Thoughts on surprising election results
I’m kind of late to this party, but it’s a direct byproduct of our deadlines and the election timeline. I had wanted to write about the election, and since this is my first chance, I may as well get at it.
I have to say I am quite surprised with how the province as a whole voted on April 23. I suppose I was sucked in by what the pollsters were predicting, and felt the Tory dynasty was at an end.
Personally, I had predicted the Wildrose would come away with the win, but only barely. I had them winning anywhere between 38 and 48 seats — in other words a strong majority or slim minority. How wrong I was.
But I think there is a lesson to be learned here, and it’s one I have been trying to expound for years. I feel there should be no polling done during election campaigns. None.
It’s simple, when you think about it. Polling produces knowledge of who is ‘leading’ and ‘trailing,’ which I feel has a direct impact on how many people vote and how they vote.
Think about it in reference to this election. Going into April 23, the Wildrose was leading in the polls. While I can’t speak for everyone, part of me believes voters who wanted the Tories out ended up voting for them because they saw the Wildrose was leading. Those people perhaps realized the Wildrose may have been a worse evil than the Tories, and so held their noses and went with the status quo.
Had those people voted as they normally would have, we may now be living with a Wildrose government.
I liken it to people who said, years ago, they would vote NDP, but they knew the NDP wouldn’t win. To them I said, if everyone who wants to vote NDP actually does so, they could win. Don’t let other people tell you how to vote through numbers that are misleading at best.
Getting back to the actual results, I think how voters here in Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock voted speaks volumes about an idea I had percolating in my head — what was keeping Ken Kowalski in office so long?
Was it because he was a Tory, or was it because he was Kowalski?
I was of the belief that Maureen Kubinec’s vote tally would answer that question. If she won by a landslide, it was likely Kowalski being a Tory that kept him in office. If Kubinec lost or narrowly won, then it was Kowalski himself who was the magic charm.
With Kubinec’s narrow win over Link Byfield, I’m leaning towards it being Kowalski’s personal brand that attracted the votes.
Of course, there is one small problem to my theory — how do we know what the results would have been had Kowalski run again? We don’t, and so my theory is likely barely worth the paper it’s printed on.
Anyway, we have four more years of Tory rule here in Alberta. On a personal note, I’m saddened, because this means the political dynasty here will become the longest government in Canadian history, displacing the Ontario PC Big Blue Machine of 1943-1985 and the Nova Scotia Liberal governments of 1882-1925.
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