Wildrose Alliance Leader Danielle Smith says her party will form the next government. Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press

The leader of the Wildrose Alliance party says if elected, she will lower taxes, balance the province's budget and make government accountable to the public.

Danielle Smith criticized the current Conservative government of Premier Ed Stelmach and outlined her own platform in an address to the party's annual general meeting in Calgary on Friday.

Smith said the Wildrose Alliance has no intention of becoming an opposition party but is the government in waiting.

"Our goal is to form the next government and it starts now," she said.

"If you continue to do your job as well as you have up until now there is no shadow of a doubt in my mind that the Wildrose will form the government of Alberta."

Smith said 40 candidates are already in place and the rest will be chosen in time for a spring election.

"I'm hoping that everybody comes out of this weekend energized, with their campaign teams ready to go and with their door-knocking pads ready to go so that they can start knocking on doors and talking to Albertans."

"The PC ship has hit an iceberg'

Smith said it doesn't matter who wins the Progressive Conservative leadership race to replace Ed Stelmach, because change is on the horizon. "You can't just change the captain on the ship and expect that you're gonna get an entirely different result," she said.

"The PC ship has already hit the iceberg. It's going down. It's an old and tired party, an old and tired government and after 40 years, they've just frankly run out of steam."

Smith said even PC leadership candidates are distancing themselves from their own government because it is out of touch with Albertans.

This weekend's annual general meeting is supposed to be the kickoff to a long election campaign in which the Wildrose Alliance is counting on Alberta conservatives to defeat a Conservative government. 

With files from the CBc's Geoff Ellwand, The Canadian Press