For better or for worse, Alberta has made it through another election cycle.
The UCP has again formed a government, though considering the number of seats it lost the party has taken a beating.
Over the last few days, I’ve had the opportunity to talk to people around the region and everyone seems to have an opinion on the outcome of this election.
Some are elated that the NDP was unable to form government while others were happy that the UCP lost serious ground.
About the only solid consensus I have heard from people is that with this election, there was really no good party to vote for.
The UCP and the NDP were the two biggest players in this election, and as far as some are concerned both were bad options.
This election, sadly, was less about who was the fittest to lead the province and more about who was the least-bad option.
It’s obvious that both party leaders have made missteps; Smith puts her foot in her mouth and back-pedals so frequently it’s not even funny. Notley, on the other hand, seemed to wage a campaign based purely on emotion.
Ultimately, the results of this election came down to trust, and the results of this election show clearly that neither leader is trusted overwhelmingly by Albertans.
The results of this election truly show how divided this province is becoming; with the UCP majority earned on May 29, the party goes into the history books as winning the slimmest majority in Alberta history.
Some of the issues plaguing the UCP heading into the election were the fights with doctors and the proposal to switch to a provincial police force from the RCMP, just to name a couple.
Unofficially, as of June 2, the UCP has 49 seats in the legislature and the NDP has 38. A majority is 44 seats.
While the NDP was six seats shy of attaining that magic number, the UCP only surpassed it by five; this election could easily have gone either way based on how tight some of the ridings were.
I’ll be honest, when I walked into the polling station I didn’t know who I was going to vote for.
This is the first election held in my adulthood where I honestly considered not voting because I just didn’t know which way to vote.
Talking to people, and looking at the voter turnout on the Elections Alberta web page, I know I wasn’t alone.
Just over 1.76 million votes were cast in this election, which is around 62 per cent of eligible voters.
Ultimately I did vote, but that is beside the point.
At the end of the day, Albertans did vote and the UCP was re-elected to another term, albeit in a greatly-reduced capacity.
What remains to be seen is if Smith and the UCP have learned anything from the beating they have taken in the polls, or if they will continue pushing the same old agenda even with the reduced support of Albertans.
Only time will tell.
-Kevin Sabo is the editor of the Stettler Independent and Castor Advance newspapers