Alberta Politics
Then Wildrose leader Danielle Smith and then Alberta NDP leader Brian Mason ham it up their campus debate series in September 2013 (Photo: The Gateway).

Danielle Smith nearly became the first woman to be elected premier of Alberta.

As leader of the Wildrose Party, which despite her efforts was never quite successful at portraying itself as a party of the centre right, she came close, tantalizingly close.

Alas for Ms. Smith, the Wildrose Party’s opportunity to form government foundered in a Lake of Fire in 2012, and Alison Redford, who had already been chosen as the Progressive Conservative Party’s leader and appointed premier, became the politician whom history will record as the first woman to be elected to the province’s top political job by voters.

After that came Ms. Smith’s 2014 effort to reunite her party with the PCs, by then led by Jim Prentice – a partial tactical success but a catastrophic strategic failure – and the election of Rachel Notley as Alberta’s first NDP Premier five and a half months later.

Ms. Smith was rejected by PC party members as their candidate in her own Highwood riding in March 2015, ending her political career, and today works as a broadcaster hosting a popular right-wing talk radio show in Calgary.

Now, the question must be asked: Has Ms. Smith become a secret admirer of Premier Notley – or perhaps a not-so-secret admirer?

At least, one wonders, does she think Ms. Notley is a preferable…

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