June 19th, 2024

Election fever ramping upin Alberta

By Medicine Hat News Opinon on June 29, 2018.

Current activity among some political parties could be construed as having the inside track on an imminent election, while others evidently don’t see one on the horizon.

The next election could take place in the spring of 2019.

The Legislative Assembly of Alberta passed an Election Amendment Act on Dec. 6, 2011, legislating that general provincial elections would be held between March 1 and May 31, 2012, and some time in that same three-month period in the fourth calendar year thereafter.

That should have put the next provincial election in 2016 but on April 7, 2015, Premier Jim Prentice called an election on May 5 that year.

If Premier Notley sticks to the election amendment act an election will be called between March 1 and May 31, 2019.

Until the election is called there is no way to be absolutely certain of those dates and Notley has not given any guarantee. She has said she has no intention of calling an early election.

The United Conservative Party (UCP) is behaving as though it is leaving nothing to chance with at least one contestant in virtually every one of the province’s 87 ridings. About 14 of those have already been through the process to be the party’s candidate and about four have dates in July for voting to choose a candidate.

The Alberta Party already has contestants in about 34 ridings, with roughly 11 having already voted or endorsed contestants for the nomination. More are scheduled for July.

The Alberta Liberal Party has contestants in two ridings, Calgary-North East and Calgary-Falconridge.

The NDP has contestants in 19 ridings. About nine are already endorsed or voting has taken place to determine the candidate.

The above information is taken from Alberta Elections website.

In the past, voting to choose a candidate from a range of contestants has not always garnered much enthusiasm but that seems to have shifted this time.

Wednesday night UCP members turned out in force to choose between Joseph Schow and Marc Slingerland to be the candidate in the Cardston-Siksika riding. A total of 3,426 ballots were cast with Schow taking 1,955 and winning.

One possible explanation for the buzz around UCP contestants could be the sense that the UCP might win the next election and form the next government. Contestants vying to be a UCP candidate are therefore perhaps more motivated to seek the nomination, spend more time selling party memberships and meeting people in the riding because there is a lot at stake. They have a fighting chance of being elected MLA and for the seasoned ones, perhaps a ministerial appointment.

If you are running for a party because you strongly believe in its values and you know your chances of getting elected are marginal at best, there is not the same motivation to be on the front lines of an election that could be 10 months away.

For those already in government there is a lot of work still to do in the coming months without knocking on doors for an election.

(Gillian Slade is a News reporter. To comment on this and other editorials, go to https://www.medicinehatnews.com/opinions, email her at gslade@medicinehatnews.com or call her at 403-528-8635.)

Share this story:

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments