Citizen Society Research Lab

This report analyzes Albertans’ opinions about six public policy issues, each of which can be conceptualized along a traditional versus progressive dimension.

Overall, Albertans are increasingly inclined to support individual choice on these issues. A majority of Albertans now take a progressive, individual choice position on four of the six items and is evenly split on a fifth, legal recreational marijuana.


The six policy issues: Opinion was measured on the issues of abortion choice, medical marijuana, capital punishment, doctor assisted suicide, same-sex marriage, and recreational marijuana. Over the past 10 years opinion has remained relatively consistent on two of the items (abortion choice and capital punishment). However, Albertans are becoming increasingly progressive on the other four items (medical marijuana, doctor assisted suicide, same-sex marriage, and recreational marijuana.)


  • Albertans strongly support a woman’s right to make abortion decisions for herself (84.2%). Support has ranged from 77.6% in 2009 to as much as 85.3% in 2016.
  • A majority of Albertans support reinstating capital punishment for people convicted of first degree murder (62.8%). Support has ranged from a low of 53.9 in 2011 to its current peak.
  • Albertans overwhelmingly support marijuana remaining legal for medical purposes (92.3%). Support has steadily risen from 73.8% in 2009.
  • Albertans strongly support legal access to doctor-assisted suicide for those suffering from terminal illnesses (84.5%), a substantial increase from 64.3% in 2009.
  • Albertans strongly support same-sex marriages having equal legal status with traditional marriages (82.3%). Support has increased from 65.7% in 2009.
  • Albertans are evenly divided on the issue of legal recreational marijuana. Nearly half (49.4%) are supportive, while a similar number are opposed (50.6%). Support has increased from only 36.5% in 2009, but still slightly below its peak of 53.0% support in 2014.

Download to view all the summary data.


Alberta Opinion Structure Fall 2018.pdf