Alberta provincial electoral districts
The original twenty five districts were drawn up by Liberal Member of Parliament Frank Oliver prior to the first general election of 1905. The original boundaries were widely regarded as being gerrymandered to favor the Alberta Liberal Party, although the Liberal Party did receive the majority of votes in the 1905 election and thus rightly formed majority government. Every boundary redistribution since 1905 has been based on the original boundaries, with districts being split or merged.
From 1905 to 1926 with only a few exceptions each district elected a single member on the First Past the Post system. Calgary and Edmonton as well as Medicine Hat were elected on a plurality block vote, where each voter could cast as many votes as seats to be filled.
There have also been a couple of cases where members were elected outside of the geographical districts and did not represent any districts. Such was the case in the world wars when Albertans serving overseas voted for their own representatives.
From 1924 to 1956 Calgary and Edmonton MLAs were elected in multiple-member districts encompassing whole cities that used Single Transferable Vote to elect five to seven members. In 1926, Medicine Hat was a two-member district. Outside these cities single-member districts elected single MLAs using the Alternative Voting system, with vote transfers taking place only if no candidate had a majority of the vote. By-elections in the two big cities during this period were conducted using Alternative Voting. Under STV, some results were known as soon as the first vote count was done, but some seats took a couple days of vote transfers to fill. But the mixed representation elected in each city under STV, reflective of the mixed sentiment of the city's voters, was thought worth the wait.
There were no district changes between 1926 and 1940.
With Alberta in a population boom in the fifties and Calgary and Edmonton growing, single transferable vote was seen as too complicated, with vote counting taking days before final results could be announced. The Social Credit government felt threatened by the growing number of opposition MLAs being elected, and in 1959 returned Alberta to First past the post elections in single-member districts. No government has since changed the electoral system.
In 1977 Elections Alberta was established as an independent, non-partisan office of the Legislative Assembly responsible for administering provincial elections, by-elections and referenda.
The early 1990s proved to be a contentious period for delineation of electoral districts in Alberta. The Supreme Court of British Columbia ruling in Dixon v. Attorney General of British Columbia in 1989 invalidated the provincial electoral district re-distribution due to wide variations between electoral district populations for British Columbia, finding these differences inconsistent with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Cognizant of this the Alberta Legislature tasked a Special Committee chaired by Taber-Warner MLA Bob Bogle to evaluate the re-distribution of electoral districts in the province. The Report of the Select Special Committee on Electoral Boundaries was submitted to the Legislature in November 1990 and was referred to the Court of Appeal of Alberta. While the Court of Appeals reference found the boundaries consistent with the Charter, the report was scrapped and amendments to the Electoral Divisions Act were introduced in early 1991 to effectively "Charter-proof" the new districts.
The same Select Committee was tasked with creating the new report which was presented to the Legislature in November 1992, and once again referred to the Court of Appeal of Alberta to rule on the constitutional validity of the boundaries. The four Progressive Conservative MLAs on the Select Committee (Bob Bogle, Stockwell Day, Pat Nelson, Mike Cardinal) participated fully in developing the report, while the Opposition refused to appoint any MLAs. Subsequently the boundaries were implemented and used for the June 1993 Alberta general election. The Court of Appeal of Alberta withheld Charter condemnation, but found numerous issues with the process and requirements put forward for the re-distribution. In particular the members of the Select Committee were unable to provide sufficient rationale to the court for a number of the boundaries and district sizes recommended in the report. The court explicitly voiced the opinion that a proper electoral boundary review was necessary within the term of the present government (which would expire in 1997).
Following the issues in the early-1990s, a semi-independent boundary commissions were set up to tweak the boundaries to population changes that occurred after every census. Committees are composed of a neutral Judge, two members appointed by the governing party, and two members appointed by the official opposition.
As is the case with nearly every other Canadian jurisdiction, the number of districts has not increased in proportion to the growth in the provincial population. In 1905, 25,000 votes were cast across the province to elect 25 MLAs. In 1982, 945,000 votes, almost 40 times the 1905 total, were cast across the province to choose 79 MLAs, less than four times the 1905 seat total. Prior to the 1986 election the number of districts was fixed by law at 83 thus any change to that number would have to be enacted by the legislature. Even though the population has increased by more than 40 percent since 1986, the number of districts did not change until 2010. The 2012 election saw the number increase to 87.
Like the federal districts in Alberta, urban ridings traditionally begin with the city name. This has generally applied where an urban area is divided and joined with rural areas, such as Grande Prairie-Wapiti and Fort McMurray-Lac La Biche. Notable exceptions are Cypress-Medicine Hat and Brooks-Medicine Hat, which follow the convention in other rural areas of listing communities in alphabetical order (another exception being Vermilion-Lloydminster-Wainwright).
Unlike federal practice, Alberta uses hyphens to join all name elements. This is true for electoral districts named for multiple communities as well as urban districts (where the city name is followed by a direction, a neighbourhood, a landmark, or the name of a historical politician). For example, compare the provincial Fort McMurray-Conklin with the federal Fort McMurray—Cold Lake, where the em dash is used instead of the hyphen to join names of separate communities. Also compare the provincial Edmonton-Strathcona with the federal Edmonton Strathcona, where a space indicates that Strathcona is a neighbourhood of Edmonton.
Current districts named for individuals include several premiers:
- Calgary-Klein for Ralph Klein,
- Calgary-Lougheed for Peter Lougheed,
- Edmonton-Manning for Ernest Manning, and
- Edmonton-Rutherford for Alexander Rutherford.
Three are named for former party leaders:
- Calgary-Shaw for former Liberal leader Joseph Tweed Shaw,
- Dunvegan-Central Peace-Notley for former NDP leader Grant Notley, and
- Edmonton-Decore for former Liberal leader and Edmonton mayor Laurence Decore.
List of provincial electoral districtsEdit
|1||Calgary-Acadia||2012||Tyler Shandro||United Conservative||48,966|
|2||Calgary-Beddington||2019||Josephine Pon||United Conservative||50,220|
|3||Calgary-Bow||1971||Demetrios Nicolaides||United Conservative||51,358|
|4||Calgary-Buffalo||1971||Joe Ceci||New Democrat||49,907|
|5||Calgary-Cross||1993||Mickey Amery||United Conservative||50,634|
|6||Calgary-Currie||1971||Nicholas Milliken||United Conservative||48,403|
|7||Calgary-East||1963*||Peter Singh||United Conservative||50,838|
|8||Calgary-Edgemont||2019||Prasad Panda||United Conservative||50,803|
|9||Calgary-Elbow||1971||Doug Schweitzer||United Conservative||48,618|
|10||Calgary-Falconridge||2019||Devinder Toor||United Conservative||52,688|
|11||Calgary-Fish Creek||1979||Richard Gotfried||United Conservative||47,691|
|12||Calgary-Foothills||1971||Jason Luan||United Conservative||45,715|
|13||Calgary-Glenmore||1959||Whitney Issik||United Conservative||49,543|
|14||Calgary-Hays||2004||Ric McIver||United Conservative||50,782|
|15||Calgary-Klein||2012||Jeremy Nixon||United Conservative||50,338|
|16||Calgary-Lougheed||1993||Jason Kenney||United Conservative||42,956|
|17||Calgary-McCall||1971||Irfan Sabir||New Democrat||48,735|
|18||Calgary-Mountain View||1971||Kathleen Ganley||New Democrat||49,442|
|19||Calgary-North||1957*||Muhammad Yaseen||United Conservative||39,120|
|20||Calgary-North East||1959*||Rajan Sawhney||United Conservative||40,366|
|21||Calgary-North West||1979||Sonya Savage||United Conservative||48,766|
|22||Calgary-Peigan||2019||Tanya Fir||United Conservative||45,810|
|23||Calgary-Shaw||1986||Rebecca Schulz||United Conservative||45,169|
|24||Calgary-South East||1959*||Matt Jones||United Conservative||40,309|
|25||Calgary-Varsity||1993||Jason Copping||United Conservative||45,742|
|26||Calgary-West||1959||Mike Ellis||United Conservative||46,266|
|27||Edmonton-Beverly-Clareview||1997||Deron Bilous||New Democrat||46,496|
|28||Edmonton-Castle Downs||1997||Nicole Goehring||New Democrat||46,112|
|29||Edmonton-City Centre||2019||David Shepherd||New Democrat||47,715|
|30||Edmonton-Decore||2004||Chris Nielsen||New Democrat||48,927|
|31||Edmonton-Ellerslie||1993||Rod Loyola||New Democrat||48,024|
|32||Edmonton-Glenora||1971||Sarah Hoffman||New Democrat||45,519|
|33||Edmonton-Gold Bar||1971||Marlin Schmidt||New Democrat||45,446|
|34||Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood||2004||Janis Irwin||New Democrat||43,550|
|35||Edmonton-Manning||1993||Heather Sweet||New Democrat||48,376|
|36||Edmonton-McClung||1993||Lorne Dach||New Democrat||44,625|
|37||Edmonton-Meadows||2019||Jasvir Deol||New Democrat||51,776|
|38||Edmonton-Mill Woods||1979||Christina Gray||New Democrat||50,265|
|39||Edmonton-North West||1959*||David Eggen||New Democrat||45,523|
|40||Edmonton-Riverview||1997||Lori Sigurdson||New Democrat||45,214|
|41||Edmonton-Rutherford||1993||Richard Feehan||New Democrat||47,353|
|42||Edmonton-South||1917*||Thomas Dang||New Democrat||45,801|
|43||Edmonton-South West||2012||Kaycee Madu||United Conservative||45,901|
|44||Edmonton-Strathcona||1971||Rachel Notley||New Democrat||46,578|
|45||Edmonton-West Henday||2019||Jon Carson||New Democrat||43,046|
|46||Edmonton-Whitemud||1971||Rakhi Pancholi||New Democrat||46,833|
|47||Airdrie-Cochrane||2019||Peter Guthrie||United Conservative||51,170|
|48||Airdrie-East||2019||Angela Pitt||United Conservative||49,978|
|49||Athabasca-Barrhead-Westlock||2019||Glenn van Dijken||United Conservative||46,920|
|50||Banff-Kananaskis||2019||Miranda Rosin||United Conservative||46,824|
|51||Bonnyville-Cold Lake-St. Paul||2019||Dave Hanson||United Conservative||53,809|
|52||Brooks-Medicine Hat||2019||Michaela Glasgo||United Conservative||51,070|
|53||Camrose||1921*||Jackie Lovely||United Conservative||44,082|
|54||Cardston-Siksika||2019||Joseph Schow||United Conservative||42,655|
|55||Central Peace-Notley||2019||Todd Loewen||United Conservative||28,993|
|56||Chestermere-Strathmore||2019||Leela Aheer||United Conservative||48,203|
|57||Cypress-Medicine Hat||1993||Drew Barnes||United Conservative||50,109|
|58||Drayton Valley-Devon||2012||Mark Smith||United Conservative||46,637|
|59||Drumheller-Stettler||2004||Nate Horner||United Conservative||41,535|
|60||Fort McMurray-Lac La Biche||2019||Laila Goodridge||United Conservative||44,166|
|61||Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo||2004||Tany Yao||United Conservative||41,420|
|62||Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville||2004||Jackie Armstrong-Homeniuk||United Conservative||52,141|
|63||Grande Prairie||1930*||Tracy Allard||United Conservative||46,343|
|64||Grande Prairie-Wapiti||1993||Travis Toews||United Conservative||48,481|
|65||Highwood||1971||RJ Sigurdson||United Conservative||48,813|
|66||Innisfail-Sylvan Lake||1993||Devin Dreeshen||United Conservative||46,717|
|67||Lac Ste. Anne-Parkland||2019||Shane Getson||United Conservative||46,546|
|68||Lacombe-Ponoka||2004||Ron Orr||United Conservative||44,898|
|69||Leduc-Beaumont||2012||Brad Rutherford||United Conservative||48,337|
|70||Lesser Slave Lake||1971||Pat Rehn||United Conservative||27,818|
|71||Lethbridge-East||1971||Nathan Neudorf||United Conservative||46,204|
|72||Lethbridge-West||1971||Shannon Phillips||New Democrat||46,525|
|73||Livingstone-Macleod||1997||Roger Reid||United Conservative||48,120|
|74||Maskwacis-Wetaskiwin||2019||Rick Wilson||United Conservative||43,798|
|75||Morinville-St. Albert||2019||Dale Nally||United Conservative||50,225|
|76||Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills||1997||Nathan Cooper||United Conservative||49,418|
|77||Peace River||1905||Dan Williams||United Conservative||39,974|
|78||Red Deer-North||1986||Adriana LaGrange||United Conservative||47,672|
|79||Red Deer-South||1986||Jason Stephan||United Conservative||52,743|
|80||Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre||2012||Jason Nixon||United Conservative||45,138|
|81||Sherwood Park||1986||Jordan Walker||United Conservative||45,992|
|82||Spruce Grove-Stony Plain||2019||Searle Turton||United Conservative||51,267|
|83||St. Albert||1905||Marie Renaud||New Democrat||47,745|
|84||Strathcona-Sherwood Park||2012||Nate Glubish||United Conservative||47,853|
|85||Taber-Warner||1963*||Grant Hunter||United Conservative||42,625|
|86||Vermilion-Lloydminster-Wainwright||2019||Garth Rowswell||United Conservative||46,042|
|87||West Yellowhead||1986||Martin Long||United Conservative||50,604|
Districts prior to 2019 electionEdit
* District has been abolished and re-established.
Historical provincial electoral districtsEdit
- Dixon v. Attorney General of British Columbia ,  248 (BCSC)
- Select Special Committee on Electoral Boundaries; Bob Bogle (November 1990). Report of the Select Special Committee on Electoral Boundaries. Edmonton, AB: Legislative Assembly of Alberta. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
- Reference re: Order in Council O.C. 91/91 in Respect of the Electoral Boundaries Commission Act ,  317 (ABCA)
- Stinson, Douglas (July 1, 1999). "Knowing Where to Draw the Line - Alberta Views - The Magazine for Engaged Citizens". albertaviews.ca. Retrieved 2018-05-31.
- Select Special Committee on Electoral Boundaries; Bob Bogle (November 1992). Report of the Select Special Committee on Electoral Boundaries: established by Motion 24, July 2, 1992. Edmonton, AB: Legislative Assembly of Alberta. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
- Reference re: Order in Council 215/93 Respecting the Electoral Divisions Statutes Amendment Act ,  342 (ABCA)
- "Alberta Finance, 2011 Census" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2015-12-14.
- "Alberta Finance, 2011 Census" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2015-12-14.
- "Alberta Electoral Boundaries Commission: Stats". Archived from the original on 2017-01-08. Retrieved 2017-01-13.