Skip to main content
×
Home

Strongholds and Battlegrounds: Measuring Party Support Stability in Canada

  • Marc André Bodet (a1)
Abstract

Abstract. Despite the nationalization of politics in established democracies, the study of local dynamics remains fundamental to our understanding of electoral politics, especially in plurality contests. In plurality systems, local competition indeed has important consequences for the distribution of seats in parliaments and cabinets. While a plethora of measures exists to assess electoral competitiveness, none adequately captures the dynamic nature of party support at the local level. Making use of the Canadian case as an illustration, we propose a new classification of electoral districts that aims at filling this gap. Districts are divided into two categories, strongholds and battlegrounds, depending on the successive performances of parties. We argue that such a classification should be utilized in addition to static measures of competitiveness, notably in the study of political participation.

Résumé. Malgré la nationalisation de la politique au sein des démocraties établies, l'étude des dynamiques locales demeure fondamentale pour bien comprendre la politique électorale, particulièrement dans les systèmes pluralitaires où la compétition locale a des conséquences importantes sur la distribution des sièges au parlement et au cabinet. Bien qu'il existe une panoplie de mesures de compétition électorale, aucune ne capture adéquatement la nature dynamique de l'appui aux partis à l'échelle locale. À l'aide du cas canadien, nous proposons une nouvelle classification des districts électoraux qui corrige cette lacune. Les districts sont divisés en deux catégories – bastions et champs de bataille – en fonction des performances successives des partis en présence. Nous suggérons que cette classification soit utilisée en plus d'autres mesures statiques, notamment dans l'étude de la participation électorale.

Copyright
Corresponding author
Marc André Bodet, Département de science politique, Université Laval, Pavillon Charles-De-Koninck, Québec QC, G1V 0A6, marcandre.bodet@pol.ulaval.ca
References
Hide All
Alvarez Michael and Nagler Jonathan. 2000. “A New Approach for Modelling Strategic Voting in Multiparty Elections.” British Journal of Political Science 30: 5775.
Berch Neil. 1993. “Another Look at Closeness and Turnout: The Case of the 1979 and 1980 Canadian National Elections.” Political Research Quarterly 46: 421–32.
Blais André. 2006. “What Affects Voter Turnout?Annual Review of Political Science 9: 111–25.
Blais André and Dobrzynska Agnieszka. 1998. “Turnout in Electoral Democracies.” European Journal of Political Research 33: 329–61.
Blais André and Bodet Marc André. 2006. “How Do Voters Form Expectations About the Chances of Winning the Election?Social Science Quarterly 87 (3): 477–93.
Blais André and Lago Ignacio. 2009. “A General Measure of District Competitiveness.” Electoral Studies 28 (1): 94100.
Blais André, Gidengil Elisabeth, Dobrzynska Agnieszka, Nevitte Neil and Nadeau Richard. 2003. “Does the Local Candidate Matter? Candidate Effects in the Canadian Election of 2000.” Canadian Journal of Political Science 36 (3): 657–64.
Blais André, Gidengil Elisabeth, Nadeau Richard and Nevitte Neil. 2002. Anatomy of a Liberal Victory: Making Sense of the Vote in the 2000 Canadian Election. Peterborough: Broadview.
Blidook Kelly. 2012. Constituency Influence in Parliament: Countering the Centre. Vancouver: UBC Press.
Carty Kenneth R. and Eagles Munroe. 2005. Politics is Local: National Politics at the Grassroots. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Carty Kenneth R., Eagles Munroe and Sayers Anthony. 2003. “Candidates and Local Campaigns: Are There Just Four Canadian Types.” Party Politics 9 (5): 619–36.
Clarke Harold D., Jenson Jane, LeDuc Lawrence and Pammett Jon H.. 1979. Political Choice in Canada. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson.
Cox Gary W. 1988. “Closeness and Turnout: A Methodological Note.” Journal of Politics 50 (3): 768–75.
Cox Gary W. and Munger Michael C.. 1989. “Closeness, Expenditures, and Turnout in the 1982 U.S. House Elections.” The American Journal of Political Science 83 (1): 217–31.
Cross William. 2002. “The Increasing Importance of Region to Canadian Election Campaigns.” In Regionalism and Party Politics in Canada, ed. Young Lisa and Archer Keith. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Cunningham Robert. 1971. “The Impact of the Local Candidate in Canadian Federal Elections.” Canadian Journal of Political Science 4: 287–90.
Docherty David. 1997. Mr. Smith Goes to Ottawa. Vancouver: UBC Press.
Docherty David and White Stephen. 2004. “Parliamentary Democracy in Canada.” Parliamentary Affairs 57: 613–19.
Downs Anthony. 1957. An Economic Theory of Democracy. New York: Addison-Wesley.
Dunleavy Patrick and Boucek Françoise. 2003. “Constructing the Number of PartiesParty Politics 9: 291315.
Endersby James W., Galatas Steven E. and Rackaway Chapman B.. 2002. “Closeness Counts in Canada: Voter Participation in the 1993 and 1997 Federal Elections.” Journal of Politics 64 (2): 610–31.
Flanagan Tom. 2007. Harper's Team. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press.
Franklin Mark. 2004. Voter Turnout and the Dynamics of Electoral Competition in Established Democracies since 1945. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Geys Benny. 2006. “Explaining Voter Turnout: A Review of Aggregate-Level Research.” Electoral Studies 25: 637–63.
Goldenberg Eddie. 2006. The Way It Works Inside Ottawa. Toronto: McLelland and Stewart.
Golosov Grigoril V. 2010. “The Effective Number of Parties.” Party Politics 16 (2): 171–92.
Grofman Bernard and Selb Peter. 2009. “A Fully General Index of Political Competition.” Electoral Studies 28 (2): 291–96.
Irvine William P. 1982. “Does the Candidate Make a Difference? The Macro-Politics and Micro-Politics of Getting Elected.” Canadian Journal of Political Science 15 (4): 755–82.
Jackman Robert W. 1987. “Political Institutions and Voter Turnout in Industrial Democracies.” The American Political Science Review 81: 405–24.
Johnston Richard. 1992. “Party Identification Measures in the Anglo-American Democracies: A National Survey Experiment.” The American Journal of Political Science 36 (2): 542–59.
Johnston Richard, Matthews John Scott and Bittner Amanda. 2007. “Turnout and the Party System in Canada: 1988–2004.” Electoral Studies 26: 735–45.
Key V. O. 1949. Southern Politics in the State and Nation. New York: Knopf.
Krashinsky Michael and Milne William J.. 1985. “Additional Evidence on the Effect of Incumbency in Canadian Elections.” Canadian Journal of Political Science 18 (1): 155–65.
Laakso Markku and Taagepera Rein. 1979. “Effective Number of Parties: A Measure with Application to West Europe.” Comparative Political Studies 12 (3): 327.
Leduc Lawrence, Clarke Harold C., Jenson Jane and Pammett Jon. 1984. “Partisan Instability in Canada: Evidence from a New Panel Study.” The American Political Science Review 78: 470–84.
Loewen Peter, Koop Royce and Fowler James. 2009. “The Power to Propose: A Natural Experiment in Politics.” The Society for Political Methodology. Working paper series.
Mallory J.R. 1954. Social Credit and the Federal Power in Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Matsusaka John G. and Palda Filip. 1993. “The Downsian Voter Meets the Ecological Fallacy.” Public Choice 77: 855–78.
Matsusaka John G. and Palda Filip. 1999. “Voter Turnout: How Much Can We Explain?Public Choice 98 (3): 431–46.
Meisel John. 1975. Working Papers on Canadian Politics. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press.
Rae Douglas W. 1971. The Political Consequences of Electoral Laws. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Riker William H. and Ordeshook Peter C.. 1968. “A Theory of the Calculus of Voting.” The American Political Science Review 62 (1): 2542.
Savoie Donald. 2000. Governing from the Centre. Toronto: Toronto University Press.
Sayers Anthony M. 1999. Parties, Candidates and Constituency Campaigns in Canadian Elections. Vancouver: UBC Press.
Schwartz Milfred A. 1974. Politics and Territory: The Sociology of Regional Persistence in Canada. Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press.
Selb Peter. 2009. “A Deeper Look at the Proportionality–Turnout Nexus.” Comparative Political Studies 42 (4): 527–46.
Silberman Jonathan and Durden Garey. 1975. “The Rational Behavior Theory of Voter Participation: The Evidence from Congressional Elections.” Public Choice 23: 101–08.
Soroka Stuart N., Cutler Fred and Stolle Dietlind. 2011. “Capturing Change (and Stability) in the 2011 Campaign.” Policy Options June: 7077.
Soroka Stuart N., Penner Erin and Blidook Kelly. 2009. “Constituency Influence in Parliament.” Canadian Journal of Political Science 42 (3): 563–91.
Ward Norman. 1947. “Parliamentary Representation in Canada.” The Canadian Journal of Economics and Political Science 13 (3): 447–64.
Young Lisa and Archer Keith. 2002. Regionalism and Party Politics in Canada. Oxford: Oxford 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: 5
Total number of PDF views: 77 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 225 *
Loading metrics...

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