Making Political Choices: Canada and the United States

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University of Toronto Press, Jan 1, 2009 - Political Science - 302 pages

Recent national elections in Canada and the United States have been exciting, consequential contests. In the 2004 federal election in Canada, the Liberal Party narrowly clung to power after a volatile and bitter battle with the new Conservative Party. In 2006, the Conservative Party won a fragile victory, replacing the scandal-ridden Liberal government. In the 2000 American presidential election, Republican George W. Bush became the first candidate in over 100 years to capture the presidency without a majority popular vote. Four years later, Bush finally attained a narrow popular mandate but only after a hard fought campaign. Then, in 2006, the Republicans suffered a stunning reversal of political fortune, losing control of both Houses of Congress, as public opinion turned massively against the president.

In Making Political Choices: Canada and the United States, Harold Clarke, Allan Kornberg, and Thomas Scotto employ a wealth of new survey data to describe these elections and evaluate competing theories of party support and voter turnout. While examining various arguments, the authors contend that a valence politics model provides a powerful explanation of voting behavior in Canada, the United States, and other mature democracies.


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List of Figures
Political Choices and Valence Politics
Flawless Campaign Fragile Victory
Too Close to Call The 2004 Canadian Federal Election
Red Voters Blue Voters The 2004 American Presidential Election
Doing Politics His Way The 2000 American Presidential Election
A Big Blue Wave The 2006 American Congressional Election
Index by Name

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About the author (2009)

Harold D. Clarkeis the Ashbel Smith Professor of Political Science, University of Texas at Dallas, and Adjunct Professor of Government at the University of Essex. He is the author of numerous books and articles, includingA Polity on the Edge: Canada and the Politics of Fragmentationwith Alan Kornberg and Peter Wearing (Broadview Press, 2000) andPolitical Choice in Britainwith David Sanders, Marianne C. Stewart, and Paul Whiteley (Oxford University Press, 2004).

Allan Kornbergis the Norb F. Schaefer Professor of Political Science at Duke University. He is the co-author, with Harold Clarke, ofCitizens and Community: Political Support in a Representative Democracy(Cambridge University Press, 1992) and has written widely in books and journals on political parties, legislatures, and comparative political behavior.

Thomas J. Scottois Lecturer in the Department of Government at the University of Essex. His research interests are in American and Canadian electoral behavior and public opinion, and he has published articles in journals such as Electoral Studiesand theJournal of Politics.

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