The Alberta legislature resumes in Edmonton this week, and with that return comes a new dynamic. The Wildrose Alliance, its poll numbers swelling, arrives with two new representatives, floor-crossers from the Conservative side, tripling the party’s presence under the dome. And so, a question: Who are these people and what do they want? For good or for bad, it’s a query with definite answers. In a nutshell, the Calgary Herald’s Jason Fekete writes, “the Wildrose Alliance champions a slew of policies that differentiate it from the Tories and other political parties on a gamut of issues: considering a provincial police force; questioning the science of climate change; banning teachers’ strikes; protecting the ‘conscience rights’ of health professionals; allowing citizens to recall elected officials; and withdrawing from the Canada Pension Plan in favour of a provincial option.” According to one pundit quoted here, the Wildrose may well have made a misstep in so pointedly questioning the validity of climate change science. “It’s very easy to just look like you’ve come out of 1972 or something, and that would be dangerous,” says the University of Calgary’s David Taras. Some might welcome a ride in that time machine; Albertans first elected the Tories back in 1971.
What it means to be Wild in Alberta
As MLAs prepare to sit this week, Wildrose leader Danielle Smith girds for inspection
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