In this article, you will get all information regarding Danielle Smith, the pundit-turned-PM, wants to immunize herself from her stubborn past

Last month, the United Conservatives crowned a former media personality as premier of Alberta for the first time since Ralph Klein.

Except that, unlike Danielle Smith, Klein was not months away from the racket of microphones and interviews when he began to lead Alberta in 1992. He had spent a dozen years in politics, as a mayor of Calgary and then provincial minister of the environment.

And Klein was a TV reporter, rather than the talk show host and pundit Smith has been at Corus Radio and the Calgary Herald, so he didn’t leave a long trail of provocative opinions and beliefs. recorded for critics and political observers to examine, and to resist the Prime Minister’s current positions.

Well, examine no more. Audiences were alerted by Danielle Smith herself, “I know I’m no longer a talk show host or media commentator.”

That thing she said? It is so 2003. The way back 2019. Or 2020. More … than one year ago. As it concerns nine months ago. Or maybe she was a Candidate for the leadership of the UCPbut was certainly not yet prime minister.

In Smith’s televised address to the province on Tuesday night, she took time out after pledging $2.4 billion in direct payments and rate cuts to most Albertans to address “something personal.” Namely, much of the resume that helped her get elected.

“I know I’m far from perfect and I’ve made mistakes,” Smith told the camera from his office. “And having spent decades in the media and hosting talk shows, I’ve discussed hundreds of different topics and sometimes taken controversial positions, many of which have evolved or changed as I’ve grown and grown. learned by listening to you.”

She stressed that she knows what her job is: to be a premier, not an expert, to “serve Albertans with everything I have” and to “be humble, listen and continue to learn from you.”

When the sound clips resume

It was an act of contrition, though wholly unspecific contrition for an untold amount of observations and wisdom recorded by Smith over the years.

Smith and his team know that his hot past carries many political responsibilities and landmines, including several from the more recent phase of his life as a commentator, after leaving commercial radio for alternative and less regulated formats offering more latitude for talk with doctors whom the medical general public accuses of spreading misinformation about COVID and re-disseminating information from others improper online domains.

She had previously warned about it, the night she won the UCP leadership, that “critics will dig up old statements and mistakes from the past” and use “cancel culture”. Even now, with people watching her as Prime Minister, Smith offers to inoculate herself widely with Smith’s great treasure trove of old music videos and sound bites.

Danielle Smith has spent far more of her life in the media than in politics as leader of the Wildrose party (in 2014, above) or prime minister. She was a columnist for the Calgary Herald from 1999 to 2006, then spent six years with a talk radio host ending in 2021. (Michelle Bellefontaine/CBC News)

After Smith had to backtrack on comments last month about unvaccinated people being discriminated against and some admittedly ‘uninformed’ opinions about Ukraine, his team felt they needed to apply treatment again. localized of this pesticide. earlier this week. The NDP had done some of that dredging — Smith’s various comments from the past two years about adding more user payments into the public health system for things like medical exams, perhaps through a variant of health spending accounts that Smith currently promises to help individuals pay for health expenses that the system does not cover, such as psychology and naturopathy.

Smith’s team took to Twitter to tag this as Rachel Notley’s twirla “myth busted”.

But the NDP’s source material wasn’t flippant remarks from online videos – it was a 14 page essay Smith wrote in 2021 for the School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary. Thoughtful scholarship, which happens to be squarely at odds with what Notley and Smith find politically acceptable in Alberta today.

It’s not just the scattered thoughts of his past. This is who Danielle Smith isor at least has been until now – a Margaret Thatcher-loving libertarian who absorbs ideas from all sorts of different corners, who likes to cast doubt on the “dominant narrative” and what is established as the consensus.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister constantly reminds us that the federal Minister of the Environment, Steven Guilbeault, was once a Greenpeace activist. That was 2001. Smith would have us believe that this Liberal leopard can’t change his spots, when Albertans needn’t heed his words last summer.

Wipe the slate clean, please

Of course, if everything stings or foolish any media commentator ever said should be constantly held against him, the whole analytic industry would collapse. Observers need not assume that anything Smith has said in her long career as a journalist or activist is necessarily what she eternally believes, or that it forms some hidden agenda hidden behind the pre-election activity of a prime minister.

But is she asking Albertans to do the opposite, to ignore everything she has said or written before? Is the slate wiped clean from her swearing in on October 6, and do we render null and void all the positions she took before and the controversial voices she defended who helped persuade United Conservative activists and vaccine skeptics to vote for her?

ucp agm 2022 crowd smith s speech
Smith has been less vocal of past COVID restrictions and vaccine rules of late, after courting votes from United Conservatives by stressing that she stands with the unvaccinated, vaccine skeptics and those who strongly oppose public health protection. (Jason Markusoff/CBC)

In one of the few press conferences Smith has given since becoming prime minister, she deflected a reporter’s question by saying:

“Some forums are entertainment forums. I have been on an entertainment forum for a long time, Corus Entertainment. And I recognize that you are in the entertainment industry, making sure you find the most outrageous statements that can get lots of clicks.”

Initially, the assembled journalists perceived this as a blow to their profession, that they are not serious about seeking attention. (The detractors will agree!)

But in light of Smith’s televised address, perhaps the confessional part of that statement is the most incisive. That she was playing a role, not a serious one, trying to attract listeners to her show. She now has a serious job as Premier of Alberta.

Thing is, Smith used that ‘entertainment forum’ remark when a reporter asked about something she said about Alberta Health Services’ involvement with the whipping post. of that conspirator, the World Economic Forum. This was not a commentary from his broadcast days or even his leadership race, but two days earlier when Prime Minister Smith announced his cabinet.

She keeps saying things she’d rather not have to explain. The old Smith is not gone, even if she does not show up in scripted speeches.

In the televised address, Smith also said that when she gets it wrong or makes mistakes, she will take inspiration from Ralph Klein – “admit it, learn from it and get back to work”.

There is a key difference here. Klein would put this notion into practice, especially when he tearfully apologized and swore to quit drinking after he was caught drunk throwing change at men at a homeless shelter.

He has not, as Smith does, revealed to the public that this is the prime minister’s playbook every time he gets into the political mire.



Danielle Smith, the pundit-turned-PM, wants to immunize herself from her stubborn past

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