I don't often talk politics directly online. But I feel like I ought to capture a bit of my reaction to tonight's dramatic shift in the political landscape of Alberta, which I realized only AFTER the end of a very bizarre day (which included working 15% Tuesday, voting, some interesting observations, playing awesome arcade games at Denizen Hall [I will return sometime and play more games — that was fun!], trying some neat snacks [also at Denizen Hall], becoming HANGRY because my food order didn't show up for quite a very long time [even after reminding my server multiple times — still at Denizen Hall — I'll give the place some benefit of the doubt as our group was pretty big and my order was the only one to be THAT forgotten, but really that was ridiculous and will impact my Yelp review substantially unfortunately], finally eating and watching Avengers: Age of Ultron, and then checking the election results immediately).
Gobsmacked is the word that best encompasses the shock I felt upon first glance at those results. I'm cautiously optimistic about the new government but time will tell what impact it will really have. I have friends who hate these results and friends who love them, and a few in between. I'm sad that Laurie Blakeman was not reelected because she is an excellent politician and has done Edmonton-Centre proud over the past several years. Sure I didn't always agree with her, but she did her job well. I hope that David Shepherd will do a good job as well but we'll see. Rachel Notley is the most charismatic of the party leaders and I hope that that serves her and us well, and that her party does an EFFECTIVE job of balancing need for change with other needs. Alberta's NDP is not the same party as the NDP in other provinces or as the Federal NDP and hopefully these differences will serve us well but I'm sure that there will be growing pains no matter how effective or ineffective this new political leadership really is.
I'm happy to see more women elected to office in Alberta. Diversity in age, background, and more might be a positive thing in this legislature. Inexperience can be useful as new perspectives might be welcome, but this NDP majority will be most effective if there is an effective opposition, so I can hope that the Wildrose Party does continue to not make mistakes (they did rather well in the lead up to the election which surprised me among others, when compared to 2012), in order to ensure that we have an effective opposition. I'm also quite pleased that the Alberta Party elected a member to the legislature as it will be nice to have 5 political parties present in the legislature (even if two only have one member each). And we did have (marginally) higher voter turnout this year than during the last few elections. So that's pretty cool. I generally love my province and my city and my country so this election was really quite interesting to me on so many levels.
This province is divided in that party support is very much tied to geography — maps of this election's results really do indicate this. And with Jim Prentice resigning completely and with at least one tied race after all the polls have come in (Calgary-Glenmore) there should still be some interesting things that will need to happen (byelection & recount etc.) in the coming weeks/months etc.
Near the end of the time leading up to the election I was having to get away from social media on occasion just to get away from the deluge of stories of negative election politics. The number of PC scandals was appalling as was the literature of a certain candidate whom I will not name (but who was the ONLY candidate to deliver literature to my building and also the only candidate whom I met in person this election). There was a lot more anti-party politics and mudslinging this election than I would have liked. Sure one person might not like the PCs or not like the NDP but why not tell me (and everyone else) of what you'd prefer rather than just slamming this party? This frustrated me considerably.
It was a more interesting election than most as I knew folks running for seats, folks volunteering for different campaigns and parties, folks watching closely and others struggling with decisions of who to vote for in the end. It caused some pretty interesting political discussions with friends (and with strangers — particularly at work today!). I like to think that I encouraged a few folks to vote and thus contributed positively to the election turnout.
So yeah I'm cautiously optimistic. I think that those who are completely over the moon excited or completely dejected are perhaps having a bit of extreme reactions but this really is a pretty big change all in all. My hopes longterm for this province include a lot of things but only some of them are addressed by any political party in this province so no result will be perfect but that this result reflected the nature of this particular election.
Now since I've been up for a rather lot of hours, dealt with a lot of excitement, and had an overly interesting (on so many levels) day that just happened to include an important Election, Cinco de Mayo, and 15% Tuesday among other things (like the Yelp events I attended!) I probably ought to get some rest eventually. Election results will still be here in the morning.