Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Alison Redford - First Elected Female Premier of Alberta

This is what democracy is all about.  Despite all the hype and polls indicating an upset in the Alberta election, the Redford Tories won and overwhelming majority in Alberta.  Alison Redford is the first elected female Premier of Alberta and the Progressive Conservative Party continues its 41 year dynasty in Alberta.

The final seat count is not official yet, but according to CTV the Redford Tories took 61 of the 87 seats in the Legislature, the Wildrose Party ended up with 18 seats, and both the New Democratic Party and Liberal Party walked away with 4.  Global TV reports 62 for PCs, 16 for Wildrose, NDP 5 and Liberals at 4 seats.

Overall the PCs  received 44.1% of the vote, while Wildrose received 34.6%, the Liberals and NDP 9.8% each and the Alberta Party 1.4% of the vote. Overall voter turn out was 53%, which is low when you consider the hype that preceded this election.

Alison Redford will form the next majority government and she is expected to announce her new cabinet in about ten days.

In her victory speech, Redford thanked her supporters and talked about the future of her party as well as the future of Alberta.

"I ran to be leader of the Progressive Conservative Party because I wanted to bring change to Alberta.  We talked about change in the campaign. We began to introduce change in the last 7 months.  I promised Alberta we would."

Everyone knew that this campaign was about building bridges. Tonight Alberta chose to build bridges."

Wildrose leader, Danielle Smith, with 34.6% of the popular vote and 18 seats, is the leader of the official opposition.  Although she said she was disappointed, she said she was not discouraged. She said she had phoned Redford and congratulated her on her victory. She said she would hold the Redford Tories accountable.

  "Well folks, tonight we found out that change might take a little longer than we thought.  I think the strategic voting actually surprisingly may have worked," Smith said. "I think Ms. Redford won this campaign in the same way she won the PC Leadership, by convincing Liberal and NDP supporters to vote for her party."

"Am I surprised, yeah, am I disappointed, yeah, am I discouraged, not a chance," she said.

Raj Sherman, Liberal Party leader, a party that had 8 seats prior to the election, congratulated Redford on her victory.

  "We must remember a great maxim of democracy, the people are wise.  It is out of deference and respect that I congratulate Alison Redford and the Progressive Conservative Party."

Brian Mason's NDP gained two seats in this election and he also credited the Progressive Conservative win to strategic voting.

 "I think people were scared of the Wildrose and that's unfortunate, but the fact of the matter is we doubled our seats, and I am very much looking forward to getting back into the Legislature."

The people have spoken, the pollsters and pundits were wrong in their predictions.  The most disappointing is really the voter turn out, pegged at just over 53%.  Of  2,265,169 voters only 1,201,834  turned out.  

Regardless the voters are never wrong.  Congratulations to Alison Redford and her Tories.  

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