red state?

Our glorious and beloved Premier has been speaking in public again… (from the Vancouver Sun)

Can Canada’s oilsands save the U.S. Republicans from defeat this fall in mid-term congressional elections?

Alberta Premier Ralph Klein thinks so and said as much during a private meeting Wednesday with U.S. Vice-President Dick Cheney.

In a bid to persuade Cheney to visit northern Alberta’s oilfields this fall, Klein told him a high-profile trip would help Republicans win votes from Americans worried about buying oil from unstable countries in the Middle East.

Klein’s unusual venture into U.S. election-year politics he called Alberta Canada’s only Republican ”red” province came amid separate appeals for a joint Canada-U.S. energy task force to help accelerate Canadian exports of oil.

”It might be good for American politics, and for the Republican party in the U.S., for the vice-president to visit,” Klein said following a 30-minute meeting with Cheney in his West Wing office at the White House.

”It would be politically wise for him to travel to the oilsands.”

And Cheney’s response?

According to Klein, Cheney ”said that he would try” to reschedule.

Calling Alberta Canada’s “only Republican red province” is flawed in many different ways – calling Alberta Canada’s more conservative province is quite more accurate.

In Michael Adams’Fire and Ice: The United States, Canada, and the Myth of Converging Values,” social additude survey’s taken in all of North America’s regions found that attitudes and values held by Albertans were less traditional and more “liberal” than the United States most “liberal” region – New England – suggesting that though Alberta is Canada’s more conservative province it is far from being a “Republican red province.”

I would predict that if (*heaven forbid*) Alberta were an American state, we’d probably float between moderate Republican and Democratic governments (as opposed to the type of hardcore Christian social conservative Republicans documented in Thomas Frank‘s “What’s the Matter with Kansas“).

As for Dick Cheney’s junket to Fort McMurray helping the Republicans in November’s mid-term elections, I don’t think most Americans would even care (not that it’s likely the Democrats will actually take back the Senate in November 2006 – see the Swing State Project).

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