta, refusing to take more than one question from the media.

Back to the question: Why the change and why now?

So many journalists…

Smith said there are dozens of media in Alberta all wanting to ask questions and the “one question” rule will ensure that more of them will be able to ask their questions.

Umm, yes, but these “dozens of media” didn’t pop up like spring crocuses on Friday April 14. They’ve been around for years. If Smith didn’t care about them before April 14, why is she so concerned about them now?


When the host of Smith’s radio show suggested time commitments could be a possible rationale, Smith jumped on it saying “you just can’t” do hour long press conferences.

Oh really. Why not?

If you can spend 11 minutes talking to one person, Art Pawlowski. about his upcoming trial, why can’t you spend one hour taking follow up questions from journalists seeking clarification about the impact of your policies on Albertans?

I feel faint…

Smith said some of the people standing behind her at the Friday press conference were “beginning to feel faint.”

Okay, we wouldn’t want any of the 24 or so people standing around like human wallpaper to keel over on camera, but wouldn’t it be easier to get them a chair than interfere with a reporter’s ability to do their job?

Hog the mike

The host tossed Smith another excuse, saying sometimes journalists keep pressing a point. Gee, I wonder why.

Smith missed the cue and prattled on about getting “completely different” questions at her townhall meetings.

I suspect there’s a world of difference between a townhall full of supporters at a political rally and a gaggle of reporters at a press conference. For one thing the townhall attendees aren’t going to blast Smith’s answers across the entire province.

“It’s an election, that’s why”

Smith’s clearest answer was the one she gave to a reporter the day she announced the “one question” rule. Smith said, “It’s an election, that’s why. We’re sort of getting into election mode, so we have lots of people [and we] want to answer lots of questions.”

What she didn’t add was the proviso: Provided you only ask one.

As journalist and blogger David Climenhaga says, “it’s easy to blow off a first question, [it’s] harder to deal with a thoughtful follow-up.”

The follow up can dig deeper, expose a contradiction inherent in the first answer, and demonstrate that the first answer was incomplete or misleading. Possibly even dishonest.

Which brings us to the role of the press in democratic societies.

The Fourth Estate

Countless books and articles have been written about the role of the Fourth Estate in preserving democracy.

In a recent article in the New York Times, Michael Luo focused on the deliberations of the Hutchins Commission in the 1940s, noting they are still relevant today.

The Hutchins Commission found that (1) the highest obligation of the press is to serve the public and (2) the press delivers on this obligation by providing truthful, comprehensive and intelligent accounts of the events of the day in a context that gives them meaning.

The press cannot live up to its obligation, especially the need to provide context in reporting, if it is not allowed to ask follow up questions.

Furthermore, an account of an isolated fact, even if true, without context, may be misleading. And such reporting can be dangerous in a divided and segregated population.

So back to the question of why.

It only takes one question

Smith isn’t worried about all the journalists who are unable to ask all their burning questions.

Smith is worried about about one journalist asking one awkward follow up question and her predilection for responding with whatever cockamamie idea that pops into her head.

There is an election coming, a follow up question increases the probability of a “bozo moment” and must be avoided at all costs for the good of the party. Smith’s handlers know this.

What we know, to quote Rachel Notley, is “Leaders take questions–it’s part of the job.”

Others hide.  

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65 Responses to Hiding From the Fourth Estate

  1. Don Stewart says:

    Just another astute critique of the latest gaffe by this leader who fumbles on a regular basis when in the limelight.

    • Thanks Don. I for one wouldn’t want to be Smith’s handler, or lawyer, or now that I think of it, a member of her Cabinet or caucus because you’d never know what she’d blurt out next.

  2. Milo Bloom says:

    Easy peasy. Reporter 1 asks a question, Danielle swats it away like an errant fly. Reporter 2 asks what reporter 1 would have asked as a follow up for their one question. Every other serious journalist follows suit. Everyone gets the info they need.

    Journalists aren’t dumb and they sure aren’t going to respond well to BS like “one question”. The next press conference should be interesting.

    • Mike J Danysh says:

      Even better Milo, to follow David Climenhaga’s advice–ignore Smith’s blatant attempt to control her self-inflicted damage and turn EVERY event into a free-for-all media scrum!

      Follow the link Ms. Soapbox provided above. Mr. Climenhaga is a former journalist, and his advice to the current crop is both relevant and a professional challenge.

      • Mike, David’s advice was very interesting, particularly given that most normal politicians crave the limelight, especially in the run-up to an election. If they really can’t deflect a question that makes them look bad then they have no business being in politics in the first place.

    • Milo,I like your approach. I believe reporters from competing media outlets at Trump news conferences deployed that technique to good effect.

  3. Paul Pearlman says:

    Just one more thing in the long list that tells all of us who are paying attention how unfit DS is to be premier of our Province. Any Politician likes to answer questions and we all like to hear what they’re saying especially at election time. 4 years of DS what will our province look like I dread the thought.

    • Paul, I was talking with a friend about the mythology of conservatism, specifically that the conservatives are good money managers and the NDP or Liberals are not. This has been proven wrong again and again. One needs only to look at Kenney cancelling the rail contracts and investing over a billion in Keystone XL, and the War Room, and the Anti-Alberta Energy Inquiry, and proposing an Alberta pension, and an Alberta police force, and decimating public services only to have to build them back up again, etc. etc. etc.
      But the die-in-the-wool conservatives will still vote UCP and as you said, if enough of them do the next 4 years will be hell.

  4. mikegklein says:

    Mr Harper chose to limit the number of journalists to 5 then only one question per journalist in his final general election. Hmm.

    • Mike J Danysh says:

      Yep, Harper was following the example of Republican politicians in America, in this as in so many things. Didn’t work for him that time, and with luck it won’t work for Smith this time.

      • mikegklein says:

        No exchange with political or any other journalists. No positive policy statements as in what they intend to do with the sceptre of power. Preparing the stage so in the event of electoral success the only thing to be held accountable for is electoral success.

    • GoinFawr says:

      (scoffs) Harper couldn’t even bring himself to mention ‘her’ name in his quacking address to Albertans, and Adler and Lukaszuk are letting all the UCP cats out of their bags with a righteous vengence. Eg. Lukaszuk sharing the following,

      “…and I know for a fact, that her cabinet ministers and caucus members are arguing to have her (visage) removed from any signage…”

      When the interviewer asks if Lukaszuk has a source he says, “You bet I do.”

      • GoinFawr: thanks for this! Smith was a chaotic leader of the Wildrose and she’s even more chaotic as the leader of the UCP. Seems to me the only way Smith will be able to hold on to her position as premier, even if the UCP win the election, is if they win with a landslide. And that is not going to happen.

      • Carlos says:

        Well Lukaszuk should stay quiet because he is not much better than Danielle Smith. We had enough of him during the Redford circus era.

        Albertans are now master’s degrees in Conservative lunacy.
        It is as this UCP group was created to make astrologers look good

  5. Dwayne says:

    Susan: Thanks for sharing another great blog. I think that Danielle Smith is trying to dodge facing any scrutiny, from avoiding wishing to speak to the media. She knows that she will be caught contradicting herself, or she will be seen as not being honest. There is no way she will get out of it, once that happens. Danielle Smith has been there before. A good example of this involves her speaking to Artur Pawlowski, not that long ago. She seemed to be supportive of him, at that time. Fairly recently, on her talk show, Danielle Smith said that Artur Pawlowski had views that she didn’t agree with. This is quite the turnaround. A provincial election is on the way, so Danielle Smith is trying to act as a moderate, and caring person. Her inaccurate statements are still being seen, and she is still intent on bashing Rachel Notley and the NDP, with false claims, that can’t be proven. I’ll play some more fitting music. This is a Justin Hayward composition, from The Moody Blues, called Question. It was released in 1970. I saw The Moody Blues live, and they are in my music collection.

    • Ah, yes, the Moody Blues. Loved them. You mentioned Smith is trying to pretend she’s a moderate. Frankly I think she’s trying to pretend she’s not a flake.
      I attended the Report to the Community event here in Calgary this week (I’ll write about it on Sunday), in which the Mayor of Calgary interviewed Notley and then Smith. In response to the question of what the provincial government was going to do to help the City deal with vulnerable people on its streets Smith launched into a story about her chief of staff who was living on the streets in East Vancouver and was apprehended by a cop who told him to choose between jail and rehab so he chose rehab. I’m not sure but I think this might be her rationale for her proposed law which would impose mandatory involuntary addiction treatment.
      One would hope that a policy that violates the Charter would be based on research, not the experience of one’s chief of staff. But that’s not what she said.

  6. Gord Young says:

    F A C I S T S !!
    1935 here we go again.
    Alberta is lost for good.

    • Mike J Danysh says:

      We can fight back. Vote anything but UCP/ Take Back Alberta. Rachel Notley has the best chance of beating Smith and her TBA handlers, but any vote for “not Smith!” will weaken Smith’s chances.

    • GoinFawr says:

      Alberta likes their fascists theocratic, weird, and especially susceptible to hardcore old testament narratives, since ‘Flaming Swords’ and ‘Jericho Marches’ are pretty exciting weapons to point at folk of a different stroke.

      They don’t seem to get much out of the second part of the book they put so much stock in though, too much talk about respect for others, ‘glass houses’, God getting to do all the smiting with none left for them, I suppose. A bit too socialist with the ‘being rich is not a good thing’, though they will always point out that the bible says you should pay caesar what is caesars! (Now ask yourself, did it really? Or did the bloody romans just make damned sure that line ended up in print?)

      Jesus weeps when these theofascist folk read the bible out loud, abusing the Word for their stony judgements of others in His name; by their own dogma they curse themselves in their unholy pride and arrogance.

      • GoinFawr: your comment reminded me of Michael Coren’s book The Rebel Christ. Coren is an Anglican priest who created waves when he shucked his hard right anti-everything beliefs saying they’re not founded in the Bible. His latest book, The Rebel Christ, is said to portray Christ as a rebel, a radical and a revolutionary. Needless to say the religious right lost no time in telling him he was a pervert and would rot in hell. Nice folks, these Christians.

      • GoinFawr says:

        “I am a Christian. That obliges me to be a communist.” -George Bernard Shaw

        Existence has its paradoxes, but Albertan theofascists in particular have had their senses of proportion so distorted that they end up wearing the stupidest ironies like thick mill-stones yoked around their necks. Their hypocrisy is a self induced misery that ‘loves’ company, and apparently they’ve never been nor ever will be above the use of violence to spread it, if they feel that’s what it takes.

  7. Dwayne says:

    Susan: Here is my second song pick. This is Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers covering a song by The Byrds, that was written by Gene Clark; Feel A Whole Lot Better. It was released in 1989. I have seen Tom Petty twice live. It is also very fitting.

    • Dwayne, this is SO fitting. “I’ll probably feel a whole lot better when you’re gone.” Many of us will definitely feel a whole lot better when Smith’s gone. I note you said you’ve seen Tom Petty twice. I’ve decided you’re independently wealthy and thus were able to spend your years seeing every decent musician on the planet! 🙂

  8. Linda says:

    I’ve no doubt Ms. Smith was telling the truth when she said folks standing behind her at the press conference were ‘feeling faint’. Holding one’s breath hoping Danielle doesn’t say/do something even more damaging prior to election day than she already has done would indeed cause one to feel faint. I trust reporters will indeed try what Milo suggested – ask the follow up & round robin Ms. Smith into (I hope) election oblivion.

    We have now received two flyers outlining how the UCP government has acted to improve the lives of Albertans. Plus our current MLA was door knocking & even had signs up for a town hall (said MLA has been MIA for a while; funny how an election saw a sudden resumption of reaching out to the public). Let’s just say we won’t be putting our election ‘X’ beside the current MLA’s name come election day.

    • Irene says:

      That’s funny Linda, Smith’s entourage getting fainty holding their collective breaths wondering what next horrific thing she would blurt out. I thought Rajan Sawney looked a little wobbly there, but she also has her own problems- manoeuvering around the land mines of her questionable career planning with the UCP.

    • Linda and Irene: astute observation re: why the folks standing behind Smith were feeling faint. Can you imagine what it must be like if Lukaszuk is right and the UCP candidates are fighting to get Smith’s photo off their signs. One would think if they were that troubled by their leader they’d resign in protest, however they’re staying for the campaign, that tells me that win or lose, they’re going to replace her after election day.
      Bizarre behavior from a bizarre party.

      • Linda says:

        Actually Susan not bizarre. Predictable based on historical examples – ‘Beware the Ides of March’ as it were. While the daggers may be metamorphic in the case of Smith, let’s keep in mind that those who embrace extreme views are not known for compromise. So any real or perceived deviation from what said extremists believe is of vital importance is seen as betrayal, which then sees the former ‘glorious leader’ become the ‘party traitor’ who must be removed asap. Hence the UCP rush to distance themselves from Smith lest they too be deemed untrustworthy to ‘the cause’. Madame Guillotine awaits!

  9. Jaundiced Eye says:

    It is delusional to think that the press will fight back on her asinine decree, but we all know they will not. Ironically, the press will meekly do as they are told because they are afraid of losing access to the Premier. Mind you, access for the press from now on will be standing around listening to UCP friendly hacks asking the Premier fluffball questions. The days of Woodward and Bernstein are long gone.

    As an aside, the group of human potted plants standing behind Smith appears to be wonderfully diverse. The organizers checked all of the boxes on this crowd.

    • Jaundiced Eye. I’ve been thinking about Woodward and Bernstein a lot lately. And the courage of the Washington Post to pursue the story despite being up against the President of the United States.
      That was then, this is now and now is pretty pathetic by comparison.

  10. Sharon says:

    The beauty of this latest ploy is the transparency to everyone of what this really is. Dangerous Danielle has been told by her handlers not to talk. There is no room in her mouth for any more feet. What would DD’s response been had Rachel used this ploy?

    • Sharon, this is an excellent point. I think Smith hiding from the media and her attempt to buy our votes with our own money will backfire. We see though the “stop me before I shoot myself in the foot” strategy, and we’ve been so overwhelmed by the blizzard of spending announcements that we’ve been forced to focus on the fundamental question of who do you trust to deliver on their pre-election promises: Smith or Notley. Many Albertans will bet on Notley.

  11. Lee Neville says:

    Lies come in two flavors – Commission and Omission. Duh-duh Danielle wants license to commit both. Its a logical move from a erratic politician who’s facility with stuffing her mouth with her shoes can now be confidently explained that she really enjoys their flavor after walking around all day in the RW bullsh*t corral.

    Here is hoping the 4th Estate righteously rejects this pathetic demand with rigor, vigor, piss and vinegar! I’m looking forward to some spectacular feisty pressers coming up. Some members of the press will rise to the challenge.

    Sadly, the PostMedia chain who represents ALL the major media in this sad Province is in nose-ringed docile thrall to these Take Back Alberta freeks won’t raise a fuss as they shuffle into line. Look forward to the Nasty Post, Calgary Herald, Edmonton Journal and both parrot-cage liner Sun outlets to editorially come out advocating Duh Duh Danielle and her RW root-hog pug-uglies on the eve of the next Provincial election. Irresponsible? Yup. Predictable? Yup! But I like knowing who the collaborators are.

    What Albertans must really get on is this parties historic shameful laziness in the Legislature. No bills are presented, debated or passed. Most govt business is done by Order-in-council by Ministers or their deputies. Forget voting – thats the icing on the cake in a nominally participatory democracy – we have to pay attention to who is in the kitchen and what they are cooking up out of sight.

    • Excellent points Lee. Your comment about Post Media is particularly relevant given that lately we’re seeing more opinion pieces (from the likes of Don Braid, etc) which are critical of Smith and the UCP. However as we know from the last election, every Post Media outlet is told exactly who to endorse so notwithstanding the rising levels of criticism I’ve seen in the Calgary and Edmonton papers, I fully expect them to endorse Smith and the UCP when the time comes.
      There’s a certain irony in Post Media which is headquartered in Toronto telling Albertans who to vote for–the sad sack party that gave up billions in corporate tax revenue from oil companies that continue to pollute our waterways and coal companies intend on destroying the Eastern Slopes, and…well, you get the drift.

  12. Carlos says:

    Just follow David Climenhaga suggestion which I believe is the way to go – FORGET HER just go ahead and talk louder. If you cannot do that please give me a call and I can come aske the question for you – I mean it. 🙂

    What a CIRCUS. If they are faint I can also come and throw water at them NO PROBLEM – it will be my pleasure


    • Carlos, you made me smile with your suggestion that you’d throw water on the fainters.
      On a more serious note, it seems Smith is packing the room with these people who stand behind her and smile as she makes her announcements, however when you look at who’s there, rarely will you see someone who is a high ranking industry executive or thought leader.
      When Notley was in power she had the CEOs of big companies, academics and community leaders standing behind her. There were fewer of them, but I suspect their influence was far greater than the people Smith trots out for her photo ops.

  13. lungta mtn says:

    I am selling what’s in the bag
    Q . What’s in the bag?
    A . It’s a (insert bozo outburst here).
    Q . Wait .What? Can we see it?
    Sorry one question

  14. Valerie Jobson says:

    It’s ridiculous to make a bunch of people stand still behind a politician who is boring on at a presser anyway. Harper had young people faint behind him at least twice at such events, there are videos including this one

    I think we see Danielle Smith in lock-step with Pierre Poilievre, attacking mainstream media which values accuracy while encouraging their base to rely on rightwing propaganda sites.
    Remember Poilievre also complaining about leftwing “woke” mayors, probably referring to Gondek and Sohi.
    Brainwashing the base against good journalism is something Levant has worked towards for years, but with all the bots on twitter it’s hard to say how many real people buy into it.

    • Valerie, great comment. I see that some Republicans are now trying to make it more difficult for young people to go to university because once they get there, they’ll be “woke” and God forbid that they learn to think for themselves.
      This dumbing down of the population must stop. One thing that will help is litigation like the Dominion case against Fox. There’s nothing like a $787.5 million decision against a “news” outlet to make it more careful about whether it’s reporting lies to boost profits.

  15. Valerie Jobson says:

    So today some UCP Ministers said Premier Smith is the only one who will use the new policy of limitig questions, which means they are tacitly admitting she is the loose cannon with the big mouth who can’t be trusted to say the right thing.


    Rachel Notley had an interesting presser today, promising funding for downtown Calgary. Before they started Keean Bexte was escorted away by security for not being accredited. Later Notley explained in detail to the Wesern Standard’s Nigel Hannaford that she won’t answer WS questions until they retract and apologize for homophobic etc editorializing about her caucus.

    Here is the full presser which is worth a watch for the joking with reporters about answers. The Hannaford question is about 10 minutes in:

    The UCP are using a heavily edited video that omits Notley’s reasons.

    • Linda says:

      The UCP are definitely doing what they can to discredit Notley & the NDP. I saw a new ad put out by the UCP where Ms. Smith – followed by a highly diverse crowd of supposed supporters (cynically I am of the opinion the crowd are actors, paid to look like they support Dangerous Danielle & by extension the UCP) where she trumpets that ‘no one’ will have to pay for things like visits to their family physician. The ad opens showing a woman walking towards the door of what one presumes is a health facility of some sort, being asked how she will pay for her visit. Said actress then pulls out a card saying “I think this will work” to add pathos to the scene & imply the person in question is so close to the line financially that she isn’t sure whether the card will accept the charge. Enter her ‘savior’ Ms. Smith, declaring the UCP would ‘never’ permit such a horrible experience to occur. Except she & her cohorts have floated doing exactly that last year. So the question I have is this: does anyone believe her? Does anyone truly believe that Smith & crew won’t go ahead with ‘reforms’ including patients paying a service fee for doctor visits post election if they are re-elected? The much trumpeted re-investment into Alberta’s health care hasn’t even reversed the damage already done by the UCP, let alone improved matters despite the UCP contracting out surgical services to private clinics under the justification that doing so will decrease the backlog. A backlog that they are trying to blame on the NDP! Given that the UCP has been in charge for the past 4 years, seems a little disingenuous to say the current backlog is the fault of the previous government. UCP default: when anyone notices we aren’t doing our jobs or performing as promised, blame the NDP. Now there’s a fine example of leadership & taking responsibility – not!

      • Valerie Jobson says:

        She was in Lethbridge on Monday and though she would not answer any reporters’ questions, she did take questions from the Chamber members and there was a doctor who knew her facts. Only one obstetrician left in Lethbridge for 2200 babies per year. Fascinating read here:


      • Linda, as you pointed out Smith’s position today is the opposite of her position one year ago. So the question is exactly as you put it, how can you trust Smith to do what she says she’ll do given that she’s said (1) Albertans will have to pay for healthcare and (2) Albertans will not have to pay for healthcare. To use Smith’s vernacular, she has to “pick a lane”; she can’t ride in both.
        And it hasn’t escaped our notice that Smith can promise one thing before the election and do the exact opposite after the election…why? Because she’s not trustworthy.

    • Valerie, it’s interesting that the UCP doesn’t understand the distinction between Smith’s decision not to take follow up questions from anyone and Notley’s decision not to take questions from one specific media outlet.
      Smith made the decision recently in the run-up to the election because she and her handlers are afraid she’ll say something awful, whereas Notley’s decision was made months ago and is based on her conclusion that the media outlet publishes opinions that violate our human rights legislation and the Charter.
      One is self serving, the other is based on protecting human rights.
      Perhaps the distinction is too subtle for some UCP minds.

      • Valerie Jobson says:

        I think Notley’s decision was based on a more specific event, an article attacking Janis Irwin. The author himself admitted he had used a lot of homophobic stereotypes etc and he apologized and had the article removed. However the WS publisher Derek Fildebrandt has refused to apologize; I guess his view of libertarianism is that he can publish homophobic crap written by others for clicks, while considering himself to be free of homophobia. (I bet Smith thinks the same way about her Lake of Fire candidates.)
        I did not see the article in question; Duane Bratt tweeted about this several days ago.

  16. Graham Barker says:

    The media should boycott her news conferences until this ridiculous “one question”dictum is revoked.

  17. GoinFawr says:

    Oh well I suppose Ms.Smith can’t be blamed for being so worried about saying something stupid, again, since she’s turning into The Queen of the Self-Own.

    On the other hand I suppose this means Tyler Shandro is open to as many questions as can be thrown at his person, right? Say, where exactly is Justice Minister Shandro, anyway? Off ‘Justicing’ somewhere? I thought Alberta still had judges for that, for now…

    • GoinFawr: a lot of lawyers and law profs are wondering the same thing. Shandro in his capacity as Attorney General should condemn everything Smith did vis-a-vis Pawlowski. I suspect he’s hiding from the media because he doesn’t want to be asked how he feels about what she did. Unlike Kaycee Madu he may not be able to fall all over himself telling us it’s fine, it’s all just fine.

  18. Dave says:

    I suspect the dreaded press conference is something that many politicians in power, particularly those facing tough questions, fear. It is almost funny to watch those politicians in power talk at length about how great things are and sometimes everything else, except the issue everyone wants to hear about, in their sometimes long speeches as they announce the opening of a local water treatment plant.

    Of course, you can only spin so long or so much, there is eventually accountability. I think everyone pretty much knows the real reason Smith wants to limit follow up questions is because she has found it difficult for herself. It does not have anything to do with time or having more questions. It is about having fewer questions she does not like or want.

    I feel very strongly this strategy will backfire. First, even friendly or our sometimes docile main stream media does not like to be overly managed in this way. Second, unanswered questions do not resolve voters concerns and third, people will continue to want to talk about important issues even if Smith does not. Some of the important issues she is trying to currently avoid talking about are her changing position on public health care and the conflicting things she said about who she talked to and what she did in the Pawlowski case.

    • Good points Dave. I think the fact that her MLAs said the “one question” policy only applied to Smith and not to them indicates how misguided this was. The fact they wouldn’t toe the line signals they’re not prepared to throw away their credibility (such as it is) by standing with her on this issue.
      Smith was a disaster as the Wildrose leader and she’s a disaster now. The one upside is that she may single-handedly destroy the Frankenstein party Kenney cobbled together.
      The sooner the better.

    • Mike J Danysh says:

      “Flop. I have always said flop.”

      (with thanks to Gary Trudeau of Doonesbury fame)

    • It’s another day and another flip-flop. The strange thing is that Smith and her chief adviser Rob Anderson had the whole weekend to decide whether the one-question rule applied to the media outlets and they decided it did. Then on Tuesday (Apr 18) they decided it didn’t. Why made them change their mind, what had they failed to consider the first time around?
      I found it funny that Smith’s office said journalists could contact her office if they required clarification or further information and when CP did just that they refused to answer CP’s request for clarification.
      Seems to me the brain trust isn’t firing on all cylinders.

  19. Carlos says:

    ‘Some of the important issues she is trying to currently avoid talking about are her changing position on public health care and the conflicting things she said about who she talked to and what she did in the Pawlowski case.’

    Yes of course because she lies so casually that she does not remember what the story was the last time she talked about it. That is the problem with liars.

    As soon as she gets elected she will continue serving her base slaves and that is when absurdity will predominate again. Right now she is on a word diet to avoid becoming not just the Alberta joke but the Canadian Cirque du Soleil

    • Dwayne says:

      Carlos: We have to avoid giving the UCP another four years, because it will be a nightmare with Danielle Smith and the UCP in charge.

    • Carlos and Dwayne. I agree. The only solution is to oust the UCP and let them tear themselves to bits trying to pin the blame of their loss on someone other than themselves.

  20. Dwayne says:

    Susan: Here is my final song pick. This is from The Steve Miller Band, and is from 1976. Steve Miller wrote it. I have seen The Steve Miller Band twice live, and they are also in my music collection. A good message here.

    • Dwayne: “fly through the revolution”. You know I didn’t really pay attention to the lyrics of many of these songs until you brought them to our attention. As you said, good message here. Thank you!

  21. jerrymacgp says:

    I was listening to David Herle’s “Curse of Politics” podcast, and a couple of the panellists — former federal Liberal strategist Scott Reid, and former federal & Ontario Conservative strategist Kory Teneycke — had an interesting perspective on this. Both felt that it would be an incompetent political campaign staffer that would allow their candidate, or “principal”, to be too open to the media if they were as inclined to go “off message” as someone like Smith or Doug Ford can be. Reid also commented that this is a sad fact for democracy that staffers are so inclined to rein in and control candidates, but that’s the reality of modern politics.

    So, perhaps this is the work of Steven Outhouse, UCP campaign manager, reining in his “principal”.

    • Mike J Danysh says:

      jerrymacgp, I’m certain Mr. Outhouse is responsible for all the defensive measures now in place to protect the UCP/TBA Party from Daneille Smith’s tendency to ad lib.

      I’m equally certain he’s been giving Smith extensive lessons in verbiage abatement (a.k.a. shutting off the motor mouth).

    • Jerry and Mike: I saw a tweet by Janet Brown on this. She said it was reminiscent of Kim Campbell saying an election was not the time to discuss policy. We all know how that worked out for her. Hopefully the same will happen here.

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