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Old 12-27-2012, 08:12 PM
 
Location: northern Vermont - previously NM, WA, & MA
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OK it's no secret to Americans that Alberta is a fairly conservative province. So for the sake of curiosity in Canadian politics just how conservative is Alberta say compared to parts of the American heartland or South? Also, are Saskatchewan and Manitoba considered conservative by Canadian or American standards?
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Old 12-27-2012, 08:37 PM
 
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
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I would say AB's politics are comparable to those of Vermont.
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Old 12-27-2012, 08:58 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caphillsea77 View Post
OK it's no secret to Americans that Alberta is a fairly conservative province. So for the sake of curiosity in Canadian politics just how conservative is Alberta say compared to parts of the American heartland or South? Also, are Saskatchewan and Manitoba considered conservative by Canadian or American standards?
A couple of facts. Ontario put more conservative MPs in the HoC than Alberta. Calgary has an effeminate Liberal Muslim mayor, their last two mayors were also Liberal. Alberta just elected their first Liberal Premiere who was a lawyer for the United Nations. Saskatchewan also has a conservative provincial government and they also sent a whole whack of Conservatives to Ottawa.

So other than the usual amount of pick-up trucks, the oil industry and the Calgary Stampede, Calgary really isn't as "conservative" as the rest of Canada makes it out to be.
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:06 AM
 
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I think basically a Consertive here is not a Republican down south. Likewise a Liberal or NDP here is not a Democrat there. If anything is probably easier to compare Conservatives here and those in Australia.
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Old 12-28-2012, 02:48 AM
 
Location: Alberta, Canada
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Originally Posted by tero View Post
I think basically a Consertive here is not a Republican down south.
Agree.

Our Conservatives are in favour of gun control, government health care, and abortion on demand. Religion plays no part in their politics. Jesus is just another historical figure whom politicians do not call upon when setting policy. In fact, if a Canadian politician from any party invoked Jesus, I'd think that it would be a sure way to lose the election.
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Old 12-28-2012, 08:45 AM
 
Location: northern Vermont - previously NM, WA, & MA
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Originally Posted by ChevySpoons View Post
Agree.

Our Conservatives are in favour of gun control, government health care, and abortion on demand. Religion plays no part in their politics. Jesus is just another historical figure whom politicians do not call upon when setting policy. In fact, if a Canadian politician from any party invoked Jesus, I'd think that it would be a sure way to lose the election.
So then what would you say are the most poignant conservative values in Canadian politics?

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Originally Posted by youthinkso View Post
Saskatchewan also has a conservative provincial government and they also sent a whole whack of Conservatives to Ottawa.
What separates SK politically compared to liberal politicians from othere provinces?
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Old 12-28-2012, 09:52 AM
 
Location: Oakville, ON
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Originally Posted by caphillsea77 View Post
So then what would you say are the most poignant conservative values in Canadian politics?



What separates SK politically compared to liberal politicians from othere provinces?
Conservatism is Canada is usually associated with fiscal conservatism and right-leaning economic policies. There are many members of the party who hold conservative views on social issues like abortion and gay marriage - and there members from time to time to re-open the debate on these issues. Most Canadians are uninterested in changing the status quo on either issue - regardless of their personal views.

The Harper government has done their best to distance themselves from conservative social policies - because there is little chance they would win a Canadian election if their true views were brought to the forefront. It took several terms as a minority government for Harper to prove he wasn't the hard-right boogeyman the media had portrayed him to be earlier in the decade.

Saskatchewan is a bit of a different breed. I would describe the rural population to be more socially conservative than most of Canada - even Alberta, however they generally vote heavily NDP for a few reasons:

1. Tommy Douglas - The leader of the old CCF party (now NDP), and the creator of universal healthcare hailed from Saskatchewan. Right or wrong, he is viewed by many as a Canadian icon - and the NDP party roots are still very firmly planted in SK for this reason.

2. High concentration of government and co-operative workers. I do business with several folks from Sask - earlier in the decade I heard a quote from one of them. "Everyone here knows how bad the NDP is, but nobody will vote against them because they, or somebody in their family works for the government". Also much of the agricultural and potash production has been controlled or heavily influenced by government.

3. Prevailing attitude of distrust towards "Conservative" political parties due to the actions of the Grant Devine government. Grant Devine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 12-28-2012, 11:34 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Liberated in TO View Post
Saskatchewan is a bit of a different breed. I would describe the rural population to be more socially conservative than most of Canada - even Alberta, however they generally vote heavily NDP for a few reasons:

1. Tommy Douglas - The leader of the old CCF party (now NDP), and the creator of universal healthcare hailed from Saskatchewan. Right or wrong, he is viewed by many as a Canadian icon - and the NDP party roots are still very firmly planted in SK for this reason.

2. High concentration of government and co-operative workers. I do business with several folks from Sask - earlier in the decade I heard a quote from one of them. "Everyone here knows how bad the NDP is, but nobody will vote against them because they, or somebody in their family works for the government". Also much of the agricultural and potash production has been controlled or heavily influenced by government.

3. Prevailing attitude of distrust towards "Conservative" political parties due to the actions of the Grant Devine government. Grant Devine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
NDP? Not any more. That time has come and gone in Saskatchewan.
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:41 PM
 
Location: Alberta, Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liberated in TO View Post
Conservatism is Canada is usually associated with fiscal conservatism and right-leaning economic policies. There are many members of the party who hold conservative views on social issues like abortion and gay marriage - and there members from time to time to re-open the debate on these issues. Most Canadians are uninterested in changing the status quo on either issue - regardless of their personal views.
Agree with this also. Conservatism in Canada is typified by its economic approach: reduce government spending, cut taxes, and so on. Even when it does touch on areas of social policy, there is usually an economic reason--if Conservatives cut or reduce a social program of some sort, it is generally more due to its cost than any ideological reason. Note that ideology may play a part in the decision, but I'd suggest that cost questions play a larger one.

That being said, the OP asked about Alberta. It is true that in southern Alberta especially, you will find a number of people who hold views comparable to people in the American heartland or the South: they are quite religious and don't mind telling you about it (there are many Mormons and Fundamentalist Christians), they are anti-abortion, against gay marriage, and to a degree, anti-gun control. Most of the Wildrose Party (a political party comparable or slightly to the right of Republicans in the US) MLAs in the provincial legislature represent ridings in southern Alberta.

But they have little influence on the big questions, which tend to be addressed by either by Parliament or the Supreme Court. There is no law regarding abortion on the books, and Parliament is unlikely to put one in place--it would be political suicide for the government who tried to restrict abortion. Similarly, gay marriage was addressed by the Supreme Court, which found it to be okay in all provinces. This doesn't stop southern Albertans from writing angry letters-to-the-editor on these issues, but that's about all they can do.

Still, southern Alberta is not as Puritan as one might think. You'll find bars and liquor stores in just about every town, and Lethbridge hosts a strip club and a casino. The fundamentalist religiosity is tempered by more moderate Christian churches, Jewish synagogues, and even Muslim mosques. There are openly gay people, and an annual Pride festival in Lethbridge. It may not be socially-liberal Toronto, Montreal, or Vancouver; but it is definitely not the hotbed of intolerance and narrow-mindedness that many think.
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Old 12-28-2012, 05:19 PM
 
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I think Canadians are using old stereotypes about American politics. The US just elected a president who is to the left of your PM. We now have numerous states that legalized marijuana and same sex marriage. Given the demos,the US will be more liberal than Canada very soon.
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