Danielle Smith and the Ghost of Christmas Past
Last weekend, I indulged in two hours of Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell singing and dancing. It was pretty entertaining. The dance numbers were fantastic, and the writing managed to do something half-way novel with the tired old Christmas Carol story.
What does all this have to do with Alberta politics?
This latest take on the Christmas Carol is really a reflection on the question of whether people can change. Or if some people are, in fact, unredeemable. (Yes, I know - irredeemable. But I didn’t write the script).
Danielle Smith is currently experiencing an extended visit from the Ghost of Christmas Past, who is reading aloud to her from the paper she published a year ago, musing about using health spending accounts to get Albertans accustomed to paying for their health care.
And the Ghost isn’t going to go away any time soon, because there are years worth of material from social media, newspaper columns and other sources. And Smith will be confronted with these regularly for the next six months.
Tonight’s televised address is intended, at least in part, to reassure voters that Smith has changed. No Fraser-Institute Scrooge here: there will be money for parents, and seniors, and the disabled and more. Cheaper gasoline for everyone. And the list goes on.
Voters are confronted with the question of who Danielle Smith really is. The libertarian who advocates health care by go-fund-me or the free-spending premier who feels your inflation pain? The populist who flirted with separatism or the “Sovereign Alberta Within a United Canada” patriot?
The trouble is that we’ve skipped a few steps in the conversion story. The Premier has not told us that she has changed. Instead, she pretends the past didn’t happen and lashes out at those who confront her with it.
If Smith wants voters to believe she has changed, that her worldview has evolved as radically as fellow former talk-radio host Charles Adler’s has, then she has to tell them about what changed her mind. And if she can’t, or won’t, then she’s stuck with the Ghost of Christmas past reminding her of her past self: unredeemable.
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Excellent analogy ! The longer she pretends the past didn’t happen or continues to have her comm’s team lash out at those who confronted her, the worse it will get 😠 Albertans aren’t naive as they watch and listen to her every word and move. It will be a long 8 months for Ms Smith as she battles her demons of Christmas past and continues her denial 😠