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Accounting for the Electoral Success of the Liberal Party in Canada Presidential address to the Canadian Political Science Association London, Ontario June 3, 2005

  • André Blais (a1)

Abstract. I show that the strong electoral success of the Liberal party in Canada stems in great part from the strong support of Catholics and Canadians of non-European origin. In the absence of the fervent backing it enjoys among these two groups, the Liberals would not be among the most successful democratic parties in the world. Yet, we do not have a good understanding of why Catholics and non-Europeans vote Liberal. I argue that the group bases of Liberal support should lead us to question the common interpretation that the party's centrist policy position is the key to its electoral success.

Résumé. Je montre que le succès électoral du Parti libéral fédéral au Canada découle en bonne partie de l'appui des catholiques et des citoyens d'origine non européenne. Sans l'appui solide de ces deux groupes, le Parti libéral n'aurait pas remporté les succès électoraux remarquables qu'il a connus. Pourtant, nous n'avons toujours pas d'explication satisfaisante des raisons qui amènent les catholiques et les citoyens d'origine non européenne à voter pour le Parti libéral. Je soutiens que ces tendances sociologiques lourdes devraient nous inciter à remettre en question l'interprétation habituelle selon laquelle les succès libéraux sont attribuables aux positions centristes du parti.

Corresponding author
André Blais, Département de science politique, Université de Montréal, Quebec, H3C 3J7;
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Canadian Journal of Political Science/Revue canadienne de science politique
  • ISSN: 0008-4239
  • EISSN: 1744-9324
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