I normally wouldn't pay all that much attention to Alberta politics. In turn, I'm pretty sure that most Albertans would likely ignore the rants of a lotus-lander pointing a finger eastward from the tidal high water mark of the Pacific.
All that changes when the good people of British Columbia are faced with the prospect of Alberta becoming a neighbour governed by a political mash-up which gives the US Republican Tea-Baggers the slightest tinge of sanity.
I don't think Danielle Smith is an Alberta-variant of Sarah Palin.
Palin is an incoherent, randomly-educated moron. Smith is hardly that.
What Smith isn't, however, is a realistic leader.
While she declares that, if she leads a government, she would not legislate on "contentious social issues", she has yet to provide one shred of evidence that makes that proclamation believable. In fact, her public statements suggest that she is at odds with the charted course of her own party.
Defending the positions of the likes of Allan Hunsperger and Ron Leech is simply another way of endorsing their behaviour. And she attracts support from some of the most repugnant elements of Alberta's social fabric.
A realistic leader intent on being able to provide good government is aware of the extremist elements in her presence and either reins them in or boots them out. She hasn't even come close to doing that. Instead she portrays them as victims of attacks by her political opposition, ignoring the fact that they make public statements which are attacks on others.
While we're at it, be reminded that Hunsperger is a high-order authoritarian who has no intention of engaging in persuasive governance. He is simply another unaccountable asshole intent on controlling the lives of others with the hammer of the state.
Danielle Smith can deny global warming and deny that she will legislate away freedoms. She cannot deny, however, that Hunsperger is the real face of her political party.
He gained that position because Danielle Smith is no leader.
Update: Danielle Smith is "taking personally" accusations of racism and bigotry aimed at her and her party. Good. Because that's exactly what they are.