05 March 2008

Alberta election: is the environment a lost cause?

Monday's election result in Alberta, a major victory for the incumbent Conservatives, wasn't exactly my first choice. Not simply because we elected a Conservative government, but much more importantly because we elected a government that has shown little serious interest in combating global warming. Considering Alberta is Canada's worst polluter, this is definitely not good.

Particularly discouraging is the obvious lack of interest Albertans showed in the issue. Everyone talks about climate change, and Alberta's irresponsible approach to it, yet not only did the electors return the same irresponsible government, almost 60 per cent of them didn't consider the environment or any other issue important enough to drag themselves out to the polls. On the contrary, they collectively decided to set a record for electoral apathy.

This prompts a disturbing question: do Albertans, and perhaps Canadians, take global warming seriously enough to let it affect their vote? Or is it just something to make small talk about? Stephane Dion has promised to make it a major issue in the next federal election. Is he making a big political mistake?

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