Book cover image for: Orange Chinook: Politics in the New Alberta

Orange Chinook: Politics in the New Alberta

Edited by Duane Bratt, Keith Brownsey, Richard Sutherland, and David Taras

$36.99 CAD / $36.99 USD (S)

464 pages, 58 illustrations

6 x 9 inches

978-1-77385-025-2 (Paperback)

978-1-77385-027-6 (Institutional PDF)

978-1-77385-028-3 (ePub)

978-1-77385-029-0 (mobi)

January 2019

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About the Book

The first scholarly analysis of the unprecedented NDP victory in the 2015 Alberta Provincial Election, paying special attention to the details of party campaigns and economic and social factors unique to Alberta politics.

In 2015, the New Democratic Party won an unprecedented victory in Alberta. Unseating the Progressive Conservatives—who had won every provincial election since 1971 they formed an NDP government for the first time in the history of the province.

Orange Chinook is the first scholarly analysis of this election. It examines the legacy of the Progressive Conservative dynasty, the PC and NDP campaigns, polling, and online politics, providing context and setting the stage for the unprecedented NDP victory. It highlights the importance of Alberta’s energy sector and how it relates to provincial politics with focus on the oil sands, the carbon tax, and pipelines.

Examining the NDP in power, Orange Chinook draws on Indigenous, urban, and rural perspectives to explore the transition process and government finances and politics. It explores the governing style of NDP premier Rachel Notley, paying special attention to her response to the 2016 Fort McMurray wildfire and to the role of women in politics.

Orange Chinook brings together Alberta’s top political watchers in this fascinating, multifaceted analysis.

About the Editors

Duane Bratt is professor and chair in the Department of Economics, Justice, and Policy Studies at Mount Royal University.

Keith Brownsey is a professor in the Department of Economics, Justice, and Policy Studies at Mount Royal University.

Richard Sutherland is an associate professor in the Department of Economics, Justice, and Policy Studies at Mount Royal University.

David Taras holds the Ralph Klein Chair in Media Studies at Mount Royal University.

With Contributions By: Duane Bratt, Janet Brown, Keith Brownsey, Brad Clark, Roger Epp, Ron Kneebone, Sheridan McVean, Chaseten Remillard, Peter Ryan, John Santos, Anthony Sayers, Gillian Steward, David Stuart, Richard Sutherland, Kevin Taft, David Taras, Melanee Thomas, Graham White, Lori Williams, Jame Wilt, Deborah Yedlin, and Jennifer Zwicker

Praise for Orange Chinook:

A useful baseline for considering the future of Alberta politics.

—Trevor Harrison, AlbertaViews

Orange Chinook in the Media

Can the Past Predict the Future of Alberta Election, CityNews

An NDP Orange Chinook: Can It Happen Again?, CityTV Breakfast Television

Duane Bratt on New Book Orange Chinook: Politics in the New Alberta, CBC Radio Canada

Orange Chinook: Politics in the New Alberta on Global News

In Alberta, The NDP Has Become the Rachel Party, The Star

How the 2015 Election Changed Alberta Politics, No Matter What Happens in 2019, CBC News

The Election Campaign Kickoff on the Press Gallery Podcast, The Edmonton Journal

How Politician’s Marketing Strategies Could Impact the 2019 Alberta Election, Global News

If Kinney Wins, Be Ready for a BC—Alberta Trade War, The Tyee

Orange Chinook: Politics in the New Alberta Explores Reasons for 2015 NDP Win,

Table of Contents


I. Setting the Scene

Introduction: Out of an Orange-Coloured Sky
Richard Sutherland

II. The Tory Fall and the NDP Victory

Politics, Alberta Style The Rise and Fall of the Progressive Conservatives, 1971-2015
David Taras

Death of a Dynasty: The Tories and the 2015 Election
Duane Bratt

Ready for Rachel: The Alberta NDP’s 2015 Campaign
Melanee Thomas

Marginally Better: Polling in the 2015 Alberta Election
Janet Brown and John B. Santos

Alberta Politics Online: Digital Retail Politics and Grassroots Growth, 2006-16
Peter Malachy Ryan

III. Oil Sands, Carbon Tax, and Pipelines

Betting on Bitumen: Lougheed, Klein, and Notley
Gillian Steward

The Politics of Alberta’s Carbon Tax
Kevin Taft

Notley: The Accidental Pipeline Advocate
Deborah Yedlin

IV: The NDP in Power

After Forty-Four Years: The Alberta New Democrats and the Transition to Government
Keith Brownsey

Fiscal Constraints on the Orange Chinook
Ron Kneebone and Jennifer Zwicker

Beyond the "Lovey-Dovey Talk:" The Orange Chinook and Indigenous Activism
Brad Clark

Alberta’s Cities under the NDP
James Wilt

The End of Exceptionalism: Post-rural Politics in Alberta
Roger Epp

V: Notley’s Governing Style

A League of Their Own: Alberta’s Women Party Leaders
Lori Williams

Notley and the Beast: An Analysis of the Crisis Communication of Rachel Notley During the 2016 Wildfire
Chaseten Remillard and Sheridan McVean

VI: Alberta’s Future Political System

What’s Past is Prologue: Ontario 1990 and Alberta 2015
Graham White

Anthony M. Sayers and David K Stewart


Alberta Voter Turnout, 1975-2015
Party Votes in the 5 May 2015 Alberta Provincial Election
Non-Renewable Resource Revenues Tales, 2005-6 to 2017-18
GDP Expenditure-Based, 2005-16
Provincial Per Capita Expenditure-Based Spending, 2005-16
Provincial Population, 2005-17
Alberta Provincial Revenues and Expenditures, 2007-17
Alberta Provincial Government Per Capita Health Expenditure, 2008-17
Alberta Provincial Government Health Expenditure, 2008-17