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Public Attitudes Toward Budget Cuts in Alberta: Biting the Bullet or Feeling the Pain?

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  • Karen D. Hughes
  • Graham S. Lowe
  • Allison L. McKinnon

Abstract

This paper examines public responses to the Alberta government's deficit elimination strategy. Using data from the province-wide 1995 Alberta Survey (N=1240), we examine how individuals have been affected by, and are responding to, cutbacks and restructuring in health care, education, and public sector employment. Public attitudes about government cost-cutting are contradictory. While most respondents support the government's deficit elimination strategy, they express considerable concern about its impact on public services. Experiencing cutbacks somewhat erodes the Klein government's electoral support, though not as much as the perception that cost cutting is undermining public services. The paper raises several key public policy issues regarding the individual and social dimensions of deficit elimination, especially when this fiscal policy is linked to a broader "new right" agenda as is the case in Alberta.

Suggested Citation

  • Karen D. Hughes & Graham S. Lowe & Allison L. McKinnon, 1996. "Public Attitudes Toward Budget Cuts in Alberta: Biting the Bullet or Feeling the Pain?," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 22(3), pages 268-284, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpp:issued:v:22:y:1996:i:3:p:268-284
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    Cited by:

    1. Belanger Yale D. & Williams Robert J., 2011. "Neoliberalism as Colonial Embrace: Evaluating Alberta's Regulation of First Nations Gaming, 1993-2010," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 13(4), pages 1-36, December.

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