When Danielle Smith came out and announced that she was going to write a book, I have to admit I was pretty happy to hear it. While still stinging from the betrayal and damage caused by Smith and friends last December, I truly did want to hear some insight on what was running through her head at the time. Many of us have speculated on all sorts of scenarios but a candid and full accounting of the period and the actions could have filled in some of the gaps.
It looks like my faith in Danielle Smith is yet again misplaced.
Danielle has been popping up in a number of news outlets lately and to be frank she is spreading a load of utter bullshit on the events leading up to the mass floor crossing. Historic revisionists are usually writers for the winning side in a war and they usually don’t try to start to rewrite history until at least some years have passed since the events happened.
The currently unemployed Danielle Smith and her allies clearly lost the figurative war in Alberta and only a scant few months have passed since she crossed the floor and tried to destroy the Wildrose Party behind her. Memories are still rather fresh on what the political atmosphere was at the time and it is simply ridiculous for Smith to try and rewrite history when so many people can clearly see the revisionism for what it is.
Danielle Smith’s behaviour remains bizarre. While folks can’t make sense of her actions of last December, she continues to speak and act in a manner that could almost be considered as irrational. While being essentially disgraced and on the political outside, Smith still found a podium with numerous media outlets. Smith had an opportunity to speak with humility and transparency. She could have begun the steps towards restoring her shattered political credibility. Instead of taking this course of action, Danielle Smith chose to outright fabricate the events of the recent past.
Brock Harrison was on the inside at the time and was close to Danielle over the years. He served a number of roles within the Wildrose Party including director of communications for the party and as Smith’s press secretary.
Brock had been listening to Danielle Smith’s BS in the press and he clearly had seen enough of it. Brock wrote an excellent piece countering Smith’s revisionism that appeared in the National Post.
Harrison’s piece can be read here and I strongly recommend reading it.
I am going to do some reading between the lines and may be wrong in my speculation. The first revelations of Danielle Smith’s intention to write a book came out in a twitter exchange between her and Brock. I am paraphrasing but if I recall, she said something along the lines of having found inspiration in wanting to write the account after having sat down with Brock in Edmonton. I can only guess that Harrison (like myself) was happy to hear that the Wildrose years would be documented for readers to consume and perhaps gain understanding of some events. That would explain what I would guess to be profound disappointment on Brock Harrison’s part when he found that Danielle Smith won’t even accurately relate the events of last December to the press today. In light of this, it would be very difficult to believe anything that Danielle Smith may choose to put into print with a book.
It is clear that we can’t count on Danielle Smith to help remember what happened and that is sad. The lessons to be learned from the formative years of the Wildrose Party all the way up to Smith’s departure are critical ones for party members going forward. The leadership errors and internal strife need to be exposed, studied and remembered or we will indeed be doomed to repeat some of our errors.
Once again Danielle Smith found herself with a great opportunity and once again she chose to throw it aside. An accurate accounting of the past could have helped place her in a statesman sort of role or commentator down the road. Instead, Smith chose to reduce her credibility even further.
Rather than being a teacher for the politically ambitious, Smith will simply serve as an example.
Excellent post Cory! I may disagree with you on the future steps Wildrose needs to be willing to take, but no matter what steps the future holds, the present requires an honest understanding of the past. I had reached out to Danielle to encourage her to take ownership and acknowledgement that her actions were unwise. That acknowledgment would be the first step toward resurrection. Yet it appears that she is unwilling to take those steps.
Didn’t she call herself Naive?
I would appreciate it if the folks “in the know” pay close attention to her account and make corrections WITH PROOF. If it’s going to be ‘he said, she said’ then everyone looks bad. If you find anything contrary to actual objective facts in Smith’s book please let us all know. It works both ways of course, and that can be very dangerous. Please be careful.
You must realize that the acuteness of the emotions around this will discredit the accounts of either side. Perhaps a friendly third party would be the best investigator? Named names will not seem credible defending themselves if it comes to that. I suggest someone outside to tell our side of it.
Who are Smith’s allies anyway? Didn’t think they existed.
Your penmanship is always first rate Cory. If the Danielle account of the genesis and evolution of Wildrose is inaccurate, how about you taking on the task of assembling and chronicling the story? I think it would be of great interest and the story is hardly over.