In Majority Governments, What Can the Opposition do to Affect Legislation?


January 31, 2013 :: Danielle Smith
Moderated by Ed Bardock

The Wildrose Party became the official opposition in the 87 seat Alberta Legislature on April 23, 2012. Despite capturing 34 % of the vote, only 17 Wildrose MLA’s managed to get elected including party leader Danielle Smith. During the 2012 fall session of the Legislature, the Wildrose Party was very active introducing numerous amendments to proposed legislation, but usually to no avail.

The Wildrose believe they heard loud and clear from Albertans that they want solutions to balance the budget, improve health care and education and to put an end to what appears to be a PC Government culture of corruption, conflict of interest and entitlement. Following through on an election promise, Wildrose MLAs exercised their free-vote policy throughout the recent session in the Legislature, while the PCs continued to toe the party line on every vote.

“We know the role of MLAs is to listen to their constituents and thoughtfully consider every piece of legislation that comes through the house,” Smith says. “Our Wildrose team is committed to listening to Albertans and implementing true and meaningful democratic reform.”

Speaker: Danielle Smith, leader of Alberta’s official opposition

Danielle Smith was elected as the Member of the Legislative Assembly for Highwood on April 23, 2012. She was elected as leader of the Wildrose Party of Alberta on October 17, 2009. She sits on the Special Standing Committee on Members’ Services and the Standing Committee on Alberta’s Economic Future. Prior to entering politics, Danielle was the director of provincial affairs for Alberta with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, CFIB. She worked with all levels of government to represent the interests of CFIB’s 10,000 small-business members in Alberta.

Before joining CFIB, Danielle had extensive experience in the media. She was an editorial writer and columnist at the Calgary Herald for six years. She has served as host of the TV program Global Sunday and also hosted radio programs in Calgary. Her public policy experience began with an internship at the Fraser Institute. She was also elected as a trustee for the Calgary board of education and served as the director of the Alberta Property Rights Initiative and the Canadian Property Rights Research Institute. Danielle received her B.A.in both English and Economics from the University of Calgary


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