Sunday, July 30, 2006

What Albertans Want From Their Next Premier

In May 2003 I helped commission a Discrete Choice Modelling (DCM) survey to determine what would be the most postive and negative values and attributes Albertans would be looking for in their next leader/premier. We asked a scientifically valid sample about what preparation a person should have for the task, somethings about a vision for Alberta, the level of education required, some personal qualities, communications skills and attibutes about a leader as change agent. I think the results are likely still valid today.

This research technique is not opinion polling. It is a Nobel Prize winning technique that measures relative preferences in values and attributes. We all make trade offs in competing values and hold some values and beliefs more intensly than others. DCM measures those aspects. The results of the attributes we tested we can show what a candidate should be - or not be - to best align with the preferred or less optimal values we tested in the survey.

To start let me give you the survey's least optimal attributes for the next leader of Alberta. If they are academic, focused on Alberta only, are very assertive and self confident, perceived as "media savvy" and a mouth piece following the lead of others, they are not fitting the preferred mould as a positive choice for Alberta's next leader. What candidate best fits this discription?

We will soon be putting these complete survey results on The Policy Channel ( for people to view. Check out the Policy Channel interview with Dr. Earle Snider on the limitations of opinion polling too. Google the DCM technique if you want to know more about it.