Smith losing members as well as control

Members of Alberta’s Official Opposition have seen the smoke and are running before they are overtaken by the fire.

Members of Alberta’s Official Opposition have seen the smoke and are running before they are overtaken by the fire.

Last week, we ran an editorial detailing how the backwards policies of the Wildrose party are going to hurt them, how the party needs to evolve to have a chance in the next election and how Danielle Smith has foolishly put her political future on the line by announcing she would resign if her party failed to form government next year.

We also commented on how a Wildrose government in 2015 seems unlikely as the party’s actions indicate they have no intention of changing their ways. Apparently, we are not the only ones who think so.

On Monday, Wildrose MLAs Kerry Towle and Ian Donovan crossed the floor to join the Progressive Conservatives. This new development further weakens the ailing Wildrose Party while bolstering the PCs, who have been growing in popularity since coming under the new leadership of Jim Prentice in September.

In her statement addressing the crossover, Smith criticized both Towle and Donovan for leaving the party. Smith said that while MLAs Rob Anderson and Heather Forsyth crossed the floor in 2010 from government to opposition because of principle, Donovan and Towle did the opposite.

We couldn’t disagree more. Rather, it seems that principle had everything to do with Donovan and Towle’s decisions to cross the floor and in any case, it was a smart move to make.

Towle said the choice to leave her party to join the PCs was a difficult one, a decision she made only after hearing concerns from her constituents, concerns she shared, about the fracturing of the parties’ direction.

She added that she felt that while Wildrose claims to be a free-voting party, she was being told how to vote too much.

Donovan said that he left the opposition because of his respect for Prentice’s leadership and questionable tactics in Smith’s own leadership. He said it is, “Hard to follow someone when they say they’re not sure they’re going to lead the team if they do not win the next game.”

It is sooner than expected, but we did predict that Smith’s vow to step down should she not become premier next election would come back to bite her from behind. Smith is trying to make it seem like her defectors have poor morals because she is upset they are leaving, but really she has no one to blame but herself.

Wildrose has no direction, no strong leadership, and lacks appeal to urban voters.

Why should its members be forced to go down with the ship?