Wednesday, May 09, 2007

If Only The People Of Alberta Were In Charge

Pembina has released more details of it study on Albertan opinion. I believe the conclusions are powerful, and actually somewhat surprising, given the self-interest factor. While the federal government and provincial government seem to view rapid expansion of the oil sands as a necessary given, the people of Alberta have a different view:
Despite the feverish rate of oil sands expansion, only 28 per cent of Albertans believe that the oil sands should be developed as fast as possible, 67% disagree

The argument of economic ruin if you slow the pace of development doesn't resonate:
Ten times more Albertans believe that oil sands development is occurring “too fast” than believe it is occurring “too slowly.” In total, 53 per cent of Albertans believe that oil sands development is occurring either “a little too fast” or “much too fast.” 35% think the pace is about right.

One of the main concerns of environmental groups, as the greed for oil grows, proper assessment is being fast-tracked. Albertans again, don't share the viewpoint:
Of Albertans surveyed, 71 per cent believe that the Alberta government should suspend new oil sands project approvals until environmental and infrastructure issues have been resolved.

People like Manning and the Fraser Institute argue that government shouldn't interfere with free enterprise. Again, Albertans favor intervention:
Of Albertans surveyed, 74 per cent believe the Alberta Government should play an active role in managing the rate of oil sands development. Only a minority of Albertans believe that it should be up to market forces to decide how fast oil sands should be developed.

Obviously, the tone of the federal and provincial government isn't reflected in the people that it claims to want to protect. Albertans seem entirely mature and responsible in their opinions, which is quite a testament, given the conflicting issues. Apparently, Albertans don't subscribe to the doom and gloom theory, in fact they would appear to agree that growth is too fast. Does government represent the people, or the powerful? Exactly.

6 comments:

Gayle said...

This poll should be given the same weight as any other poll.

That said, I agree in part with the title of your post, only I do not think everyone in this province should be in charge - just me :).

Alberta Report said...

Gayle,

The wrong ones have been in charge for over 30 years. That (hopefully) is about to change. The "new" conservative government here is woefully out of touch with a population that has had a staggering in-migration of people with vastly different views.

These are interesting times in wildrose country.

Kuri said...

Our representatives here in Alberta have never truly represented us, thanks to our archaic FPTP system. A proportional Alberta would have significantly more NDs and Liberals. Most of us know that here, but the media sure loves that cowboy stereotype....

janfromthebruce said...

I think that their polling information appears quite different to who they elect. These are the same people who only vote provincialy and federally conservatives. So I am mystified by the incoherance.

Mark Dowling said...

In a province-wide or other multi-member Senate constituency, maybe a few Liberals might get elected...

Steve V said...

"These are the same people who only vote provincialy and federally conservatives."

It is strange in one sense. I've met some pretty "liberal" Albertans, that you would peg as anti-Conservative in other regions, and yet they voted for Klein.