University of Calgary student spearheads petition seeking Danielle Smith recall vote
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It's not even a day old, but a co-creator behind a website and online petition calling for a recall vote of ex-Wildrose leader Danielle Smith say hundreds have already joined her cause.
Like many political watchers, Caitlyn Madlener has watched in awe this week as nine Wildrose MLAs, including Smith, crossed the legislature floor to join long-time rivals with the Progressive Conservatives.
The move had been rumoured for days and was made official Wednesday.
"If you're going to be the Official Opposition leader you have to really want to take down the government," Smith told reporters. "I don't want to take down this premier, I want this premier to succeed."
But Madlener, a third-year University of Calgary political science student, was quick to point out that Smith heavily criticized the moves of two previous MLAs who crossed the floor weeks prior, including close friend Kerry Towle.
Madlener said the move, as she sees it, is based on political payoff and called on Smith to back up past statements she's made about political accountability.
"Before, she said she believed in recall votes and being able to recall politicians, and we believe she should stick to those principles and allow her constituents to go into a byelection and decide whether or not they want to see her in power before," Madlener said.
As of 11 a.m. Thursday, Madlener said more than 300 had signed her petition — she launched a similar effort to preserve Alberta's licence plate earlier this year.
"We've been getting a lot of support — I think there's maybe been one or two people that weren't impressed," she said.
The petition can be signed at recalldanielle.ca.