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LETTER: Provincial politics as talking points

(Re: St. Albert MLAs clash over Danielle Smith’s Win) St.
opinion

(Re: St. Albert MLAs clash over Danielle Smith’s win)
St. Albert MLA Marie Renaud, and many other Alberta NDP MLAs, have been using their new talking point regarding Danielle Smith’s UCP leadership victory by stating she was chosen to be leader and premier by just over 1 per cent of the population and just over 50 per cent of the UCP membership. This appears to imply that the NDP is saying that nearly 99 per cent of Albertans did not vote for her.
In the UCP leadership race Premier Smith received 42,423 votes, which would be about 1.5 per cent of Alberta’s total voting age population (as of 2019), thus their talking point is factually correct. 
However, the NDP has apparently neglected to look at their own leader’s vote-receiving history. In the 2014 NDP leadership race, MLA Notley received 2,512 votes, which would have been about 0.1 per cent of Alberta’s total voting age population (as of 2015). In the 2015 general election Premier-Elect Notley received 13,592 votes, about 0.5 per cent of Alberta’s total voting age population (in 2015). In 2019 Premier Notley received 14,724 votes, about 0.5 per cent of Alberta’s total voting age population (in 2019). In fact, since she first ran in 2008 in the riding of Edmonton-Strathcona, MLA Notley has received a grand total of 46,186 votes from her four general elections of 2008, 2012, 2015, 2019, and her NDP leadership race in 2014. Four general elections and one party leadership race has yielded her just 3,763 more votes in 11 years (with many of those likely being repeat voters in subsequent elections), than Premier Smith received on just the one day.
If the NDP is trying to put forward the claim that Premier Smith does not have the support of the vast majority of Albertans, then their own talking point would also prove that MLA Notley has even less support among Albertans. As a talking point it is clear what message they are attempting to get out, but it can very easily be turned back against them to make their own leader appear even worse.

Steven Medhurst, St. Albert