Danielle Smith on hosting radio, the NDP and her future in politics
CALGARY – Former Wildrose leader Danielle Smith started a two-week stint Monday as guest radio host on Calgary’s CHQR afternoon talk show. She says she got some “great feedback—not all of it altogether positive.”
“The social media response is as mixed as it’s always been,” Smith told Global News. “As soon as I entered into public life six years ago, I don’t think I ever got uniformly great responses on social media, so I had to develop a thick skin.
“It’s been particularly tough the last six months, but I think people are beginning to see that I recognized that I was wrong, and made a mistake. But now it’s time for me to go on and do something new.”
When asked if she’d return to politics, Smith said that would require finding a new husband—not something she’s willing to do. But she’s ready to offer her analysis of Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley’s historic win and road ahead.
“They campaigned as a centrist party,” she said. “If they govern in the centre, I think they’re going to have a lot of success. We may see the start of another political dynasty.”
Smith says she’s keeping an open mind as to the future success of the new government, but pointed out the NDP has made some “big ticket” promises.
“Twenty-five dollar-a-day daycare…they want to be able to do $10,000 loans to energy retrofits in peoples’ homes…They want to restore education funding,” she said.
“I think the question will be: How much are they going to be able to implement of their agenda now that it’s looking like the books are worse than they first imagined they’d be?”
As for the other parties in the province, Smith says their future will be full of challenges.
“As long as the Progressive Conservatives and the Wildrose stay apart, neither of them are going to have an easy time trying to replace this government in the next election.”
Listen to the first half hour of Monday’s radio show with Danielle Smith below:
Smith took eight of her Wildrose caucus colleagues with her when she crossed the floor of the legislature to sit with the then-Progressive Conservative government late last year. There was vocal criticism of the move from party supporters and she lost her bid to be the Tory candidate in her home riding of Highwood in the recent provincial election.
“Obviously, my stretch in the public arena is well known,” she wrote in a blog post. “But most of my career I have been a public policy analyst and political commentator.”
With files from Carlos Prieto and The Canadian Press
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