Banff National Park (Wikimedia Commons)

Some Albertans feel they have more in common with Americans than Canadians

For some Albertans, it comes down to Trump or Trudeau and Montreal or Montana.

Albertans are split when asked if they have “more in common with Americans than with those in other parts of Canada,” a new Research Co. poll finds.

In an online survey of a representative provincial sample, 43 per cent of Albertans agreed with the statement, while another 43 per cent disagreed – resulting in an even split. Another 14 per cent were undecided.

Almost half of respondents between ages 18 to 34 (47 per cent) and those 55 and older (over 47 per cent) think Albertans have more in common with their neighbours down south than other Canadians. The proportion drops to 37 per cent among respondents between ages 35 and 54.

While a majority of those who voted for the United Conservative Party (UCP) in the last provincial election believe Albertans have more in common with Americans than with other Canadians (56 per cent), only 29 per cent of those who voted for the provincial New Democratic Party (NDP) in last April’s ballot concur.

There’s also the ongoing debate about separation.

Three in 10 Albertans (30 per cent) believe the province would be better off as its own country. This number is five points higher than Research Co. poll numbers from December 2018. About 62 per cent disagree with the separation idea.

“The proportion of Albertans who appear to be flirting with separation has risen,” says Mario Canseco, president of Research Co. “It is important to note that the level of strong disagreement with this statement dropped from 58 per cent in December 2018 to 44 per cent now.”

The separation debate continued on Reddit, when a user asked whether Alberta would be better off as part of the U.S., instead of Canada. Most users disagreed with the idea.

“No thanks – I don’t want to get murdered in a Walmart,” said one user.

“That is an exceptionally stupid idea,” said another user.

Over the weekend, an Alberta separation group held a discussion in Red Deer. Wexit Alberta noted the political and economic interests of the province are completely opposed to the interests of Ontario and Quebec. The speaker noted Ontario has 121 seats in federal parliament, Quebec has 78 and Alberta has 34.

“There are people and entities in Eastern Canada that are willing to take our money and not give us anything in return,” said Wexit Alberta founder Peter Downing.

The results of the poll by Research Co. are based on an online study conducted from July 23 to 25 among 700 adults in Alberta. The data was statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in the province. Margin error is 19 times out of 20.

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