Editorial – Now I lay me down to sleep!

Chris Clegg

It is less than one week until the May 29 Alberta election and it is safe to say it’s been as exciting as watching paint dry or grass grow.

Writing from High Prairie, perhaps it is because the wildfire situation is dominating everyone’s minds. Perhaps it is because Edmonton newspapers are not as widely distributed as before.

Whatever the reason it has been a real snoozer!

Many say they will vote for the party they see as the lesser of two evils. It is clear the ruling UCP and NDP have different views on several issues. It is a good thing. People do have a clear choice from two very different parties leading the charge.

Albertans use to lean as far to the right as a tree did while looking north in Alberta. Not so much today. The juggernaut that was the Big Blue Machine got steamrolled by Orange Crush in the 2015 election. It could happen again.

As time goes on from election to election, there seems to be a waning public interest not only in politics but the people who report on it (media). At this explosive age of social media, no one seems to trust anyone. Any idiot can say anything on about a candidate social media and not be held accountable. Many believe the accusations leaving the candidate high and dry. No matter what any candidate may say, it is difficult for them to connect with the voting public. It leads to apathy.

It does not help we have two leaders (Danielle Smith of the UCP and Rachel Notley of the NDP) that voters have already punted. Smith even lost her own riding while Notley lost the last election, though we give her credit for retaining her seat.

Any leader, from any party, had a chance during this campaign to capitalize on the growing sentiment that Albertans are just electing another same-old, same-old candidate. Both parties gave us nothing new, however. According the polls, no leader has captured the imagination of voters or the election would not be close. There is no sweep of Trudeaumania in the 1960s or Ralph Klein “Well, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Ralph’s world!” in 1981. Love them or hate them, had just had “it” when it came to politics.

We will see on election day if the polls are accurate. At the very least, it will be interesting.

Meanwhile, the battle between the UCP and NDP continues. A voter doesn’t really have to know very much their local candidate. Their party’s platforms are clear and concise and as different as a thoroughbred from a Shetland pony.

Most election ads tell us nothing except now “evil” one party is compared to the other. It is hardly a case of the wonderful things such-and-such party will do, it’s the scare tactic of what the other party will do to make your lives a living hell.

So, what to do? Well, you do your best. Weed through what you read, watch or hear. Try your best to make an informed choice. But, please, vote. The danger of a democracy occurs when people don’t care enough to vote.

This election has delivered very little to the voters, but to not vote at all only adds to the problem.

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