The wonderful thing about politics is that everyone always wins. Consider Danielle Smith, the Leader of Alberta’s Wildrose Party. Last month she left her party and joined her former enemies, the Progressive Conservatives. She brought 8 fellow Wildrose MLAs with her. Now, she calls that move a “victory” for the Wildrose Party. Does she know something we don’t?
In case you’re wondering, the 9-member exodus led by Smith was significant. It left the Wildrose party with 5 MLAs in an 87-seat legislature, and tide them with the Liberals for best-of-the-rest (read: worst) in Alberta. Now, the Progressive Conservatives now have 72 seats. To be frank, Wildrose is as relevant as the post-Mulroney PCs; the only difference is that Canadians killed the PCs whereas Wildrose killed itself. Was it a justifiable suicide? Does such a thing exist?
Smith said she joined the PCs because Prentice is different from previous PC premiers. Smith says that she has watched the Premier “in action over the last number of weeks or months,” and that he has since proven that he is for real. That’s true if by “months” she means weeks and if by “the last number” she means fewer than 3.
Remember, folks, that this is the same Smith who, on September 26th, complained about Alberta PC “ineptitude.” Her party ran vicious attack ads against Jim Prentice when he sought a seat in the legislature during a by-election. Certainly that was in another era, so far removed from the present that it provides no basis for comparison! Well, it was way back in October when Smith still called Prentice a liar. How the tables have turned!
People aren’t thrilled by the about-face. Many are downright angry. The CBC reports that some are using the word “shame” to describe the situation. John Soroski of McEwan University called it an “all-out victory” for Prentice. That has to hurt.
Even if Smith is feeling the burn, we can reason that her pain is nothing compared to that which afflicts the citizens of Alberta. This wasn’t a victory for them (whether they loved or hated Wildrose). Alberta’s one-party rule is nearly as old as Singapore’s. People have to be tired of PC dominance. Wildrose was a sorry excuse for a party, but at least it threw a few punches. Who is going to rise up to throw those punches now? How much oil revenue would we have to spend to entice Kimbo Slice to lead a political party?