EDMONTON – There is a splash of Orange on Edmonton’s federal election map this morning as the NDP managed to squeak out a win for candidate Linda Duncan in the riding of Edmonton Strathcona.
Duncan beat Conservative Caucus Chair Rahim Jaffer by about 400 votes after a see-saw battle all night. At one point Jaffer, who has been the MP for the area for eleven years, made a victory speech, only to have to backtrack after more results came in.
CUPE Alberta President D’Arcy Lanovaz welcomed the results, calling Duncan’s victory “an important step in balancing Alberta’s political culture.”
“Every election Alberta elects huge numbers of Conservatives in spite of the fact many Albertans support other parties,” said Lanovaz. “Electing Linda Duncan ensures that Albertans who don’t support Stephen Harper will have a voice in Parliament.”
“The Conservatives can no longer claim they speak for all Albertans. Regular families are now represented.”
Lanovaz said his happiness with Duncan’s victory was muted by the low voter turn out across the country. Media reports show the turnout to be below 60%.
“When that many people are not engaged enough to vote, it means our democracy isn’t healthy,” said Lanovaz. “Politicians are not representing a full range of citizens, and efforts must be made to make politics not just interesting, but exciting for all Canadians.”