Albertans have spoken, and spoken clearly

UCP takes 63 electoral districts, NDP mostly an Edmonton party

Albertans have spoken, and it’s clear they wanted a new direction for the province and new leaders to take them there.

Looking back at the 2019 provincial election, premier-elect Jason Kenney earned a comfortable and reassuring mandate from Alberta voters to move ahead with his campaign promises, the list of which is heavy with removing or altering laws and policies brought in by the former NDP government.

So much for social license.

It turns out the UCP won 63 electoral divisions. The only other political party to win any seats was the outgoing government NDP, which won 24. A total of 44 electoral divisions were needed to secure a majority government. It was interesting to see no other party won seats, although there were many parties running. In the Drayton-Devon constituency, for example, there were eight different parties represented.

Anyhoo, predictions before the election ranged from interpretation of opinion polls (most polls had the UCP far ahead of the NDP, but some predicted the UCP was barely ahead of the NDP, and predicted the UCP would be lucky to form a minority government) to fairly intense arguments on social media platforms such as Facebook. One comment I saw attracted my interest, as it seemed to strongly contradict what opinion polls were saying about UCP support, especially in rural areas like Maskwacis-Wetaskiwin.

I quote verbatim: “Out and about today chatting with different pple, about the Election. Most said NO UCP. I am quite shocked. Don’t trust Kenney seems to be the reason. Thinks he corrupt. Will be interesting to see who makes it in.” Kenney made it in.

Calgary, small city and rural vote was so overwhelmingly UCP, the Canadian Press was already declaring UCP candidates elected within about an hour of the polls closing, so that illustrates how many people wanted change. Contrary to what the FB commenter said above, polls showed that the majority of Albertans leading up to the election preferred UCP’s Jason Kenney to the NDP’s Rachel Notley and election night results confirmed that, which makes one wonder if the FB comment above was based in reality, or a lie.

Some of the commenting on why the UCP won decisively amuses me. Commenters in Edmonton (who one wonders ever leave the city limits) are explaining to people why rural Albertans voted overwhelmingly for the UCP.

Albertans want a focus on major issues that matter to them,.. like the economy, jobs, prosperity, the oil and gas industry, agriculture and pipeline projects, while other political parties were talking about issues like high school gay-straight alliances, social license, UCP candidate comments from years past and ensuring union jobs were secure. No doubt these are also important issues, but are they the issues the majority of voters are concerned about?

Leading up to the election, a steady stream of old dirt was being dug up and paraded around from certain UCP candidates’ past lives, while Premier Notley harped on the “You can’t vote UCP, you don’t like them and they’re bad people.”

Stupid strategies like this, ignoring the needs of the majority and catering to tiny side issues, were employed in the last U.S. presidential election, mostly by Democratic candidate Hilary Clinton. On national television, she stated she wanted nothing more than to put coal miners out of business by closing coal plants, then campaigned in areas of the United States where the coal industry employed huge amounts of people. So these people cornered Clinton, asking, “Why are you putting me out of work? I have a family to feed.” What a moron.

The dirt-digging didn’t work. You can look at the Drayton-Devon constituency where UCP incumbent Mark Smith was under a lot of fire in the Edmonton media for comments he made in 2013 that critics claimed were intolerant which, if you know Smith or have ever worked with him, you know is ridiculous. Obviously voters agreed, as Smith eared 17,766 votes on election night. The next closest competitor was NDP with 4,421. Pretty damn decisive.

Stu Salkeld is editor of The Wetaskiwin Pipestone Flyer and writes a regular column for the paper.

Just Posted

Town to sign five-year policing agreement with Ponoka Stampede

The Town of Ponoka will go ahead with a five-year renewable agreement… Continue reading

UPDATED: Ponoka RCMP arrest male on Canada wide warrant

UPDATE for Immediate Release: Collin James Courteoreille was wanted on a Canada… Continue reading

Town passes 2019 budgets and tax bylaw with 2.2 per cent increase

Ponoka town council passed a $25.5 million 2019 capital and operating budget… Continue reading

CFO proposal will not impact future use of nearby land

Ponoka County objection nullified by notice land is outside setback area

Killer of Calgary mother, daughter gets no parole for 50 years

A jury found Edward Downey guilty last year in the deaths of Sara Baillie, 34, and five-year-old Taliyah Marsman

Body of missing snowmobiler recovered from Great Slave Lake

Police confirm the body is that of one of three missing snowmobilers

Is vegan food a human right? Ontario firefighter battling B.C. blaze argues it is

Adam Knauff says he had to go hungry some days because there was no vegan food

Winds helping in battle against fire threatening northern Alberta town

Nearly 5,000 people have cleared out of High Level and nearby First Nation

WATCH: Lacombe Generals celebrate Allan Cup victory with street festival

Hundreds come out to celebrate Generals fourth Allan Cup

First ever FanFest slated for Ponoka

Canadian sci-fi actor to be guest speaker at library club’s festival

CFO proposal will not impact future use of nearby land

Ponoka County objection nullified by notice land is outside setback area

Contentious property back in Ponoka County spotlight

Community complaints bring recycling business back to council to discuss allegations

Federal government funds millions to help B.C. police spot drugged driving

Many police departments have expressed wariness about using the only government-approved roadside test

Most Read