Tuesday, June 12, 2007

This Is What Alberta Democracy Looks Like

Well not really. More like the limitations of representative parliamentary government. In the Drumheller-Stettler by-election 1/3 of eligible voters cast their vote. The riding has 21, 790 voters and only 7144 voted. Of these 4,180 voted PC.

1/4 of voters decided on keeping the status quo. While it is a sweep, its one with a threadbare broken down broom. With this level of voter apathy, a general election could present a whole new picture.

What is more interesting is how the opposition vote breaks down.

The opposition to the PC's came from the Social Credit party and the Liberals. The Liberals and Socreds were tied most the of night until the Liberals broke away and got 14% to the Socreds 12%.

The Independent candidate an Alberta Separatist got 7% of the vote beating out the Alberta Alliance which got 5%, the Green Party which got 3% while the NDP got 1%.

Taken together the Separatist and the Alliance split the Socred vote.

But contrary to the wet dreams of some of the right a unified right wing of the Alliance, Separatists and Socreds would still not come close to defeating the PC's.

In the sprawling riding of Drumheller-Stettler, east of Calgary, Jack Hayden successfully raised the Tory standard once again in a region his party has won by lopsided margins ever since it was wrested from the Social Credit party in 1979.

Jack Hayden, a local councillor and a former rural campaign lieutenant for Premier Ed Stelmach, handily defeated a field of challengers to take the seat held by former deputy premier Shirley McClellan.

Ms. McClellan resigned in January after holding the riding for two decades.

What they would do is offer vote splitting on the right giving the Liberals a better opening come the next election.

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