A prominent feature of the outcome of last October’s federal election was regional polarization. In Saskatchewan and Alberta, two thirds of voters supported the Conservatives, giving them 98 per cent (47 out of 48) seats in those two provinces, while in the rest of the country the Conservatives won barely a quarter of the seats. In this issue, Inroads takes a deeper look at some of the aspects of this
regional difference.

Geoff Salomons and Daniel Béland explore one of the most striking aspects of Alberta’s distinct political culture: its ongoing rejection of a sales tax, which every other province and the federal government have implemented. Click to read Is the Alberta Advantage really an advantage?

Stephen Bird draws on survey data collected by the Positive Energy Project at the University of Ottawa, with which he is affiliated, to determine the extent of regional polarization on issues of energy and the environment. In his piece Energy and Canada’s Polarized Regions, he concludes that different regional attitudes, based as they are in differences of geography and infrastructure, are likely to persist – as, indeed, is Alberta’s unique attitude toward a sales tax, despite strong economic arguments in favour of such a tax.