Election mud-slinging turning off some voters

Politics: provincial campaign heating up ahead of April 23 vote

By: Don Patterson

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Apr 18, 2012 11:03 am

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One of the most heated provincial election campaigns in recent memory generated billion of dollars of spending promises and brought the prospect of a whole new era in Alberta politics.

However, the overheated campaign has left some in the foothills unsettled about politics and negative campaign tactics ahead of the April 23 vote.

Okotoks resident Tanya Thorn supports Highwood PC candidate John Barlow and said there has been too much of a focus on negative campaigning and not enough on the issues.

“There’s more mudslinging around than there needs to be,” she said.

Thorn said there needs to be more focus on the issues. She wants candidates to focus on how to make sure Alberta’s families can continue to afford to live in their communities.

High River resident Alan Walker said the campaign is evolving into a bit of a she said-she said and he’s not interested in attack tactics.

“What I care about is what they’re going to do for the Province,” he said.

Walker said the economy is an important issue to him because it helps support local communities, as well as providing revenues to help pay for priorities like education.

“If you have a strong economy everything else is going to follow, right from the farmers to the small businesses in town,” he said.

Walker said the Tories chose wrong when they picked Alison Redford as leader and he doesn’t think she has what it takes to lead the Tories to another win.

Okotoks resident Sharon Kenney also doesn’t like the negative campaigning. She said Twitter posting by a PC volunteer about Danielle Smith’s not having children was completely inappropriate. The tweet called Smith insincere when she rolled out her policies for families.

“It seems to be the way,” said Kenney, of the negative comments.

She said the Province can’t seem to solve problems facing healthcare and education despite all the money spent in these areas.

“There is a lot of money spent on education and it never seems to be enough,” said Kenney.

Black Diamond resident Ken Pederson expects a close vote and he questions whether Albertans will see a minority government. He’s looking forward to a change in government.

“I’m tired of the old regime,” he said.

Pederson said there have been too many promises in the election.

He said Redford has been able to find money for healthcare and education, but he said there isn’t much for taxpayers who are trying to make ends meet.

Yet, Pederson said, the Province can’t goo too far in the other direction either. He worries restricting spending too tightly and tying it to provincial surpluses doesn’t provide any certainty.

Dustin Whitney said there has been too much emphasis on the way the campaigns have been run, rather than looking at the issues that need to be addressed.

“We’re getting hung up on superficial topics,” he said.

Whitney’s concerned that the PCs have made upwards of $7 billion worth of promises without a clear plan for how to pay for them.

“Where’s the money going to come from? Higher taxes, robbing the Heritage Fund or creating a $10 billion deficit,” he said.

Whitney also said too much attention has been paid to things like the committee pay issue, which he said doesn’t amount to a lot of money in the big picture, rather than larger more important issues that need to be addressed.

“It’s a small part of the pie,” he said.

The provincial election will go ahead on April 23 with polling stations in the Okotoks Curling Club and the Foothills Centennial Centre. In the MD, polling stations will be set up in the Heritage Point Golf Club and the Heritage Heights School.


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