Students did something amazing yesterday – they decided who would lead our province. Reading through the news this morning it was clear that voter turn out was considerably higher than in 2008 – 57% of eligible voters came out and cast their ballot and everywhere it was clear that young Albertans including students made up a significant part of that improvement. Throughout this campaign we have been talking about how many students are going to come out and vote and you did, we talked to thousands of you on the phone before the polls closed and overwhelmingly you told us you were getting out and voting.
As promised, it was an exciting election. It was a tight race from start to finish and throughout the campaign pundits and politicians talked about how important young Albertans would be to the final result. Regardless of how you voted on Monday I am sure you would agree that our impact was felt. The final tally was far from what any pollster predicted and the next morning saw many in the media comment that it was younger Albertans who made the choice to not only vote, but vote for a party not often associated with students that made the difference.
Students from Alberta are an incredibly diverse group, and their political beliefs cross all ideologies and platforms, and are far from the monolith that is often portrayed. No matter how you voted, I want to say thank you for voting on behalf of all three of our students’ unions and on behalf of the hundreds of volunteers in the campaign. And also a big thank you to those volunteers – without your dedication and effort thousands of students might have missed this great opportunity to be heard.
Students made a difference this election. That makes us powerful.