Monday, October 23, 2006

What are the Most Important Policy Issues Facing the New PC Leader as Premier?

Policy Channel has decided to gather some data on what are the priority issues and directions Albertans want to see their next government take. We have designed a survey that will ask you to decide the most and least important issue from a varied set of social, economic and environmental issues facing Alberta today.

This will give the next leader/Premier (whomever that may be) some insight into what Albertans see as the most and least important issues and priorities to be tackled in the next short time before a general election is called.

This is not an opinion poll. It forces you to make hard choices, most of which you will not like, because most every issue is important. The issues is how important. You will have to make tradeoffs and determine what issues really drive your policy preferences and priorities. The point of the survey is that the new Progressive Conservative leader is also going to be Premier. He will need to get the Alberta ship of state off the sand bar it as been stuck on for the past few years and get on with governing. Easy to say but not easy to do if you do not have an inkling of what it is Albertans want done by their new Premier as top priorities.

The PC leadership is not an election so it is difficult to say the leadership results are a political mandate and a policy agenda. This survey will help identify and may even influence that policy agenda based on what Albertans say in the results.

This is web based so it is not scientific mostly because it lacks the built in randomness of polling models. However it has some validity because those who show up and take the time to do it are the kind of citizens who are likely to be opinion leaders, engaged and active in civic affairs with some well thought out opinions on issues. If that is you – please take a few moments and do the survey. You may be helping to set the political agenda for the next while at least.

Policy Channel will publish the survey results very week during the campaign and will show the trends and changes in opinions of those people who showed up. If some group wants to “invade” the site and try to skew the survey, the rest of us will get a sense of that and can respond. We can ignore the skewed results and risk that they may be given credibility by the next leader. Or we can “unskew” the results by encouraging others in our spheres of influence to get there opinions and choices reflected by taking the survey.

We also ask you to consider how likely it is or isn’t for you to recommend the candidates to someone. This is not asking how you would vote but to what degree you would recommend a candidate to someone else. Should be interesting how that unfolds as well.

Go to Policy Channel and find the survey in the top left corner of the home page.