Alberta's nasty election is only a sign of things to come - 2019-04-12
Duane Bratt is a political science professor and chair, Department of Economics, Justice, and Policy Studies, at Mount Royal University in I am usually skeptical about the oft-made claims that any given election is the nastiest ever. What metrics are being used? Were other campaigns examined in detail? For instance, Alberta's 1935 election, fought amid the Great Depression, and the 1944 battle between the Social Credit Party and the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation were hardly walks in the park.
But this year's provincial election lives up to that billing for Albertans.
Candidates have had to withdraw or apologize for racist, homophobic or misogynist comments from their past. There have been large-scale rallies on issues such as gay-straight alliances and the federal Bill C-69, which would rewrite many of Canada's industrial regulations, including the way capital projects such as pipelines are assessed. Social media has turned into even more of a cesspool than usual. Campaign signs have been defaced with vile language. Candidates from multiple conservative parties are raising the spectre of Alberta separatism. The RCMP is investigating the 2017 leadership race of the United Conservative Party (UCP).