What is the future of the Wildrose?

It’s no secret she was a force to reckoned with.

Now Danielle Smith has thrown in the towel to join the party she once fought so hard against.

Without their fearless leader, and more than half their caucus gone, how will the party survive?

Founding member, and former Wildrose leader, Paul Hinman said this is a war he knows the party can still win. “We’re not down and out. Good heavens, when we had zero MLA’s in there, we were beaten down,” he said.

“We’ve got good MLA’s, we’re in the legislature. It’s exciting for me, where we can go.”

Hinman lost his Calgary-Glenmoreseat in 2012 and became a special advisor to Smith. He says it is unfortunate she decided to abandon ship.

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“When you’ve lost your confidence, like a tight rope walker, you can’t just necessarily get back up there and step forward. She had a few things happen, she’s lost her confidence.”

Political scientist Bonnie Farries said the future of the Wildrose is bleak. She does not see how the party will ever be able to recover from such a loss.

“The crossover has absolutely sealed the Wildroses fate and Danielle smith is a big part of that,” she explained.

There is no doubt the voice of the Wildrose will be lessened in the house, giving the PC’s more power. “The opposition plays a very crucial role in effective governance,” she added.

“By eliminating that powerful opposition, an effective opposition, the PC’s will be like a kid in a candy store, they will have full reign.”

For Hinman, he believes this is not the end for the Wildrose, and the party will continue to remain strong. “We want open honesty and integrity. It’s about putting Albertans first, not about maintaining and retaining power,” he said.