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!