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less than 50 per cent of the popular vote.8 In Alberta (and since 2006 at the federal level), anti-democratic ten- dencies have been increasingly manifest. As described in greater detail 60 Angela V. Carter and Anna Zalik in chapter 17, this is visible in the government’s punitive responses to critics, its clientelist practices, its restriction of access to decision-mak- ing processes, its withholding of information from the public,9 and the constraints placed on opposition parties, as well as the previously refer- enced distortions of the electoral system (see

, has generated private-sector employment and revenue for the state that is not dependent on the typical fiscal structure of income, corporate, and other revenue sources. In addition, a range of institutional factors have helped to keep Alberta’s ruling party in power, extending from the first-past-the-post electoral system (Soron 2005) to the petro-state practices described in other chapters in this volume. This is not to say that there was no opposition to the authoritarian-populist and neolib- eral Klein governments; dissent was voiced by university

’s model of development is not as solid as the PCs’ forty-four- year rule suggests. First, the first-past-the-post electoral system plays an important role in creating the false perception that Albertans are homogenously conservative. In fact, as the polling data we have re- viewed indicate, many of the policies of Alberta’s government do not align with public opinion. Combined with vote splitting among mul- tiple left-of-centre parties, the FPTP system has permitted the PCs to win a majority of seats in every legislative assembly since 1971. In the twelve

workers) and the judici- ary (e.g., rulings on Aboriginal land claims and traditional or treaty rights); • design of institutions (such as the electoral system, party financing rules) and decision-making processes (degree of government se- crecy, creation and constitution of quasi-judicial regulatory bodies such as the Energy Resources Conservation Board or its successors) in such a way as to systematically protect and privilege the interests and priorities of the ruling party and its core constituency; • patron-client practices (employing political control over

site of political struggle. Opposition by social movements to the oil sands is a material chal- lenge as well as a cultural one. Social movement organizations of all the types identified above are far more poorly resourced than their in- dustry or government counterparts. The difficulty in communicating alternatives may also be a sign that media outlets are not receptive to strong critiques of the oil sands. Connected to this problem are demo- cratic deficits in terms of the first-past-the-post electoral system, an ag- gressively pro-development government, and

consequences of productivist ethics and behaviours have been silenced, marginalized, or Green Consumerism 103 ignored. It is not unlikely that our increasingly more formalized and managed electoral system, polarized world, growing cultural homoge- nization, and impending ecological disaster are the unintended conse- quences of our passivity. The message is clear in the passage from Seymour and Girardet (1987), with its action verbs, staccato of simple sentences, use of the present tense to indicate possession, and repetition of key concepts - know, will, act. For those who