So there's this thing going on called an election in this province of mine, and while you may already be aware of it if you follow me on Twitter (I'm not a hugely prolific person when it comes to tweeting about the election, but I've retweeted a bunch of things that seem pertinent or which frustrate me) or I guess on Facebook a bit too.
And there are a few things I'd like to see come out of this election. Firstly, I'd like members of all 5 major parties to be elected (nothing against the other ones, but, realistically these are the parties that are most likely to be elected). I'd like there to be a strong opposition. I want to see the awesome candidates from the various parties win (yes I have political views, but all the parties do have some awesome candidates), and some of the less awesome folks to NOT win (inevitably this will happen to an extent — in an ideal world the candidates who have spouted really horrible things wouldn't get elected, but that's up to the will of the electorate). I really want our voter turnout to increase from 2008 (SO PLEASE VOTE IF YOU'RE ABLE!) — indeed SO MANY other jurisdictions have better voter turnouts than we do, and this is disappointing, particularly when so many educated young folks do not even bother to educate themselves due to voter apathy (this isn't limited to young or educated folks, of course, but I HATE to see this in people who should hypothetically know better!). Citizen engagement starts with YOU!!
Things that have disappointed me about this election: a lack of talk about the environment, the oil royalty system, realistic solutions to health care system problems, post secondary education, education in general or more broadly the issues that might affect us on a more day to day basis. I personally don't believe that government handouts of cash, free tuition, lawsuits, name calling, personal issues, religious debates, discrimination, multiple referenda, delisting of certain services, or conscience rights should have taken up all of our attentions this election, nor do I believe that these are the right answers (but that's another story entirely), and this aspect of the election really has left a bad taste in my (and many others') mouth.
I'm disappointed not to get a voter card in the mail. In fact I'm sad not to get anything in the mail or any candidates door knocking (then again I do live in an apartment, but I know that some candidates at least try). I'm sad to have to listen to so many robocalls (all political parties running in my constituency other than the Liberal candidate as of yet), so many broken opinion surveys, and to hear about violence and hurt on the campaign trail. I hope the signs get cleared up soon after the vote itself, and that people work in a positive fashion to actually make this province a better place as we move forward.
It's too bad that information re: the senate race is few and far between. I didn't appreciate getting told via robocall by a federal politician who to vote for in that race (or to hear the implied endorsement for a provincial party in that call… nor did I like the endorsements and party bashing I got from other media sources, though that's perhaps more expected). I really didn't like getting accosted after a night of a beautiful lecture and reception by a woman trying to spread leaflets regarding strategic voting. I didn't like seeing so much money spent on targeted advertising for certain groups.
That said, I'm happy that this election included talk of change (both bad and good). I was happy to see some more engagement by some party folks and many who weren't before. And I have hope that we'll have a decent voter turnout in the end. So make me proud, Alberta, please vote!