F21 - Workshop: Understanding Electoral Democracy, The 2019 Canadian Election in Perspective 4
Date: Jun 4 | Time: 03:15pm to 04:45pm | Location:
Joint Session / Séance conjointe : Canadian Politics
Sponsor / Commanditaire : Consortium on Electoral Democracy (C-Dem), a SSHRC-funded research network across Canada.
Chair/Président/Présidente : Allison Harell (Université du Québec à Montréal)
Diversity and Prejudice in Canadian Elections
The Psychology of the Canadian Voter: The Role of Authoritarianism and Social Dominance Orientation in the 2019 Canadian Federal Election: Steven Weldon (Simon Fraser University), Marcus Macauley (Simon Fraser University)
Abstract: The 2019 Canadian federal election showcased the most ideologically diverse field of nationally competitive parties in modern history. With the emergence of a provocative far-right contender in the People’s Party of Canada, the resurgence of the Bloc Quebecois, and the growth of Canada’s Green Party, voters were presented with legitimate and distinct options across the ideological spectrum. While ample research has examined motivational factors behind vote choice and party affinity in the Canadian context, we make use of newly available comprehensive measures of Authoritarianism and Social Dominance Orientation (SDO) from the 2019 Canadian Election Study to investigate the extent to which psychological value orientations match up with party support across Canada. Evidence outside of Canada suggests authoritarianism and SDO are independently predictive of partisan allegiance. Respectively, authoritarianism taps deference to authority and general aversion to change while SDO relates to personal affinity for societal group-based hierarchy. In this paper, we test hypotheses linking psychological value orientations to party support and compare results to similar studies from varying international contexts.
Racial spillover in Canada: Jagmeet Singh and the 2019 election: Randy Besco (University of Toronto), Scott Matthews (Memorial University)
Abstract: Racial-spillover theory argues that the (non-white) race of political leaders creates a link between racial attitudes and opposition to other, unrelated policies proposed by that leader. While a number of studies have produced similar results, all have used Barack Obama as the political leader in question. To test the broader generalizability of the phenomenon, we examine the case of the NDP’s Jagmeet Singh: the first non-white leader of a major federal party in Canada. Using a module in the 2019 Canadian Election Study, we ask respondents for evaluations of a range of policies (crime, employment insurance, pharma-care, social media, and indigenous languages) that we randomly attribute to either the NDP or Singh. Consistent with the racial-spillover hypothesis, we expect that the Singh frame will increase the correlation between policy support and racial attitudes. In addition, we examine spillover in relation to policy stereotypes, and expect to find different perceptions about what policies the "NDP" rather than "Jagmeet Singh" will be expected to pursue in Parliament after the election.
A Turban Effect? Investigating Canadians’ Reaction to Jagmeet Singh’s leadership: Joanie Bouchard (University of Western Ontario)
Abstract: Even though leaders’ image has an impact on vote choice (Clarke et al. 2019), the literature on the effects of their sociodemographic characteristics (e.g. ethnicity, gender, etc.) leaves many questions unanswered given their relative homogeneity in plurality systems. In Canada, while scholars were given the opportunity to consider the effects of federal leaders’ gender in 1993 and in 1997 (e.g. Cutler (2002); Gidengil and Everitt (2003); O’Neill (1998)), it took until 2017 before a person of colour, Jagmeet Singh, reached the leadership of a federal party. The case of the 2019 election, therefore, allows us to investigate for the first time how Canadians from coast to coast reacted to a leader of colour. We consider in this paper the evolution of feelings towards Singh day-to-day during the campaign, as well as following the election through an analysis of the pre-electoral and post-electoral CES surveys. These results will also be compared to data gathered prior to the campaign in a Democracy check-up survey. Our aim is to determine the long-term impact of first impressions on voters’ assessment of Singh. In particular, following Cutler’s (2002) work, we look at how voters associated with various sociodemographic groups behaved towards Singh. We consider in this paper how first impressions before the campaign evolved as voters gathered more information about Singh and campaign events unfolded.
Canadian White Identity Politics: Edana Beauvais (Ash Centre, Harvard University), Dietlind Stolle (Center for the Study of Democratic Citizenship, McGill University)
Abstract: Research from the United States shows that many Americans see the world through the lens of White racial identity (Jardina 2019). White consciousness is about White ingroup identity and ingroup favouritism, and is distinct from outgroup evaluations (including racial prejudice). While a great deal of attention has been paid to the political consequences of White voters' negative outgroup evaluations, less attention has been paid to the political consequences of Whites voters' ingroup attitudes. This is an important omission: research shows that White consciousness plays an important role in American political behaviour, including motivating support for Donald Trump independently of racial prejudice. Recent Canadian research shows that White Canadians' attitudes toward Indigenous peoples are strongly correlated with vote choice (Beauvais 2019). But how does White consciousness shape Canadian politics? Our paper clarifies the contours of Canadian White identity politics. Using data from the 2019 Canadian Election Study (specifically, data from the winning C-Dem Module Competition), we identify whether White consciousness impacts political attitudes and behaviour. We expect that White consciousness predicts opposition to immigration and opposition to pro-immigrant candidates (Trudeau and Singh) and increases support for candidates who are less supportive of immigration (Scheer, Bernier). We also expect there is an interaction between White consciousness and left-of-centre party identification. In particular, we expect that among Liberal or NDP partisans (Canadians who say they normally consider themselves to be Liberal or NDP supporters), higher White consciousness will decrease the probability of voting for their party in 2019.