While at a wedding cocktail reception on Saturday, several friends kept asking me what the results were as I was glued to my Twitter feed on my phone. As the results came in and they were at half the polls reporting, I said she was going to win due to the inability for Gary Mar to get passed 45% and that Redford would get two-thirds of Doug Horner's second ballot choices. It was still close, and when Mar pulled ahead by 5-6%, he still couldn't penetrate even 45%, I was pretty sure she'd win at that point. On Twitter, Dave Rutherford was the first out of the gate stating her victory based on his sources.
37,101 (51.11%) Redford
35,491 (48.89%) Mar
Well, I will admit that I voted for her and Horner 2nd. I voted for her for three reasons. I watched the debate on Wednesday and was impressed with her strength and felt of the three candidates, she would best represent Alberta, but maybe not ideologically. Secondly, I didn't want Mar to win as his ethics are questionable, and thirdly, Redford is said to be a liberal-progressive, which splits the PCs and is a win for Danielle Smith, who'd I'd prefer as premier. Now, a lot more conservatives potentially will leave the PCs for the Wildrose Party, but only if Smith and Co. can prove themselves as a viable alternative.
An indication of that is only 78,176 members turned out to vote Saturday, which was an increase from the first ballot vote two weeks prior, but it is a large decrease from the 144,000 that voted in 2006 which saw Ed Stelmach shoot up the middle to win. That's a big vacuum.
Despite all that, Redford is a relative unknown to many conservatives and I believe Albertans for the most part, will give her a shot to see what she can and cannot do. It will be difficult for the Wildrose to paint her in a bad light while the honeymoon is on, and I thought the press release from Danielle Smith congratulating Redford on her win while slamming her when she hasn't had a chance to govern yet was in bad form.
The fall session was to start October 25th, but Redford has postponed it, a budget, and a potential election until the spring. The Wildrose is not happy with this, but while I took a tour of the Legislature building yesterday, the tour guide apologized for the state of the Assembly Chamber itself. I took the picture below from the public gallery to show all the scaffolding they must use to change the 600 lightbulbs to energy-saving ones as they cannot fit a scissor-lift through the doors. As well, they are painting. I don't see them finishing and cleaning up by October 25th. Whether that's the reason, I really don't know, but found it interesting and coincidental under the circumstances.
As we began our tour, media were on hand, waiting for someone, and I thought perhaps she would be there. But alas, it was Raj Sherman, newly elected Alberta Liberal leader.
Even though I voted for her, this blog, and I'm sure many others of the conservative-bent, will watch her every move over the next while. She'd be smart to introduce some conservative policies to keep that camp involved in her party, especially on dumbing-down or scrapping the Alberta Human Rights Commission, but her promise to restore $100 million to education for teachers within a couple weeks seems bold and decisive, but in reality, it seems like a bit of a stretch to accomplish. If she does it, you'll note it is without any budgetary debate, which indicates to me, not much will really change with the way the PCs govern.
I remember just a week and a half ago when I saw her at an Edmonton downtown lounge sitting and having a conversation with a man, possibly an advisor. I thought to go up to her and wish her luck, but I didn't, because who knew at that point she'd ever become our premier.
But she did.