Since I have nothing particularly pressing at the moment, I thought I'd throw out a few thoughts about the current provincial election. Unlike previous election campaigns, this one is different in many ways, not in the least because for the first time in 41 years, the Conservative juggernaut is facing a real challenge from the newly-formed Wildrose Party. At the start of the campaign, I thought the PCs would definitely bleed a few seats and would emerge chastened but still in power. With 3 days to go until election day, it seems it may more like a mass bleed as many polls project the strong possibility of a Wildrose majority. The campaign has certainly seen its fair share of goofiness and mudslinging, from poorly positioned wheels on a campaign bus to commentary about homosexuals and the benefits of being Caucasian. We can now add "robocalls" to the mix. And this is just the stuff I'm aware of the top of my head here. I had hoped that our two local ridings would avoid this garbage and focus on issues but no.
Accusations of illegally parked campaign buses and fake Twitter accounts. Are you serious? This riding contains the economic engine (love it or loathe it) of not just the province, but the country, and instead of intelligent discussion we get this. And its a wonder why voter turn out here in the '08 election was 20% if I'm not mistaken. Boutillier was elected a PC but crossed the floor to join the Wildrose in 2010. He was first elected in 1997 and like the governing PC's, has reached his "best before" date and needs to go. I have zero tolerance for floor crossers regardless of political affiliation. Unfortunately, due our riding having been split into two, I don't have the pleasure of not putting an "X" beside his name as he is in the other riding. I considered the PC candidate but I'm not sure sending a rookie municipal councillor to Edmonton is necessarily the wisest move. Besides, 41 years in power is WAAY too long. Heck, I wasn't even born when they came to power. Will Highway 63 be twinned in the next 41 years?! And since I'm on a roll here, PC's may want to take a look under the Thickwood overpass as I noticed today someone had spray-painted "Refine it here" in big bold letters. Quit pumping it out of the ground and sending it elsewhere.
Growing up I heard the saying about how if you don't vote you have no right to complain. Nonsense. Frankly, from what I've seen, none of these clowns deserves my vote. The options smell worse than a bucket of bitumen. Any way you cut it, both ridings here are two-horse races between the incumbent PC's and the Wildrose. Both Fort McMurray ridings have Liberal and NDP candidates but I have great difficulty imagining a scenario where they would come anywhere close to being elected.
Now, having said all this, I will hazard a prediction. My gut feeling is that both ridings here will go to the PC's but I fear they will be on the outside looking in as a Wildrose government will likely be the result of Monday's vote. At least no one can say this election was boring. Just don't expect me to reward incompetence with 4 years of cushy employment.