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Mov ers & Shaker s

featur ing DANIELLE SMITH

don’t vote for oppositions. Our plan from the beginning was to present

our party as a big tent, right of center party that is capable of forming government. When I started as leader we had fifteen established constituency associations, we’re now up to about fifty-five and we’re continuing to grow. You need a party structure that allows volunteers

to build a core campaign team for local fundraising. You need a good team of local candidates so that people feel they have a voice for their community and a point of contact if they have issues that they want to raise. Finally you need a vision, you need to know why it is you want to make these changes. You need to know what precisely in policy you would do differently from the guys who are there right now.

a snap election. People aren’t ready. And we are going end up with an even more difficult logis- tics problem now that we have four new ridings, some people will be in different ridings than they were before. All of the communication, organiza- tion, and ground-work that need be done to run an efficient election require fixed election dates, in my opinion. Not having fixed election dates benefits incum-

We believe that individuals, families and communities should be free to govern themselves in their own way without a whole lot of interference from the legislature. We believe in decentralized and grass roots political decision making.

Politics: Currently it is up to the presiding government to call elections. Can you explain the reason for your inter- est in fixing election dates? What are the disadvantages of the current practice?

If you go back to the chief electoral officer’s re-

port, Loren Gibson wrote 182 recommendations on how to improve our electoral process with many of these recommendations hinging on hav- ing fixed election dates.

In the last election a lot of people didn’t know

where their polling station was, we had an insuf- ficient enumeration lists where something like 255,000 people had to swear on affidavit [who they were] at the polling stations because [the election office] didn’t have them on the voters list. These are the kinds of things that happen when you call

34 Politics | Canadian Edition

bency. Incumbents don’t have to worry as much because you’re ready for it [an election] whenever it is. For a party like ours, trying to recruit good lo- cal candidates, we’re in a position where we have to tell people that the election could be held anytime in the next three years. It can be very difficult for somebody to wrap up the ir business, leave their legal practice, stop teaching, or stop their work in medicine if they have no idea when the election could be. Fixed election dates will make it easier for the civil servants managing the election pro- cess to get everything in place and to have it run smoothly. Fixed election dates will improve voter turnout, it would also be very good from the per- spective of all of the opposition parties to know when and how they have to hold their candidate election meetings, and when and how they need to start planning their campaigns. We have every reason to believe that they [the PC Party] are go- ing to hold another snap election at a time that is convenient for them to and to catch us off guard. I don’t think you should be playing games when

you call the election and the fact that we don’t have fixed election dates allows the incumbent government to play games.

Politics: Historically the relationship between the Alberta and Canadian government has been somewhat frosty. The provinces relationship with its cities is also a difficult one with more and more pressure being put on municipal government to squeeze as much as they can out of a sin- gle revenue source, which are of course property taxes. Canadians seem to be encouraging the various levels of government to work more cooperatively in order to serve them better. What would be your plan to get the various levels of government to work together to serve all of their citizens?

Danielle Smith: The thing we often fight about with Ottawa is that in Alberta we send a great deal of tax dollars in a variety of forms. Because we have a robust economy with a high participation rate in the work force, we end up paying more; corporate income tax, personal income tax, GST revenue, CPP, EI, than we get back in federal trans- fers. Last time we did a calculation we ended up with twenty billion dollars less in federal transfers Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69
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