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Due to a new law passed by the Alberta Legislature last month, Alberta’s provincial election will take place between March 1st and May 31st of this year. However, an official election date has yet to be determined.

In an article this week, the Calgary Herald’s Don Braid offers some insight into when PC Premier Alison Redford may drop the writ and begin the 2012 election campaign. Due to increased tensions between the parties last fall, some feel that the campaign has already unofficially begun.

According to Braid, the opposition parties are cautiously planning for March 1st, the earliest possible election date. There is good reason for this as the previous provincial election, in 2008, was held on March 3rd.

However, Braid believes (from his sources close to Redford) that the election will likely take place in April. Redford only became Premier in October and continues to gain more public support as her time in office grows. To hold off Liberal and Wildrose gains, Redford could even wait until the end of May if she feels it could help bolster the PC seat count. The PC have had control of the Alberta Legislature since 1971 and they are unlikely to jeopardize this with a poorly timed election.

The timing of the budget will also be a factor, and Redford has two options.  If Redford wants to have her budget passed before an election is called, April would be the earliest that Albertans could cast ballots. To ensure a March election, the writ would have to be dropped before the budget could be debated.

Much of the Wildrose leader Danielle Smith’s criticism of Redford stems from her unwillingness to trim the province’s budget. Braid believes that if the PC waits to pass a fiscally conservative budget they could eliminate opposition attacks before the election.

To coincide with the election, we will be running our Student Vote program. The PC does not have all of their candidates nominated yet, so an early election seems unlikely. Regardless of the date, we will be ready to ship out our materials the moment an election is called. Learn more about registering for our free Alberta program, or register online today.

To stay updated on more Alberta news, keep checking the “Alberta News” section of our Student Vote blog.



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Non-partisan organization engaging young Canadians in the democratic process.
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