There was some big news today in that the NDP party has pulled ahead of the UCP party in voting intentions, according to major pollster, Angus Reid. This comes with the standard caveats, that the poll is a limited sample of people and, more damning, comes from their online pollster forums, meaning self-selection bias is in effect, but is notable because while we’ve had an NDP government before, that happened during a period when there were two strong right-wing parties vying to see which one would be the leader.
This time is a bit different because, right now, only the NDP and the UCP are parties with any chance of forming Alberta government. However, there’s still a lot of water to get through between now and 2023 when the next election will be held, and if the economic bump Alberta will inevitably get after the vaccines allow us to reopen fully lasts until close to the election, the polls are likely to change considerably.
Given what the UCP has planned for post-secondary, I find myself in the odd position of hoping that any economic boost is short-lived, because the pain that would force Albertans to seriously evaluate the governing choices on offer, instead of just being able to sink into old patterns again, stands to benefit Alberta much more in the long run.
I’ve maintained for some time that the reason Alberta primarily votes conservative isn’t because the majority of people here are that conservative, or even like the conservative party on offer that much, but rather because voting conservative just seemed to work. When oil money was rolling in almost faster than even a government could spend it, it was easy to think that the guys in power were doing a good job, which meant, in turn, that we didn’t have to put much effort into actually thinking about who those guys were and what they stood for. And let’s be honest, not having to think about government is agreeable to most of us. That’s why we have government in the first place after all, so they can deal with all that crap and we don’t have to.
If, however, we as voters are forced to start looking seriously at what the government is doing and saying, and actually put thought into who we elect—if we’re forced to do that a few times in a row, it may just become habit. And from there things are bound to get better.
But as I said, that’s a couple of years away. Hopefully our post-secondary systems can withstand what is to come until then.
In the meantime, the Voice Magazine continues, with our feature article interviewing AU Computer Science student, Mel Mirasol, as he nears the completion of his studies. Also this week, Women in Fiction returns with a look at a book that won the Indies Choice Adult Fiction award, and Jessica Young brings us her second music review, this time talking to the people behind the South African punk band, Afronaut. Plus events, recipes, advice, news, scholarships, thoughtful articles and more!