Wildrose may reconsider some policies, Smith says
The Wildrose Party may reconsider some of the more controversial policies that didn't seem to resonate with Alberta voters, Leader Danielle Smith said on Tuesday, one day after her party won 17 of 87 seats in the provincial election.
Despite trailing in the polls throughout the election, the Progressive Conservatives under leader Alison Redford won 61 seats, propelling the party to its 12th consecutive majority government. The Wildrose will now become the Official Opposition.
"The fact of the matter is there are certain policies that clearly Albertans didn't want to see implemented," Smith told CBC Calgary news anchor Nirmala Naidoo. "I have to take that under advisement and I think our members will too."
Smith admits that issues like conscience rights, her questions about climate change and the Alberta firewall may have given undecided voters "some pause" as they made up their minds in the final days of the campaign. She said the party will likely have some serious discussions about these policies during the annual general meeting this fall.
For some voters, choosing a party with only four MLAs and a leader with no experience in the legislature may have been too risky, Smith suggested.
"It was fairly aggressive for us to think that the public would be ready for the kind of huge change," she said. "But as it turns out, they want to give us a little bit more time, want us to earn a little bit more experience."
Smith and her new caucus will soon start earning that experience. Redford said she wants the legislature to sit this spring.
Although Smith has been Wildrose leader for more than two years, she was elected to the legislature for the first time on Monday, winning the Highwood riding by 1,937 votes over PC John Barlow, who placed second.