Alberta Votes 2012

Election season is upon us here in Alberta, and as this is my first provincial election as an Albertan, I am paying particular attention to the platforms and candidates. The parties have staked their lawn signs and their members are putting the word out, but it can still be difficult to track messages, policies, and make a final decision come election day on April 23rd.

Here are a few resources I’ve found useful generally, but also specifically for writers and others engaged in the ‘arts economy’ here in the Sunshine Province:

Regardless of how you choose to vote, I just hope you’ll take the time to do so. Apparently the turnout at the last provincial election was an abysmal 40%… If you can do it with as much awareness as possible, all the better!

The votes are in: The Masked Avengers have won!

We are two days away from the American election and it’s getting pretty exciting.

The local middle schools here in Green River, WY have already held their mock elections, participating in the National Student/Parent Mock Election Day. The elections were pretty close, but the Republican McCain/Palin team won at both schools (161-103 at one and 145-120 at the other). I love what the local newspaper, the Green River Star, reported these sassy sixth-graders as saying about the election rumour-mills. One student, Alexander, said he had heard a rumour “that Obama is a terrorist and that he is going to make all white people his slaves if he is elected. He said people should focus on the facts and not rumours.” Another student, Erik, said he heard that “Palin has the IQ of a 2-year-old.”

It would be really interesting to know where these young voters have gotten their info: Fox News (the conservative, Rebublican mouthpiece); MSNBC (Democrat all the way); CNN (the “no bull, no bias” network); or perhaps parents, neighbours or their friendly neighbourhoud white supremacist group? Maybe they’re like me and watch Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show and The Colbert Report for their political news.

In any event, the idea behind the Mock Election Day is, of course, to start training pre-teens and teens to be civic-minded. Studies have shown that these sorts of initiatives mean youngsters are more likely to get out and vote for real when they reach the age of majority (but can’t yet drink alcohol, which I still think is very silly). Voter apathy is a real issue and Leonardo Di Caprio and friends have launched a video “Don’t Vote” to get through to US Citizens: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhDRVKDcXQo

Then there is the more light-hearted side of things with Quebec comedy duo, The Masked Avengers, who just ‘punked’ Sarah Palin by pretending to be the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy (https://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/081101/national/prankster_palin or to hear the conversation, go to https://ca.video.yahoo.com/watch/3842140/10491245). Palin was completely oblivious, but was actually quite diplomatic in the face of comments about hunting with Dick Cheney and the recent porn spoof of her in Hustler. But, as the pranksters said, she didn’t come across as all that intelligent.

She should feel like quite the celebrity, though, The Masked Avengers have similarly pranked Bill Gates, Britney Spears, and Sarkozy himself. Now Palin “the down-home, simple American” has more celebrity cachet to go along with her new $150,000 wardrobe.

© 2011 Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail. All Rights Reserved.