Yet again, the common Albertan citizen is being duped by her deceitful provincial government, and yet again she will do nothing much about it.
After digging up some dirt on the officials hired by Elections Alberta to conduct the upcoming provincial elections, one of the opposition parties announced that one of the Returning Officers was the wife of the head of the nomination committee of a Tory riding association. When I heard this on the radio I was aghast: Nothing speaks of a failing democracy more than an electoral structure that is not free and fair.
Returning Officers are supposed to remain politically impartial. It even says in Alberta legislation that they should not "engage in political activity on behalf of any political party or candidate". Anyone affiliated with any party, let alone the ruling party, should simply not apply for the job nor should they accept the job if offered in the name of conflict of interest. To do otherwise is to make the elections unfair.
So imagine my dismay as I hear today that the Chief Electoral Officer says that 83 Returning Officers have clear connections to the Conservative Party! This includes the aforementioned wife of the riding association as well as a former Conservative candidate, an employee of the Calgary Conservative constituency board, and a woman who brags about her friendships with Tory politicians who are currently in power!
And here's the best part, since the amount of biased Returning Officers that failed to express any sentiment of conflict of interest accounts for over half of the officers for next month's election, the Chief Electoral Officer says that they simply can not afford to fire them as they will be unable to replace all of them in time.
Great. Who is strategizing for this Stelmach government? Is it Mugabe, because this kind of passive "honest mistake" approach to electoral fraud is certainly reminiscent of the world's longest serving dictators?
I can only hope that Albertans see the Tories for what they are: Deceitful, avaricious liars who have spied on their own citizenry, failed to help the province's most vulnerable peoples, and engaged in electoral fraud.
It's time for a change, Alberta.
See the CBC article here.