PoliSci1020E January 17, 2012
Voting Behaviour and the Nature of Election Campaigns in Modern Democracies
Why do you vote the way you vote?
The nature of modern elections:
o The fate of policy discussion
Why does voting matter?
If a state leader is to remain in power, the population has to see you as legitimate. They
key way to do so is to receive consent from citizens and political peers.
What determines our voting choices?
Class (one’s position in the economy)
o You either own the means of production (bourgeoisie) or are a worker
o There are also the professionals who don’t own the means or classified as workers
(e.g. teachers, doctors, lawyers).
o Your role in class and education determine how you will vote.
o In Canada, social status = class + education + income.
o Workers tend to vote NDP, the bourgeoisie conservative, and liberal voters come
from every class.
o Atheists and agnostics (skeptics) are often inspired by Marxism. NDP also
embraces Marxism. Thus, many atheists and agnostics vote NDP.
o For those who are religiously devout (especially traditional Christians),
conservatism is quite popular.
o Liberal party has been recognized as the immigrant-friendly and accommodating
o Recently, conservatives have been pitching their message to immigrants, and it
has been working. Their message of tradition appeals to those who are adjusting
o Different regions have different concerns:
Alberta: Oil-driven economy. The Conservatives have a large base in
Alberta and thus don’t impose on the systems or profits of the oil
Quebec: French language is very important and prominent. As a result,
the Bloc has been popular in the past because they emphasize culture
preservation. Anyone who wants the Quebec vote has to be willing to
focus on policies and practices involving culture preservation.
o 18-25: NDP and increasingly Green o 30+: Liberal and Conservative
Argument: As you age, you realize that you don’t want to pay taxes, and
sway to the left more.
*Current Issue: As the rate we’re going, by the time our generation retires, there will be no
government pensions as well as significantly lacking healthcare systems and funding.*
o Conservative party tends to do well in rural area. The idea of tradition (or
gradual change) is appealing as the farmers want to keep their farms.
o In cities, people are more open to change.
o Women tend to have a more reformist attitude (e.g. criminal rehabilitation). This
position is a focal point of the Liberals and NDP.
o Conservatives have a difficult time reaching out to women.
o There are people who are committed to one party.
o This attitude emerges in 2 ways:
At the Dinner Table: If you are raised in a politically committed home
where everyone follows a party with blind faith, offspring will often tend