Disappointed Info Seeker

October 18, 2010 was election day for municipalites in Alberta. My husband made his choice in the afternoon at our polling station, with one person in line in front of him. I made my selection for a Division 1 Councillor for Lac Ste. Anne County around 6:10 p.m., on my way home, with no one in front of me in line to vote.

There were news reports for city election results, and some blog activity in larger centres, but in rural Alberta election news, and results, and even platforms were mostly silent. Especially on the web.

Prior to the election, I looked for information about the three candidates I had to choose from. There was nothing. No websites, facebook pages, tweets, blogs, newspaper websites, NOTHING. Nothing for the incumbant except some signs on higher traffic rural roads. A few signs only for a former councillor challenger, and not even a sign for the other challenger. There may have been an article in our bi-weekly news bulletin, but I missed it, and there is no web presence for the publication.

There was no door knocking at my house. I decided who to vote for by asking my neighbours if they knew the challenging candidates and compared that to my personal review of the incumbant’s record in office.

I had similar problems trying to find out who won. The only references I could find to election results for my area were some unoffical reports on a radio station’s facebook page.

Nothing on the County’s website, nothing on the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties website, nothing on the Government of Alberta’s website, and nothing on the Elections Alberta pages – the home of Alberta’s Chief Electoral Officer.

It is no wonder that voter apathy is prevalent in municipal politics.

In other news, the City of Calgary has a new mayor whose campaign was aided by social media. Surprise!

Comments

  1. I too am a citizen of LSAC and just after 7pm last night cast my first vote ever. I am in Division 2 and wanted to make sure Derril Butler, the current Reeve, was not allowed to continue his “industrial alliance” support at the expense of the citizens that live in the county and has gone on far too long. Last year I attended my first Council meeting to oppose the way they had been approving leap frog developments with little planning or standards. When Butler was asked why he was not responding to email inquires on the matter, he said that he did not respond to, or use email (interestingly that never made the meeting minutes). I believe my mouth dropped open hearing such a statement as it was the year 2009, he had a county issued email address and was the current Reeve that had been elected as chief official by his fellow Councilors! To say he would not use email as a form of communication spoke volumes in how he was disconnected with current times. I too scoured eagerly last night for results of the elections and irritated and disappointed to find nothing. However, I was ecstatic to find out this morning that the archaic Reeve Butler was sent packing along with many of the other Councilors! This large overhaul spoke volumes that many of us have had enough. The new fresh faces that will be taking their places campaigned for change, respect, listening to and working with the citizens that make up LSAC. I can only hope that this also means getting up to speed with the times with current communication methods and a respect to a balanced intelligent approach to developments. There has been much accommodation of industry through by-laws, permit approvals without proper research, or studies all for a quick cash grab, but a heavy price tag to the people who live here. As Reeve Butler was advocating and allowing this with the support of his fellow Councilors hopefully this will come to an end and replaced with a common sense approach to developments. I am more than happy to say good riddance to Reeve Derril Butler, democracy has prevailed!

  2. Betty Ann Laporte

    I also was very frustrated last evening when trying to get results from the Barrhead and Lac Ste Anne County election. It was even worse when I tried today and even at this time (9:29 pm) there is still nothing on the Lac Ste Anne website. Communication is a very weak point in this rural area.

  3. For those interested, Lac Ste Anne County has posted unofficial election results on their website.

  4. Now I know why Mr. Butler never responded to the e-mail which I sent him a few years ago, after he commented via the Edmonton Journal that ‘Lac Ste Anne is just a big slough’. I e-mailed him a photo of our lovely lake, and asked him to apologize for his comments about the lake for which our County is named! I am amazed (but not surprised) that he doesn’t know how to use e-mail.