With just a week to go until the May 5 provincial election, Albertans are conscientiously weighing their options on who they will vote for. Gone are the days when one political party could blatantly assume they would be a shoe-in and gone are the days of brand loyalty, where voters would remain true to their party of choice, through thick or thin.
This election will be different. Polls at the midway point are indicating a narrow, three-way race between the PCs, NDP, and Wildrose leaders, with Jim Prentice, Rachel Notley, and Brian Jean fighting tooth and nail for every vote they can muster.
This election may also differ in the demographics of those who plan on voting. With many young adults having been laid off from their jobs in the oilfield, trying to raise their families on a shoestring budget, and having concerns about primary and secondary education, expect to see more people in the 25-34 age group vote in this election. The people in this age group have become more interested in where their tax dollars are going and pay closer attention to what our political leaders are doing than in previous generations. This group of young people realize that their vote does matter and there is strength in numbers and many of them do plan on casting their ballots on May 5.
Candidates in the Cypress-Medicine Hat constituency have been pounding the pavement, shaking hands, and meeting with potential voters. Drew Barnes, candidate for the Wildrose Party, Eric Musekamp for the Liberals, and Bob Olson for the Progressive Conservatives have been working hard to ensure voters hear their voices.
NDP candidate, Bev Waege, on the other hand, has kept herself low-key throughout the campaign. During an election where many people are calling for change, this move may not have been a wise choice. To those voters who are trying to weigh their options, Waege needs to be out there meeting the voters and letting them know of her party’s platform.
Why bother even putting a candidate into the race if they are not wanting to win and represent? This generation of Alberta voter are wanting to hear from their candidates, listen to how they would be best represented, and are not interested in just seeing a random name on the ballot. As the NDP Party makes strides in ridings throughout the province, it is somewhat of a mockery in Cypress-Medicine Hat.
The NDP locally may not win the riding, but it could have made an honest effort to garner support from the electorate. How can the NDP possibly earn support if it does nothing to sell itself to the voter?
There is a three-way race happening in the Cypress-Medicine Hat riding, between the Liberals, PCs, and Wildrose. Sadly, the NDP chose not to leave the starting blocks when the race kicked off.