In spring 2019, Alberta experienced the second change in government in just as many elections—something that has never happened before in its history. Later that fall, Albertans shut the federal Liberals out of the province, even as the Liberals won a minority government. Today, there is increased talk of western alienation—a term that has not been in widespread use since the 1990s—and the separatist “Wexit Party” has just registered with Elections Canada. How did we get to this point, and what does this mean for Alberta’s relations with other provinces and the federal government going into the future?
Using publicly-available survey data and her own proprietary database of polls, Ms. Brown will provide an in-depth understanding of the following:
How the NDP were able to defeat the Progressive Conservatives in 2015, after 44 years in power,
How the UCP were able to defeat the NDP despite the popularity of NDP premier Rachel Notley and a string of controversies in the UCP campaign,
The current values and attitudes of Albertans, and whether traditional stereotypes still hold,
The nature of “conservatism” in Alberta, and
Regional alienation and the Wexit separatist movement.
Ms. Brown will also discuss the performance of polls and lessons for interpreting polls in Canada.