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Fiscal conservatives tended to vote against Calgary Olympics: survey

Mon, Nov 19: Calgary city councillors have officially passed a motion to conclude any futher consideration into hosting the 2026 Winter Olympic Games. Carolyn Kury de Castillo reports.

There were several reasons why people voted against a Calgary Olympic bid in last year’s plebiscite, according to a University of Calgary survey.

The U of C’s School of Public Policy, along with the Canadian Municipal Election Study, conducted a survey of nearly 2,000 people weeks following the plebiscite.

READ MORE: 56.4% of Calgarians say ‘no’ to 2026 Olympic bid in plebiscite: unofficial results

Jack Lucas, assistant professor of political science and author of the study, told The Morning News on 770 CHQR the most striking factors are the attitudes of people who voted.

LISTEN: Jack Lucas of the School of Public Policy joins The Morning News to discuss the plebiscite survey results

“Fiscal conservatism seems to have been really important,” he said. “People who felt the city shouldn’t be spending more money on virtually any area of municipal policy making it felt very strongly that the Olympics were a bad idea.”

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READ MORE: How Calgarians voted in the Olympic plebiscite, ward by ward

Lucas also said people who strongly identified as Calgarians were substantially more likely to support the Olympic bid.

Demographics played a role as well as the survey showed men were more likely than women to vote for the Olympics, as did earning a higher income.

When it comes to politics, Lucas said if you voted for Mayor Naheed Nenshi in the last municipal election you were more likely to support the bid. But Lucas cautions going too far with tying the plebiscite to Nenshi’s support in the city.

READ MORE: Canmore mayor let down by vote to end Olympic bid

“It does seem to have explained at least a part of why some people supported the bid, but also some people opposed it. But it would also be too much to say that this was a kind of referendum on Mayor Nenshi, which is what some people were kind of thinking.”

When it comes to provincial political support, the survey shows “NDP and ‘other’ (Liberal, Alberta Party) partisans were more likely to support the bid than UCP partisans and non-partisans.”

WATCH BELOW: Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi ‘disappointed’ by Olympic plebiscite result

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi ‘disappointed’ by Olympic plebiscite result
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi ‘disappointed’ by Olympic plebiscite result

READ MORE: COMMENTARY: IOC on the precipice of a long-overdue, much-needed existential crisis

The survey, conducted by Forum Research for the School of Public Policy, was done by phone between Nov. 14 and Dec. 13, 2018, had 1,975 respondents, with a 2.2 per cent margin of error.

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