The third time's a charm for the Progressive Conservative Party, which, after two terms governing as a minority, broke through to win 166 seats, enough to govern with a majority.
Monday night’s federal election brought a dramatic result, as the Conservatives were able to pick up 24 seats. At the same time, the NDP rode a wave of late support to become the Official Opposition Party with 102 seats. The Liberal Party, under the leadership of Michael Ignatieff lost 34 seats, including its leader's, prompting a Tuesday morning resignation.
The shift didn’t end there as the Bloc Quebecois was decimated to the point of only retaining four seats and losing official party status. The Green Party also made history as Elizabeth May won her seat. This was the first elected seat for the party.
As dramatic as the results were across the country, Crowfoot remained true blue with incumbent Kevin Sorenson easily winning his seat. He garnered 44,114 votes for 83.94 per cent of the popular vote.
“It’s great, we have a strong mandate out here in Crowfoot," said Sorenson from the Strathmore Travel Lodge where he watched the results roll in with supporters.
“A majority is what we have been longing for for two or three elections.”
He said the majority would allow the party to get down to business.
“Before, there were certain issues that we couldn’t approach. We would not get into them because we didn’t have opposition support. We tried to work with other parties on certain issues, and we can still work with those parties, but now we have a mandate and can proceed with our agenda. This agenda is going to mean lower taxes for Canadians, more investment in Canada and good leadership with our prime minister… I’m thrilled.”
Although finishing in a distant second place with 4,805 votes, Ellen Parker of the NDP was also jubilant. She watched the election results come in from the Edmonton-Strathcona riding, where NDP candidate Linda Duncan retained the only orange seat in Alberta.
“I am looking forward to seeing our party grow and have more influence and keep the interest of Canadians at heart,” said Parker.
She said the key to the rise in the NDP is working together.
“We're really effective because we have a strong team.Jack (Layton) and all the MPs who are New Democrats, and now even more who are New Democrats work together. I see that in action as a federal party representative from Alberta, and I just know we will do that because we are the face of Canada…We reflect the true diversity of Canada from regional to under-represented groups.”
Munson resident John C. Turner ran as an independent in this year’s election and was able to take away 499 votes. He said it was a good exercise.
“It was well worth it,” he said, adding he has a new found respect for the Crowfoot MP.
“You hear a lot of negative things about the Calgary ridings, that the Conservatives were not out there and not going to forums. I can’t say that about Mr. Sorenson. He was at every forum we were invited to, Ms. Parker as well.”
While he ran as a candidate, he is conservative by nature, and feels a conservative majority is healthy.
“I still don’t like Steven Harper. I even said at the forum, ‘if Steven Harper wasn’t the boss, I would vote for Kevin Sorenson,'” he said.
Across Canada, voter turnout was higher than the 2008 election with 61 per cent of eligible voters casting a ballot. In Crowfoot, turnout was 59.6 per cent, up from 55 per cent.