Musings from the ever-changing, ever-amazing and occasionally ever-baffling Fort McMurray, Alberta.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Ballot Box Hangover, Anyone?

Another federal election is behind us - and hopefully the result means we won't be headed back to the polls anytime soon. I can't speak for anyone else, but 4 elections in 7 years has given me a serious case of political fatigue. Toss in some provincial and municipal elections and it's pretty easy to see why it can be difficult to improve voter turnout.

I want to congratulate you, Fort Mac. Despite voter fatigue we actually beat our electoral turnout statistics from the last federal election. Last election 36% of us showed up to vote - and this time 41.4% did. Still not an overwhelming number, but a definite improvement, and perhaps a sign that political apathy in the region is slowly disappearing.

As expected our incumbent Conservative MP Brian Jean has retained his office with a large percentage of the popular vote. I doubt this comes as a surprise to anyone in the region, and I do extend my congratulations to him. I think he represents our riding well and I look forward to him continuing to do so. I have invested in four years of red markers, however, in anticipation of those money-wasting, garbage-creating flyers (if you haven't read this blog previously when those flyers arrive in my mailbox I tend to write "Please stop wasting my money on these flyers" in red marker all over them, and send them back to him). I'm rather hoping that with a Conservative majority that he may not feel the need to send out those ridiculous flyers and then I can donate those red markers to the local school instead.

This election changes things up in Ottawa, certainly. The NDP as official opposition should make for interesting times in Parliament, and I hope to see Jack and his gang grow into that role as I believe any system is only as good as the checks and balances that contribute to controlling it. As for Wood Buffalo - well, I suppose I see business continuing as usual in our region, with all the good and bad that entails. As with any election there will be repercussions and dissections and political fallout (and political careers will end, no doubt). I'm quite happy to just move forward, people. Let's hope all our newly elected officials feel the same.

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