I realize it has been a few days since the results were announced and most of the excitement has somewhat simmered in respect to the Alberta Election that just occurred however I think it was one I should at least briefly touch on — blog worthy if you will. I don’t want to get to in depth or go all political here, rather share some observations I noted.

Firstly, one of my favourite things about this election is, not only did my party win, but the poll analysts had no idea the results were going to pan out the way they did. I realize analyzing polling statistics and voter sentiments leading up to the big day is a pretty normal thing and clearly some make a living off of it but I kind of like the idea that some things, even the most analyzed of things, can be unpredictable. However, considering I went into the election phase without really knowing who I wanted to vote for (between PC and Wildrose of course), it doesn’t completely surprise me that analysts couldn’t pin point where the votes were going go.

I was curious about Wildrose, being a newer party and still following conservative values, there seemed to be some relevant reasons I might want to vote for them. Although I am a humanitarian at heart and I love the idea of social programs, I don’t believe in the models that NDP or Liberal parties bring to the table. I believe in paternalistic (“social”) conservatism if you will. Regardless, the first bit of research I conducted was to figure out what the Wildrose was all about.

Right off the bat a few things I didn’t enjoy were the website, the large focus on the “Redford Files” hate campaign and the lack of interesting “campaign promises”. I realize they can’t please everyone, and they have a long list of people to try and appeal to but I felt as though she was really aiming at helping the typical married with children family models which is fine and dandy but what about single people like me? Unmarried couples? Seniors? Middle aged couples with grown children? At what expense are the tax benefits for the families going to come from?

Additionally, I also didn’t enjoy the $300 Danielle Dollars idea either. Why would you just hand out free money again? Put it towards programs, infrastructure? Anything more useful? I don’t know about you but I likely wouldn’t think too responsibly when it came to spending a “free” $300 cheque anyway, and I am sure others are the same. It would be more productive to have the government to keep it and perhaps not halt projects instead?

I wasn’t a big Allison Redford fan going into this, heck I didn’t even vote for her in the PC leadership race, but as someone who follows the party she leads I owed it to myself to look past her — something a few men hopefully did in regards to Danielle Smith and her attractiveness. Believe it or not, I had several male voters telling me they were voting Wildrose due simply to the fact that Danielle Smith was attractive, sad but true story. It didn’t take long for Danielle Smith, along with her party to become unappealing to me. Did  anyone notice how evasive she was during the entire leadership debate? Did anyone count how many times she said “fear mongering”? All of this and I haven’t even gotten to mentioning the religious fundamentalist views from a Wildrose candidate that came out later, the Human Rights Commission controversy, the global warming denial, etc.

Working the election this year was also made the experience different and somewhat nerve racking as the poll I happened to be working at had an incumbent Liberal MLA with a large senior population of voters who came in droves still apparently interested in having him represent them. Once we started counting the poll Liberals were taking the lead but only because there was a clear even divide between PC/Wildrose votes, keeping the Liberals ahead. Had the Conservatives all still been one party they would have taken the constituency as their PC/Wildrose numbers added together surpassed the number of Liberal votes. By the end of the night the constituency remained Liberal which had me somewhat alarmed when I couldn’t see the bigger picture of results until I got home after midnight. I was afraid the same divide was happening around the province and the idea of a Liberal government was worse than a Wildrose one. Needless to say, whether or not it was “strategic votes” from Liberals who were afraid to get a Wildrose government in the end, or whatever else people chalk it up to, I am glad to see the PCs take office once again.

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