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Smith won't seek early vote if she wins UCP leadership, becomes next Alberta premier

United Conservative Party leadership candidate Danielle Smith says if she wins this week's vote and becomes the next Alberta premier, she would not call an early election to seek a broad mandate on her policy ideas.
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Smith says if she wins this week's vote and becomes premier, she will not call an early election to seek a broad mandate on her policy ideas. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

CALGARY — United Conservative Party leadership candidate Danielle Smith says if she wins this week's vote and becomes the next Alberta premier, she would not call an early election to seek a broad mandate on her policy ideas.

Smith, the perceived front-runner in the race, says the public tends to punish leaders who call an early election.

She says she would wait until the next scheduled election in May 2023, but believes she has a mandate now to proceed with her plans.

Smith has said she would immediately pass an Alberta sovereignty act, which would allow the province to ignore federal laws and court rulings deemed not in its interest.

Legal experts, some of Smith's leadership rivals and Premier Jason Kenney have labelled the act not only illegal but a recipe for constitutional and economic chaos.

Smith has also talked about revamping the health system by using health spending accounts and firing the board of Alberta Health Services, which oversees the front-line delivery of care.

Today is the last day for advance voting, as seven candidates dig in for the final campaign push before UCP members select a new leader to replace Kenney on Thursday.

The Canadian Press