A More Democratic Alberta: How do we get there?

March 27, 2008 :: Harold Jansen
Moderated by

At the recent Alberta provincial election, a historical low 41% of registered voters exercised their right to vote. In that election, the Progressive Conservative government was re-elected with a massive majority, 72 of the legislature’s 83 seats.

Together, these two developments raise questions about the health of democracy in Alberta. The low turnout indicates a worrying level of disengagement with politics in the province, due possibly to apathy, or to despair or comfort with the government. At the same time, the sheer domination of the government in the legislature raises questions about the ability of our political system to hold the government accountable and a future for opposition and democratic deliberation in Alberta.

The election results indicate that it’s time to take a long hard look at our political practices in Alberta. Should we change the way the provincial legislature works? Is it time to join the ranks of other provinces that have considered changes to their electoral systems? Or should we consider making voting compulsory, as in Australia? Harold Jansen will examine some of the options.

Speaker: Harold Jansen

Harold Jansen is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of
Lethbridge. His teaching and research focus on Canadian and Alberta politics
including political parties and elections.

Date: Thursday, March 27, 2008

Time: Noon - 1:30 PM

Location: Ericksen’s Family Restaurant (lower level of The Keg)
1715 Mayor Magrath Dr. S.
Cost: $10.00 (includes lunch)

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