More than a third of Western Canadians say they want a different option at the ballot box this federal election year, a new public opinion survey suggests.
For the fourth installment of the Angus Reid Institute’s study on identity, politics and policy in Western Canada, respondents across B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba were asked how they would vote in a federal election involving all of the current federal parties, plus a new, hypothetical “Western Canada Party.”
The survey results, released Tuesday, revealed that 35 per cent of the respondents said they would vote for a “Western Canada Party” in the next election if given the option.
Desire for a western regional political party seems to be rooted in Western Canadians’ belief that the region is treated unfairly by the federal government, the survey says.
Seventy-three per cent of respondents said they think the number of Western Canadians angry about how Ottawa treats their region is on the rise. Overall, 63 per cent of Canadians agreed this is the trend.
While most Canadians (68 per cent) said separatism is an unlikely consequence of the west’s dissatisfaction with the federal government, and that Alberta separating from the rest of Canada is unlikely or “would never happen,” exactly half of Albertans saw separation as a real possibility.
Alberta was also the place where the idea of a Western Canada Party enjoyed its greatest support; 40 per cent in the province say they would vote for such a party.