Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Alberta Senate Election

Alberta is still the only province that elects senators and so far the people elected as "senators in waiting" have been appointed by Stephen Harper to the senate - Jean Chretien and Paul Martin ignored the choices of the public.   This is the fourth election for senators in the province.

In past elections only the right and the more right seem to have run in the elections.   In 2004 the top four were three PC candidates and Link Byfield.   Of the 10 candidates that ran in 2004, not a single one could be called left or even centre.

In 2012 we have 10 candidates running for three positions.   Three are PC candidates, three are Wildrose, one is a Green and three are independents.


The candidates have to have 1500 signatures to be on the ballot, I am not sure which candidates have achieved that.

Given the electoral math involved, the odds of the Green being elected are actually not that bad at all:

  • About 25-30% of the public will not be voting for either the PCs or Wildrose and therefore likely to vote for Elizabeth Johannson.   
  • This means the non right wing block is almost as large as the block for either the Wildrose or PCs.  Almost perfect voting splitting set up.    
  • When you can vote one, two or three votes, it is not hard to toss an extra one to the Green.
  • Without the backing of a "brand name" the three independents will not do as well as Elizabeth Johannson.
  • Finally Elizabeth Johannson is the only woman on the ballot
So how soon will one of the candidates be appointed?  Senator Bert Brown has to retire March 22nd 2013 and Joyce Fairburn on November 6th 2014, so in the next 18 months there have to be at least two vacancies.

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