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Beyond Nationalism and Regionalism: The Stability of Economic Voting in Canada

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 February 2018

Jean-François Daoust*
Affiliation:
Université de Montréal
Ruth Dassonneville*
Affiliation:
Université de Montréal
*
Département de science politique, Université de Montréal, Pavillon Lionel-Groulx, 3150 rue Jean-Brillant, Montréal QC, H3 T 1N8, email: jean-francois.daoust@umontreal.ca
Département de science politique, Pavillon Lionel-Groulx - C3124, Université de Montréal, C.P. 6128 succursale Centre-ville, Montréal QC H3C 3J7, email: ruth.dassonneville@umontreal.ca

Abstract

Previous research has argued that while economic voting is quite consistently found to be an important mechanism in the rest of Canada, it is rather weak in Quebec. Guérin and Nadeau (1998) have demonstrated that whether or not citizens in Quebec vote economically depends on the party system. Following their lead, we expect that the presence of a dominant regionalist party in Quebec after 1993 (the Bloc Québécois) inhibited Quebeckers from voting economically. However, our results do not offer evidence for this hypothesis. Furthermore, we find only weak evidence of economic voting being moderated by voters’ attitudes towards Quebec independence. Our study hence suggests that the impact of economic accountability in Canada is not hindered by a strong regional party or by the salience of the issue of Quebec independence. The economic vote, it seems, is more stable and general than it is regularly argued to be.

Résumé

Des recherches ont démontré qu'alors que le vote économique est considéré de façon assez constante comme un mécanisme important dans le reste du Canada, il est plutôt faible au Québec. Guérin et Nadeau (1998) ont démontré que, lorsqu'il est exercé en ce sens, un choix de nature économique est dicté chez les citoyens du Québec par le régime des partis. Partant de ce constat, on pourrait penser que la présence prépondérante d'un parti politique régionaliste au Québec après 1993 (le Bloc Québécois) a empêché les Québécois d'exprimer un vote économique. Toutefois, nos résultats ne confortent pas cette hypothèse et nous ne trouvons par ailleurs que des éléments de preuve tenus à l'appui d'un vote économique modéré par les attitudes des électeurs envers l'indépendance du Québec. Notre étude nous amène donc à suggérer que l'incidence de la responsabilisation économique au Canada n'est pas inhibée par un parti régional fort ou par l'importance de la question de l'indépendance du Québec. Le vote économique est, semble-t-il, plus stable et général qu'on ne le prétend habituellement.

Type
Research Article/Étude originale
Copyright
Copyright © Canadian Political Science Association (l'Association canadienne de science politique) and/et la Société québécoise de science politique 2018 

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