Skip to main content
×
Home

Canadian and American Voting Strategies: Does Institutional Socialization Matter?

  • Jason Roy (a1) and Shane Singh (a2)
Abstract

Abstract. This paper uses data from an online voting experiment to examine the impact of institutional socialization on the vote decision process. More specifically, we examine how Canadian and American voters differ in their vote decision processes in two- and four-party elections. Our expectation is that Canadian voters, who are more familiar with multiparty electoral context, will adjust to the increased complexity of the four-party competition by engaging in a more detailed decision process. Alternatively, we expect US voters, who are less familiar with multiparty competitions, will not undertake such an adjustment, perhaps even engaging in a less detailed vote calculus under more complex conditions. Results lend support to our expectations, offering insight into how institutional design and socialization can affect voter decision processes.

Résumé. Cet article utilise des données tirées d'une expérience de vote en ligne pour examiner l'impact de la socialisation institutionnelle sur le processus décisionnel menant au vote. Nous examinons en particulier comment les électeurs canadiens et américains diffèrent dans leur processus décisionnel lors d'élections à deux et à quatre partis. Nos attentes sont les suivantes : Les électeurs canadiens, plus familiers avec le multipartisme, s'ajusteront à la plus grande complexité d'une élection à quatre partis en s'engageant dans un processus décisionnel plus sophistiqué. Les électeurs américains, quant à eux habitués davantage au bipartisme, ne feront pas de tels ajustements lorsque le contexte électoral se complexifiera et auront peut-être même tendance à simplifier leur processus décisionnel. Nos résultats tendent à confirmer nos attentes, offrant ainsi un aperçu de la façon dont le contexte institutionnel et la socialisation qui en résulte peuvent influencer le processus décisionnel des électeurs.

Copyright
Corresponding author
Jason Roy, Department of Political Science, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo ON N2L 3C5, Canada, jroy@wlu.ca
Shane Singh, Department of International Affairs, University of Georgia, Athens GA, 30602, USA, singh@uga.edu
References
Hide All
Alcañiz Isabella, and Hellwig Timothy. 2011. “Who's to Blame? The Distribution of Responsibility in Developing Democracies.” British Journal of Political Science 41: 389411.
Althaus Scott L. 1998. “Information Effects in Collective Preferences.” American Political Science Review 92: 545–58.
Armstrong David A. and Duch Raymond M.. 2010. “Why Can Voters Anticipate Post-Election Coalition Formation Likelihoods.” Electoral Studies 29: 308–15.
Banducci Susan A. and Karp Jeffrey A.. 2009. “Electoral Systems, Efficacy, and Voter Turnout.” In The Comparative Study of Electoral Systems, ed. Klingemann Hans-Dieter. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Bargsted Matias A. and Kedar Orit. 2009. “Coalition-Targeted Duvergerian Voting: How Expectations Affect Voter Choice under Proportional Representation.” American Journal of Political Science 53: 307–23.
Bartels Larry M. 1996. “Uninformed Votes: Information Effects in Presidential Elections.” American Journal of Political Science 40: 194230.
Berelson Bernard R., Lazarsfeld Paul F. and McPhee William N.. 1954. Voting: A Study of Opinion Formation in a Presidential Campaign. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Bittner Amanda. 2007. “The Effects of Information and Social Cleavages: Explaining Issue Attitudes and Vote Choice in Canada.” Canadian Journal of Political Science 40: 935–68.
Blais André and Carty R.K.. 1990. “Does Proportional Representation Foster Voter Turnout?European Journal of Political Research 18: 167–81.
Blais André and Dobrzynska Agnieszka. 1998. “Turnout in Electoral Democracies.” European Journal of Political Research 33: 239–62.
Blais André, Gidengil Elisabeth, Fournier Patrick and Nevitte Neil. 2009. “Information, Visibility and Elections: Why Electoral Outcomes Differ When Voters Are Better Informed.” European Journal of Political Research 48: 256–80.
Boudreau Cheryl. 2006. “Jurors Are Competent Cue-Takers: How Institutions Substitute for Legal Sophistication.” International Journal of Law in Context 2: 293304.
Boudreau Cheryl. 2009a. “Closing the Gap: When Do Cues Eliminate Differences between Sophisticated and Unsophisticated Citizens?Journal of Politics 71: 964–76.
Boudreau Cheryl. 2009b. “Making Citizens Smart: When Do Institutions Improve Unsophisticated Citizens' Decisions?Political Behavior 31: 287306.
Carmines Edward G. and Stimson James A.. 1980. “The Two Faces of Issue Voting.” American Political Science Review 74: 7891.
Converse Philip E. 1964. “The Nature of Belief Systems in Mass Publics.” In Ideology and Discontent, ed. Apter David E.. New York: Free Press.
Converse Philip E. 1990. “Popular Representation and the Distribution of Information.” In Information and Democratic Processes, ed. Ferejohn John A. and Kuklinski James H.. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.
Converse Philip E. 2006. “Democratic Theory and Electoral Reality.” Critical Review 18: 297329.
Cutler Fred. 2002. “The Simplest Shortcut of All: Voter-Candidate Socio-Demographic Similarity and Electoral Choice.” Journal of Politics 64: 466–90.
Delli Carpini Michael X. and Keeter Scott. 1996. What Americans Know About Politics and Why It Matters. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press.
Dunn Kris, Orellana Salomon and Singh Shane. 2009. “Legislative Diversity and Social Tolerance: How Multiparty Systems Lead to Tolerant Citizens.” Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties 19: 283312.
Fiske Susan T. and Taylor Shelley E.. 1991. Social Cognition. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Geys Benny and Heyndels Bruno. 2006. “Disentangling the Effects of Political Fragmentation on Voter Turnout: The Flemish Municipal Elections.” Economics and Politics 18: 367–87.
Hastie Reid K. and Dawes Robyn M.. 2001. Rational Choice in an Uncertain World: The Psychology of Judgment and Decision Making. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
Hellwig Timothy. 2008. “Globalization, Policy Constraints and Vote Choice.” Journal of Politics 70: 1128–41.
Hellwig Timothy and Samuels David. 2008. “Electoral Accountability and the Variety of Democratic Regimes.” British Journal of Political Science 38: 6590.
Iyengar Shanto and Kinder Donald R.. 1987. News That Matters: Television and American Opinion, American Politics and Political Economy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Jackman Robert W. 1987. “Political Institutions and Voter Turnout in the Industrial Democracies.” American Political Science Review 81: 405–23.
Jackman Robert W. and Miller Ross A.. 1995. “Voter Turnout in the Industrial Democracies During the 1980s.” Comparative Political Studies 27: 467–92.
Jessee Stephen A. 2009. “Spatial Voting in the 2004 Presidential Election.” American Political Science Review 103: 5981.
Jessee Stephen A. 2010. “Partisan Bias, Political Information and Spatial Voting in the 2008 Presidential Election.” Journal of Politics 72: 327–40.
Jusko Karen Long and Shively W. Phillips. 2005. “Applying a Two-Step Strategy to the Analysis of Cross-National Public Opinion Data.” Political Analysis 13: 327–44.
Kedar Orit. 2005. “When Moderate Voters Prefer Extreme Parties: Policy Balancing in Parliamentary Elections.” American Political Science Review 99: 185–99.
Klingemann Hans-Dieter and Weßels Bernhard. 2009. “How Voters Cope with the Complexity of Their Political Environment: Differentiation of Political Supply, Effectiveness of Electoral Institutions, and the Calculus of Voting.” In The Comparative Study of Electoral Systems, ed. Klingemann Hans-Dieter. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Kuklinski James H. and Quirk Paul J.. 2000. “Reconsidering the Rational Public: Cognition, Heuristics, and Mass Opinion.” In Elements of Reason, ed. Lupia Arthur, McCubbins Mathew and Popkin Samuel. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Lachat Romain. 2008. “The Impact of Party Polarization on Ideological Voting.” Electoral Studies 27: 687–98.
Lau Richard R., Andersen David J. and Redlawsk David P.. 2008. “An Exploration of Correct Voting in Recent U.S. Presidential Elections.” American Journal of Political Science 52: 395411.
Lau Richard R. and Redlawsk David P.. 2006. How Voters Decide: Information Processing during Election Campaigns. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Lavine Howard, Borgida Eugene and Sullivan John L.. 2000. “On the Relationship between Attitude Involvement and Attitude Accessibility: Toward a Cognitive-Motivational Model of Political Information Processing.” Political Psychology 21: 81106.
Lupia Arthur. 1994. “Shortcuts Versus Encyclopedias: Information and Voting Behavior in California Insurance Reform Elections.” American Political Science Review 88: 6376.
Marois René and Ivanoff Jason. 2005. “Capacity Limits of Information Processing in the Brain.” Trends in Cognitive Sciences 9: 296305.
Moon Byongook. 2006. “The Influence of Organizational Socialization on Police Officers' Acceptance of Community Policing.” Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management 29: 704–22.
Newcomb Theodore M. 1943. Personality and Social Change: Attitude and Social Formation in a Student Community. New York: Dryden.
Newcomb Theodore Mead. 1967. Persistence and Change: Bennington College and Its Students after Twenty-Five Years. New York: Wiley.
Payne John W. 1976. “Task Complexity and Contingent Processing in Decision-Making: An Information Search and Protocol Analysis.” Organizational Behavior and Human Performance 16: 366–87.
Peffley Mark and Rohrschneider Robert. 2003. “Democratization and Political Tolerance in Seventeen Countries: A Multi-Level Model of Democratic Learning.” Political Research Quarterly 56: 243–57.
Powell G. Bingham and Whitten Guy D.. 1993. “A Cross-National Analysis of Economic Voting: Taking Account of the Political Context.” American Journal of Political Science 37: 391414.
Putnam Robert D. 1993. Making Democracy Work: Civic Traditions in Modern Italy. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Redlawsk David P. 2002. “Hot Cognition or Cool Consideration? Testing the Effects of Motivated Reasoning on Political Decision Making.” Journal of Politics 64: 1021–44.
Redlawsk David. 2004. “What Voters Do: Information Search During Election Campaigns.” Political Psychology 25: 595610.
Rizvi Sajjad H. 2006. “Avicenna/Ibn Sina (Ca. 980–1037).” Internet Encyclopaedia of Philosophy: http://www.iep.utm.edu/avicenna/ Accessed originally January 2012. Last accessed May 14, 2012.
Simon Herbert A. 1955. “A Behavioral Model of Rational Choice.” The Quarterly Journal of Economics 69: 99118.
Singer Matthew M. 2011. “Who Says “It's the Economy”? Cross-National and Cross-Individual Variation in the Salience of Economic Performance.” Comparative Political Studies 44.11: 14741499.
Singh Shane P. 2010. “Contextual Influences on the Decision Calculus: A Cross-National Examination of Proximity Voting.” Electoral Studies 29: 425–34.
Sniderman Paul M., Brody Richard A. and Tetlock Philip. 1991. Reasoning and Choice: Explorations in Political Psychology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Tomz Michael and Van Houweling Robert P.. 2008. “Candidate Positioning and Voter Choice.” American Political Science Review 102: 303–18.
Weßels Bernhard, and Schmitt Hermann. 2008. “Meaningful Choices, Political Supply, and Institutional Effectiveness.” Electoral Studies 27: 1930.
Zaller John. 1992. The Nature and Origins of Mass Opinion. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Canadian Journal of Political Science/Revue canadienne de science politique
  • ISSN: 0008-4239
  • EISSN: 1744-9324
  • URL: /core/journals/canadian-journal-of-political-science-revue-canadienne-de-science-politique
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 9
Total number of PDF views: 25 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 147 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 22nd November 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.