By Julieanne Acosta, October 6 2022—
Today, the United Conservative Party (UCP) declared Danielle Smith the winner of the leadership race and will be Alberta’s premier designate. This is following previously elected Premier Jason Kenney’s announcement of his resignation back in May.
Candidates for the race were Leela Aheer, Brian Jean, Rajan Sawhney, Rebecca Schulz, Danielle Smith, Todd Loewen and Travis Toews.
Amongst the candidates, Aheer, Schulz, Sawhney and Toews were part of Kenney’s cabinet. It is worth noting that Loewen was also a part of the caucus but was removed after voicing her criticism of Kenney. Whereas, Jean and Smith were leaders of the previously named Wildrose Party which are now merged with the UCP.
Despite the fact the UCP holds a majority in Alberta, voters are only those who are party members. This time around voting was cast by preferential voting ballots. Voters were able to rank their choices from most preferred to least, allowing voters to pick as many or as few candidates as they wanted.
When votes are tallied, the candidate placed as the first choice for more than 50 per cent of the voters is declared the winner. In the case that there is no candidate that reaches that threshold, the lowest-ranking candidate is dropped and those respective ballots are reconsidered by looking at the second-preference listed. The process is repeated until a winner can be named.
To learn more about the UCP, visit their website.