Election Day in Calgary-Foothills, again
For the third time in less than a year, voters in the Alberta riding of Calgary-Foothills will be headed to the polls.
They will be deciding who will take the spot that was vacated by former Premier Jim Prentice when he quit politics after his party’s disastrous loss in May’s general election.
Despite the frequent trips to the ballot box though, it doesn’t seem like voters are getting very tired of it. Advance poll numbers, which were released on Wednesday, show that more people cast ballots there than in any of the previous votes.
Elections Alberta says that 4,146 people, or about 12 percent of the electorate, voted in the advance polls held last week.
However, advance poll numbers don’t necessarily mean that voter turnout will be particularly strong, some experts say.
“We don't always see a direct correlation between advance poll turnout and regular poll turnout and in this case, because the long weekend is coming up, I'm guessing the number would be slightly higher because people who do want to vote, do so in time to get away for the long weekend. That said though it's a healthy number,” said Lori Williams, a political scientist at Mount Royal University.
The candidates vying for the seat are Bob Hawkesworth with the NDP, who is attempting to get back into legislature for the first time in 22 years.
Hawkesworth says that jobs and the economy are issues that he’d like to help his party tackle. “We're no stranger to the rollercoaster of world oil prices in Alberta and we've been through this before and we'll get through it again. What we need now as much as anything is some stability.”
Prasad Panda, with the Wildrose, is the other front runner, according to recent polls. Panda has pledged to ensure that the NDP focuses on the issues and won’t push their ideological agenda on Albertans.
As for the other candidates on the ballot, Blair Houston is running for the PCs, Ali bin Zahid is running for the Liberals, Mark Taylor is representing the Alberta Party, and Janet Keeping is running for the Green Party. Antoni Grochowski is running as an independent.
Polls are open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.