Rob Told Me Not to Worry

Alberta Legislature

Alberta Legislature (Photo credit: Jeff_Werner)

… but I did anyway. Fretted through the day yesterday as I waited impatiently for the election results. Unlike the elections in the United States, which are parsed and predicted throughout election day via exit polling and punditry, here in Alberta, they don’t start all that until the polls actually close.

A 28 day election cycle AND no exit polling or newscasting hysteria. Seriously, America really needs to look into this. It’s civilized and it feels quite grown up.

When I talked to Rob in the afternoon, he related that the lunch time crowd at his polling station was light, but it apparently had been quite heavy in the morning.

“I filled in my ballot, folded it and dropped it in the bucket,” he said.

“You dropped a piece of paper in a bucket?”

“Yes,” he said. “How did you think I would do it?”

“A bucket?”

“Yes,” he said again. “How did you do it back in Iowa?”

“I would fill in the ballot and place it in the electronic counter.”

“Ah, I see. Well, here we don’t take chances with fraud like that.”

“Folded paper in a bucket is safer?” I am clearly confused now.

“There can be tampering with machines,” he replied and it sounds a bit smug.

“Yeah, well, there’s been a lot more tampering with paper and buckets in the U.S,.” I said. “JFK owed his presidency to a lot of paper chicanery in Chicago.”

“Hanging chads,” he countered.

Check and mate.

The actual reveal of the winner was rather anti-climatic. They called it a bit more than an hour after the results started coming in.

It’s a winner take all in the ridings and as soon as a candidate had a certain percentage of the vote … it was his/hers. As soon as the PC’s hit the magic majority number of 44, they win the government.

Despite the optimism of the Wildrose and to the chagrin of pundits, the PC’s pulled off a comfortable majority. Probably no one was more stunned than the Wildrose than the rest of the provinces, who have Albertans pegged as redneck racists without class or common sense.

And I say “HA” to both of you.

The Alberta I know is not really Texas but colder (though I may joke otherwise). The people are caring, thoughtful and not all wrapped up in themselves and their stuff.

And yes, there are those other kinds of Albertans. Read some of the comments at the Globe and Mail if you want to see what Wildrose supporters think, but in and around Edmonton and in the north and center, people really aren’t all that conservative. They feel that social issues like same-sex marriage, equality, human rights and abortion access are issues that are settled. They don’t believe that the infrastructure should be neglected. They want new schools and health care centres. They don’t think that rebates are more important than putting money into rainy day and the Heritage Fund. They aren’t reactionary enough to blame a brand new premier for the mistakes of her predecessors. And they are interested in the future and not just more of the status quo past. And they do think that Alberta should be a leader on the national stage. It’s time.

Congratulations, Alberta. You did good and deserve that leader position in Canada’s future and you are going to make a difference.

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