Are Alberta Separatists a Passing Fad?

This research by Michael Adam’s Environics Institute on Public Support for Canada’s Political System: Regional Trends” is sobering for thoughtful Albertans.  If you think Alberta Separatists are out of touch, you might want to think again!

This excerpt from the Executive Summary should pique your interest in reading the entire 24-page report.

“More worryingly, satisfaction with democracy and trust in
political actors has declined significantly in Alberta. A decline
was registered on every measure covered in this report,
and in each case, the decline was greater than that in any
other region. The largest declines did not occur immediately
after the start of the recession in the province in late 2014,
however. The data suggest that while Albertans initially
remained hopeful, levels of satisfaction with Canadian
democracy faltered after changes of government at both
the provincial and federal levels in 2015 proved unable to
quickly reverse the province’s economic fortunes.
Because confidence in democracy was previously higher in
Alberta than in the other regions, these declines leave levels
of confidence in Alberta only slightly lower than average.
Thus, while Albertans do not currently stand out as having
significantly lower confidence in the country’s political
system than do other Canadians, they do stand out as the
one region where confidence across a range of measures
has declined sharply in recent years. If the trend continues,
a significant gap in support for the political system will
emerge between Alberta and the rest of Canada.”

By every measure, in the research Alberta is an Outlier.  We are angry, alienated, and distrusting.  For example, we have the lowest level of Pride in Being a Canadian, outside of Quebec.

In 2017, two years into the Trudeau government, 31% of Albertans felt that those who govern this country are interested in what people like me think. In 2019 that dropped to 12%. Between 2017-19 satisfaction with how democracy works in Canada also dropped 19 points.  Trust in elections down 10 points and pride in living in Canada’s political system was down 10 points.

When it comes to Alberta the Research concludes:

“In sum, in Alberta, a decline was registered on every
measure covered in this report, and in each case, the decline
was greater than that in any other region (in fact, in most
cases, confidence in democracy in other regions improved
over this period, with the exception of Atlantic Canada,
which registered several modest declines). Importantly, the
declines are not limited to questions related to party politics
(such as approval of the performance of the prime minister),
but also to those related to support for the political system.”

All looks like fertile soil for Wexit sentiments to me.  No wonder Kenney has hidden the Fair Deal Panel Report from public view?  Lots to think about and more to do!

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