Time to VOTE Alberta

Monday, April 23, 2012
For those of us in Alberta, today is Election Day. Normally, for Albertans, this really doesn’t mean a whole lot – a few seats change hands between the various parties but for a generation, the outcome is always the same. In fact, the same party has held power in Alberta for 41 years. That’s longer than I’ve been alive. It’s pretty incredible when you think about it. This time around though, the election atmosphere has changed. People are excited about voting, the election dominating many of our daily conversations. Like a Chinook bringing a dramatic change in temperatures, the winds of change are blowing in Alberta’s political arena.

We have a plethora of parties in this province: Progressive Conservative, Liberal, New Democrats, Alberta Party, and the surging Wildrose. The PCs are the ones who’ve been leading the province for a generation but their stranglehold on the reins of Alberta’s Government is slipping. For weeks now, the Wild Rose party has been steadily increasing in popularity (if the polls are to be believed) and is now being proclaimed by many as the likely winner. From the sounds of it though, t is likely that neither of the two leading parties, the Wild Rose and the PCs, will win enough seats to form a majority government.

Polling Place by Chealon (via Flickr)
Over the past two weeks, I’ve waffled about who I’m going to vote for. Do I vote “strategically” to keep one party out of power or do I vote for the party which most closely mirrors my beliefs and hopes for Alberta? And since the incumbent in my riding is likely to be re-elected, is it wise to “strategically” vote when she doesn’t belong to either leading party or should I just vote for her to ensure that at least this particular seat doesn’t go to either of them? Or, in the end, do I vote for the party who I feel most accurately represents my views, regardless of what it means in the distribution of seats in our Legislature?

While out for lunch with some colleagues today, we (as you might expect) discussed our thoughts on the election and the various outcomes. Playing devil’s advocate, I posed the question: What happens if the top two parties end up with the same amount of seats? What happens then? Anyone know??

For the first time in many Albertans’ lives, people are getting excited about and involved in the political discussion. While it doesn’t exactly rival American politics, there’s something to be said for a campaign that doesn’t drag on for 2 or 3 years. Advance polling stations were busier than expected; here’s hoping that translates into a great turnout for voters today. I’m going after work to mark my “X” and hope that you all will too.


Barbara Bruederlin said...

Were you content with your final decision? I voted strategically, but in my riding, it was not quite enough.

Karen said...

Yes, our incumbent was a long serving Liberal and I was happy to help her get re-elected. It was a bit close but 1 less seat for the WRP and the PCs. I'm relieved that the WRP didn't do as well as expected.

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