The Texas of the north. Racist rednecks, gun nuts, and pickup truck enthusiasts. That’s the Alberta stereotype portrayed in much of the rest of Canada, but how much of that is accurate and how much is due to lazy media that falls back on clichéd tropes? After all, Alberta gave us the first big-city Muslim mayor, the first provincial cabinet with gender parity, and hell, led the charge for women’s suffragism (okay, that was a century ago, but still…).
Despite the province’s increasingly young and multicultural population, some still believe that the only real Albertan is a conservative Albertan. And that extends to the two men – Jason Kenney and Brian Jean – who inked a proposal to merge the Conservative and Wildrose parties last week. Are they, and their policies, reflective of a new, diverse Alberta?
Joining Omar to unpack Alberta’s multifaceted conservative history is Calgary journalist and author Sydney Sharpe, whose 2016 book, Notley Nation: How Alberta’s Political Upheaval Swept the Country, documented the historic 2015 provincial election which saw the NDP sweep aside the governing Tories after an unprecedented 40-plus-year run.
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