STRATHMORE — Sitting in Strathmore’s TraveLodge Hotel on May 2, it was tough tell if one was watching a federal election or the Stanley Cup final.
Polling numbers were thrown around like game scores and there was plenty of cheering throughout the evening. One couple even jumped on top of a table and started dancing — overall, it was quite a party.
In the end, Conservative MP Kevin Sorenson was declared the Crowfoot constituency’s clear winner, taking over 83 per cent of the popular vote. NDP member Ellen Parker finished second with just over 9 per cent o. Konrad Schellenberg, Omar Harb, John C. Turner and Gerard Groenendijk also received some of the over-50,000 votes, which were cast within the constituency.
“This is sweet, this is fantastic — the life of a politician,” said an energized Sorenson, following his acceptance speech. “It’s not just about winning locally, but we’ve been accepted across the country in good numbers.”
The Conservatives won their first majority government under Prime Minister Stephen Harper, taking 167 seats. For Sorenson, it’s the fifth consecutive time he’s been elected.
“The first time was sweet because I was elected,” Sorenson said. “This is just as sweet or sweeter because we have a majority government.
“We have a prime minister who has shown his hard work has paid off and the hard work of the Conservative Party has paid off. I believe as much the prime minister has shone as prime minister in a minority government, he will blossom in a majority because he will be able to deliver what our government stands for.”
The NDP party finished second with 102 seats, followed by the Liberals with 34. Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe stepped down after his party won only four seats. Green Party leader Elizabeth May fared much better, winning her party’s only seat.
This year’s federal election may be remembered for the New Democrats sudden rise in popularity, as the party had received only29 votes in the 2008 federal election. Sorenson called the NDP a “different kind of opposition,” and said Canadians now have a much clearer choice.
He mentioned foreign policy, agriculture, and gun registry as areas where the two parties would have very different opinions. Sorenson added the Conservatives would continue their plan to keep taxes low to get the country out of its economic recession.
The Crowfoot riding is one of the largest political territories in Canada. It extends 43,759 square kilometers and includes Chestermere, Langdon, Strathmore and Drumheller.