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The Dynamics of Party Identification in Federal Systems.docx

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Political Science
POLI 222
Christa Scholtz

"The Dynamics of Party Identification in Federal Systems: The Canadian Case" (Marianne C. Stewart and Harold D. Clarke) Theory • decentralized federal system (like Canada) gives opportunity to develop different party identifications ◦ national (federal) ◦ subnational (provincial) • means you may vote Conservative at the provincial level, yet vote Liberal at the federal level • voters use their storehouse of party performance judgments + newly acquired nat'l and subnat'l info when revising either partisan attachment Hypothesis • Other-level performance evaluations influence the dynamics of party identification at a particular level of the federal system Methods • model of party identification • data from five national inter-election panel surveys 1974-1993 Results • inconsistency and instability are ongoing and related features of PID • contemporaneous issue and leader evaluations and provincial PID have significant effects on time t federal PID Introduction • government institutions condition public attitudes and bhv. • decentralized fed. system constitutes an institutional context that influences the development + dynamics of PID at nat'l and subnat'l levels • model of how voters' reactions to parties at 2 levels affect PID at a given level and thereby increase the potential for partisan instability at that level Federal Systems and Party Identifications • federal systems divide gov't responsibilities, expanding the scope of gov't performance, accountability and citizen participation • increased number os arenas for party competition ◦ increased opportunity for the development of consequential disparities at both levels • decentralized means that both levels exercise a range of important powers ◦ increased chance that ppl support different parties at the 2 levels and PID will vary over time • provinces have acquired major responsibilities and high public visibility • cleavages over territorial and ethno-linguistic divisions in society ◦ have fostered the development of diff. nat'l and subnat'l party systems in several provinces ▪ strengthened decentralization progress • "two political worlds" theory ◦ voters' pol. attitudes and bhv. in the "small worlds" of prov. poli do not influence those in the "larger world" of nat'l poli or vice versa ◦ partisan inconsistency across levels is irrelevant for understanding the dynamics of PID at either level ◦ The author DISAGREES! • federal systems do not erect firewalls that hermetically isolate fed. and prov. poli in people's minds • PQ, Social Credit, Bloq, Reform ◦ understood in terms of voters' reactions to events and conditions at both levels • significant correlations b/w fed. and prov. PID ◦ evaluative theory of PID provides attractive account of these findings ◦ explains how diff. reactions to parties at the two levels increase the potential for partisan change at a given level ◦ goal is to address cross-level inc
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