According to Danielle Smith, there will be not coup to oust her as leader of the Wildrose Party.
In a blog post shared with Huffington Post Alberta this weekend, Edmonton blogger Kathleen Smith discusses a video that surfaced on Dailymotion last week which suggests a divide within the Wildrose Party's social conservative wing and its more mainstream leader.
"It is easy enough to surmise from the video that an attempt at overthrow is at play within the Wildrose party and the rumors of the party self destructing are not only true, but the players are very clear," writes Kathleen Smith in her blog post, which originally appeared on her site kikkiplanet.com.
The anonymous video, "Wildrose Internals," which has since been removed from Dailymotion, suggested that far-right leaning members, including House Leader Rob Anderson, Deputy House Leader Shane Saskiw and Legislative team member Shannon Stubbs, are orchestrating an overthrow from within.
Danielle Smith quickly shot down the rumours on 630CHED's Rutherford Show this weekend, saying they are 100 per cent false.
"Rob is my House Leader. Shane Saskiw is my Deputy House Leader. Shannon is working on our Legislative team." she said.
"The three of them have all done an incredible job working with me side-by-side to build this party."
According to iNews880, Danielle Smith said the rumours may have been started by a Tory loyalist, or perhaps even someone on the Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta (PCAA) payroll. She also added that because her leadership is not under review at the moment, it would be impossible for a coup to take place at the next meeting, as was alluded to in the video.
Alberta journalist and blogger David J. Climenhaga also says an overthrow is unlikely - at least at this point in time.
In a post on news blog rabble.ca, Climenhaga argues that while "Danielle Smith's pragmatism and liberal attitudes on social issues dear to the so-cons' hearts, such as reproductive rights and gay marriage, may eventually foment a rebellion by the right-wing party's more loony fringes," party members are likely to give her one more go-round as party leader, especially considering her strong showing in April's election.
In fact, Climenhaga points out that Premier Alison Redford may face more risk being ousted than Danielle Smith at this point, which may have prompted the party's move this weekend to disinvite members of the federal Conservative Party from voting at provincial events, including the automatic leadership endorsement at next year's PCAA AGM. Writes Climenhaga:
"Redford's advisors may have feared packs of Wildrose and Harper Government Fifth Columnists in constituency delegations would stack the convention with enough opponents to drag the premier's approval rating below 85 per cent, possibly lethally far below. Now, while individuals may still buy memberships if they please, they won't automatically be part of any delegation to the convention, and their potential to harm the premier has been neutralized."
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