Danielle Smith has, over her three and a half years as leader of the Wildrose Party, proven herself to be an adept politician with broad public appeal. The Wildrose took 34 per cent of the popular vote in the April 2012 provincial election and in the time since has cemented itself as a viable alternative to the Progressive Conservatives. Despite some early troubles with outspoken social conservatives in her party, Smith has been able to focus her party’s attention on the record of the ruling PC government and to keep it off balance and on the defensive. The Wildrose has scored major victories on issues of questionable health executive expenses, “tobaccogate” and a massive donation from Edmonton Oilers owner Daryl Katz to the PCs in the waning days of the election. And the Wildrose has also been winning the battle at the bank. In 2012, the Wildrose raised $2.8 million compared to the PCs’ $2.3 million.
Danielle Smith: Alberta's 50 Most Influential People 2013
Takeaway: Danielle Smith has proven herself to be an adept politician with broad public appeal as leader of the Wildrose Party.