Reboot Alberta

Sunday, February 05, 2023


This post is part of the series for Alberta Rebooters to consider their personal situation as we approach our voting decisions in the May general election.

I’ve posted on the importance of elections as a chance for change, and charting our way as citizens in uncharted economic, social and environmental times for Albertans.


Now I am sharing a 4-H framework tool for you to use as you consider what you will be voting for, and why, in the election. The framework starts with what is on your mind, individually, for your family, and your various communities and organizations you connect with. Do you understand why these are concerns for you?  What’s in your Head? 

Then we asked you to consider what is in your Heart about those concerns.  What are your feelings, fears, and sense of what better would look like if you could make changes? Next is to look seriously about what you are doing about pressing for the changes you see as needed.  This is the Hands on part.  What steps are you taking to be, and bring about, the change you want to see?  

The final step in making a better voting decision is about Hope.  What is your big picture view of what the next Alberta could, should and would be if we were effective, engaged, active and aspirational as citizens?  What are the core principles and values we should live by as persons and and as a people?


The top of mind issues in Canada, and I suspect in Alberta as well, are Inflation/Recession, Healthcare, and Housing, and Public Safety is also emerging. So this post will explore how to use the 4H Framework in terms of Economic perceptions and concerns from data in an series of recent national polls. Where are you in relation to the survey data?

Abacus Data finds that perceptions are that 46% of Canadians think the  economy will shrink in the next 12 months. Only 28% believe there will be growth while 26% say it will do neither.  Consumer behavior can be self- fulfilling prophecies.  But add in the fact that 20% of Canadians could only cover one week of expenses, and 43% say they would survive a month from their savings if they lost their job. 

That reality has to be a big Head and Heart driven issue for many Albertans too.  The Leger poll done in the same timeframe shows 48% of Albertans hold cynical pessimistic expectations of future declines in the economy, the most in the country, but not by much.

Leger finds the big personal economic worries are sustained value of investments (64% - Albertans 71%), safety of savings (61% - Albertans 68%), able to pay bills (53% - Albertans 60%), carrying credit card debt (46% - Albertans 53%) and ability to meet mortgage payments (40% - Albertans 42%).

As for our sense of a recession, a year ago 34% of Albertans said we were definitely in a recession, and now 30% believe that to be true.  Asked Iif we are probably already in a recession, a year ago 63% believed that, while now 74% perceive that to be the case.  Again, the highest numbers in the country.


Most of these issues are global in nature and way beyond the scope of governments to do much about,  them other than to help with adaptations and mitigation.  But we should expect some pragmatic, honest and actionable strategies from the Alberta political parties for us, as independent citizens, to evaluate, support or reject with our ballots this election.

So are these worries your worries too, on a personal and on a bigger picture level?  As individuals all we can do is adapt our discretionary spending and seek more revenue through wages and otherwise.  We may have to reduce our personal investment risk and look at other behavioral changes to meet our fiscal obligations.

Of course there are many more concerns about healthcare, education, public safety, uncertainty over climate change and energy transition impacts on Alberta jobs, to name a few.

I hope this information is helpful in your efforts to focus on your 4H process in your Citizen’s Journey. So stay tuned, stay attuned, tune up your citizenship and do not tune out!  There are Authoritarian forces organizing to take over Alberta this election. 

Our democracy is at risk.  Use it or lose it.

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