According to survey results, about three-quarters of Albertans believe the federal government is ignoring issues important to them. new poll.
A report released Friday by the Angus Reid Institute (ARI) indicates that 73% of Albertans surveyed feel disillusioned with the federal government.
The report also revealed that the majority of Albertans believe the electoral system is weakening. About 67% of Albertans surveyed think the equal application of the rule of law is on the decline, and 58% think elections are no longer as free and fair as they used to be.
Albertans are also more likely to think the current system of government is broken: about 61% of Albertans surveyed disagree that Canada’s system of government works.
The results reflect a national trend of disengagement and frustration with the state of Canadian democracy. The ARI revealed that Canadians believe that partisanship and politics can prevent cooperation between political parties. This sentiment is highest in the conservative core of the country, which includes Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
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“People often talk about political division. This often manifests as regional division,” said ARI Executive Director Shachi Kurl. the Shaye Ganam Show Friday morning. “There is a significant disengagement. Not surprisingly, it is highest in Alberta and Saskatchewan.
The report comes against the backdrop of the Coutts, Alberta protest at the border crossing, which is now entering its seventh day. The protest against COVID-19 health measures has drawn mixed reactions from politicians on both sides of the Alberta legislature.
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Prime Minister Jason Kenney previously slammed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for his “dividing comments” on the truck convoy, saying protesters have the right to express their views safely and legally.
Meanwhile, Alberta NDP Opposition Leader Rachel Notley condemned the protest in a statement on Tuesday, calling protesters at the border crossing a ‘fringe group’ that has held the Coutts border crossing hostage. .
Lori Williams, an associate professor in the Faculty of Political Science at Mount Royal University, said the report’s findings aren’t particularly surprising, especially at this time. She said more and more Albertans are disillusioned with the provincial government because of the lack of compromise between the UCP and the NDP.
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“Many people who might try to moderate or reach these divisions are increasingly choosing to escalate hostility for their own benefit. We see this happening on both sides,” Williams said.
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The polarization of protests is also fueling and motivating protesters to continue, Williams said. She cited Kenney’s decision to lift the Restrictions Exemption Program (REP) by the end of February as an example.
“It’s going to alienate him from… (many) Albertans by basing his policy on the protesters and not the health experts,” William said.
“He doesn’t want this protest going on when the leadership contest opens. He wants that in his rear view mirror.
The divide can also pose a challenge to any politician trying to bridge that gap, but Williams said it’s a difficult problem to solve.
“It’s very difficult to keep anger and frustration under control,” she said. “On the other hand, when cooler heads and voices speak, they don’t get the same kind of attention. There is no incentive to be more political.
“Democracy requires compromise. It requires being willing to respect the rights and freedoms of others and to respectfully disagree with one another. That’s not what’s happening. »
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But Williams also said it was particularly difficult to reach a compromise now because of the protest organizers’ alleged ties to white supremacy.
Anti-hate experts have previously claimed that those with white nationalist and Islamophobic views not only represent the fringes of the anti-public health measures movement, but are also among the organizers.
Confederate flags and swastikas have also been displayed on a convoy of truckers in Ottawa in recent days.
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Williams expressed concern that far-right extremism is becoming increasingly prominent in Canada.
“I’m concerned in the short term that this is a bit of a powder keg,” she said.
“It could explode into violence and can be very difficult to deal with and a lot of innocent people could be seriously hurt by it.”
ARI is a national, non-profit, non-partisan public opinion research foundation established to provide unbiased and publicly accessible statistical data on socio-economic issues in Canada.
METHODOLOGY: The Angus Reid Institute conducted an online survey from January 27-31, 2022 with a representative random sample of 1,620 adult Canadian Angus Reid Forum members. For comparison purposes only, a probability sample of this size would have a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding. The survey was self-commissioned and paid for by ARI.
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