Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith called for the firing of Alberta Health Minister Fred Horne, over the recent Alberta Health Services CFO Allaudin Merali expense scandal. (DAVID BLOOM/QMI AGENCY)
CALGARY - A deal with any devil, so long as Alberta is a beneficiary.
That -- disturbingly, surprisingly -- is the self-serving logic behind the Wildrose Party's willingness to push Alberta into a political alliance with Quebec's new separatist government.
The Parti Quebecois is back, and the Wildrose wants to form a united front against Ottawa -- even if it requires climbing into bed with a group of Canada-hating separatists bent on tearing the country apart.
Promoted by Alberta Opposition leader Danielle Smith, the Wildrose says a partnership with the Parti Quebecois should be welcome on any issue that also helps Alberta.
"Obviously a PQ government is not ideal, but I think with the CAQ offering the balance of power, there is an opportunity for us to work together on things where we share a common cause," Smith told QMI Agency.
The CAQ, for those who missed the minutia of the provincial election in Quebec, is the Coalition Avenir Québec party, which won 19 seats in the same vote which saw the Parti Quebecois form a minority government.
As the third-place party behind the PQ and Opposition Liberals, some see the centre-right CAQ as the buffer between the anti-Canada government and any actual referendum on splitting the country.
That's enough to convince Smith that the Parti Quebecois can't actually harm Canada, at least for now.
It's why she believes the loathsome separatists would be a useful ally against Ottawa on issues where both Alberta and Quebec should be aligned -- such as wresting control of Employment Insurance from the feds.
"If you look historically, Alberta and Quebec have always had a problem with Ottawa interfering in areas of provincial jurisdiction," Smith said.
"With a prime minister from Alberta who believes in focused federalism ... I don't think there's any reason to fear the outcome in Quebec.
"Let's look at it is an opportunity for us to make sure we can advance that agenda of preserving provincial powers."
Except a successful Parti Quebecois might very quickly become a Parti Quebecois that does more than win a minority government in the next Qubec election.
If actually wanting to work with people determined to destroy Canada isn't bad enough, the Wildrose is showing a massive lack of foresight in promoting the PQ as an Alberta ally.
If the partnership worked, Parti Quebecois Leader Pauline Marois would head into the next election flying the flag of achievement, bolstered by an Alberta blind to the consequences of supporting a moral enemy.
Smith clearly isn't looking that far ahead.
She first suggested working with new Quebec government on Sunday, during an episode of CTV's Question Period program, saying "I'm hoping Alberta and Quebec can work collaboratively."
But even after QMI Agency asked her to clarify, questioning Smith about the long-term danger of helping the Parti Quebecois achieve success, Smith refused to alter her stance.
"You find common cause with every provincial government," Smith said.
"You wouldn't think there'd be much in common between NDP and conservative governments, yet some of the most fiscally conservative premiers have been NDP."
That may be so, but as nauseating as some NDP policies have been to the majority of Albertans, Jack Layton's army has never tried to break up Canada.
Smith has another reason for wanting to play in the same sandbox as the separatists, and it's the most pathetic reason of all.
She worries if we're mean to people who want to leave Canada, Quebec might get upset.
"If you take a hostile and antagonistic attitude, you could end up radicalizing Quebec," Smith said.
Smith has spoken out of turn from her party before -- transgender surgery cash anyone? -- but on this piece of PQ pandering, it seems she has the tentative support of her caucus.
Senior Wildrose MLA Rob Anderson says that while the party is "fundamentally" opposed to the Parti Quebecois, he agrees that the devil can be a friend for the greater good.
"If it's working with Quebec to do anything to further the cause of separatism, we are fundamentally dead set against that," Anderson said.
"But if it's doing things that further the cause of the country, well of course, we'd work with anybody on that."