Smith preps for fall election

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July 29, 2014 10:04 AM

Danielle Smith, left, leader of the Wildrose Party and Shayne Saskiw, MLA for Lac La Biche-St.Paul-Two Hills, were in the Vermilion Fair Parade last Thursday. - Christopher W. Brown Photo

If history has any indication on what happens when a new leader and premier of Alberta is chosen by the Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta, a general election will soon happen shortly after, according to the leader of the Wildrose Alliance Political Association.

Danielle Smith, leader of the Wildrose Party, was in Vermilion last week, and said that the PCs have a tendency to call an election soon after selecting a new leader.

“We (at the Wildrose) think that we will see an election soon after they choose a new leader,” said Smith.

“That has been the habit of the PC Party, that when they choose a new leader, they opt to go to an election within six months of that.

“We want to make sure people know why they don’t want this government next time around, and we want to give them positive information about voting for us.”

Since the end of May, the Wildrose have rolled out five policies under its Moving Alberta Forward: Solutions for the Alberta of Tomorrow.

Those policies include, putting victims first, protecting the rights of victims and keeping criminals off the streets, responsible energy development and protecting our environment and ensuring prosperity, caring for our seniors, children and the vulnerable giving more for home-care, and AISH recipients, building more schools and revamping the Alberta curriculum, and support the Calgary and Edmonton LRT line.

Smith said that while the Wildrose has begun to roll out its platform for a possible fall election, they still have four more to announce in upcoming weeks.

“We hope to be able to give people a real option for change and choice,” said Smith.

Since the passage of the Election Amendment Act in 2011, elections now must be held four years apart between March and May of the fourth year after the last election was called, unless a non-confidence motion is passed and the government of the day loses the support of the legislative assembly.

The PC Party is currently in the midst of a leadership election, with a vote expected on Sept. 6 of this year.

If Smith’s prediction is right, an election would be held in February of 2015.

The PCs currently hold a majority of the seats in the legislative assembly with 59 of 87 seats. The Wildrose have 17, Liberals hold five, and the NDP have four seats, currently there are two independents in the Legislative Assembly.

History of election calls after leadership race

When Alison Redford became leader of the PC Party in October 2011, the next general election was not called till April 2012. In December 2011, the Alberta government passed a fixed election law that would require governments to go to polls every four years between March and May, putting the election of 2012 in that time frame.

Ed Stelmach, who became leader in 2006, didn’t call an election till 2008, two years after he became leader.

Ralph Klein became premier in December 1992, and called an election in June 1993, exactly six months after becoming premier.

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