Have Albertans Given the Stelmach Government a Free Ride?

October 9, 2008 :: Bridget Pastoor, MLA
Moderated by Trevor Page

At the last Alberta general election, only 41% of registered voters exercised their right to vote – an historical low for the province. Although those that voted gave the Stelmach government a massive majority of 86 percent of the seats at the Legislature, the mandate, in fact, came from less than one-quarter of the electorate.

This questions the health of democracy in Alberta. Low turnout at the polls is symptomatic of a serious lack of commitment by the electorate. Voter apathy may have been helped by years of domination of Conservative governments and a perceived lack of viable alternatives.

If informed public debate is the lifeblood of democracy, the time may have come to consider reforming our political process. How can we ensure that issues of concern to Albertans are subjected to rigorous debate at the Legislature before they become the law of the land?

Speaker: Bridget Pastoor MLA

Bridget Pastoor was elected to her second term as the MLA for Lethbridge-East on March 3, 2008. She currently serves as a member of the Privileges and Elections, Standing Orders and Printing Committee and as deputy chair of the Standing Committee on Health. In addition, she serves as the Official Opposition Deputy Whip, the Shadow Minister for Seniors and Community Supports, the Shadow Minister for International and Intergovernmental Relations, and the Shadow Minister for Municipal Affairs. Ms. Pastoor is also Deputy Leader of the Alberta Liberal Party.

Prior to entering provincial politics, Bridget served as an alderwoman on Lethbridge City Council from 1998 to 2004.

Ms Pastoor began her career with Air Canada. After raising three children, she returned to school and graduated from Lethbridge College as a registered nurse, later qualifying as a geriatric specialist from Grant MacEwan. Bridget worked as an RN at the Edith Cavell care centre from 1990 to 2004.

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