Alberta Politics

There will be a lot to unpack after the votes are counted in Alberta’s election.

There’s nothing like the taste of an election in the morning, or maybe it’s just the tiredness after the restless night before the final day of the campaign. Election Eve is restless for me in elections like the one being held in Alberta today. And I’m not even actively involved in a campaign.

The past 28 days has been a continuation of what really has been a two year election-style marathon between Rachel Notley‘s governing New Democratic Party and Jason Kenney‘s opposition United Conservative Party.

With nearly 700,000 votes having been cast at the advance polls, there appears to be a lot of interest in this election. And voters from the two main parties appear to be highly motivated, even if they just want this election to be over with.

But even after all the votes are counted, Albertans shouldn’t expect the divisive politics of the past two years to just disappear. Competitive elections are something new to Alberta, and the electorate and political parties are still adjusting to what could be a new normal.

There will be a lot to unpack from this election after the votes are counted. Questions of leadership and character, of identity and expression, of discrimination and intolerance, of humility and empathy, of the rural-urban divide, of who is the best to ease the fear many Albertans have about the economy and the future of the oil and gas industry.

Does the oil and gas industry in Alberta even have a long-term future? Will a pipeline actually solve any of our problems? How do we adapt to a rapidly changing climate and shifting attitudes towards fossil fuels?

Are we a province captured by fear of the future and obsessed with culture wars and fights with our neighbours? Do we yearn for past prosperity or are we focused on what is possible to build in the future?

Some of these issues are clear cut, some of them aren’t. It is up to Albertans to try to figure it out.

Voting stations are open until 8:00 p.m. tonight. So get out and vote.

(And I’m finally looking forward to getting some decent sleep after tonight is over.)

Watch the Alberta Election results on the big screen!

Dave is excited to be hosting an election night panel with past Daveberta Podcast guest co-hosts Natalie Pon and David Climenhaga on April 16 at the Metro Cinema (Garneau Theatre) in Edmonton (8712 109 Street). Doors open at 7:00 p.m. and the panel will start around 7:20 p.m. and go until the polls close at 8:00 p.m., then you can watch the election results stream in on the big movie screen. There is a bar. Admission is free. Hope to see you there!

3 replies on “There will be a lot to unpack after the votes are counted in Alberta’s election.”

Maybe one positive thing comes out for sure. This is the first time in my 25 years in this province where people are discussing politics openly. For far too long the people of this province have been the prisoners of a mainly unchallenged political group think. Those days are now gratefully long gone.

Unless the result is very decisive, I think the debate started in the election will continue after it. Those people that were angry at Ottawa or concerned about the economy and those people that don’t trust Kenney or the UCP will probably continue to feel much the same way after the election.

It has been a divisive campaign, but hard fought campaigns often are. Years later we often forget how divisive past campaigns were, so I wouldn’t call this one the most divisive or the nastiest one. Hopefully whoever wins will make an effort to heal some of the divisions, rather than let the fester or make them worse.

We are not quite the same as our American neighbours who seem to be in perpetual election mode, but even here politics never really ends. Whoever wins will probably face a much larger and stronger opposition than has generally been the case in Alberta in the past. Therefore, I don’t think whoever wins will get much of a political honeymoon. However, ongoing vigorous political debate is not necessarily a bad thing even though we may not be as used to it in Alberta as in other places.

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