We had 200+ replies from Albertans on the How Do You Feel About Alberta These Days survey. The survey was just a scan on the levels of citizen engagement and commitment to Alberta, by those who participated. I was also curious to compare with results from the same random and representative survey of over 1000 random Albertans in 2009.
This is not a scientifically valid reliable random sampling of Albertans. It is only the opinions of the participants and likely skewed to Progressive and Moderates. It still provides insights into those Albertans.
What We Did and Why
Six questions were in three themes of What do you TELL OTHERS about life in Alberta. Are you likely to REMAIN here, and are you STRIVING to improve Alberta?
What we found was some strongly held concerns about Alberta today, and profoundly different compared to Albertans in 2009. This table compares the Agree and Completely Agreed results
QUESTION 2020 2009
|Tell other great things about living in Alberta||8.3%||69%|
|Strongly recommend living in Alberta to a friend||3.9%||74%|
|It would take a lot to get me to leave Alberta||25.9%||67%|
|I have an intense desire to remain living in Alberta||23.4%||62%|
|I’m committed to improving the future of Alberta||71.7%||66%|
|My actions are making Alberta a better place *||52.6%||57%|
*When you add in the “leaning to agree”, of those who answered the question “My actions are making Alberta a better place.” you get 80% on the positive side.
Without a larger and random sample size, we can’t do a reliable comparative analysis. between 2020 and 2009. The 2020 survey was promoted to Progressives and Moderates (ProMods) through various Facebook Groups.
With over 200 ProMods participating we can glean a sense of how that population segment is saying, feeling, and how committed they are to the Reboot Alberta goal of Building a Better Alberta.
First the Bad
Compared to all Albertans in 2009, Alberta ProMods in 2020 apparently, are not feeling positive nor proud of the place compared to a decade ago. ProMods are very unhappy about Alberta as a place to live these days. The current negative attitude is 57.6% when ProMods talk about Alberta. 73.2% of ProMods would not recommend living in Alberta to friends.
The ProMods’ ties to Alberta appear not to be very strong, in fact, they seem to be markedly weak in 2020. Disagree and Strongly Disagree responses in 2020 to the question, “It would take a lot to get me to leave Alberta” are 47.3%, If you add in those leaning to disagree with the statement you get 67% on the negative side. When the intensity of the desire to remain in Alberta was tested 56.1% of ProMods said they do not have a strong commitment to staying as Albertans.
Next the Good
The ProMods are not prepared to give up on Alberta’s future, at least not just yet. The very positive 71.7% ProMods personal commitment to improving the future of Alberta is the only place where numbers were better than in 2009. Add in the Leaning positive replies on this question and you get an 84% personal level of commitment.
When ProMods consider if their Citizenship efforts are making a positive contribution towards Building a Better Alberta, qt 52.6%, we are not overwhelmed by the positive results of our efforts. If you add those Leaning towards believing they are making a difference in making Alberta better you get 80%.
Then the Ugly
Remember the caution, this 2020 data is not a valid randomized survey sample. It’s only accurate for those 200+, most likely ProMods Albertans who participated.
Part of the 2009 statistically reliable survey we discovered 68% of all Albertans identified themselves as Progressives and-or Moderates. That is likely to remain to be at least the same today. That could mean the 2020 survey, on the feelings about being Albertans today, possibly represents the attitudes of the majority of Albertans. Take that possibility with some caution.
Assuming this 2020 survey is representative of Alberta’s ProMods today, and we are still the majority of Albertans, we have a very distraught population, even greater than in the Financial Crisis of 2009. If Albertans are this negative about the state of the Province, how much serious trouble are we really in? I would say LOTS if ProMod Albertans stay tune out and give up.
In Conclusion, an Alternative Scenario
On the other hand, we ProMods could turn this province around if we seriously take up the challenges of expanding our considerable personal commitment towards making Alberta a better place.
If we apply our citizenship efforts effectively, actively, affirmatively, and strive to make Alberta a better place, we could turn this place around and change everything.
The first four questions in this survey make us draw comparisons to other places and look at or for “greener grass.” The final two Striving questions invite us to look at ourselves and what we aspire for. We are strong on ambition for striving but short on vision and devoid of ProMod leadership.
The current political vision options, that we voted on in April 2019, was for a UCP model to return to the Klein-era Alberta Advantage. The NDP stance, now as the Official Opposition, is about holding on to the Alberta of the present and hope for the best in the future. We’ve ended up with hyper-partisan tribalism.
The Striving alternative is to take the best of the Left and Right, reject each of their ideological pathologies and use some design thinking to face the reality of today and strive to co-create a human-centered better future for Albertans. The mechanism to get started on this does not yet exist. We are going to have to co-create that too.
I personally hold on to hope. My hope is based on the wisdom of Buckminster Fuller when he said: