Commentary – Work together after election

Richard Froese

The provincial election is over [on the newspaper publication date] and results will be official by the end of the week.

Voters cast ballots on April 16. Did voters in Alberta elect a new government?

Was four years of a government under a New Democratic Party and Premier Rachel Notley enough for most voters? Did voters have enough confidence to elect United Conservative Party and Leader Jason Kenney?

Did any of the local ridings elect a new MLA?

Congratulations to the winning candidates and to the party elected to government.

Now it’s time to move on and work together to build local communities and the province for the next four years.

Shortly after the MLAs and government are sworn in, it would be a good first step for MLAs to visit their communities. It is valuable for MLAs to know local priorities and issues as they start their term. It also shows the MLA is willing to work for the communities, not only for the party.

Ridings such as Lesser Slave Lake, Central Peace – Notley and Peace River cover a vast area with several dozen communities.

It’s always good for government and local representatives to start a new term in a positive way.

The MLA can show support to municipalities, school divisions, Indigenous communities, healthcare services, business and industry. It would be most helpful for a new MLA.

Voting in the election was a challenge for some people. Many seemed to be split over the local candidates, the parties, and the leaders.

Some people liked the candidate, not the leader, not the party. Others supported the party, not the leader, not the candidate.

Some liked the candidate, the party, but not the leader.

The combinations could go on.

So what really is the best and wisest way to vote?

It also raises another question. Does a person have to cast a ballot if the voter doesn’t support the candidate, the party and the leader?

It has been often said if you don’t vote, you can’t complain about the government and its decisions.

Another statement may be more realistic. If you vote for the government you voted for, you can’t complain. Those who voted for the government support them. So don’t complain.

A political expert said several years ago a person should not feel obligated to vote if they do not feel comfortable voting for a candidate, the party and the leader.

If a person votes for someone they don’t fully support , isn’t that being hypocritical?

Opinion polls the last two weeks suggested the UCP has enough support to form a majority government. Results of a poll released April 8 show the UCP has support of 46 per cent of voters across the province compared with 40 for the NDP. Data was released by ThinkHQ Public Affairs.

Those are closer than results released April 3 by Janet Brown Opinion Research. The UCP then had support of 53 per cent of voters across the province, compared with only 34 per cent for the NDP.

But opinions polls are just that – opinion – on a given time period.

The most important poll is the one where voters actually cast their ballots.

Many people say opinion polls don’t mean much. Opinion polls in the last provincial and federal elections in 2015 proved wrong from election results.

Voters now turn their attention to round two, the federal election, set for Oct. 21.

Get ready and stay tuned.


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