It’s election day!
After four weeks of talking about Edmonton’s future, we get to decide what that looks like today. Well, to be fair, probably like one-third of eligible voters get to decide what Edmonton’s future looks like. But that just means you’ve got more power!
Polls open at 9 a.m. and will remain open until 8 p.m. tonight. (At which point we already call the mayoral race for Don Iveson.) You’re entitled to three consecutive hours to vote, so if you don’t get off work at 5 p.m., you can arrange the time with your boss (it’s the law, yo).
If you’re looking for other election information, including some last-minute cramming for your votes, we’ve got you covered.
Along with the results Monday night, here are some other things to watch for:
- Voter turnout – we had a big rush the last few days of advanced polls, which might indicate a boost in the number of people voting
- Races that are interesting (not the mayoral one)
- My picks for races to watch: the open seats (Wards 4, 5, 9) school board races which may set the tone for LGBTQ policies (particularly Edmonton Public Wards C, F, G, I) and wards with some good challengers which could make it interesting for incumbents tonight (Wards 7, 8, 11)
- Regional mayoral races, because they could shift how the Edmonton-area municipalities get along for the next four years (most interesting will be the new mayors in St. Albert, Beaumont, Strathcona County and possibly Leduc/Leduc County).
- Does St. Albert vote to build a new library? I’m still genuinely surprised that is a question that has to be asked (and is on the election ballot).
Obviously, the #yegvote hashtag will be the place to watch tonight, for all the results and some good fun with other Edmontonians. We’ll be there! You can also catch CBC Edmonton live at the Garneau Theatre (and on Facebook live). Corus Edmonton will also be broadcasting their coverage on Facebook live.
Let me break with some journalistic tradition and tell you that if you don’t know who to vote for, or you’re not sure which candidates are about which policies, it’s OK not to vote.
Just about every news organization will tell you to vote, to uphold your civic duty, and I completely agree with the sentiment. If you know what you’re doing.
Look, we can see that results that give us Trump, Brexit and even the far-right takeover of Alberta’s conservative party have proven that if you don’t know what you’re doing, or you’re too easily whipped into a frenzy over “taxes bad” kind of slogans (not to mention the racism), maybe you should sit out a vote or two. I think you should be able to not vote without the guilt trip.
Don’t know who to vote for? Don’t have time to research today? Don’t vote. That’s OK!
All that said, if you’ve been paying attention to the issues, if you know which candidates will try to do things you want them to, if you know which candidates will uphold people’s rights, get out there and vote. (And bring a few friends.)
Around the city
There’s another vote coming up in one week for people west of Edmonton to replace MP Rona Ambrose. The Conservative candidate sure worried about Feminazis (although maybe less so these days?). It also looks like the local paper was worried about including that word in a headline.
That quote comes from a story about a lawyer who was assaulted and terrorized by her husband for years. Domestic violence touches all levels of society.
In another court case… a judge had to keep counselling records of a woman who was sexually assaulted out of the hands of the man accused of violating her.
That’s the only way Edmonton will ever eliminate road deaths and serious injuries. It’s not going to be by telling people walking to make eye contact with drivers, it’s not going to be by telling people driving to watch for children playing, it’s going to be by reducing our speed limits and building roads that protect people walking (which will then protect people cycling and driving). All the education goes out the window the second you get distracted, so slow speeds and safe roads will protect people when they are hit – and they will still be hit.
In 2018, the City of Edmonton is supposed to pick a target year when we achieve “Vision Zero” – zero deaths and serious injuries on city streets. This is a decision that should shift the ways we do a lot of things. It does sound like the next city council is ready to reduce most street speed limits though, which is a big next step. (Although 40 km/h is a half-measure and we do need 30 km/h in all our neighbourhoods.)
The City of Leduc is doing something right when it comes to recruiting more women to its ranks – hiring nearly 10 times as many women as most fire departments. This is an issue right across the country for fire departments.
Highlands businesses which recently got hit by some vandalism received a bit of a boost from the latest Cash Mob from the crew over at The Local Good.
The Mazankowski is on its way to becoming a top medical location for a new kind of minimally-invasive heart surgery.
The impact of dogs in the classroom sounds like very worthwhile research.
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