Column: An election for the record books

There have been stories from all over the country about difficulties in voting.

There have been stories from all over the country about difficulties in voting — voter information card errors, strange polling centre changes, long time voters not listed — it goes on and on.

One explanation is that the early election call caught Elections Canada off guard and it took a while to get organized.

I don’t remember anything quite like it and the continuing news of glitches is making some voters uneasy.

In our 148 years as a country, this is our first real three-party election race.

It’s also the first time social media has played a big part, especially for the candidates who had to step down because of past comments on Facebook or Twitter.

The wannabe candidate who relieved himself in his customer’s coffee mug is a different matter, but I do have a problem with candidates being dumped because of something they said years ago. Why not let the voters decide?

Along with being the longest campaign in Canadian history, this is also the most costly, some say at least twice as much as a traditional campaign.

Taxpayers not only pay for the extra Election Canada costs, we reimburse the parties, and donors, for a good chunk of their campaign costs. That could be more than $125 million extra.

None of this seems to have stopped a record number of voters from showing up at the advance polls, or maybe it’s the reason they are.

***

The weirdest political story of the week wasn’t federal, it came from Alberta. According to the Globe and Mail, Wildrose Opposition MLA and Finance Critic Derek Fildebrandt accused Premier Rachel Notley of “duping” the public by keeping a campaign promise to raise the minimum wage.

He claims the NDP only made the promise during the election campaign because they didn’t expect to be elected. Apparently he feels they had no right to enact it just because they were. That’s a new one.

Diana French is a freelance columnist for the Tribune. She is a former Tribune editor, retired teacher, historian, and book author.

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