Monday, April 23, 2012

Alberta Provincial Election Today

       Today Albertans vote for 89 Members of the Legislature (MLA) who will serve for the next four years. As far as I know there are five parties organized for this election. There could be one or two more that are very small and running only a few candidates. 

       Albertans tend to keep the same party in power for long periods of time and then change them abruptly. The Social Credit Party was in power from 1935 to 1971. Today only one or two Social Credit candidates ran for election so the party is basically just an organization. The Progressive Conservatives (PC) have been in power from 1971 to 2012. During all these years the opposition was very small for most terms so the ruling party had a huge majority. The last few years a split in the PC party has been taking place. A party called the Wild Rose, which was organized about three years, ago is challenging the PC party for the majority. So this election campaign has been hot and heavy with the two conservative right wing parties fighting it out.  For a change the results of the election are not a foregone conclusion and it will be a close race. 

      Albertans seem to always want to vote for a winner no matter what the party may be. They seem to size up who may win and everybody votes for that party. 

     I have never got on the band wagon. I usually vote New Democrat (ND). I like to vote for policy rather than candidates. The Nds are a social democrat party that puts people issues first . That means that their emphasis is on health, education, seniors, children. They also have a business tax schedule that has lower tax rate for small business and a higher tax rate for large business. Some people may accuse the party of being a socialist group which is not so. It can be described as left of center. Now this party may not be perfect but I'm sure others suffer the same judgement. 

     These days parties tend to bash each other rather than present their policies. Worse than that, parties try to promote wedge issues which enable them to get a majority easier. Sometimes parties misrepresent their policies or misrepresent other party's policies to the point of lying.

    So this evening will be interesting as we await the counting of the ballots to see if the old party is thrown out  and how many seats the other parties get.