The central narrative of the Wildrose Party was this: The PC Party had once been the natural governing party of Alberta, representing its core values of conservatism and individualism. But their long years in power had caused them to become arrogant and lose their political/moral compass, abandoning the principles of fiscal restraint, an unfettered market, and individual liberties. The Wildrose Party offered a chance to sweep out the cobwebs and realign Alberta leadership with the true spirit of Alberta.
The Wildrose's efforts to stake a claim to the historical ideology of the PC Party were matched with an all-out campaign to appropriate the language of consensus for itself. There's a long tradition in Alberta politics in which successful parties have hitched their wagons to an Albertan identity that is typically portrayed as cohesive, unique within Canada, and often in opposition to the rest of the country. Political language in Alberta is shot through with references to "Alberta values". And it was clearly the goal of the Wildrose Party to become linked in the minds of voters with these self-evident "Alberta values".
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What was striking was the sheer frequency with which the Wildrose campaign bandied about the words Alberta and Albertans, as in "What Albertans want…" or "We're putting Albertans first." This occurred far more often than in any of the other parties' campaigns. In fact, the further left you moved on the political spectrum, the less often the words seemed to appear. Where, for instance, the Wildrose's Danielle Smith might talk about policies that would benefit Albertans and Alberta families, the leader of the left-wing New Democrats was more likely to talk about "ordinary folks" and "regular families". This suggests the words were being used not in their denotational sense (that is, for the purpose of referring to people who live in Alberta) so much as in their connotational sense (for the purpose of setting off the usual mental vibrations that are triggered upon hearing the word Alberta).
Most interesting is Redivy's prediction, based on a class experiment, that the adjectival qualities associated with being stereotypically "Albertan"--"'self-reliant, conservative, cowboys, hard-working, maverick, entrepreneurial, oilpatch' and so on"--may soon stop being relevant. Is Albertan exceptionalism thus doomed?