Sunday, June 27, 2010

Alberta Progressive Values Align Well with the Average Albertan

As regular readers and subscribers to this blog know, I am very involved in the Reboot Alberta progressive citizen's movement - amongst other things.  We did a conjoint study of the most important value drivers for the Reboot Alberta community last February.  It was not a random sample of Albertans.  It only surveyed those self identifying and self selecting and there were about 644 of them who participated.     Here is a link to an earlier blog post on the top values that progressive Albertans want to be used by those to whom we give political power and our consent to govern us. 

We have just completed a similar conjoint survey based on the same values as the Reboot Alberta survey, this time it is a random and representative sample of Albertans.  It is a small sample of 535 but the findings are so strong and conclusive, the small sample size is not a concern. 

We did the random survey to see how much the political and public policy value drivers of the overall population of  Alberta aligned with the progressive political thinkers value drivers too. The results show significant similarities and differences too.  Here are the comparisons:

Reboot Survey of Progressives:
  1. Integrity
  2. Honesty
  3. Accountability
  4. Transparency
  5. Environmental Stewardship
Random Survey Results:
  1. Accountability
  2. Integrity
  3. Fiscal Responsibility
  4. Honesty
  5. Transparency
So the real difference is a higher concern for fiscal responsibility in the general population than environmental stewardship in the progressive population.  We know that there is no need to trade off a good economy against environmental stewardship.  They are all an integrated part of the same issue and not in any way mutually exclusive.  So emphasis is slightly difference but the essence is not.  Also very interesting was the total rejection of religion playing any part in political decisions by both survey results.

The progressive political voice is very stifled by the activist social conservative element who are much better organized and overtly engaged in trying to gain political power in the province.  Many of the progressives are jaded, cynical and disengaged in the political culture of the times. As a result we end up not voting and getting politicians with policy objectives that we don't like and political directions that we disdain.  Nobody to blame but ourselves when all is said and done.

With these survey results the progressives can confidently speak their minds and values.  They now know that what they are concerned about how political and public policy decision are being made in Alberta also resonates with the general population.  Progressive have to find a reason to re-engage in the political culture of Alberta.  They have to find their voice and start making it heard.  That is one sure way to return a viable vibrant democracy to the province.  I hope it happens.

Reboot Alberta is a place to come and join in this progressive citizen's movement and to start making your voice heard. 


  1. I totally agree with your comments. If we want to change the direction of our government, we need to put the progressive back into conservatism. Our current governing party seems to be circling the wagons and trying to protect their positions. They should really focus on moving ahead and listening to the electoratem and set policy that moves us ahead, not stagnates us.

  2. john k5:17 pm

    wether social conservatives show up in the survey or not, they do come out and vote when it works for them. note the recent lethbridge federal conservative nomination. Like in the USA, the activists (left or right) get out and vote in the nomination races and force canidates to the (left, right) to win the nomination. most canidates need to cater to the "one that brung em" but to win the election need to move center. socons and old style leffties get better media play and leave progressives and their tale of moderation off of the front pages. Progressives don't truly take the time and effort in nomination races and elections to get their kind in. Too busy golfing, going to the cabin, jogging or recycling to bother with the nuts and bolts of getting out the vote. winning influence to govrn is hard work and progressives spend that hard work time elsewhere. jpk

  3. I like the way you think John K - progressives are their own worst enemy and bear a lot of bloame for how badly we are governed because we fail refuse or neglect to show up at nomination - election time - or even as candidates.

  4. Bruce MacPherson10:42 pm

    If religion is not on the electoral radar, from whence came the bizarre bill that gags teachers when the FACTS of evolution are about to be discussed in a classroom? From a handful of back-room bible thumpers is my guess, which makes me wonder what else is being cooked up.

    As to the apparent lack of zeal of progressives, my guess is we're not self motivated by insecurity, anger, and fear to the same degree or even in the same way. Where a conservative sees socialism, environmental regulation, gay rights etc. as frightening bogeymen to fight, better educated progressives are more dispassionate and rational about the problems they see, and so don't get as much "fire in the belly" about them.


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