June 15th, 2024

Letter: Does Smith have the support of Albertans

By Letter to the Editor on November 16, 2022.

Dear editor,

Danielle Smith is now the authentic premier of our province having finally been elected. Strange that she chose Brooks-Medicine Hat as, I’ll wager, she has no intent on living here or even visiting here in the near future. But does this victory suggest the voting public has given her or her party a mandate to bring her personal platform of full sovereignty to the people of Alberta? Let’s have a closer look.

She won the leadership not in a landslide of votes but only on the sixth and final ballot, and only about 52% of votes cast. About 69% of the UCP membership voted in that contest. The total UCP membership represents about 4.4% of the voting public in Alberta, so does this give her a strong support for her sovereign ideas? It appears she barely has the support of her own party.

Ah, but she won the Brooks-Medicine Hat seat. Yes, she did with 54.5% of the votes cast. Her predecessor for that seat, Michaela Frey, polled more (60.6%) in the election of 2019. And this byelection had a whopping turnout of 38% of eligible voters. That apathy is very dangerous for democracy. Extremists get elected when so few voters care. Germany in the 30s.

So, call this victory if you want but time will reveal what may happen. Will Alberta separate from Canada and join the U.S.? If the pandemic flares up again will Smith lead us down the path of herd immunity as the cure? Look around you, folks. Our former mayor, Garth Vallely (RIP) had it right when he said, “We live in the greatest city, in the greatest province, in the greatest country in the world.”

It may be a victory – finally – in Smith’s mind, but many Albertans may strongly disagree.

Tom Rooke

Medicine Hat

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