Skip to main content
×
Home

Canadian Public Opinion about the Military: Assessing the Influences on Attitudes toward Defence Spending and Participation in Overseas Combat Operations

  • Scott Fitzsimmons (a1), Allan Craigie (a2) and Marc André Bodet (a3)
Abstract
Abstract

Despite more than a decade of heightened defence spending and active fighting in the War in Afghanistan, the longest combat operation in the history of the Canadian Forces, scholars know precious little about how the socio-demographic characteristics and attitudes of Canadians may influence their views about taking part in overseas combat operations and funding the institution charged with carrying out these dangerous activities. By testing a range of hypotheses, which purport to explain the influence of multiple socio-demographic and attitudinal factors on Canadians' attitudes toward defence spending and the participation of the Canadian Forces in overseas combat operations, against data from the 2004 and 2011 Canadian Election Study, this article ascertains the most important determinants of Canadians' preferences about defence spending and the use of military force by the Government of Canada.

Résumé

Malgré plus d'une décennie d'investissement en défense et de combat actif en Afghanistan, soit la plus longue opération de l'histoire militaire canadienne, nous savons peu de choses sur les facteurs sociodémographiques et attitudinales qui influencent la position des Canadiens sur les opérations militaires à l'étranger et les dépenses publiques qui s'y rattachent. À l'aide des Études électorales canadiennes 2004 et 2011, nous visons à expliquer l'influence de facteurs sociodémographiques et attitudinales sur les préférences et opinions politiques des Canadiens sur les questions de défense. Cet article identifient les déterminants les plus importants de l'appui (ou non) à l'augmentation des dépenses militaires et à l'action militaire canadienne à l'étranger.

Copyright
Corresponding author
Department of Politics and Public Administration, F1026-University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland, Email: scott.fitzsimmons@ul.ie
Department of Political Science, Buchanan C413, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Email: allan22@interchange.ubc.ca
Département de Science Politique, Université Laval, Pavillon Charles-De Koninck, Local 4437, 1030 Avenue des Sciences Humaines, Québec (Québec) G1V 0A6, marcandre. Email: bodet@pol.ulaval.ca
References
Hide All
Anker Lane. 2005. “Peacekeeping and Public Opinion.” The Canadian Military Journal 6: 2332.
Bartels Larry. 1994. “The American Public's Defense Spending Preferences in the Post-Cold War Era.” Public Opinion Quarterly 58: 479508.
Barzilai Gad and Inbar Efraim. 1996. “The Use of Force: Israeli Public Opinion on Military Options.” Armed Forces & Society 23: 4980.
Baumgartner Jody C., Francia Peter L. and Morris Jonathan S.. 2008. “A Clash of Civilisations? The Influence of Religion on Public Opinion of US Foreign Policy in the Middle East.” Political Research Quarterly 62: 171–79.
Blais André, Gidengil Elisabeth, Nevitte Neil, Fournier Patrick and Everitt Joanna. 2004. “ The 2004 Canadian Election Study .” Kingston: Canadian Election Study.
Boucher Jean-Christophe and Roussel Stephane. 2007. “From Afghanistan to ‘Quebecistan’: Quebec as the Pharmakon of Canadian Foreign and Defence Policy.” In Canada Among Nations, 2007: What Room for Maneuver? ed. Daudelin Jean and Schwanen Daniel. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press.
Boucher Jean-Christophe. 2010. “Evaluating the ‘Trenton Effect’: Canadian Public Opinion and Military Casualties in Afghanistan (2006–2010).” American Review of Canadian Studies 40: 237–58.
Boussios Emanuel Gregory and Cole Stephen. 2010. “Do Individual Characteristics Matter? An Analysis of Americans' Opinions toward the Korean, Vietnam, Persian Gulf, and Iraq Wars.” Journal of Applied Security Research 5: 279305.
Carroll Bruce A. 2005. “Spanning the Racial Divide in American Public Opinion: Post-September 11.” Politics & Policy 33: 94112.
Clements Ben. 2011. “‘Hawks’ and ‘Doves’: Public Opinion in Britain towards Overseas Military Interventions.” Political Insight 2: 1215.
Canada. Department of National Defence. 2013. Department of National Defence Report on Plans and Priorities 2013–2014. Ottawa: Department of National Defence.
Dooling Jeff. 2005. “ New Horizons: Increasing Public Awareness of the Canadian Forces .” CSC 31. Toronto: Canadian Forces College.
Eichenberg Richard C. 2003. “Gender Differences in Public Attitudes toward the Use of Force by the United States, 1990–2003.” International Security 28: 110–41.
Eichenberg Richard C. and Stoll Richard. 2003. “Representing Defense: Democratic Control of the Defense Budget in the United States and Western Europe.” Journal of Conflict Resolution 47: 399422.
Eichenberg Richard C. and Stoll Richard. 2011. “Gender Difference or Parallel Publics? The Dynamics of Defense Spending Opinions in the United States 1965–2007.” Journal of Conflict Resolution 46: 331–48.
Fletcher Joseph F., Bastedo Heather and Hove Jennifer. 2009. “Losing Heart: Declining Support and the Political Marketing of the Afghanistan Mission.” Canadian Journal of Political Science 42: 911–37.
Fournier Patrick, Cutler Fred, Soroka Stuart and Stolle Dietlind. 2011. “ The 2011 Canadian Election Study .” Kingston: Canadian Election Study.
Granatstein Jack. 2007. Whose War is It? How Canada Can Survive in a Post-9/11 World. Toronto: Corbis.
Hartley Thomas and Russett Bruce. 1992. “Public Opinion and the Common Defense: Who Governs Military Spending in the United States?American Political Science Review 86: 905–15.
Hinckley Ronald H. 1988. “Public Attitudes toward Key Foreign Policy Events.” Journal of Conflict Resolution 32: 295318.
Holian David B. 2006. “Trust the Party Line: Issue Ownership and Presidential Approval from Regan to Clinton.” American Poltics Research 34: 777802.
Innovative Research Group. 2006. Foreign Policy under a Conservative Government: An Interim Report Card (Report for the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute). Toronto: Innovative Research Group.
Jones Bryan D. 1994. Reconceiving Decision-Making in Democratic Politics. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
Kirton John and Guebert Jenilee. 2007. “Two Solitudes, One War: Public Opinion, National Unity, and Canada's War in Afghanistan.” Paper presented at the Conference on Quebec and War, Montreal.
Leal David L. 2005. “American Public Opinion toward the Military: Differences by Race, Gender, and Class?Armed Forces & Society 32: 123–38.
Martin Pierre and Fortmann Michel. 1995. “Canadian Public Opinion and Peacekeeping in a Turbulent World.” International Journal 50: 370400.
Martin Pierre. 2005. “All Quebec's Fault, Again? Quebec Public Opinion and Canada's Rejection of Missile Defence.” Policy Options 26: 4144.
Massie Justin. 2008. “Regional Strategic Subcultures: Canadians and the Use of Force in Afghanistan and Iraq.” Canadian Foreign Policy 14: 1948.
Massie Justin, Boucher Jean-Christophe and Roussel Stephane. 2010. “Hijacking a Policy? Assessing Quebec's ‘Undue’ Influence on Canada's Afghan Policy.” American Review of Canadian Studies 40: 259–75.
Miller Charles A. 2010. Endgame for the West in Afghanistan? Explaining the Decline of Support for the War in Afghanistan in the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, France, and Germany. Carlisle: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College.
Munton Don. 2003. “Defending the Canadian Public.” The Canadian Military Journal 4: 2533.
Nincic Miroslav and Nincic Donna J.. 2002. “Race, Gender, and War.” Journal of Peace Research 39: 547–68.
Norris Pippa, Curtice John, Sanders David, Scammel Margaret and Semetko Holli A.. 1999. On Message: Communicating the Campaign. London: Sage.
Nossal Kim Richard. 1997. The Politics of Canadian Foreign Policy. Scarborough: Prentice Hall, 1997.
Petrocik John R. 1996. “Issue Ownership in Presidential Elections, with a 1980 Case Study.” American Journal of Political Science 40: 825–50.
Petrocik John R., Benoit William L. and Hansen Glenn J.. 2003–2004. “Issue Ownership and Presidential Campaigning, 1952–2000.” Political Science Quarterly 118: 599626.
Rallings Colin, Thrasher Michael and Moon Nick. 1992. “British Public Opinion during the Gulf War.” Contemporary Record 6: 376–88.
Rioux Jean-Sebastien. 2005. Two Solitudes: Quebecers' Attitudes Regarding Canadian Security and Defence Policy. Calgary: Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute.
Roi Michael L. and Smolynec Gregory. 2010. “Canadian Civil-Military Relations: International Leadership, Military Capacity, and Overreach.” International Journal 65: 705–24.
Schneider William. 1985. “The United States.” In The Public and Atlantic Defence, ed. Flynn Gregory and Rattinger Hans. Totowa: Rowman & Allanheld.
Simon Christopher A. and Lovrich Nicholas P.. 2010. “Citizen Support for Military Expenditures: A Longitudinal Analysis of U.S. Public Opinion, 1999–2002.” Armed Forces & Society 36: 454–80.
Soroka Stuart N. and Wlezien Christopher. 2005. “Opinion-Policy Dynamics: Public Preferences and Public Expenditure in the United Kingdom.” British Journal of Political Science 25: 665–89.
Stone J. Craig and Solomon Binyam. 2005. “Canadian Defence Policy and Spending.” Defence and Peace Economics 16: 145–69.
Whitten Guy D. and Williams Laron K.. 2011. “Buttery Guns and Welfare Hawks: The Politics of Defense Spending in Advanced Industrial Democracies.” American Journal of Political Science 55: 117–34.
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

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 4
Total number of PDF views: 80 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 243 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 18th November 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.