Absent Mandate: Strategies and Choices in Canadian Elections

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University of Toronto Press, 2019 - Elections - 232 pages
"Absent Mandate develops the crucial concept of policy mandates, distinguishes them from other interpretations of election outcomes, and addresses the disconnect between election issues and government actions. Emphasizing Canadian federal elections between 1993 and 2015, the book examines the Chretien/Martin, Harper and Trudeau governments and the campaigns that brought them to power. Using data from the Canadian Election Studies and other major surveys, Absent Mandate documents the longstanding volatility in Canadian voting behaviour. This volatility reflects the flexibility of voters' partisan attachments, the salience of party leader images, and campaigns dominated by discussion of broad national problems and leaders rather than by coherent sets of policy proposals. The failure of elections to provide genuine policy mandates stimulates public discontent with the political process and widens the gap between the promise and the performance of Canadian democracy."--
 

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Contents

The Strategic Configuration of Canadian Democracy
1
Partisanship Persistently Flexible
27
A Politics of Discontent
47
On the Issues
68
Leading the Campaign
95
Performance Politics and Electoral Volatility
122
Policy Performance Mandate?
145
Conclusion Continuities amid Change
168
Appendix A Political Parties Percentages of the Vote 19652015 Federal Elections
177
Appendix B Seats Won by Political Parties 19652015 Federal Elections
178
Appendix C Vote in the 2015 Federal Election by ProvinceTerritory and Sociodemographic Characteristics
179
Appendix D Federal Party Identification by Region and Sociodemographic Characteristics 2015
181
Appendix E Survey Data Sources
183
References
185
Index
199
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About the author (2019)

Harold D. Clarke is the Ashbel Smith Professor in the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences at the University of Texas at Dallas.

Jane Jenson is a professor emerita in the Department of Political Science at the Université de Montréal.

Jon H. Pammett is a distinguished research professor in the Department of Political Science at Carleton University.

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