Well folks, less than a week to go until Albertan's head to the polls and decide the direction of the provinces future.
What concerns me about the elections in Alberta is the amount of voter apathy in the province. From 1993 where we had a 60.2% voter turnout to 2008 where we had a 40.6% turnout one has to ask why. I have thought about this a lot lately, and in the end I think people get sick of the games that get played on the political trail. Now I expect it from the political parties, but many of us rely on the media to form our opinions.
Nowadays in our busy lives we don't take the time to go to each parties websites to inform ourselves on party policy, for those of us that do we can't understand much of it. All of their policies are worded to resonate and appeal to all Albertans. This leaves us to decide on our vote based on what we get through the media. The problem comes in here because the media does not report on policy or direction, rather they choose to focus on sensationalism and the fear mongering that each party spews on one another to sell a story. Maybe that's what journalism is these days, and I am naive in my thoughts of what I thinking they should cover.
The Alberta Progressive Conservative Party has been the governing party in our province for the last 41 years. This election will be almost historic in the fact that it is the first time they have been challenged on the conservative side. What I find disturbing is media buying into these party tactics to sway the vote away from political issues, rather than doing the investigative journalism one would expect. One should expect it when it comes to opinion columnists such as Paula Simons, Don Braid, David Staples, and Rob Remington. The issue comes when the media reports the same way as these columnists do.
In my watching of the news both nationally and locally the issues of the election trail boil down to a pretty grimm picture for our province. The highlights that stand out to me from the media this election are:
1) The Wildrose coaster campaign.
2) The Danielle "Boob" bus
3) PC party staffer and a tweet on Danielle Smiths reproductive system
4) Danielle Smiths 10 year old columns on abortion
5) Endorsements from Lougheed-or Colleen Klein
6) Edmonton Pastors religious blog from 2011 discussing homosexuality and "Lakes of Fire"
7) Calgary Pastors inability to communicate that his being "Caucasian" not putting him at a disadvantage in his riding. A PC candidate commenting that in his riding that people in his riding want to see people "Like Them" in the legislature.
8) Thomas Lukaszuk fighting with constituent
These are just a few of the main focus topics the media has placed in this election race. How in the hell are voters to make an informed decision with this kind of nonsense highlighting the vote? It creates apathy and people don't vote based on issues. Far be it from me to ever be a fan of CBC, but Charles Rusnell is probably one of the few investigative journalists left in the business. An example is the media spreading the fear mongering when it comes to conscience rights the Wildrose would bring in. Not one news outlet challenged Wildrose in the fact that they were in place already. Nor when Redford claimed they frightened her. Reality is this was an irrelevant topic that took 3 days of headlines for NO reason, but it made an impact on the decisions of voters. When media gets caught up in the partisan HYPE of an election, Alberta gets robbed of important debate.
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