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Environmentalism and Party Support in Canada: Recent Trends outside Quebec

  • Cameron D. Anderson (a1) and Laura B. Stephenson (a1)
Abstract

Abstract. Concern about the environment has grown around the world. Important work has assessed the correlates of support for the environment and its relationship to values (for example, Inglehart, 1995). Recent comparative work on political party positioning demonstrates how the issue has increasingly taken on a left–right dimension (Dalton, 2009). Filling a void in the literature, this paper explores how and whether the environmental issue has been incorporated into the ideological space of Canadian citizens and reflected in the views of the major political parties outside of Quebec. In particular, we first consider the extent to which the environment is a left–right issue in the minds of Canadian citizens. We follow this by assessing the effect of environmental concern on citizens' views of political parties and whether this issue tends to operate as a positional or valence issue in differentiating political parties. We use the Canadian Election Studies from 2000–2006 to address these research questions empirically.

Résumé. L'intérêt pour la protection de l'environnement s'est intensifié autour du monde. Des recherches ont été menées sur la corrélation entre l'idéologie et la protection de l'environnement (par exemple, Inglehart 1995). Une étude récente sur le positionnement des partis politiques en matière d'environnement démontre que la question prend de plus en plus une dimension gauche–droite (Dalton 2009). Dans le but de combler un manque dans la littérature, cet article tente d'établir dans quelle mesure l'environnement a effectivement été intégré dans l'espace idéologique des citoyens canadiens et se reflète dans l'opinion sur les principaux partis politiques à l'extérieur du Québec. Nous examinons d'abord jusqu'à quel point l'environnement est considéré par les Canadiens comme un enjeu politique de gauche ou de droite. Nous évaluons ensuite l'effet de cet intérêt pour l'environnement sur l'opinion des citoyens canadiens à l'égard des partis politiques en vue de déterminer s'il s'agit là d'un enjeu de valeur ou d'un enjeu positionnel dans les choix politiques et électoraux. Nous appuyons empiriquement notre étude sur les données de l'Étude électorale canadienne de 2000 à 2006.

Copyright
Corresponding author
Cameron D. Anderson, Department of Political Science, Social Science Centre, Room 4154, The University of Western Ontario, London ON, Canada, N6A 5C2, cander54@uwo.ca
Laura B. Stephenson, Department of Political Science, Social Science Centre, Room 4154, The University of Western Ontario, London ON, Canada, N6A 5C2, lstephe8@uwo.ca
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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
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