Recent paper evaluates how party has positioned itself on issues that
matter most to voters
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CALGARY, May 13 /CNW/ - A new paper from The School of Public Policy at
the University of Calgary, examines whether the Wildrose Alliance is
aligned with the political values of Albertans. Dr. Anthony Sayers and
Dr. David Stewart assess the likelihood of the party being able to
achieve electoral victory.
Sayers and Stewart look at voter sentiment in key areas such as western
alienation, social conservatism, environmental issues and the role of
government, among others, and compare these results with the Wildrose's
positions on these issues.
Findings show the Wildrose occupying polarized positions in particular
policy areas, thereby distancing themselves from the majority of
voters. Although, Sayers and Stewart argue that the party, led by its
"articulate and appealing new leader," Danielle Smith, is taking
strides to appear more moderate than in the past.
"The Wildrose Alliance is identifying the central elements of Alberta's
political traditions and claiming to be more in tune with these than
the government," the authors write. "The Alliance must discredit the
Tories' performance on those issues that are seen as central to
politics in Alberta and move aggressively into Tory territory by
presenting itself as more competent and in tune with Albertans."
However, based on their analysis, and an imminent PC leadership change,
the authors conclude that the challenge facing the new party is more
difficult than they may imagine.
"The Wildrose Party must negotiate traditional tensions in Albertan
politics: strong support for individualism yet wide and deep commitment
to public health care and robust government, a north-south divide,
rural-urban tensions and differences in outlook between social and
fiscal conservatives in its ranks and beyond," they write. "At the same
time, the party must appear to be aligned with the populism and western
alienation that run deep in the province."
In considering these obstacles and their own issue proximity analysis,
Sayers and Stewart conclude that the Wildrose would be unable to
attract a large enough base of voters to form government.
The paper can be found by going to www.policyschool.ca, then clicking "latest papers".
/NOTE TO EDITORS: Media Assets accompanying this story are available as
SOURCE University of Calgary - School of Public Policy
For further information:
For more information or to arrange an interview with Anthony Sayers or David Stewart contact: