Only one of 27 South Asian candidates elected, another in a tie
NDP – 53
WILDROSE PARTY (WRP) – 21
PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVES (PC) – 10
LIBERALS – 1
OTHERS – 1
BY RATTAN MALL
NDP Leader Rachel Notley said she would raise Alberta’s corporate tax rate to 12 per cent from 10 per cent, she would not waste her time pushing the giant Northern Gateway pipeline from Alberta to the B.C. coast, that the Keystone XL pipeline had become a strictly U.S. domestic issue, and she would review energy royalties.
As the Toronto Star noted: “Notley, in essence, said Albertans knew better and she dismissed the self-serving shots across the bow from the province’s well-heeled and coddled business community.”
And Albertans showed their confidence and trust in her on Tuesday.
They gave her a stunning victory that was nothing but a slap in the face for the greedy business establishment.
The spectacular victory also clearly shows that too many Canadians just want a change – and that is a loud and clear warning for Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Conservatives.
In fact, it seems that Canada might even finally land up with a Liberal-NDP coalition government that will give the average Canadian the respect that Harper just hasn’t, that will try and unite Canadians instead of divide them like Harper has.
* The NDP won just over 40 per cent of the popular vote, the Wildrose got 24 per cent and the PCs were at about 28 per cent.
* The NDP led in the polls right from the get-go. They won all 19 seats in Edmonton and made inroads in Calgary and Lethbridge.
* Since Alberta’s creation in 1905 only four parties have governed the province, including the Liberals, United Farmers, Social Credit and the Progressive Conservatives, whose tenure has been the longest.
* The Progressive Conservatives were first elected in 1971 and had been the longest-serving government in Canadian history at 43 years and almost eight months.
* Premier Jim Prentice resigned as leader of the Progressive Conservatives and is also giving up the seat he won.
* Notley’s dad, Grant Notley, helped found Alberta’s NDP. He died in a plane crash in 1984, two years before his party became official Opposition in 1986.
* The average MLA age is now 40 thanks to young NDP candidates winning seats. The Globe and Mail reported: “The NDP swept several twentysomethings into office Tuesday – the youngest being the new Edmonton-South West MLA Thomas Dang, a University of Alberta computer science student who turned 20 on April 7.”
* The voter turnout was the highest in 22 years at 5.01 percent. Advance polls also registered a record turnout of 235,410 people.
B.C. Premier Christy Clark on Tuesday night congratulated Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley and her team on their election victory.
She said: “I would like to thank Jim Prentice for his dedicated service to Alberta and to Canada, and wish him and his family the very best.
“Canada needs a strong Alberta. I look forward to working productively with Ms. Notley and her new government for a prosperous West and a stronger Canada.”
ONLY ONE SOUTH ASIAN ELECTED, ANOTHER IN A TIE
THE VOICE had noted on its website (www.voiceonline.com) on Tuesday morning: “The NDP surge is bad news for South Asian / Indo-Canadian candidates because most of them are from the other three major parties.”
Sure enough, only one of 27 South Asian (Indo-Canadian / Pakistani-Canadian / Bangladeshi-Canadian) candidates was elected and he was from the NDP: Irfan Sabir (Calgary-McCall).
Anam Kazim (Calgary-Glenmore), also of NDP, was in a tie with Progressive Conservative incumbent Linda Johnson, each garnering 7,015 votes in the unofficial count.
Elections Alberta will release the official results of the election on May 15.
[In the 2012 election, seven South Asians were elected MLAs: They were incumbent Progressive Conservative MLAs Manmeet Bhullar (Calgary-Greenway), Naresh Bhardwaj (Edmonton-Ellerslie), and Peter Sandhu (Edmonton-Manning), Progressive Conservative newcomers Sohail Quadri (Edmonton-Mill Woods) and Stephen Khan (St. Albert in the Edmonton area); and incumbent Liberal MLAs Raj Sherman (Edmonton-Meadowlark) and Darshan S. Kang (Calgary-McCall).]
Sabir works as a lawyer for an Aboriginal Law firm and volunteers at Calgary Legal Guidance, Red Cross Canada. He worked for five years in a homeless shelter in Calgary.
Sabir has been living in Calgary since 2004. He has a degree in Economics from University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir and a degree in Social Work and Law from the University of Calgary.
Sabir has been involved with politics and human rights movements since graduating from high school.
Kazim works as an applications engineer in Calgary. Previously, she was employed with a firm providing consultancy in project management. She also has research experience in designing environmentally friendly chemical processes at Western University.
She was raised in Toronto. She acquired both a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and master’s degree in biochemical / environmental engineering from Western University before moving west and settling in Calgary.
The 25 South Asian candidates who lost:
* Calgary-Buffalo: David Khan (Lib)
* Calgary-Cross: Moiz Mahmood (WRP) / Manjot S. Gill (Lib)
* Calgary-Fort: Jeevan Mangat (WRP)
* Calgary-Greenway: Manmeet Bhullar (PC) / Devinder Toor (WRP)
* Calgary-Hawkwood: Harbaksh S. Sekhon (Lib)
* Calgary-Hays: Shawn Emran (Lib)
* Calgary-MacKay-Nose Hill: Prab Lashar (Lib)
* Calgary-McCall: Jagdeep Kaur Sahota (PC) / Happy Mann (WRP) / Avinash Khangura (Lib)
* Calgary-Northern Hills: Prasad Panda (WRP)
* Calgary-Southeast: Gladwin Gill
* Calgary-West: Mizanur Rahman (NDP)
* Edmonton-Ellerslie: Harman Kandola (PC)
* Edmonton-Manning: Gurcharan Garcha (PC) / Atiq Rehman (WRP)
* Edmonton-Mill Woods: Sohail Quadri (PC) / Baljit Sall (WRP)
* Edmonton-Mill Creek: Saqib Raja (WRP) / Harpreet Singh (Lib)
* Edmonton-Calder: Amit Batra (Lib)
* Chestermere-Rocky View: Leela Aheer (WRP)
* St. Albert: Stephen Khan (PC)