Gordon Kesler

Gordon Kesler (born 1945) is a former politician from Alberta, Canada.

Gordon Kesler
Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta for Olds-Didsbury
In office
February 17, 1982 – November 2, 1982
Preceded byRobert Curtis Clark
Succeeded byStephen Stiles
Personal details
Born1945 (age 75–76)
Political partyWestern Canada Concept

Political careerEdit

Gordon Kesler's stunning victory in the February 1982 by-election for the Western Canada Concept received national media attention. Kesler was the first separatist politician elected in Canada outside of Quebec since the 1870s, although his activities were primarily related to opposing official bilingualism and the introduction of the metric system.[1][2][3]

After the win, Kesler became leader of the party. He won the Olds-Didsbury electoral district defeating Stephen Stiles of the Progressive Conservatives and Lloyd Quantz of Social Credit and three other candidates.[4]

During the 1982 general election, held only months later in November, Kesler lost his seat despite Western Canada Concept fielding a full slate. He had shifted districts to his home district of Highwood after promising to move to Olds-Didsbury if elected. The time he served was the second shortest between election and defeat in the legislature's history. Harry Alger from the Progressive Conservatives defeated him with a five thousand vote plurality.[5]

In a 1983 letter to the editor of the Alberta Report, Doug Christie, founder of the Western Canada Concept, accused Gordon Kesler of betraying separatism. Kesler and his party had been striving to distance themselves from the controversial Christie.

Electoral recordEdit

Alberta provincial by-election, February 17, 1982: Olds-Didsbury
Upon the resignation of Robert Curtis Clark on November 30, 1981
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Western Canada Concept Gordon Kesler 4,015 42.20
Social Credit Lloyd Quantz 2,669 28.05 -42.11
Progressive Conservative Stephen Stiles 2,396 25.18 -2.38
New Democratic Myrna Jarboe 308 3.24 +1.57
Liberal George Leussink 126 1.32 +0.72
Independent Adilsha Shivji 9 0.09
Total valid votes 9,514 100.00
Rejected, spoiled, and declined 19
Eligible electors / Turnout 13,798 69.09 -4.29
Western Canada Concept gain from Social Credit Swing +42.16
Elections Alberta. "By-elections". Retrieved April 30, 2018.
1982 Alberta general election: Highwood
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Progressive Conservative Harry Alger 7,811 70.08% 3.58%
Western Canada Concept Gordon Kesler 2,006 18.00% *
New Democratic William McCutcheon 465 4.17% 0.51%
Independent R.L. Snell 436 3.91%
Independent Don Tanner 245 2.20%
Alberta Reform Movement Ronald Arkes 183 1.64% *
Total 11,146
Rejected, spoiled and declined 30
Eligible electors / Turnout 14,495 77.10%
Progressive Conservative hold Swing 10.79%
"Highwood Official Results 1982 Alberta general election". Alberta Heritage Community Foundation. Retrieved March 30, 2010.


  1. ^ "The page has moved" (PDF).
  2. ^ "Gordon Kesler and his Western Canada Concept colleagues, successful".
  3. ^ "Western Canada gets its first separatist leader". Christian Science Monitor. 19 February 1982.
  4. ^ "Olds-Didsbury by-election results". Elections Alberta. Archived from the original on 2009-06-07. Retrieved 2008-03-19.
  5. ^ "Highwood Official Results 1982". Alberta Heritage. Archived from the original on 2011-06-12. Retrieved 2008-03-19.

External linksEdit