In every riding in the province candidates ran for election. Some (okay, most of these candidates) sought the endorsement of a non-democratic institution called a political party. Political Parties are big powerful interest groups that have a large influence on democratic results. One representation of this power is that many jurisdictions print the party's name under the candidate's on a given ballot for the purposes of simplicity and transparency. However, they are not being elected; their nominated candidates are. In each of Alberta's 83 electoral districts people went to the poll and they voted for which of the CANDIDATES on the ballot would best represent the people of that riding in Edmonton. Now, granted ONE of the considerations when deciding on which candidate to elect is which party they belong to. However, things like name recognition, view of the candidate (ie did you like them when they were at your door), candidate's position on local and provincial issues, etc. also factor into the decision. After each voter in each electoral district had made this calculus the votes were counted. In SMP votes are counted as follows.
- Votes at each polling station are separated by candidate into piles and tabulated.
- The results from all the polls are added together.
- The candidate with the most votes (or a "plurality") is declared the winner and becomes the elected MLA for the riding.
Where does the popular vote fit into all this you ask? Well, it doesn't. At no time were Albertans asked which party they wished to govern the province. They were asked one question and one question only: Which of the candidates would best represent your riding in Edmonton? That's it. That's the question SMP answers, and it answers it well. If you want to ask the electorate a different question, fine. However, don't expect SMP to provide the answer to a question it doesn't ask.