People versus Politics: A study of opinions, attitudes, and perceptions in Vancouver-Burrard 9781487585945

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People versus Politics: A study of opinions, attitudes, and perceptions in Vancouver-Burrard

Table of contents :
1 / Vancouver- Burrard
2 / Questions and Answers
3 / Voters and Non-Participants
4 / The Teams
5 / Issues and Dangers
6 / Death, Children, God, Planets, and Politicians: The "Authoritarian Voter"
7 / Parties and Leaders
8 / Electoral Migrations
9 / Conclusion
Appendix I / Federal Surveys 1963 and 1965
Appendix II / Characteristics of Respondents, Refusals, and Non-Contacts 1963
Appendix III / Questionnaire 1965 Election
Appendix IV / CIPO Survey No. 330: Federal Election of June 1968
INDEX of Major Correlations Presented in the Figures, Graphs, and Tables
INDEX of Selected Observations

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People vs Politics

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People vs Politics

A study of opinions, attitudes, and perceptions in Vancouver-Burrard 1963-1965


University of Toronto Press

© University of Toronto Press 1969 Reprinted 2017 ISBN 978-0-8020-1517-4 (cloth) ISBN 978-1-4875-8693-5 (paper)

a Patrice

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1 / Vancouver-Burrard 2 / Questions and Answers 3 / Voters and Non-Participants 4 / The Teams 5 I Issues and Dangers 6 I Death, Children, God, Planets, and Politicians: The "Authoritarian Voter" 7 / Parties and Leaders 8 I Electoral Migrations 9 I Conclusion Appendix I / Federal Surveys 1963 and 1965 Appendix 11 / Characteristics of Respondents, Refusals, and Non-Contacts 1963 Appendix III / Questionnaire 1965 Election Appendix IV / CIPO Survey No. 330: Federal Election of June 1968 INDEX of Major Correlations Presented in the Figures, Graphs, and Tables INDEX of Selected Observations

3 19 31 46 77 105 111 136 177 193 195 196 205

209 210 GENERALINDEX 214

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MY THANKS go first and foremost to the respondents who accepted in­ terviewers into their homes and subjected themselves to my question­ ing. They gave the raw material on which this study is based; a study which would not have been possible without the financial assistance of the Canada Council, without the free access I had to the computer of the University of British Columbia, and without the help that students gave me over three years by discussing their findings in and outside the classroom; I thank more particularly Rosemary Weber for her help with interviewing, Nadine Dempsey for drawing the graphs, Thelma Oliver and Michael M'Gonigle for their assistance with the bibliography and with the content analysis of newspapers. I am grateful to Roger Gibbins for preparing the index, and to Professor Gordon Elliott and Margaret Gillies for reading the manuscript and helping to put it into more regular English. To my colleagues in the Department of Political Science, espe­ cially to Walter Young, as well as to the readers of the University of Toronto Press, I owe suggestions and criticisms. The cards on which the data are recorded have been deposited with the Institute for Behavioural Research at York University. This work has been published with the help of a grant from the Social Science Research Council of Canada using funds provided by the Canada Council.


a discipline in the experimental and theoretical stages of its growth, the more likely is its exponent to argue that theory should precede any description. Such an opinion, often found among psychologists and sociologists, is beginning to affect political scientists. It is a good sign for the discipline, yet this intolerance of chronology re­ mains based on a misunderstanding of history. There is a time to note that the sun does not always rise at the same place, then a time to mea­ sure the variations of all its movements, then a time to propose models, theories, and controlled experiments which will explain such variations. The present study belongs to the second phase, that of measurement, when the theories and models which guide research are but fragile and unreliable tools. The state of our knowledge of Canadian electors - we know a great deal, too much probably, but have measured very little calls for many more general empirical studies on the pattern of those made in the last twenty years in both the United States and Great Britain, national as well as local studies of the attitudes, opinions, and perceptions of electors and of party supporters. This work, then, does not formulate and test a theory, nor does it re­ late variables in a systematic experiment. Rather its aim is simply to obtain a more precise picture of Canadian electors than we have at present. I hope that careful measurement will reveal new aspects and the proper balance of a reality previously seen hazily through the shift­ ing grounds of intuition. In the following chapters the reader will find a series of answers to such familiar questions as: Who does not vote? What kind of people support which party? Do people of different parties take a different view of the issues debated in an electoral campaign? Do women, unlike men, tend to rank party leaders higher than the party itself on their pref­ erence scale? Does the "floating vote" consist of better-informed or lessTHE MORE ADVANCED

Introduction / xi informed electors? Purposely these questions are similar to those most often asked in previous English and American studies in order that we may compare our findings to those of other countries. I should have liked to find at my disposal more empirical data, from Canadian regions other than the west, in order to control for regional differences, but unfortunately at the time of writing such findings were few and limited in scope. My study is that of a single constituency and as such it has the advantages but also the limitations of consistency studies: all the findings, analyses, and speculations are based on inter­ views with a sample of less than a thousand individuals drawn from the same federal Vancouver riding over a period of three years. To remind the reader of these geographical and time restrictions at every stage of the analysis would have been tiresome, but they should always be kept in mind. The positive corollary of a narrow geographical base is, of course, that the physical and social settings, the cultural and political environments, are familiar to the observer, in a degree which cannot be the case when the interviews are obtained from a whole country or even a whole region. Often I shall start the presentation of my findings with game or ran­ dom models. It may be of some help to the reader to know the overall metaphor which guided my inquiries and can still be seen in the unfold­ ing of various chapters. Imagine a playground where a class of children has been offered the rules of a team game to channel both their aggres­ sive and their constructive instincts. Note, first of all, that no one is com­ pelled to play. We want to know why some children do not participate at all, and, among those who do, why some choose games other than the one suggested. Having once isolated the non-participants, we tum our attention to the teams: we may assume, at the outset, that they are simi­ lar in their social composition but here again we note that, unless ran­ dom choice is imposed by the rules or through the intervention of the teacher, a complex system of likes and dislikes leads to the formation of contrasting groups of players, different in size, colour of hair, or traits of character not immediately obvious. Do the children at play realize the imbalance they have created; do they perceive the teams as similar to each other; or do they realize, for example, that nearly all the girls, or all the small ones, are on the same side? Do exchanges of players take place which may have the effect of either restoring competition or satis­ fying some of the previously unfulfilled requirements of attractiveness and repulsion between individuals? All the questions we asked in ob­ serving the children's game on the playground were applied to the data gathered in our interviews. Contrasting a political situation with a game having similar mechanisms but different objectives helps me to bring

xii / Introduction

out in my own mind, and may help readers to focus on, the more speci­ fically political in that situation. A word on the title is necessary. It was not at all intended to disturb or attract by setting up a stage for an unusual competition. In my mind it has a double meaning. First, it sets the mood of the 1963-65 period when the electorate I studied, confronted with a series of inconclusive elections, developed a certain annoyance, made up of puzzlement at an electoral machinery which no longer produced the expected majorities, of mild objection to an aging political leadership unable to renew itself, and of discomfort, rather than anger, at the uncovering of a variety of minor scandals involving mostly French Canadians. Beyond this first and obvious meaning the title has a second more durable interpretation which, like the first, gives a frame to the study rather than describes its object. Elections are a contest not only among parties and candidates but also between an institution and its members. At every election people are asked to become an electorate, to dress up differently for an extraordinary performance. At every election demands are made on the electors to perform according to a script with which most of them feel inadequate or uncertain. Inversely, the participants come to the per­ formance with their own perceptions and demands. The election puts a stress on the electors by forcing them to perform in ways which they did not themselves define, but the electors also put a stress on the political machinery. Any election is in that sense a contest between people and politics. The title is thus reversible; it could just as well have been "poli­ tics versus people."

People vs Politics

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1 Vancouver- Burrard

VANCOUVER-BURRARD MAY BE REGARDED AS typical of most urban elec­ toral districts in that it never was a coherent, well-defined, urban com­ munity with obvious boundaries. To a few politicians, party activists, and electoral officers, however, the name had created a being with which they bad a variety of intuitive relationships. Telling how hurt he was by the proposal to abolish the riding, its last electoral officer1 recollected how, on occasional week-ends between elections, he would tour "his" territory, noticing changes in the distribution of its population and men­ tally drawing new frontiers for his polling units, giving them numbers and names. No more than the Indian under distant observation from a conquer­ ing ship could the elector possibly have imagined that different defini­ tions and fresh identities were being given to places already familiar to him. The residents ofVancouver-Burrard, when asked to describe their community, replied that they lived in Vancouver or in one of many areas named after a bridge, a beach, a school, a park, a shopping centre or hospital - areas which divided or overlapped the electoral boun­ daries. The elector needed an election to learn or be reminded that he lived in Vancouver-Burrard. The discrepancy in perception between politicians and electors had remarkable results: in 1965 the Conserva­ tive candidate ran her campaign on the slogan "I shall do something for Burrard"; she had a 22-point programme for the last 22 days of the campaign, every day something new for Burrard, as if the resident of that part of the city cared whether the post office was on this side of the street or on the other, as if he knew which side was in what constitu­ ency. I do not propose to make a study ofVancouver-Burrard per se but to 1 / The name and boundaries of the riding disappeared in the redistribution of 1967.

4 / People vs Politics

examine how the people who happened to live there perceived and per­ formed their role in national and provincial politics. In 1963 I selected that riding for three reasons: it was close to the university without being in the university environment; it was then politically well balanced be­ tween the three major parties; and, furthermore, it seemed sociologi­ cally well diversified between white collar, middle class, and manual workers (see Figures 1 and 2). In two respects the population which I found in the samples disappointed me. It was rather old and very mobile. Of the 1963 sample 30 per cent was over sixty, and this is a serious disadvantage since refusal to answer a political questionnaire in­ creases with age;2 secondly, residential mobility amounting to a turn­ over of about one quarter per year makes it difficult to conduct panel surveys. 8 All things considered however, Vancouver-Burrard was a good place to throw one's sampling net because it was and it remained evenly balanced in socio-economic and political party terms, thus en­ suring that we would find sub-groups large enough for the analysis, and because throughout the period of the study it was a critical riding whose electoral trends were, for the major parties at least, similar, on the whole, to those of British Columbia, and never greatly at variance from those of Canada. During the two years and a half separating our two main surveys the riding changed somewhat in physical appearance. On the average houses were newer in the centre and in the east, older in the west. But notwithstanding these changes and the remarkable residential mobility already noted, the demographic characteristics for 1963 and 1965 were not very different; neither did they differ greatly from the data obtained by the 1961 census within the same boundaries.4 This stability of social 2 / And this can be a disadvantage when the interviewers are students in their twenties as was the case, with few exceptions, in all our surveys. On the advan­ tages and disadvantages of using students as interviewers see C. H. Backstrom and G. D. Hursh, Survey Research (Chicago: Northwestern University Press, 1963 ), chap. r. For people over 60 the national average is 19 per cent according to figures given by the Canada Yearbook 1963-64 (Ottawa: Dominion Bureau of Statistics) , 172. 3 / This high residential mobility, which I had not expected, is not abnormal for an urban district with many high-rise apartments. According to the 1961 census, 43 per cent of Canada's population and 49 per cent of its urban residents had moved in the previous five years. For British Columbia the percentages are 50 and 51. The recorded differences between urban and rural areas would be much greater if the census did not consider as urban any town or village with over 1,000 inhabitants. See Census of Canada 1961 (Ottawa: Dominion Bureau of Statistics), Series 4.1, no. 98-509. 4 / On one characteristic, however, the census differs markedly from our find­ ings. The census gives, for the riding, a 46-54 ratio of men to women compared to the more "normal" 50-50 in our samples. The difference is likely to be due to different definitions of residence. In the area of the Vancouver General Hospital the census may have included many patients and nurses who were registered electorally elsewhere.

5 characteristics coupled with a high mobility of individuals is a reminder that, man, like other species, adheres to predictable patterns in his geo­ graphical migrations. Sampling from the same area, provided its ecology has not been basically altered, means sampling not necessarily from the same population but at least from the same type of population. A pic­ ture of the social composition of the riding can be obtained from the electoral lists (see Table 1) which are not to be read so much as watched, like drawings of open-faced apartments in children's books. A more accurate and detailed analysis is given by Table 2 which relates survey and census findings. Our riding, which stretches along the shore, has changed its basic characteristics no more, one can assume, than the population on the other side of the water. Roughly the same propor­ tions of Catholics, manual workers, and Scots faced similarly stable pro­ portions of smelts, salmon, and sealions. About 20 per cent of our respondents had in 1963 a university education, which is about twice the national average; 27 per cent (N = 377) belonged to a trade union, and 35 per cent (N 311) thought that the planet under which a child is born has an influence on his character - a proportion which cannot be compared to any known national average but which seems reason­ able for a large city. Over 95 per cent were whites, mostly Anglo-Saxon (67 per cent in the 1963 sample), and most of the remainder (30 per cent) traced its origins to continental Europe. The riding includes a Sikh community grouped around a temple, and a few Chinese, but nei­ ther group was sufficiently large to be represented by more than a few individuals in the sample, or to create any racial tension of political consequence. The party fluctuations between 1940 and 1965, measured in percen­ tage of the total vote cast for New Democrat, Liberal, Conservative, and Social Credit candidates, show the Burrard trends to follow the national trends in 60 per cent of the cases ( see Figures 3 to 6). Out of eight elections, the local and national trends are similar six times for Liberals and five times for New Democrats, but only four times for either Conservatives or Social Crediters. The riding is a better indicator of national trends for Liberals and New Democrats than for Conserva­ tives and Social Crediters. Restricting the analysis to the two federal elections covered by our surveys, let us note that the direction of the NDP trends is the same in Burrard, British Columbia, and Canada in both 1963 and 1965. The three Conservative trends have similar direction in 1963, but in 1965 the Burrard and British Columbia curves decline while that of Canada remains stable. For the Liberals the three trends are similar in 1963 but in 1965 that of Burrard rises slightly when those of both Canada and British Columbia decline a little. The Social Credit trends are in both Vancouver-Burrard /


2 Vancouver-Burrard compared to the surrounding areas: percentage of individuals having attended university among those no longer in school, per census tract, 1961 census (the physical boundaries of each tract have been adjusted in order that size be a function of population) FIGURE


Sample from the Electoral Lists 1965 (This listing is not that of the persons interviewed)

Vancouver-Burrard / 9 TABLE 2 Comparison in percentages between selected demographic characteristics of the 1961 census, and two surveys, 1963 and 1965, in Vancouver-Burrard

years similar in British Columbia and Burrard and in both years at vari­ ance with those of Canada. Thus, for the four parties the Burrard and BC curves have similar directions seven times out of eight, while Burrard and Canada do so only four times out of eight. Burrard is a better representative of British Columbia than of Canada. If one ex­ cludes Social Credit, however, the difference in representativeness is not as pronounced: for New Democrats, Liberals, and Conservatives the Burrard and BC trends had a similar direction five times out of six, the Burrard and national trends four times out of six. For the period 194065, still using similarity of trends as our measure, we find that Burrard is typical of British Columbia at 85 per cent and typical of Canada at 60 per cent. As Burrard goes, so goes British Columbia and, less likely, Canada also.

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3 Percentage of votes obtained by the NDP in Burrard, British Columbia, and Canada, 1940-65: federal elections


A better indication that Burrard is on the wave length of national politics is given by the fact that, for the four parties considered, out of twenty-one cases of similar national and local trends, the Burrard fluc­ tuation is greater than the national sixteen times, similar three times, and less only twice. Burrard belongs to the districts which, politically, move not only with, but ahead of, the nation; this should be expected from a large urban centre. The first Burrard survey was made shortly before the federal election of April 1963 when, judging by the result of the previous election, three candidates could hope to win the seat. Jn 1962, the winning candidate, a New Democrat, had obtained 31.5 per cent of the votes; his second, a Liberal, had received 31.1 per cent; the Conservative, who had pre­ viously held the seat, had 29.7 per cent. This near equality between three major parties was not maintained in succeeding years: the NDP and the Social Credit Party each continued to operate within the same percentage range (NDP with 31.2 per cent in 1963 and 33.2 per cent in 1965, Social Credit with 6.7 per cent in 1963 and 9.8 per cent in 1965) ; but the gap between Liberals and Conservatives increased con­ siderably to the benefit of the former (Liberals 37.6 per cent in 1963, 38.5 per cent in 1965; Conservatives 24.0 per cent in 1963, 18.5 per

Vancouver-Burrard / 11

FIGURE 4 Percentage of votes obtained by the Liberals in Burrard, British Columbia, and Canada, 1940-65: federal elections

cent in 1965). In the second election studied, that of 1965, Burrard was no longer the ideally balanced riding it had been. The electoral equilibrium between the three national parties was still sufficiently pre­ carious, however, to put the seat among those considered to be unsafe. This guaranteed that most electors would vote for their most preferred party or candidate rather than abstain or make less preferred choices. Although this last consideration had played an important role in my selection of the district, I am now less sure of its relevance;11 while cans I Whether one defines a critical seat as that held either by less than a 5 or by less than a 10 percentage-point lead, one finds the level of voter participation to be the same in British Columbia in critical and non-critical ridings, 80 per cent in both cases in 1963. The whole of Canada registers a small difference indicating

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5 Percentage of votes obtained by the Conservatives in Burrard, British Columbia, and Canada, 1940-65: federal elections


didates focus their attention on a specific constituency, the electors, at least those we studied, look far beyond the candidates to the parties, the leaders, and the national scene. greater electoral participation in the critical ridings: 81 to 78 per cent under the 10 per cent definition, 82 to 77 per cent under the 5 per cent definition. The gap is a little wider in Quebec and in Ontario: 80 to 75 per cent and 84 to 79 per cent respectively under the S per cent definition.

Vancouver-Burrard / 13

FIGURE 6 Percentage of votes obtained by the Social Credit party in Burrard, British Columbia, and Canada, 1940-65: federal elections


The two elections which provided most of the data for this study are best located within recent Canadian politics by the curve of Conserva­ tive electoral support in both Burrard and Canada between 1940 and 1965 (see Figure 5). The elections of 1963 and 1965 mark the end of the Diefenbaker phenomenon, the return to the "norm," the shift of Canadian politics back to its quiet Liberal dominance; a return to equilibrium not completed, however, since the Liberals failed to regain their parliamentary majority, but a return to a situation which, if mea­ sured in percentage of votes, rather than in seats, is not basically at vari­ ance with the pre-1957, the pre-Diefenbaker, era. The Conservative decline is more pronounced in Burrard than in the nation, but in both it is clear: the peaks of 1957 and especially 1958 appear as distortions of a previous equilibrium too great not to provoke a swing back. It is quite possible that a leader other than Diefenbaker could have maintained the Diefenbaker gains. I do not propose to settle the question, but al­ though I cannot prove it, it seems clear to me that the Conservative victory of 1958 was due to the desire of many electors to ensure a majority for a minority party which was then in the ascendant, 6 a party with a new dynamic leader. The swing back of 1962 is a return to the 6 I Peter Regenstreif draws similar conclusions from his 1958 election inter­

views. See Peter Regenstreif, The Diefenbaker Interlude: Parties and Voting in Canada (Toronto: Longmans, 1965), 66ff. The author finds that 40 per cent of those he interviewed expected a Conservative victory and only 15 per cent a Liberal victory; unfortunately he does not give the statistics by party preference.

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1957 situation; the electors who had voted Conservative to give the party a majority in 1958 no longer thought that they had to do so in 1962, and consequently caused the party not only to lose its majority, but also to appear now on the decline; in 1963, because of the decline of 1962, the Conservatives could no longer make use of the "give us a majority" appeal; they were pushed into the opposition. The election of 1965 is a reversal of the previous situation; the Liberals this time were in a favourable position to ask for a majority. They did not succeed, however, for reasons which our surveys will suggest: tiredness of an electorate called too often to the polls, un-Kennedy images projected by older leaders, and, possibly, distress at the atmosphere of scandals which at the time surrounded federal politics. In later chapters I shall describe the electors' perceptions of the cam­ paign, but it will help the reader at this stage to be reminded of the conditions of the elections of both 1963 and 1965, and to be given some indication of the purely local characteristics of the campaigns. The 1963 campaign

According to notes I made at the time, the campaign of 1963, seen from Vancouver, was dominated by three issues: (a) Diefenbaker's assumed indecisiveness in office; (b ) the acquisition of nuclear arms from the United States; and (c) the need for a majority government (the Con­ servatives had lost their majority in the election of 1962 but, still the largest party in parliament, had remained in office). A content analysis of the two Vancouver newspapers, the Sun, which supported the Liberals, and the Province, which supported the Conser­ vatives, even when it simply confirms my personal impressions of the campaign, gives a better measure of the relative importance of the various issues, in particular of the dominance of the nuclear arms ques­ tion. The relative weight of the issues mentioned in the newspapers was very simply measured by counting and classifying headlines. Two measures were used: (a) in the unweighted measure all headlines, whatever their size or position in the paper, have the same value; and (b) in the weighted measure, account is taken of the size of the headline.7 Taking into account, as I did, all headlines on whatever page they appeared, rather than restrict my analysis to the first and to the editorial pages,8 could be thought to have biased our findings towards national rather than local or provincial issues. It is not so; restricting the data to 7 / See note to Table 3. 8 / A presentation of techniques of content-analysis is in H. D. Lasswell, N. Leites, and associates, Language of Politics (New York: Stewart, 1949). See also B. Berelson, Content Analysis in Communication Research (Glencoe: The Free Press, 1952) and 0. R. Holsti, "Content Analysis for Social and Humanistic Research" (forthcoming).

Vancouver-Burrard / 15

the first and to the editorial pages would on the contrary have resulted in the Vancouver and the British Columbia issues having higher ranking than those recorded in Tables 3 and 4. More serious, however, than unavoidable biases resulting from the definition of an hypothetical reader (who reads nothing but headlines and all headlines?) is my inability to extend the content analysis of news pages to that of radio and television in order to have a global view of the issues debated during the campaign. TABLE3 Ranking by subject of newspaper political headlines during the last two weeks of the 1963 federal election (25 March to 6 April)

In the Sun as well as in the Province, between 25 March and 6 April 1963, the issue of "nuclear arms" dominates all others, especially if we add its corollary "relations with the United States" ( see Table 3). "Majority government" ranks high in the Sun (which supported the Liberals), but not so in the Province (which supported the Conserva­ tives); similarly the problem of "good government and effective leader­ ship," which usually presented or implied criticisms of Diefenbaker, ranks high in the Sun but not so in the Province. Surprisingly, the "Quebec question" ranks high - surprisingly because I had not noted it as an important theme at the time, and neither did our respondents. In 1963 the Burrard Liberal and New Democratic candidates

16 / People vs Politics

campaigned on the national themes of their parties. The Liberal candi­ date used "majority government" and the Pearson image as his main appeals, and the New Democratic candidate "nuclear arms" and "unem­ ployment." The Conservative candidate, for no clear reason, thought that he should ignore "nuclear weapons," which by then had become the major theme of his national party, and concentrate instead on the problems of national unity and of Liberal obstructionism in Parlia­ ment.9 The Social Credit candidate hardly campaigned at all. The campaign already characterized in Burrard by the close balance of the NDP, Liberal, and Conservative forces can also claim, in 1963, a rare personality balance between the NDP, Liberal, and Conservative candidates who were all three lawyers, all three in their 30s, and were none of them known to have played any prominent role in either pro­ vincial or federal politics.10 The Conservative candidate had held the seat in 1958, the NDP candidate had taken it in 1962, the Liberal, who was to take it, was a newcomer to the contest. For every 300 electors the Liberals and New Democrats had slightly more than one active campaign worker whereas the Conservatives had far fewer, only about one for 800 electors. The amount of literature distributed by the candi­ dates was roughly comparable for the three major parties. The Social Credit candidate had less than one helper for every 5,000 electors. The campaign of 1965 The election of 1965, according to my notes, was dominated by one issue, "majority government," but left room for a number of other themes - none of which crystallized the campaign as nuclear arms had done in 1963. In addition to majority government, the issues of 1965 were, still according to my notes: "social benefits" ( especially the pen­ sion plan), an issue used by all parties; "honesty in government," used by the Conservatives and the NDP; "national unity," used by the Con­ servatives. The NDP also used the issue of "time for a change; neither indecision with Diefenbakcr nor dishonesty with Pearson." The Social Credit campaign, centred on the provincial Premier, W. A C. Bennett, emphasized mostly the need of the province to protect its interests against a federal government dominated by eastern parties and in­ fluences. 9 I In 1962 a number of Conservative candidates had already divorced their campaign from that of Diefenbaker by concentrating on local issues. See D. H. Wrong, "Canadian Politics in the Sixties," Political Science Quarterly, 78, no. 1 (March, 1963 ), 5. 10 I Tom Berger, the NDP candidate, had been president of the provincial NOP but the office does not focus public attention. The campaign of Berger in the election of 1962, which immediately preceded that analysed, is described in Walter Young, "B.C. Labour Politics," in John Meisel, ed., Papers on the 1962 election (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1965).

Vancouver-Burrard / 17

The count of newspaper headlines for the period 25 October to 6 November 1965 gives markedly different results whether we use the weighted or the unweighted measure ( see Table 4). "Majority govern­ ment" ranks first in the Sun if we measure square inches but does not TABLE4 Ranking by subject of newspaper political headlines during the last two weeks of the 1965 federal election (25 October to 6 November)

appear in the list of major issues if we simply count the number of headlines. The reverse occurs for "scandals" in the Province. The weighted measure - the better of the two since it records the importance of the first page with its banner headlines - indicates that, unlike in 1963, the campaign was not clearly focused on a single dominant theme. I had not noted at the time the prominent role which "provincial issues" appear to have had in the Sun, the most widely read of the two newspapers ( about 65 per cent of our respondents read the Sun, 15 per cent read the Province, and another 15 per cent read both). Interestingly our 1965 respondents also minimized the role of provincial issues ;11 their perceptions, like mine, were selective of national rather than local or provincial problems. The two major contenders for the seat, the Liberal and the New Democrat, again modelled their campaigns on those of their national parties and leaders. The Conservative, again,. chose an opposite tactic. ll / See chap. 5 below.

18 / People vs Politics

The Liberal incumbent played mostly on the theme of "majority gov­ ernment" and "pensions," and used the name and picture of Pearson widely. The New Democrat made use of the national themes of his party: "time for a change" and "social benefits." A medical doctor, he made a specific effort to shift to his side the older female vote which was known to be mostly Liberal and Conservative, he reinforced his party promises of social insurance and old age pensions by his professional title. The Conservative candidate sought to divorce her campaign as much as possible from that of Diefenbaker and concentrated almost as much on local issues as she would have had she been running for city council. The Social Credit candidate, hardly more active than his pre­ decessor, had neither money nor campaign workers to help him locally. As previously, the NDP and the Liberals were, unlike their competitors, well provided with party activists. How do these local variations affect the election? What if the NDP candidate had not been a doctor? What if the Conservative had not been a woman? There are no definite answers to these questions, but indications are that the personality and the programme of the local candidate count for much less than the personality and the programme of the leader of the party. In the type of district we studied unless the candidate is a well-known political personality, and none of the Bur­ rard candidates were in that category, the final outcome is influenced only to a very limited extent by local accidents. In 1963 the Social Credit candidate, sure of defeat, concentrated his few helpers in selected polls in order to measure the influence of canvassing on the vote. He detected none. The NDP candidate of 1963 thinks that the influence of canvassing, the major form of local campaigning, is very limited; according to him the number of voluntary helpers a party obtains and the amount of work they are willing to undertake indicates, but barely alters, the political balance existing when the election was called. The Liberal incumbent puts more faith in local campaigning than do his opponents, maybe because he won the last two contests.12 The answers given by our respondents indicate that their attention was fixed on the national, not the local, campaigns. 12 / A systematic study of the effects of campaigning was beyond the scope of my study. A limited check based on the polling divisions which, because of failures in the NOP or Liberal organizations, had not been properly canvassed showed them to have the same electoral trends as the neighbouring polling units which bad been properly canvassed. The effectiveness of propaganda techniques in Canadian elections remains to be measured. For a model see a study of the Detroit area in Morris Janowitz and Dwaine Marvick, Competitive Pressure and

Democratic Consent: An Interpretation of the Politics of the 1952 Presidential Election (Ann Arbor: Michigan University Press, 1956); see also S. J. Eldersveld, "Experimental Propaganda Techniques and Voting Behavior," American Politi­ cal Science Review, 50 (March, 1956), 154-65.

2 Questions and Answers


Sampling is a problem for both the artist and the statistician; whereas the artist, seeking to give a description of the many by the few, uses his intuition, moves away from the data and rarely closes more than one eye, the statistician, distrusting himself completely, walks to the data blindfolded. To be blindfolded was imperative in this instance since students did the interviewing. Of the various techniques of sampling, we used the simplest and most accurate as far as drawing of the sample, but it is also one of the least rewarding for the size of the catch. In 1963, for example, every one of approximately forty thousand people appear­ ing on the election lists of the riding was given a number from one to forty thousand. Then random numbers were drawn to determine who would be sampled. No substitution was allowed should it be found that the person with whom we sought an interview had died or moved, or refused to answer. The method of selecting the sample is thus equiva­ lent to mixing up forty thousand names written on separate pieces of paper, and drawing the number of names desired. In both our major surveys, especially in 1965, the number of people successfully inter­ viewed was low compared with the number which other types of sam­ pling, quota sampling, for example, would have produced. 1 The sample was not primarily intended to study a particular riding, but rather to obtain a sociologically well-diversified catch, from which to draw ob­ servations of general interest. Why then rule out substitutions? Basi­ cally for two reasons: the interviewer, in case of non-contact or refusal, 1 / For an introduction to sampling techniques see among others: F. F. Stephan and P. J. McCarthy, Sampling Opinions: An Analysis of Survey Procedures (New York: Wiley, 1958), and C. H. Backstrom and G. D. Hursh, Survey Research (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1963).

20 / People vs Politics

used the time he would have devoted to the interview to obtain as much information as possible about the person who had not been interviewed in order to sort non-voters into forced and voluntary abstainers; sec­ ond was the need to deprive the interviewers of any discretion in select­ ing among houses or among respondents. Random area sampling, a more common type of sampling used in commercial research, tends to break down, at least with non-professional interviewers, when the inter­ viewer asks whoever answers the door to provide a list of all the people in the household from which the respondent is to be drawn by lot. Less random types of area sampling allow the possibility of substituting one house for another (in cases of refusal or non-contact) but invite the biases which result from the interviewer's natural tendency to go to the "better," to the more ''welcoming," houses. Not having made any a priori exclusion, that is, having taken as our universe all the people from the electoral lists of a particular riding, it was consistent with our original intention to try to interview only those people in our original sample. The advisability of using list sampling for the study of Canadian elections is due to the remarkable features of the federal election ma­ chinery. The door-to-door canvass of electors done during the fifteen weeks which precede the election is so thorough and the few restrictions on access to the lists so broadmindedly ignored that practically anyone residing in Canada at the time of an election can vote, provided that his accent is not too foreign or his looks too young.2 Two surveys provide us with most of the data. The first was made in 1963, the second in 1965, both on the occasion of a federal election. Two other related surveys give incidental material: (a) interviews ob­ tained on the occasion of the provincial election of 1963; and (b) a series of two reinterviews, spread over three years, of some of the re­ spondents in our original 1963 sample. The first major survey, that of 1963, sought to reduce the non­ response as much as possible. After the first wave of interviewing, done voluntarily by students, had produced completed interviews for 65 per cent of the 456 names drawn by chance, trained interviewers were em­ ployed to approach again or seek to make contact with the people who had either refused or not been reached. This systematic raking con­ tinued for two months after the election; it was stopped when continua­ tion of efforts at catching the air hostesses, the travelling salesmen, and the fishermen who had eluded our hunt could not have raised the total 2 / A more detailed description of the rules governing the recording of electors in urban areas is in J. A. Laponce, "Non-Voting and Non-Voters: A Typology," Canadian Journal of Economics and Political Science, 33, no. 1 (February, 1967), 15-81.

Questions and Answers / 21

of completed interviews by more than 2 per cent. No such raking fol­ low the other surveys. This explains why the refusal rate rose from 16 per cent in 1963 to 25 per cent in 1965 and why the non-contact rate rose from 10 per cent to 23 per cent. 3 The comparison of people contacted with those who were not showed no statistically significant difference for sex, profession, or home-assess­ ment value. A marked difference appeared for age: in 1963, for ex­ ample, 23 per cent of those classified by the electoral list as "retired" were not contacted, as compared to 7 per cent for the other categories. A marked difference appeared also between the older and the newer residents. Four per cent of the people at their address for three years or more could not be contacted as opposed to 14 per cent of those at their address for less than a year.4 Our search has thus tended to miss the very sedentary older persons who have to be approached through interme­ diaries, those who do not themselves come to the door to answer a call, and also the transient, very mobile apartment dwellers. These failures are not too serious since both groups, because of the sociological com­ position of the riding, are well represented among our respondents. Comparison of numbers of respondents with refusals shows again a marked difference according to age: in 1963, 29 per cent of retired people refused to answer as compared with 15 per cent for the other groups. It shows also a significant correlation with political participa­ tion: only 16 per cent of the 1963 respondents, but 25 per cent of those who refused to answer the questionnaire, did not vote. 5 3 / For more details see appendix I. 4 I A follow-up study of non-respondents made in the United States found that "hard to reach" individuals were not markedly different from the original respon­ dents. See G. A. Lundberg and Otto N. Larsen, "Characteristics of Hard to Reach Individuals in Field Surveys," Public Opinion Quarterly, 13, no. 3 (Fall, 1949), 487-94. The sharper contrasts recorded in our survey may be due to the noted residential mobility and high percentage of older people in Vancouver­ Burrard. 5 I The proportion of refusals I encountered is higher than those reported by most American and British studies. In their Elmira study, Berelson and his col­ leagues report 7 per cent refusals; in their Bristol study of 1951, Milne and McKenzie indicate 8 to 9 per cent refusals. In a survey made in Manchester, Birch and Campbell met with only 6 per cent refusals. In the various samples taken for their cross-national study, Almond and Verba report, however, higher refusal rates, 10 per cent in the United States, 16 per cent in Great Britain, 14 per cent in Mexico, 13 per cent in Italy, 10 per cent in Germany. Differences in sampling techniques make the comparison of these percentages somewhat diffi­ cult (while the British studies, like mine, use list sampling, the American studies use area sampling) but even allowing for these differences, this district showed, mostly because of its high proportion of older people, a strong resistance to being interviewed. Using a sampling techniques similar to mine, but in a "younger" riding, John Meisel obtained in Kingston a high (90 per cent) response. The relative inexperience of my student interviewers is unlikely to be an important factor in our higher refusal rates since the Meisel as well as the British surveys were also made by students, and since, in my 1963 survey, the second wave of

22 / People vs Politics II THE QUESTIONNAIRES

Throughout the various surveys made in Vancouver-Burrard the ques­ tionnaire remained basically the same; to present that used in 1965 will suffice ( see appendix III). Preceding the establishment of the questionnaire of 1963 a pilot sur­ vey had been used to test its applicability. It was important to ensure that the vocabulary was properly understood and that no question pro­ duced enough hostility to cause loss of co-operation. As a result of this test a question asking respondents to rank party leaders on a left-to­ right scale was dropped, since it produced too many queries and absten­ tions. Two terms, "issue" and "representative," brought requests for ex­ planations. The words were not changed but, as an exception to the rule, the interviewer was authorized, in case of a lack of understanding, to substitute "things discussed during this election campaign" for ''issue," and to replace "representative" by "the man elected from this riding in the last election." Some interviewers reported awkwardness and a break in the normal flow of answers, both when the subject was asked the names of the federal and provincial leaders of the Communist party and when asked to indicate whether he thought that Jews were a danger to Canada. The decision was, however, to let these questions stand without modification. Asking the subject whether he agreed with the statement that "the planet under which a child is born has some in­ fluence on his character" - a question taken from Adorno's F scale of authoritarian attitudes6 - was expected to produce difficulties; it had been included in the pilot survey with little hope that it would remain in the final version. However, the question caused no trouble. The interviewers had been asked to write in the margins of the ques­ tionnaire any qualifications and comments offered by the respondent. Less than 5 per cent of the completed interviews contained such asides which usually proposed differences between provincial and federal poliinterviewing which sought to reduce non-response was made by trained female interviewers. Second to age as a factor of high refusal rates is probably the greater passivity of an electorate faced with unwanted elections. See B. Berelson, P. Lazarsfeld, and W. McPhee, Voting (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1954); R. S. Milne and H. C. MacKenzie, Straight Fight (London: the Hansard Society, 1954); G. Almond and S. Verba, The Civic Culture (Princeton: Prince­ ton University Press, 1963); A. H. Birch and P. Campbell, "Voting behaviour in a Lancashire Constituency,'' British Journal of Sociology, 1 (September, 1950), 197-208; J. Meisel, "Religious Affiliation and Electoral Behaviour: A Case Study," Canadian Journal of Economics and Political Science, 22, no. 4 (November, 1956), 481-96. 6 I The so-called F-scale (after Fascist) was obtained by Adorno and his col­ leagues in a study of authoritarian attitudes. See T. W. Adorno et al., The Authori­ tarian Personality (New York: Harper, 1950).

Questions and Answers / 23

ties. On the whole the questionnaire was accepted passively. A confir­ mation of this passivity is the fact that less than 4 per cent of the respondents either asked the interviewer or wrote or phoned to ask the university to inform them of the results of the study. III RELIABILITY OF THE RESPONSES

Every answer obtained is subject to three distortions which complicate the analysis: distortions caused by errors in recording the data; distor­ tions caused by purposely misleading answers; and distortions caused by answers given at random. Errors in the compilation of the data

Errors may occur at various stages between the subject answering the interviewer and the final printed tabulation obtained from computers. The interviewer might by mistake notch or circle the wrong answer, the coders who transcribe the questionnaires on IBM cards might call, or write the wrong figures or put them in the wrong columns, and the pro­ grammes used to obtain tabulations from the computer might produce faulty groupings. 7 Suppose, for example, that the sex of a given respon­ dent were mistakenly recorded at each of the stages we have mentioned; then the transformations would have been as follows: ( 1) sex of the subject- male; (2) sex recorded by the interviewer - female; ( 3) sex transcribed on the written coded sheets - male; ( 4) sex put on the IBM cards - female; and, ( 5) sex indicated by a faulty programming- male. The mistakes happening at step two can sometimes be reduced by checking with independent sources of information, electoral lists, for example. In the surveys this was possible for sex and profession but mistakes occurring at this stage are usually impossible to correct, and most will never be detected. Mistakes at steps three and four, especially at step four, are unlikely- because of the re-checking procedures - but they do happen. The mistakes at step five are easily detected when they are gross mistakes producing tabulations without internal consistency or tabulations violating what is already known about the data (for ex­ ample, a tabulation which would not produce the expected number of men and women). Small mistakes, especially when the total number of cases of the sub-categories is not known, usually remain undetected. As a test of the clerical reliability of our data compare the recorded 7 / A description of the operations necessary to translate information obtained from questionnaires into punched cards, as well as an explanation of the opera­ tions carried out by a computer in the processing of the cards, is in Kenneth Janda, Data Processin g (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1965).

24 / People vs Politics

information on the sex of 110 of our respondents who were interviewed twice, eighteen months apart. The question indicating the sex of the subject was answered directly by the interviewer, interviewing being always done in person and never by phone or by mail. According to our data 1.8 per cent of the subjects changed sex. It is of course regrettable, but should not disturb us too much; it is an invitation to ignore the few deviant cases, to consider 98 per cent as good as 100 per cent. Misleading answers

To lie is a common, instinctive act of protection against questioning. This could be expected of our respondents as a defence against the questions which, if answered truthfully, would have put them at a dis­ advantage vis-a-vis the interviewer. The systematic liar, the person who who accepts being interviewed for the enjoyment of distorting his an­ swers and for the sustained pleasure of knowing that he has planted seeds of untruth where they are not expected, is rare enough, at least when the interview is done in person, not to be a problem. The more common and more disturbing distortion is that caused by the weight of cultural norms on the person interviewed, by the many guardian angels speaking for and through the subject. The less sure of the rightness of their actions and the more eager to please respondents are, the greater is the weight of such cultural norms.8 The general tendency in case of doubt is to answer "yes" rather than "no," to say that one voted when one in fact did not, to say that one is a Liberal when one is nothing in particular. We have few objective checks, external to the data, which enable us to establish the reliability of responses. Fortunately the answer to one question known to produce wide distortions (Were you able to vote in the last election?) could be checked. To measure the level of misleading answers one may compare the official voting records with the answers given by 119 subjects interviewed immediately after the election of April 1963. The total of misleading answers is 16 per cent, a proportion in keeping with that observed in the United States where similar checks, for comparable sampling universes, have shown the proportion of wrong answers to vary between 10 per cent and 40 per cent, depending upon the type and the remoteness of the election. The distortion is caused 8 I A question asked by an interviewer strikes the respondent in a specific con­ text of which the interviewer is a part; inversely, in posing the question the inter­ viewer is influenced by the person interviewed. For theoretical discussions of this difficulty and examples of the weight of cultural norms see H. Cantril, Gauging Public Opinion (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1944), and J. W. Getzels, "The Question-Answer Process: A Conceptualization and Some Derived Hypo­ theses for Empirical Examination," Public Opinion Quarterl y, 18, no. 1 (Spring, 1954), 80-91.

25 mostly by people who say that they voted when in fact they did not9 While only 5 per cent of those who voted (N 83) say that they did not vote, probably as an escape from further political probing, 50 per cent (N = 23) of those who did not vote say that they did. This high level of misreporting is a measure of the influence of political norms when the question offers no possibility of escape, for example, answers such as "I do not remember," "I have not made up my mind," or "I do not know." Whenever the weight of cultural norms is heavy, measuring the fre­ quency of hidden opinion or behaviour becomes difficult, sometimes impossible. The data can usually be used, however, to determine the existence of trends if not to measure their magnitude. Small observed differences may indicate what would be sharply contrasted if the cul­ tural coating could be eliminiated. For example, in a culture which favours verbal disapproval of such attitudes as racial prejudice, what seem single instances of these attitudes may indicate that they are in fact widespread. Misreporting may either accentuate or blur differences, and the ab­ sence of data on which to base a hypothesis may leave an analyst won­ dering which is most likely to have occurred. One could hypothesize that the better informed are less likely to misreport by saying that they voted when they did not, on the assumption that they probably have a legitimate reason - political or not - for not having voted. Or one could hypothesize that the better informed are more likely to say that they voted when they did not, since, one could assume, they are more likely to feel embarrassed for not having voted than a person who is less Questions and Answers /


9 I In their Ewing township study, Parry and Crossley found rates of misreport­ ing varying from 14 to 31 per cent, the lower in presidential, the higher in pri­ mary elections. In the Waukegan study, M. Miller found misreporting of voting to be 10 per cent of his sample. See H.J. Parry and H. M. Crossley, "Validity of Responses to Survey Questions," Public Opinion Quarterly, 14, no. 1 (1950), 61-80, and Mungo Miller, "The Waukegan Study of Voter Turnout Prediction," Public Opinion Quarterly, 16 (1952), 381-98. A check of the official voting records of the respondents of the nation-wide election study made in 1964 by the Michigan Survey Research Center indicates that, depending on the assumptions made regarding the individuals whose behaviour could not be determined accurately, misreporting could have been as low as 2 per cent, as high as 26 per cent, with 8 per cent being the percentage most likely to be accurate. See A. R. Clausen "Response Validity: Vote Report," University of Michigan, manuscript, 1967. One can assume a tendency among many non-voters to reduce dissonance either by depreciating the importance of elections in order to make the election justify their behaviour, or to say that they had voted to make their behaviour consonant with the importance they attach or imagine that the interviewer attaches to the election. See Leon Festinger, A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance (New York: Harper and Row, 1957), and R. F. Carter, "Bandwagon and Sand­ bagging Effects: Some Measures of Dissonance Reduction," Public Opinion Quarterly, 23, no. 2 (Summer, 1959), 279-87.

26 / People vs Politics

interested in politics. Thus for every question analysed one is invited to consider the weight of cultural norms; whether there was a distortion; whether the distortion was likely to have biased the data, and if so, by how much. Random answers Every answer which involves using a continuum, and many an answer involving simply the selection of nominal categories, is surrounded by an area of randomness. If we are asked to indicate our sex or year of birth and we decide not to misrepresent facts, our answer is not subject to randomness. But if we are asked to rank between one and ten our masculine and our feminine traits of character, or if we decide to mis­ report our age slightly, then the answer given is likely to be random. If we ranked our masculine traites at eight and our feminine qualities at four, the chances were high that we might just as well have said seven and three, or eight and five. If we misrepresented our age by three years, the chances were high that we might have mis­ represented it either by four or only by two. Ideally, the analyst should be able to plot for every respondent and for every question the distribu­ tion of such random answers.10 A few examples illustrate the problems these answers pose for the interpretation of data. Of the 110 people interviewed twice, eighteen months apart, 12 per cent indicated different years of birth; interest­ ingly none of these cases appears in the category of people under 34 years of age. Since one should expect that 1 per cent to 2 per cent of such variations may be due to coding mistakes, about 10 per cent is likely to come from misreporting. Of course there is no way of telling which of the two different dates given is the correct one, or whether either is correct, but one should expect that the individual who changes his year of birth will do so within reason, and will not take it at random unless within rather narrow limits. If, for example, one were to select, arbitrarily, a three-year range as the area of "allowable" randomness, or, in other words, if we were to consider that the respondent who gave us two different dates of birth separated by less than four years gave us a similar answer, the percentage of discrepancies would fall from twelve to three. If a variation of less than five years was considered no varia10 / For studies of the stability of responses to questions on behaviour or knowledge see H. Cantril, Gauging Public Opinion; R. Bain, "Stability in Ques­ tionnaire Response," American Journal of Sociology, 37 (1941 ), 445-53, and E. M. Bennett, R. L. Blomquist, and A. C. Goldstein, "Response Stability in Limited Response Questioning," Public Opinion Quarterly, 18, no. 2 (Summer, 1954), 218-23. Re-interview by the same interviewer produces fewer discrepant answers than when the re-interview is done by different interviewers as in our Burrard study. See Herbert H. Hyman, Interviewing in Social Research (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1954), 246ff.

Questions and Answers / 27

tion at all, only 2 per cent would be left. Now close to a possible per­ centage of clerical errors on a small number of cases, an analyst may say that the area of randomness around the year of birth is four years, which, to him, is equivalent to saying that the answers recorded are similar. A second example shows how randomness varies as a function of the categories of answers offered to the respondent. Measuring the stability of the religious affiliation of the 100 subjects by using the three cate­ gories "Protestant," "Catholic," and "Jewish," one obtains a stability ratio of 99 per cent. But using the more refined description "United Church and its component churches," "Anglicans," "Lutherans," and "non-Protestants" he finds that the ratio of stability falls to 92.8 per cent; with the categories "United Church," "Baptist," "Presbyterian," "Anglican," "Lutheran," and "non-Protestants" the ratio is 90 per cent. In the last case the lower ratio is caused by 15 per cent of the Protestants giving varied answers. It is not impossible of course that such a propor­ tion changed church in less than two years, but the data suggests strongly that the differences observed are due to randomness as well as change of church. In both surveys a number of individuals may have hesitated between "Anglican" and "United Church," or between "United Church" and "Presbyterian," in particular respondents who come from families divided in their religious affiliations. Assuming that the answer was given at random between two equally likely choices, about half of those who had given the first choice the first time gave the second choice the second time, and vice versa. To explain the difference between the two results by hesitations between two equally possible answers would then be to say that as much as 30 per cent of Protestants hesitate be­ tween specific Protestant churches when giving a religious identification. The fact that between the two interviews the movements between Pro­ testant categories roughly compensate one another reinforces the sup­ position that many of these movements are explainable by random choice. Responses to the question "How do rich people vote?" will illustrate further the disturbing effect of random answers. Only 2 per cent of the answers obtained from the same respondents in the two successive in­ terviews indicate parties other than Liberals and Conservatives, that is, the answers are not given at random between all parties. Ignore those deviant answers which identify the vote of rich people with either the NDP or the Social Credit Party; among the remaining cases, that is, those involving only the Conservative and Liberal parties, the answers given in 1963 and 1964 by the same respondents were distributed as follows in Table 5. The aggregate statistics for 1963 and for 1964 fail to indicate any

28 / People vs Politics TABLES "For what party do rich people vote?" Answers (percentages) given in 1963 and in 1964 by the same respondents

sizable change in respondents' perceptions: in both years 20 to 25 per cent of respondents identify the vote of rich people with the Liberals, about 60 per cent with the Conservatives, and about 15 per cent with both parties. At first glance it would thus seem that roughly 25 per cent in each interview do not think of the Conservative party in association with the word "rich." From observation of the two successive inter­ views one would say that 10 per cent ( top left comer cell) never think of the Conservatives. Note, however, that the percentages which represent the unstable answers are of similar size, 10 and 14 per cent; 2 and 2 per cent; 4 and 6 per cent The figures suggest a strong possibility that 10 per cent and 14 per cent, rather than measuring the number of people whose perception has changed from Conservatives to Liberals or vice versa, measure the number of people who at both times gave a ran­ dom answer after hesitating between Liberals and Conservatives. Now suppose that 10 per cent, to take the lower figure, represents the visible number of random choices between Conservatives and Liberals; some­ body answering at random had the same chance of saying "Liberal" in both 1963 and 1964 as of saying "Liberal" in 1963 and "Conservative" in 1964; therefore, take 10 per cent out of each of the Liberal or Con­ servative cells of the contingency table, and the portion of Table 5 which read as (a) would then read as ( b), indicated in Table 6. Table 6 ( b) leads one to think that, in either 1963 or 1964, 100 per TABLE6

Questions and Answers / 29

cent of the sample associated the Conservative party with the term "rich,'' whereas assuming no random answer ( as in Table 5) led one to say that only 90 per cent did so. In studying the association of ideas between "Conservatives" and "rich people" common sense indicated safe grounds in assuming that much, if not all, of the changes observed between the two dates is due to hesitation between the two major parties, hesitation resolved by a random choice. But analysing a question such as "What is your political preference?" might have provided no valid hypothesis to explain whether observed variations were due to hesitations or to actual changes. Furthermore, random answers have a most disturbing effect on the tests of statistical significance to which one subjects data. Depending upon the number of individuals answering at random, a given correla­ lation found not to be statistically significant may become such if those individuals are removed; inversely, it may happen that counting them will tum a previously not statistically significant association into a sig­ nificant one. This is a warning that the analyst should seek to reduce the number of such answers by the type of question asked, by the kind of scale offered, by the regrouping of answers made on that scale, and, whenever necessary, by excluding from the study the types of respon­ dents most likely to give random opinions. 11 Sampling errors

If no clerical error had been made, if no misreporting had been com­ mitted, if no randomness ever existed in the answers given, it would still remain that the observations made on our data are, strictly speaking, applicable only to that data. Random sampling gives a possibility of extrapolating to a larger population. The inference from, say, 400 to 40,000 is, however, subject to the unavoidable limitations occurring from sampling errors. In 1963, for example, had everyone of the 456 people who fell into the sample been interviewed, the chances that a given characteristic of these 456 be shared in the same proportion by the 40,569 people on the electoral lists would be high; but it remains that the sampling error would, at the 95 per cent level of confidence, be about 4 to 6 per cent below or above the percentage recorded by our survey ( the closer that percentage to the 50 per cent mark, the higher the sampling error). In fact the margins of error in our surveys will be higher because we did not interview all the people who fell within the 11 / On the disturbing effect of opinions expressed by those who in fact have hardly any, see P. E. Converse, "Nouvelles dimensions de la signification des reponses dans les sondages sur les opinions publiques," Revue internationale des sciences sociales, 16, no. 1 (1964 ), 21-38.

30 / People vs Politics

sample but at best only 75 per cent of them.12 The statistical link be­ tween the 400 and the 40,000 thus becomes weaker. Comparison of known characteristics - sex, age, profession - of those who either re­ fused or were not contacted and of those successfully interviewed, gives us an intuitive reassurance that, except with regard to age, those inter­ viewed are representative of the total population, but this intuitive re­ assurance is a poor substitute for statistical assurance. These observations may well confirm the reader ( colleagues in par­ ticular) in his opinion that there is something not only improper but also unsound on both the social and the scientific sides of the social sciences. This would be unfortunate. The very limitations of survey techniques invite that many duplications be made in an area of research before the emergence of the stable social and political patterns which we seek. Always more important than obtaining high significance tests, will be the confirmation of our findings by other studies. 12 / As far as I can tell non-contact did not introduce any serious bias in our sample; refusals, on the contrary biased the sample against older people and non­ voters and consequently against people with a low level of political interest. In his Madison (Washington State) study, Lowe reports rates of refusals about similar for men and women, much lower for professional people than for any other occupational group, and rates increasing regularly with age from a low of 2.3 per cent in the 21-29 age group to a high of 17 per cent in the over-70 age group. See F. E. Lowe and T. C. McCormick, "Some Survey Sampling Biases," Public Opinion Quarterly, 19, no. 3 (1955), 303-15. Our observations are identi­ cal. See appendix n.

3 Voters and Non-Participants

IN ALL URBAN INDUSTRIAL SOCIETIES dropping a ballot into a box on a day of strong moral obligation - a national election day, for example is among the most popular community rituals. More adult Christians vote in a federal election than go to church on Sunday.1 Although it could easily be attributed to factors such as a lack of preference among candidates, non-voting is likely to be seen as a sin against society (50 per cent of the Burrard non-voters claimed that they had voted).2 1 / In a preliminary report to his large scale study of participation in church rituals, Norbert Lacoste indicates for the Montreal area, among Catholics, levels of Sunday church attendance varying from a high of 77.9 per cent in Assumption suburb to a low of 45 to SO per cent in the centre of the city. Norbert Lacoste, < L'Bnquete de 1961 sur la pratique religieuse », Eglise de Montreal: La semai11e religieuse, 12 July 1966, 563-73. In small American cities, which have higher levels of church attendance than do larger, the level of Sunday church going is estimated to vary between 50 and 75 per cent. The study of a "good" Catholic parish in Chicago showed church attendance on Christmas Day to be only slightly over half of the baptised parishioners, a level only 33 per cent higher than on a regular Sunday. See Fran�is Houtart, Aspects sociologiques du Catholicisme americain (Paris: Les Editions Ouvrieres, 1957), in particular pp. 311 and 317. Although it is based on questionnaire surveys rather than on objective counting, see also Bernard Lazerwitz, "Some Factors Associated with Variations in Church Attendance," Social Forces, 39, no. 4. (March, 1961), 301-8. He reports that 43 per cent of a national sample of the adult us population said they attended church regularly; the highest score being for negro Baptists (84 per cent) and upper class Catholics (82 per cent). In Europe the levels of church attendance are much lower. In Italy it varies from 36 per cent in urban to 41 per cent in rural areas, see Le Monde, 11 August 1966. In France large cities have rates under 20 per cent, see among others Lucien Gros, La Pratique religieuse dans le dioc�se de Marseilles (Paris: Spes, 1954); Yvan Daniel, Aspects de la pratique religieuse a Paris (Paris: Spees. 1952). For a comparison of England and the us see M. Argyle, Religious Behaviour (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1958). 2 / This high rate of misreporting results from both strong cultural pressures and lack of "escape" answers such as not being registered. In a Washington State survey Freeman reports 18 per cent of non-voters saying they had voted. See A. E. Freeman, "A Note on the Prediction of Who Votes," Public Opinion Quarterly, 17, no. 2 (1953), 288-92.

32 / People


Probably this high level of democratic participation is related, as Tocqueville had predicted,8 to the decline of religion. More generally, it seems related to the weakening or destruction of the parochial societies of the past, to the disappearance of extended families, and to the lesser role of local communities - all of which used to satisfy the individual's need to surround himself with a group giving him protection and drama. A high level of voting measures the success of nationalism as well as the success of democratic rule. It is amazing to see how many people vote.4 Differences in the procedure of enumeration of voters in Canada be­ fore and after 1930 make it difficult to compare the present levels of voting participation with those of the nineteenth or early twentieth cen­ turies. Since 1930, when the present method of enumeration was intro­ duced, the voting level has risen slowly but noticeably. From 1930 to 1957 the national level fluctuates around 72 per cent, often coming close to, without ever going over, 75 per cent of the electorate; the elec­ tions of 1958, 1962, and 1963 broke through the three-quarters barrier with levels of 79 per cent, 80 per cent, and 79 per cent respectively. The election of 1965 deviates sharply from this new norm. A vote of only 75 per cent of the registered electors marks a return to a level reached in the 1930s.5 Our analysis of non-voters is based on the survey of 1963 because the election of that year, with national participation close to 80 per cent, is typical of the mid-century norm. After determining for that year the true level of voluntary abstention and describing the various types and characteristics of non-voters, I shall consider the election of 1965. THE TRUE LEVEL OF VOLUNTARY ABSTENTION

According to official figures 78 per cent of the people of Vancouver­ Burrard appearing on the electoral lists voted in the election of 1963. This percentage is slightly below the 80 per cent averages for British ap

I 5 I A.


Voters and Non-Participants / 33 Columbia and for Canada as a whole. The riding is midway between the downtown, skidrow districts which in that election scored about 70 per cent, and the rural districts which reached as high as 85 per cent in British Columbia and 91 per cent in Prince Edward Island. The non-voters in our riding (22 per cent)6 belong to two groups forced and voluntary non-voters.7 Of 456 people sampled, 100 were officially recorded as not having voted. Each was studied to determine how many could not reasonably have been expected to vote. The number belonging to that group was 24 (5.25 per cent of the sample) who were incapable of voting for the following reasons: no such person exists at this or any other address in the Vaucouver area (1); us citizens mistakenly put on the lists by third parties (3); dead (3); critically ill (3); and moved out of the Vancouver area, away on holiday or business (14). The last two categories require comment. The definition of illness was very restrictive: a "critically ill" person was near death or com­ pletely senile (two of the three died shortly after the election). The last category comprises people away not only on election day but also at the time of advance voting. In all cases the person could possibly have returned but, for reasons of expense or physical discomfort, to do so would have made them electoral heroes. I asked myself whether in the same circumstances I would have gone back to vote and whether I would have expected anybody with the financial means of the person studied to have gone back and voted; my negative answer to the ques­ tions made the person a forced non-voter. Of 100 non-voters, 24 forced abstainers is the minimum. The number must have been higher for two reasons: (a) post-election interviews with 117 people indicated that the ratio of non-serious illness keeping people indoors on the day of an election was likely to be 0.85 per cent; (b) the same post-election inter­ views indicated a similar ratio of miscellaneous accidents which would normally divert from the polls the person who had intended to vote.8 That 1.70 per cent of our sample should be prevented from voting by minor accidents or illnesses does not contradict the findings of other studies, nor the expected ratio of incapacitation in a population which is much older than the national average. The percentage of forced abstentions which cannot have been lower than 5.25 per cent is more 6 / According to official figures, 21.6 per cent of the electors registered in Bur­ rard abstained in 1963; of our sample, 21.99 per cent did so. 1 / The following analysis of non-voting in 1963 and the typology of non-voters appeared first in J. A. Laponce, "Non-Voting and Non-Voters: A Typology," Canadian Journal of Economics and Political Science, 33, no. 1 (February, 1967),


8 / These two percentages of incapacitations unlike those previously given are based not on our observations but on reports by the respondents.

34 / People vs Politics

likely to have been 6.95 per cent. In other words, out of 456 people in the sample only 424 could have voted. The real level of electoral parti­ cipation can thus be assumed to be 356 X 100/424 = 83.96. This difference of 5 percentage points between official and estimated voting levels indicates that the 79 per cent level of official participation recorded for Canada as a whole probably covers a true level of parti­ cipation higher than 83 per cent, certainly lower than 90 per cent, and likely to be around 85 per cent. Thus, in Vancouver-Burrard, as in Canada as a whole, chronic and temporary abstainers probably repre­ sent, at a high tide of electoral participation, about 15 per cent of the potential electors. Lack of similarity in registration systems creates difficulties in comparing the percentages with those of other nations. However, they seem of the same order as those obtained in other industrial countries like France, Great Britain, and Switzerland. They probably measure also what the level of participation would be in the United States in the absence of the existing registration and residence requirements. 9 Eliminating 24 cases, the minimum number of forced non-voters, leaves 76 abstainers, of whom a few, at most two or three, must also hypothetically have been forced non-voters. In 61 of the 76 cases suffi­ cient information characterizes the individual; in the 15 cases in which this information is lacking, we assume that the characteristics of the voluntary abstainers are shared in the same proportion. These 61 people fall into one of four major categories: boycotters, retired elec­ tors, barbarians, or spectators. Each voluntary non-voter is de­ scribed by the most salient of his traits, but more than one non-voting trait could of course be found in the same person. This typology was 9 I Among the studies of non-voting see, for the United States: C. E. Merriam

and H. F. Gosnell, Non-Voting: Causes and Methods of Control (Chicago: Uni­ versity of Chicago Press, 1924); B. A. Arneson, "Non-Voting in a Typical Ohio Community," American Political Science Review, 19 (1925), 816-25; James K. Pollock, Voting Behavior: A Case Study (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1939); E. H. Litchfield, Voting Behavior in a Metropolitan Community (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1941); G. M. Connelly and H. H. Field, ''The Non-Voter: Who He is; What He thinks," Public Opinion Quarterly, 8 (Summer, 1944), 175-87; P. Lazarsfeld, B. Berelson, and H. Gaudet, The People's Choice (New York: Columbia University Press, 1944); J. E. Miller, "Atypical Voting Behavior in Philadelphia," Public Opinion Quarterly, 12, no. 3 (1948-49), 489-90; B. Arneson and W. Eells, "Voting Behavior in 1948 as Compared with 1924 in a Typical Ohio Community," American Political Science Review, 44, no. 2 (1950), 432-4; Angu s Campbell, G. Gurin, and W. E. Miller, The Voter Decides (Evanston: Row, Peterson, 1954); P. K. Hastings, ''The Non­ Voter in 1952: A Study of Pittsfield, Massachusetts," Journal of Psychology, 38 (1954), 301-12; B. Berelson, P. Lazarsfeld, and W. McPhee, Voting (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1954); Angus Campbell, P. Converse, W. E. Miller and D. Stokes, The American Voter (New York: Wiley, 1960); W. A. Glaser, "Fluctuations in Turnout," in W. McPhee and Glaser, eds., Congressional Elec­ tions (Glencoe: The Free Press, 1962). W. G. Andrews, "American Voting

Voters and Non-Participants / 35

used as one would a series of grids: if a particular non-voter could be characterized as a boycotter, he was put in that category; if not he might be a former elector now retired from the competition, or a barbarian, or a spectator, depending upon the level of his political knowledge. Boycotters account for 0.6 per cent, retired electors for 2.4 per cent, barbarians for 7.9 per cent, and spectators for 6.7 per cent of the potential electorate. BOYCOTTERS

As a means of questioning the legitimacy of the political system or of those who control it, refusing to vote may be a more effective political act than voting. The "revolutionary boycotter" who refuses allegiance is common in Europe and South America but rare in North America, and none appeared in the sample. The two individuals indicating Com­ munist sympathies did vote, although all candidates were anti-commu­ nist. In their proclaimed intention to abstain, the two individuals classified as boycotters (representing 0.6 per cent of the potential elec­ torate) showed their opposition not to a specific political system or to specific rulers but to politics in general. One of the boycotters explained non-voting on religious grounds- "We are in God's power; it is he who governs us." The second boycotter, an equally gentle individual, ab­ stained for purely secular reasons: he disliked all political parties equally, Communists as well as Conservatives; his knowledge of politics was average and his perception of issues good; but he resented the social pressure put on him to go to the polls and intended to resist it. Participation," Western Political Quarterly, 19 (1966), 639. For Great Britain, see: M. Benney, A. P. Gray, and R.H. Pear, How People Vote (London: Rout­ ledge and Kegan Paul, 1956); R. S. Milne and H. C. Mackenzie, Marginal Seat, 1955 (London: Hansard Society, 1958); J. Blonde!, Voters, Parties, and Leaders (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1963); A. J. AJlen, The English Voter (Lon­ don: English Universities Press, 1964). For France, see: M. Dogan and J. Narbonne, « L'Abstentionisme electoral en France », Revue fran�aise de science politique, 1954, 2-26, 301-25; «La Psychologie politique des femmes», Sondages, 1954, nos. 2 and 3; Jean Pataut, « Les Abstentions aux elections legislatives dans la Nievre, 1902-1951 », in F. Goguel, ed., Nouvelles Etudes de sociologie elec­ torale (Paris: A. Colin, 1954); M. Duverger, La Participation des femmes a la vie politique (Paris: UNESCO, 1955); J. Stoetzel, "Voting Behaviour in France," British Journal of Sociology 6, no. 2 (June, 1955),104-22; A. Lancelot,L'absten­ tionnisme electoral en France (forthcoming); A. Lancelot and J. Ranger,« Les Abstentions au referendum du 28 septembre 1958 », Revue franfaise de science politique, 11, no. 1 (March, 1961), 138-42. For Switzerland, see: Roger Girod, « Facteurs de l'abstentionnisme en Suisse >, Revue franfaise de science politique, ill, no. 2 (April, 1953), 349-76. For other countries, mostly European, Herbert Tingsten's classic, Political Behavior: Studies in Election Statistics (Stockholm: Norstedt, 1937), reprinted by Bedminster Press in 1963, is a good introduction.

36 / People vs Politics

His reactions were akin to those of some bachelors to marriage - a fear of losing their integrity. Two other individuals on whom information is scarce might also have been boycotters: in the short conversation pre­ ceding their refusal to be interviewed they indicated in violent terms hostility to politics and politicians in general. Unlike the first two, these individuals lived in the poorer section of the district. RETIRED VOTERS

The retired electors (2.4 per cent of the people who could have voted) are former participants who, although generally knowledgeable and in­ terested, indicated that they would not vote because of their age or health. Interviews showed two types of retired electors. The first dis­ cussed politics willingly and intelligently, but said that voting was an involvement which they preferred to avoid. "The weak," says Machia­ velli, "dares not decide because he cannot afford to lose." The second type of retired elector is a person who has reached the point where he not so much lives as relives, who is detached from the present; his world is centred on himself, his immediate family, and his memories. In the absence of relatives and friends who would walk him to the polls, he naturally abstains from a ritual not suitable to his age. Politics, even in its most peaceful translations, still evokes or covers violence. BARBARIANS

Boycotters and retired electors account for only 3 per cent of those who could have voted since most non-voters either indicated that they would vote or at least did not volunteer their intention of not voting. How many are chronic non-voters is not known; residential mobility makes following these individuals' voting histories impossible. Unfor­ tunately, therefore, the permanent cannot be separated from the occa­ sional non-voter. Instead all non-voters other than retired or boycotters were separated into three groups according to their knowledge of poli­ tics.10 At the lowest level are the political barbarians (8 per cent of 10 / To separate respondents according to their knowledge of politics I used the question "Could you name the provincial and federal leaders of the following parties: Communist, Liberal, NDP, Progressive Conservative, Social Credit?" Two points were given for each correct answer and one point for giving a correct name but in the wrong position (provincial leader instead of federal or vice-versa). The highest possible score was 20. Barbarians are the respondents who scored less than five, poorly-informed spectators those who scored more than 4 and less

Voters and Non-Participants / 37

potential electors) who when asked to identify the national and pro­ vincial leaders of the five major Canadian parties, could not name more than two; half of the barbarians could not name a single leader. The twenty-seven people who passed the criteria of political barbarism have in common a poor or inadequate perception of the campaign issues: half did not perceive any, and only 17 per cent perceived either nuclear arms, relations with the us, or Canada's role in international affairs as an issue, while 85 per cent of the total sample did. Although small, the number of barbarians allows a tentative group analysis. Two charac­ teristics stand out: none of the barbarians are university educated (sample average 19 per cent), and 70 per cent were women (sample average 50 per cent). Contrary to expectations marital status is not associated with political barbarism; 61 per cent of barbarians are married (sample average 59 per cent). The political barbarian is often an immigrant not assimilated to English Canadian society; 26 per cent of barbarians either did not speak English and had to be interviewed through an interpreter or spoke English only with great difficulty. The party preferences of barbarians follow the election trends; while only two of them said they had voted Liberal in the previous election, nine indicated the Liberals as the party now preferred, confirming observations made of the floating vote in England as well as in the us. 11 Hardly aware of the electoral campaign, the barbarian, free of personal commitments, registers social fluctuations. Not seeking to affect the political system, he moves with the system itself. Seeking psychological attitudes which might be related to politics, we find the barbarian to be characterized by great passivity. His ignorance than 13, and well-informed spectators those who scored more than 12. For the Communist party either "Buck" or "Morris" were taken as correct answers for the national leadership. The cutting point at 12 between the medium and the upper level of knowledge was selected for two reasons: (a) I assumed that in British Columbia a well-informed person should be able to list Pearson (Liberal), Strachan and Douglas (NDP), Fulton and Diefenbaker (Conservatives), and Bennett and Thompson (Social Credit) which added up to 14. (b) the distribu­ tion of scores invited putting the cutting point between 12 and 13 since 8 per cent of respondents had scored 12; 9 per cent had scored 14 but only 1 per cent had scored 13. 11 / See Lazarsfeld, Berelson, and Gaudet, The People's Choice, 69; Berelson, Lazarsfeld, and .McPhee, Voting, 306; Milne and MacKenzie, Straight Fight (London: Hansard Society, 19S4), 96, and Marginal Seat, 1955, 192. The ten­ dency of the passive non-committed elector to support the party in power, to follow the governing elite, seems not to extend to referenda, when bringing the least committed to the polls increases the percentage of negative answers, at least when the proposal implies change from the status quo. See E. L. McDill and J.C. Ridley, "Status, Anomie, Political Alienation, and Political Participation," American Journal of Sociology, 68, no. 2 (September, 1962), 205-13, and Maurice Pinard, "Structural Attachments and Political Support in Urban Politics: The Case of Fluoridation Referendums," American Journal of Sociology, 68, no. S, S13-26.

38 / People vs Politics

of politics does not lead him to any marked political aggressiveness. Only 31 per cent of non-voting barbarians think that politicians are dishonest (22 per cent for the sample as a whole) . 12 Possibly related to lack of interest in politics, but possibly related simply to social class (the small number of cases does not render possible keeping either constant) is the non-voting barbarian's opinion that planets have an influence on the character of children: 63 per cent of non-voting bar­ barians thought so as compared to 34 per cent for the sample as a whole. The opinion is unlikely to have been derived from Huntington's Season of Birth;13 it is probably a popular way of stating that everything in the universe is related, that the more permanent determines the transient, and that man does not control his destiny. THE SPECTATORS

Two theories explain abstentions among spectators - low level of poli­ tical involvement and cross pressure. 14 Using knowledge of party lead­ ers as a measure of intellectual involvement in politics, the spectators were divided into those having a mediocre and average knowledge ( 4.1 per cent of the potential electors) and those having an excellent knowledge (2.6 per cent of the potential electors) .15 For the first group, both low level of intellectual involvement and cross pressure can pos­ sibly explain abstention;16 for the second group, low level of involve­ ment is unlikely to be the cause of non-voting. Both the poorly informed and the well-informed spectators have a good perception of the campaign issues. Unlike the barbarians, the poorly informed spectators have been reached by the party conflicts and are aware of them. Poorly informed and well-informed spectators are almost similar in age, the well informed tending to be slightly older.17 Both groups are composed mostly of men, 71 per cent and 78 12 / On a similar question, an American study finds a similar lack of difference between voters and non-voters. See Connelly and Field "The Non-Voter: Who he is; What he thinks." 13 / See Ellsworth Huntington, Sea.son of Birth: Its RelaJion to Human AbiUties (New York: Wiley, 1938), in which the author gives some weak statistical evi­ dence that the season of birth is related to the frequency of health or mental defects. 14. For a detailed typology of the causes of non-participation in the political process - because it is seen as a threat, or futile, or hardly perceived at all, see Morris Rosenberg, "Some Determinants of Political Apathy," Public Opinion Quarterly, 18, no. 4 (Winter, 1954-55), 349-66. 15 I See the definition of level of political knowledge in n. 10 above. 16 / For a discussion of cross pressure see Campbell et al., The American Voter, 80ff. 17 / These characteristics are presented with many reservations because of the

Voters and Non-Participants / 39

per cent respectively. Noting that these proportions are the reverse of those observed among barbarians, one can speculate on the effect of increased participation on the existing balance between sexes among voters. After exclusion of the forced non-voters, one finds that 15.2 per cent of males in the sample abstained and 15.3 per cent of females. If, in addition to the forced non-voters, one also excludes the "retired" electors, then the proportions of abstainers are 14.0 per cent for males and 12.5 per cent for females. Our sample has thus reached the point of equal electoral participation of the sexes,18 but among non-voters the males seem closer to participation than the females, since participa­ tion is related to interest, which is itself related to information. Suppos­ ing there was an increase in social and political pressure to vote which would cause all spectators to go to the polls - nearly all the remaining abstainers would be barbarians. Abstention among women would then be 8.8 per cent, after exclusion of the f orced non-voters; it would only be 3.6 per cent among men. However, if one assumes that social pres­ sure would activate poorly informed spectators (mostly men) before it would activate barbarians (mostly women), it does not necessarily follow that the effect would be to increase solely male electoral parti­ cipation. If, as is likely, the barbarian female is often the wife of a poorly informed spectator, mobilizing the one might also result in taking the other to the polls. Voting is in the rear of political action and especially among barbarians and poorly informed spectators, women play the camp followers.19 Poorly informed and well-informed spectators differ in characteris­ tics usually associated with knowledge of politics, in class and education particularly. Of poorly informed spectators 35 per cent and of well­ informed spectators 11 per cent are manual workers; 7 per cent of poorly informed spectators and 33 per cent of well-informed spectators have university training. The two groups differ also in the frequency of cross pressure among them, 70 per cent among well-informed, 50 per small number of cases - only 14 " poorly-informed" and only 9 "well-informed" spectators. 18 / The statistics given by Tingsten for the pre-Second World War period already showed female catching up with male participation more rapidly in the cities than in the country. See Tingsten, Political Behavior. 19 / In The American Voter Campbell and his associates find that the major political difference between sexes is not so much in voting turnout or even politi­ cal involvement as in the sense of political efficacy, men being more likely to believe that their participation affects the political system. See Campbell et al., The American Voter, 489ff. A greater sexual difference in political involvement is found among less well-educated than among well-educated groups, see Camp­ bell, ibid., 490; Milne and MacKenzie, Marginal Seat, 68; Stoetzel, "Voting Be,­ haviour in France," 104ff. In The Civic Culture (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1963 ), Almond and Verba report marked differences in political activity between sexes in Britain, Germany, Italy, and Mexico , but not in the us.

40 I People vs Politics

cent among poorly informed, but, as shall be seen later, cross pressure is not as clearly related to non-voting among spectators as it is among barbarians. NON-VOTING IN 1965

Officially, voting in Vancouver-Burrard dropped from 78 per cent in 1963 to 71 per cent in 1965. Assuming that the proportion of forced non-voters remained in 1965 as determined in 1963, we can estimate that the true level of participation fell from 83 per cent to 76 per cent.20 Politicians, newspaper-men, and pollsters had noted during the cam­ paign a widespread apathy. In Vancouver-Burrard party-controlled activity was not markedly lower than before, but this activity generated less subsidiary political action; as if gears were missing, or turning more slowly at the periphery. The party activists did, as before, put signs on their lawns; those people not directly involved in the campaign did not. Not that the electors turned their minds off the campaign- the ability of respondents to identify the candidate of the party they supported re­ mained similar in 1965 to what it had been in 1963 (74.5 and 75.2 per cent respectively) at all levels of political knowledge (see Figure 7). The abstentions cannot be explained by an electorate suddenly lapsing into barbarism, disassociating itself from the game, abandoning it all. Quite simply, many electors became spectators instead of participants. The campaign of 1965 did not produce the familiar ripples; to the party activists water seemed to have turned into mud. The 1965 increase in non-voting was a contribution made mostly by the Liberal and Conservative supporters. While among New Demo­ crats non-voting remained around 15 per cent, and for Social Crediters around 30 per cent, it almost doubled for Liberals ( 15 to 30 per cent) and for Conservatives (10 to 20 per cent). Disaffection for one's party occurred more often among the more politically informed than among the less politically aware. In 1963 there was a sharp difference among Liberals as well as New Democrats between those at the bottom of the pyramid of political knowledge and those placed higher ( see Figure 8) ; in 1965 the gap was greatly reduced, especially among Liberals (see Figure 9). 20 / 71 X 100/(100-6.95) = 76.3. Judging by the slightly higher proportion of people whom we failed to contact in the 1965 survey compared with that of 1963, 13.1 per cent compared with 11.8 per cent after three calls, the forced abstainers may have been slightly more numerous in 1965 than in 1963. The real level of participation in 1965 may thus be slightly higher than 76 per cent. Our extensive 1963 search for the location of non-voters at the time of the election was not duplicated in 1965.

7 Percentage of respondents knowing the local candidate of their pre­ ferred party, by level of political knowledge, 1963-65 (for definition of levels of political knowledge see Note 10, p. 35)


8 Percentage of non-voters, by level of politica l knowledge, 1963 (for definition of political knowledge see Note 10, p. 35)


9 Percentage of non-voters, by level of political knowledge, 1965 (for definition of political knowledge see Note 10, p. 35)


42 / People vs Politics

If the same proportional increase observed among well-informed Liberals had obtained in the other knowledge strata of the party, that is, if from 1963 to 1965 the proportion of non-voters had increased among low and medium knowledge groups exactly as it had among the better informed, close to 100 per cent of the low knowledge and about 85 per cent of the medium knowledge groups would have abstained; on the whole 70 per cent of people who said that they intended to vote Liberal would have failed to vote. Resistance to change on the part of the least knowledgeable, the least involved, the least politically inter­ ested thus bad the effect of keeping up the momentum of the system. Those most difficult to activate may, once set in action, be the last to quit.21 Proof of the vitality of a supposedly disappearing two-party system22 is that so many electors, rather than transfer their votes to either the NOP or the Social Credit, preferred to abstain. In 1965 the transfers of votes did not produce a majority either for the Conservatives or for the Lib­ erals because the changes that took place were not so much between the contestants as from the two major parties into abstention. In the short run this change probably showed dissatisfaction with the Pearson and the Diefenbaker governments, but in the long run indicates that the NDP's is not particularly bright. CROSS PRESSURE AND NON-VOTING

In both 1963 and 1965 non-voting appeared on the whole to be unre­ lated to cross pressure, whether the cross-pressured individual be de­ fined as (a) having shifted party allegiance since the last election, ( b) ranking equally at least two parties at the top of his preference scale or ( c) intending to vote for a party different from that preferred. When controlled by level of political knowledge, the sample of 1963 indicated a clear tendency for people in low, medium, or high range of political knowledge to be affected by cross pressure in their voting turnout, whichever of the three definitions of cross pressure was used. For 21 / These observations should be read as qualifying rather than contradicting the common finding that the least interested are more likely to follow the trends of an election. Shifts into non-voting differ from shifts to another party. 22 / I take a two-party system to be a system where only two parties alternate in office, the so-called third parties remaining in the opposition rather than form­ ing coalition governments. As measured by the CIPO polls, the belief that Canada was not returning to a two-party system increased from 33 per cent in 1958 to 36 per cent in 1962 and 41 per cent in 1963. However, the belief that a two-party system would be better for Canada increased from 38 per cent in 1956 to 53 per cent in 1966. See F. C. Engelmann and M. A. Schwartz, Political Parties and the Canadian Social Structure (Scarborough, Ontario: Prentice-Hall, 1967), 53.

Voters and Non-Participants / 43

example, under definition (a) in the low range of political knowledge, 14) abstained compared 35 per cent of those cross pressured (N 37); in the to only 13 per cent of those non-cross pressured (N medium range of political knowledge, the corresponding figures were 25 per cent (N = 20) and 4 per cent (N = 78); in the upper range, 18) and 3 per cent (N 58). But the election of 11 per cent (N 1965 did not confirm these observations. As previously, cross pressure appeared related to non-voting among the least politically informed but the reverse happened among the better informed (medium to high 27) range), where only 14 per cent of those cross pressured (N abstained compared to 23 per cent of those not cross pressured (N 132); more cross pressure leads to greater likelihood to vote! To Lazarsfeld et al.23 a cross-pressured individual is one subjected to con­ flicting appeals of loyalty, such as wanting to vote Democratic to satisfy family tradition and Republican to satisfy one's business interests; according to the theory, the conflict is resolved by abstention. But, as has been shown,24 cross pressure must be related to the total pattern of attraction-avoidance for parties and candidates. Cross pressure may be of the kind that stimulates the individual to act, the conflicting appeals being resolved by splitting the ticket25 or supporting different parties in different elections. This "balance" of one's vote over a period of time appears to be particularly easy for electors in western Canada in the absence of a traditional regional association with any one party26 and because of the frequent shifts in voting patterns between provincial and federal elections.27







23 / See Lazarsfeld et al., The People's Choice. 24 I See L de Sola Pool, R. Abelson, and S. Popkin, Candidates, Issues and Strategies: A Computer Simulation of the 1960 Presidential Election (Cambridge, Mass.: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press, 1964), 12ff. 25 I For studies of ticket splitting see A. Campbell and W. E. Miller, "The Motivational Basis of Straight and Split Ticket Voting," American Political Science Review, 51, no. 2 (June, 1957), 293-312; and D. M. Ogden, "A Voting Behavior Approach to Split Ticket Voting in 1952," Western Political Quarterly, 11, no. 3 (September, 1958), 481-93. In the Presidential election of 1962, 34 per cent of all voters in the National Survey Research Centre sample split their ticket. 26 I From 1953 to 1965 British Columbia has (except 1958) sent to parliament representatives of the four major parties. In 1958 Liberals and Social Credit failed to get any seat. 27 / For a discussion of the limited importance of cross pressure in explaining abstention among Canadian voters, see J. Meisel, "Religion Affiliation and Elec­ toral Behaviour: A Case Study," Canadian Journal of Economics and Political Science, 22, no. 4 (November, 1956), 481-96; for a measurement of the shifts between provincial and federal elections see H. A. Scarrow, "Federal-Provincial Voting Patterns in Canada," CJEPS, 26, no. 2 (May, 1960), 289-98. For a study of party identification see Morris Davis, "Did They Vote for Party or Candidate in Halifax," in J. Meisel, ed., Papers On the 1962 Election (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1965), 19-33, and his follow-up studies: Davis, "Ballot Be­ haviour in Halifax Revisited," CJEPS, 30, no. 4 (November, 1964), 538-58, and

44 / People vs Politics

It is thus reasonable to suppose that the well-informed Liberals who abstained in such large proportion in 1965 did so not because of the equally attractive appeals of two or more parties, but because of a paralysis due to the absence of any appeal at all. However, among well­ informed Liberals, the preferential ranking of Pearson and of the Lib­ eral party, of Diefenbaker and of the Conservatives, is almost identical for those who voted and for those who abstained. Among Liberal voters, Pearson ranks on the average at 8.0 on a 9-points scale, and the Liberal party at 8.2; among Liberal non-voters, the respective rankings are 7.5 and 8.3; Diefenbaker and the Conser­ vative party scored 3.0 and 4.4 among Liberal voters; 4.3 and 5.6 among Liberal non-voters. The small differences recorded between Liberal voters and Liberal non-voters are not statistically significant; the two groups rank both the party and its leader very high. The Liberal non-voters have only a very slightly better opinion of the Conservatives and of Diefenbaker than have the Liberal voters. If cross appeal or joint avoidance, especially the latter, are factors which cause non-voting, I have not succeeded in isolating them. PARTY POLITICS IN THE ABSENCE OF BARBARIANS

Locating the source of political legitimacy in the people, and establish­ ing a system of counting individuals to obtain majority decisions means constant pressure for the extension of the suffrage; groups competing for power have sought to enlist the help of yet unused sources of elec­ toral support.28 These "expansionist" policies of competing political forces have been successful; the point of near-complete mobilization of the present potential electorate has almost been reached in recent high tide elections. Excluding those not expected to vote, "retired" electors, and well-informed spectators who most likely have political reasons for abstaining, leaves about 10 per cent of the sample who in 1963 could possibly have responded to increased political socialization or pressure by voting. However, short of physical or legal compulsion,29 "A Last Look at Ballot Behaviour in the Dual Constituency of Halifax," CJEPS, 32, no. 3 (August, 1966), 366-71. In the dual constituency of Halifax, Davis finds that only 6.1 per cent of voters split their tickets between candidates of two different parties in the election of 1962, 4.3 per cent in 1963, and 7.9 per cent in 1965. 28 / An analysis of the extension of the suffrage as the result of a search for new allies is in E. E. Schattschneider, The Semi-Sovereign People (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1960). 29 / In Belgium, following the introduction of compulsory voting, the turnout, with rare exceptions, has been over 90 per cent and as high as 95 per cent. Simi­ lar levels have been reached in Australia where voting is also compulsory; in the

Voters and Non-Participants /

45 this pressure would be unlikely to be very successful since in a free in­ dustrial society 10 per cent of the electorate may well be about the margin of irreducible electoral non-participation. Will the search for new allies come to an end now? It is unlikely; in times of increased con­ sensus, the natural movement of democratic systems is to bring, attract, push more and more people to participate; when the supply of adults is exhausted, children will become the object of electoral competition. Beyond its function of selection and control, and despite its lack of colour, voting is an important ritual of allegiance whereby the individ­ ual is linked in the first instance to candidates and parties, but more fundamentally to a political system, to a whole community. Voting is a form of tribal dance around the ballot box in which as many as possible should participate. 1964 elections to the Senate, 94.5 per cent of men and 94.5 per cent of women voted. See Annuaire statistique de la Belgique, tome 85 (1964), 567; and Year­ book of the Commo11wealth of Australia, no. 51 (1965), 1283. While compulsory voting raises the percentage of voters, it also raises the percentage of spoiled ballots. In Belgium, for example, 6.5 per cent of the ballots were either spoiled or blank in 1964.

4 The Teams


voluntary group formation, ad­ herence to established rules, rationality in the combination of private and collective interest, and restraint in dealing with opponents whose presence is needed to maintain the very structures within which the system operates; democratic systems thus invite, as a method of anal­ ysis, the use of the language of games. 1 But metaphors easily tum into theories, and we should guard against that danger. Employing the vocabulary of games should not be taken as a commitment to seeing politics as profane rather than sacred, as made of artificial fights and gratuitous amusements rather than rooted in fundamental social con­ flicts. Politics is indeed a game, but it is also warfare, in both its objec­ tives and its means. To analyse a given political situation from the model of a game is in no way to reject the theories of politics, whether they be Machiavellian, Marxian, or Paretian, which posit that politics is fundamentally a kind of social warfare pitching against one another individuals or groups, each endangered by its predatory enemies. The advantage of game models and theories for the analysis of politics, as well as for warfare, is that they are clean; they sketch the underlying mechanisms of a system; they anchor the mind in an ideal harbour from which reality can be observed. THE TENDENCY TO EQUILIBRIUM IN GAM ES

Since a game devolves into boredom if the outcome is determined, its rules will seek to maintain that outcome uncertain: women are segre­ gated in the Olympics, heavyweights do not fight lighter men, in racing 1 / See, for example, A. Rapoport, Fights, Games, and Debates (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1960). On the usefulness to the social sciences of

The Teams / 47 horses are handicapped; on the playground, children have invented, or, more likely, been taught, ways of ensuring that when they form teams equibalance should be obtained. This tendency was presented as evi­ dence in favour of proportional representation by Rowland Hill2 who had noted that his pupils would form groups of equal size once a num­ ber of leaders had been designated and the rest of the class asked to align themselves behind them. In experiments made among university students in both Canada and the United States I observed that when confronted with a situation of imbalance between candidates the proportion of voters going to rescue an underdog was related to the size of the imbalance: the greater the imbalance, the heavier the transfer of strength to the least favoured candidate.3 This relation was clearer when the candidates offered were not identified, either politically or socially. Interestingly, the tendency to restore balance by supporting the underdog did not prevail among the younger Canadian children I studied (aged nine to ten years old); on the contrary, sometimes with jubilant war cries, they tended to rally to the winning side. William Golding's Lord of the Flies' convincingly illustrates a similar situation, and invites consideration that children as defined by age, mental ability, or preferred type of enjoyment, form latent primitive societies in the midst of any culture. In democracies, as in games, there is a tendency toward equibalance when one assumes that each seeks to maintain the interest and involve­ ment of all participants, and consequently allows each participant to change camp in order to maximize his own power to influence the out­ come. Indeed, the simple reading of the election curves of any industrial democracy'> in the last fifty years suggests the existence of this tendency. the precise mathematical language of games and of a looser but more widely descriptive literary language, see K. W. Back, "The Game and the Myth as Two Languages of Social Science," Behavioral Science, 8, no. 8 (January, 1963), 66-71. 2 / His father, Thomas Wright Hill, had first suggested in 1821 the principle of proportional representation by the single transferable vote. See E. Lakeman and James D. Lambert, Voting in Democracies (London: Faber & Faber, 1940), 101 and 245ff. 3 / See J. A. Laponce, "An Experimental Method to Measure the Tendency to Equibalance in a Political System," American Political Science Review, 60, no. 4 (December, 1966), 982-93. 4 I W. Golding, Lord of the Flies (London: Faber & Faber, 1961). 5 I By democratic I mean, ideally, a system which allows the free formation of competing political groups, the participants being free to (a) leave their group, (b) enter existing groups, and (c) set up new groups; those groups or coalitions of groups which meet the size requirements better than others win the decision which was the object of group formation. In actual political systems, (a) is essential for the system to remain democratic, ( b) and (c), especially ( b), are always restrained by legal or social obstacles. The fewer obstacles that exist the more democratic is the system.

48 / People vs Politics

The ceiling for a given political party is normally closer to 50 than to 100 per cent of the electorate. 6 Whether the major parties are almost equally balanced (as in Great Britain or Austria), whether there is a single dominating party out-distancing a number of smaller rivals (as in Italy or Norway), or whether (as in Switzerland) the major parties operate within the 20 to 30 per cent range of electoral support, one senses the existence of social mechanisms which seek, as the rules of a game do, to maintain the outcome forever uncertain; the mechanisms often clash, of course, with a contrary tendency due to in-group for­ mation or resistance to change, but in a high consensus society the mechanisms leading to equibalance appear to dominate.7 It would be absurd to suppose that class, ideological, or ethnic conflicts can, either singly or in combination, explain that British as well as American politics tend to produce forces of nearly equal strength. Majority rule which sets the dividing line between teams and the tendency to change camp to rescue the underdog are required8 to explain the observed trend to equibalance. As in games, however, an overriding consensus is necessary for the normal operation of an equibalancing trend since equibalance increases each individual participant's power to shift the direction of the system. In other words, in more traditional language, fraternity is a condition of equality if one wishes the latter to generate freedom rather than con­ flict with it. This French revolutionary motto was not the outcome of chance. Starting from an analytical rather than a prescriptive point of view, however, we obtained the same terms in the reverse order; not "liberte, egalite, fraternite" but "fraternity� equality� liberty." Whereas some of our respondents do not see political conflicts as 6 I In Great Britain the highest percentage of the popular vote obtained by a

single party since 1885 (55 per cent) favoured the Liberals in 1906; in Canada the highest percentage since 1878 (not counting the 57 per cent obtained by the government coalition in 1917) favoured Conservatives with 53.6 per cent in 1958. In the United States the record in a presidential race (60.3 per cent) was obtained by Lyndon Johnson in 1964. In New 2.ealand the highest percentage since 1890 (59 per cent) favoured the Liberals in 1908; in Australia the highest percentage since 1903 was obtained by Labour (66 per cent) in 1943. 7 / One could object that the Prairies, although more socially homogeneous than Ontario or British Columbia, do not have a balance of political forces. The answer is, I think, that even provincially they do not form an autonomous politi­ cal system; they are too concerned in counterbalancing outside forces to balance forces within themselves. 8 / This assumption would not be necessary if one could accept the random walk model of electoral behaviour. The exclusion of the random exchange of electors between parties as an explanation of equibalance is justified when one finds that the teams while becoming or remaining equal in strength have not also become identical in their social composition. For example, Alford shows that class voting in the us was not any lower in 1960 than in 1936. See Robert R. Alford, "The Role of Social Class in American Voting Behavior," Western Political Quarterl y, 16, no. 1 (March, 1963), 180-94.

The Teams / 49

primarily between political parties - they see them as conflicts between individuals, or between abstract forces such as good and bad - it will be assumed here that the great majority of our sample automatically think of politics in terms of party conflicts. THE POLITICAL PARTIES SEEN AS COMPETITORS

To establish which political parties our subjects saw as actors in the competition, that is, which parties were in the subject's immediate field of consciousness, we asked a series of questions prefaced with the state­ ment, "Of course not everybody votes the same way. Now what party or parties do you lhink that these people vote for?" And one after the other the following descriptions were proposed to the respondents rich people average people poor people farmers manual workers white collar workers university professors doctors

Catholics Anglicans United Church people Jews

Canadian Chinese French Canadian young people older people.

By adding to the list we might of course have also added to the number of parties mentioned, but as it stands the list is sufficiently well diver­ sified to extract the parties in the respondent's field of perception. We are not interested in counting how many times a particular party scored but whether it was mentioned at all. Figures 10 and 11 may be read as one would read a medieval tapes­ try for the importance of the protagonists is indicated by their size which results, in this instance, from social expectations as well as from the artist's perceptions. Dividing respondents according to their own party preferences, first note the extremes in perceptions. While over 95 per cent, or for all practical purposes 100 per cent, mentioned the Lib­ eral party at least once, less than 10 per cent mentioned the Communist party ( see Figure 10) . Despite its small size the Communist score is remarkable, consider­ ing the fact that no Communist candidate was running in the riding and that no Communist representative sat in either the national or the pro­ vincial legislatures.9 Note also the similarity of the Communist score in 9 I There has not been any Communist representative in the federal parliament since 1944 and none in any provincial parliament since 1958 when the LPP failed to return any member to the Manitoba provincial house.

50 / People vs Politics

10 Perception of Liberal and Communist parties as competitors in federal elections: percentage of respondents, by electorate, mentioning the party's name at least once in association with selected social groups, 1965 sample (see list of concepts on p. 49)


all four groups; the score is unrelated to the ideological alignment. The four make up a tapestry of perceptions where the Communist appears as the strange small devil or the background mythical animal, so much smaller than the main characters as not to be subject to measurement by the same criteria. The scores obtained by Conservatives, NDP, and Social Credit (see Figure 11) locate each of these parties in that order between the Lib­ erals and the Communists. With the Conservative and the Social Credit parties the scores are related to ideological positions. Only 36 per cent of NDP supporters mentioned the Social Credit party, but 42 per cent of Liberals and 51 per cent of Conservatives did so. These figures give ground for not resisting any longer the temptation which has already appeared in our analysis, that of considering our respondents as manifesting successive responses of a collective mind to a variety of situ­ ations. The NDP collective mind, or the sum of the answers of respon­ dents saying they prefer the NDP, gives the lowest score to the Social Credit party. In other words, in the NDP collective mind, the Social Credit party seems further away than it does in the collective mind of the Liberals, and therefore has fewer chances of scoring.


11 Perception of Conservative, New Democratic, and Social Credit parties as competitors

in federal elections: percentage of respondents, by electorate, mentioning the party's name at least once in association with selected social groups, 1965 sample (see list of concepts on p. 49)

52 / People vs Politics

It is particularly interesting to compare how NDP supporters perceive the Social Credit party with how Social Crediters perceive the NDP. While only 36 per cent of NDP supporters mentioned the Social Credit as a competitor, 100 per cent of Social Crediters mentioned the NDP. Note also that the NDP has a better score among Social Crediters than among Liberals or Conservatives. In the Social Credit field of percep­ tion, the NDP is close; to the Socialists, on the other hand, Social Credit is in the background; it is as if the NDP and the Social Credit party looked at each other through the opposite ends of a telescope. THE IDEAL PARLIAMENT

People interviewed were asked to indicate what proportion of seats they would like the parties of their choice to obtain in their ideal parliament - an invitation to broadmindedness. In order to make the question easily answerable, the respondent was asked to imagine a parJiament of ten seats and to indicate, starting with the party he liked best, how many seats he would give to the parties of his choice. No party name was at this point suggested to him. No doubt the stated ideal was influenced by the knowledge of the possible: not wishing to appear ridiculous, a partisan, especially from a small party, may have wanted to limit his stated hopes. Notwithstand­ ing these defects, which tend to minimize the degree of partisanship of our respondent, the question can be used to locate, at least roughly, the balance point between the party supported and the opposition de­ sirable or acceptable. Does the number of seats one gives to the party one prefers vary according to one's party preference? When plotted according to the proportion of answers falling into a specific number of seats, the an­ swers of New Democrats, Liberals, Conservatives, and Social Crediters take the form of a double-peaked curve, with its major peak at six seats and its second, much smaller peak, at ten. And, as might be expected, the curve is skewed to the right, the side of the majority number (see Figure 12). Very few respondents want a minority parliament: only 5 per cent of the Liberals and 5 per cent of Conservatives; the percentage is slightly higher among New Democrats ( 14 per cent) and Social Credit­ ers (25 per cent); as we suspected, knowledge of the possible must have influenced answers to the question. With the exception of Social Crediters, the partisans giving only a minority of seats to their preferred party are few. The opposite group, that giving all seats to a single party, is also small. Relatively few people give to their party a number of seats

The Teams / 53

FIGURE 12 Number of hypothetical parliamentary seats given by Liberals, Con­ servatives, and New Democrats to their own party (maximum= 10 seats): per­ centages of responses in each seat category, 1965 (100 per cent= total number of responses of each party electorate)

closer to ten than to five: 17.6 per cent New Democrats, 11 per cent Liberals, 18 per cent Conservatives, and no Social Crediters. The bulk of the answers, in all cases more than 50 per cent, is for six or seven seats, and six more frequently than seven. The very appearance of the curves on Figure 12 suggests that the people represented in the right tails belong to a group markedly differ­ ent from the rest. Indeed, the extremists are characterized by their gen­ eral lack of political knowledge and interest10 ( see Table 7). The 10 / In his 1954 survey, Stouffer found in the United States that the least edu­ cated, the least politically interested, were less tolerant of Communism in par­ ticular, of social deviants and opponents in general. See Samuel A. Stouffer, Communism, Conformity and Civil Liberties (New York: Doubleday, 1955).

54 / People vs Politics TABLE 7 Percentage of people giving the hypothetical maximum of ten seats to their preferred party, by level of political knowledge, in 1965*

extremism of the ignorant may well be purely verbal and not real ex­ tremism. To say "all seats to my party" may be an empty gesture, a way of saying that one does not particularly care, a way of solving a problem which one considers of minor importance. The consequences of these extreme gestures by persons who may not see them as extreme will vary according to the political location of these "extremists": if spread pro­ portionately between the major political forces, they will be a stabilizing effect on the political system; but if the least-committed extremists, like children, rally to the winner, they will, because of their extremism and lack of previous commitments, as in a revolution, cause a stampede and upset the system.11 Among our respondents to be more politically aware is to be more imbued with the values of the dominant political culture and less willing to see the system depart from an equilibrium point not far from the majority position. French radicals who had mastered the art of parlia­ mentary combinations had developed a practice of "dosage," the eco­ nomics of which was that support, opposition, and abstention should be so balanced that the desired government would have the very minimum amount of authority necessary to keep it from falling; their ideal way of delegating power was by a majority of only one. 12 The practice is in fact, however, neither specifically French nor specifically radical; it is implied by the rules of the democratic game. The majority of respon­ dents, by accepting these unwritten rules, act rationally - if their inten­ tion is to balance the power they seek over electors against the power they want to retain over their representatives. 11 / A revolution could be defined as the reasoned and bounded extremism of the few multiplied by the unreasoned and unbounded extremism of the uncon­ cerned. 12 / See an analysis of the practice of "dosage" in the French parliaments of the Third and Fourth Republics in N. Leites, On the Game of Politics in France (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1959).


The question on an "ideal" parliament was followed by another seeking to test the respondent's opposition to representation of the parties he had omitted to mention. The Communists were the only party almost universally excluded from representation in the "ideal" parliament: 100 per cent of Conservatives and of Social Crediters refused them a seat, as did 92 per cent of Liberals and 93 per cent of New Democrats. 18 If a respondent had failed to mention the Communist party, the next ques­ tion read: "What about Communists: should they have only a few seats or no seats at all?" - a question purposely biased in favour of the first alternative. The refusal of even the few seats begged by the interviewer in the name of broadmindedness can be taken as a strong opposition to seeing a party enter the game and benefit from its rules. This begging question gave the Communists increased acceptance as one moves from right to left in a clasnical ideological alignment. Of Social Crediters 81 per cent remained opposed to giving the Communist party any seat, as did 78 per cent of Conservatives, 71 per cent of Liberals, and only 60 per cent of New Democrats. The number of cases on which to base observations is small but shows a clear pattern of the relation of social class and permissiveness to the Communist party. Among New Democrats, as well as among Lib­ erals, the middle class is more permissive than manual workers: of NDP manual workers (N 14) 28 per cent gave seats to the Communists; 36 per cent of the NOP middle class did (N =19). 14 Among Liberals the percentages are respectively 17 per cent for the working class (N 24) and 28 per cent for the middle class (N 42). 15 These differences remain whether or not we analyse the lower middle class and the rest of




13 / The number of cases (N) on which these percentages are based is: Con­ servatives (37); Social Credit (20); Liberals (110); New Democrats (61). 14 / In Communism, Conformity and Civil Liberties, Stouffer reports similar findings. According to him the lesser permissiveness of the working class is likely to be specific to the Communist issue. As well as reflecting educational dif­ ferences and awareness of the socially dominant cultural values, the differing reactions of workers and middle class to the Communist "threat" reflect also a difference in social distance. Like Stouffer I find that to respondents the word "Communism" is more likely to be associated with "manual worker" than with "middle class." The manual workers thus need to rid themselves of an unwanted association by demonstrating less tolerance of it. 15 I The classification of respondents into manual workers or middle class was done by the author and his assistants on the basis of the respondent's answer to the question on employment. In some cases the classification given by the inter­ viewer had to be used when the respondent had described his own profession in terms too vague to be meaningful to us.

56 / People vs Politics

the middle class separately.16 We thus failed to obtain confirmation of a classical picture of the middle class, and of the lower middle class in particular, as a group of insecure social climbers who, no longer trying to slash at those above, have turned round to strike at those below. Neither sex nor ethnic origin (in this case British versus non-British) appeared related to permissiveness toward Communist representa­ tion.17 A statistically small and politically not very important difference follows religious denominations: 17 per cent of Catholics, 19 per cent of United Church members, and 21 per cent of Anglicans give seats to the Communist party, while among agnostics the proportion is hardly greater (23 per cent). Among Protestants, however, none of the few fundamentalists, who are mostly Baptists, gave seats to the Commu­ nists.18 Of English-Canadian parties, the Liberals are those most universally accepted. Only about 10 per cent of the other electorates refuse to give them at least a few seats. The NOP is rejected about equally by Liberals and Conservatives ( around 25 per cent) and slightly more by Social Crediters (38 per cent). For their part, the two centre parties reject the minority parties much more than the minority parties reject them; for example, 12 per cent of Conservatives reject the Social Credit but no Social Crediter refuses seats to the Conservatives. We are again un­ able to determine solely on the basis of our data how much of this is because of a tendency of the Canadian party system to move to the centre and how much is because of the weight of the present party bal­ ance in the minds of our respondents. Most of the explanation probably lies in the first hypothesis. The Social Credit is among the least accepted of Canadian parties, its lowest level of rejection being 32 per cent, by the NOP; but the reac­ tions provoked by its French-Canadian equivalent, the Creditistes of Real Caouette, are even stronger: except among Social Crediters they are rejected as much as the Communist party; Conservatives distinguish themselves by rejecting the Creditistes more vigorously than they reject the Communists. Besides showing an interesting political attitude this rejection also indicates that hostility is most likely related to awareness of an existing danger ( see Table 8). 16 / For NDP and Liberals combined 10 out of 34 lower middle class white collar workers give seats to the Communists; 10 of 30 members of Liberal pro­ fession or businessmen do so. 17 / Stouffer, in Communism, Conformity and Civil Liberties, also finds women less tolerant than men. 18 I The (N) are: Catholics= 40; ucc= 41; Anglicans= 47; agnostics= 25; Baptists= 12. I use agnostic loosely to describe the respondents whose reply to the question "What is your religion?" was "none."

The Teams / 51 TABLES Percentage of people by party refusing to give any seat to selected parties in 1965*


The average number of seats given by each electorate to the other parties indicates an order of preference as well as measuring that pref­ erence. There are no surprises in this ordering. The alignment Commu­ nist - NOP - Liberal - Conservative - Social Credit is the only order satisfying the requirement that any group will give more seats to a closer neighbour than to a more distant one on the same side. The Liberals, the least likely to be excluded from representation, are also the party most favoured in the allocation of seats; the average num­ ber they receive from their opponents ranges from 1.86 seats given by the Social Crediters to 2.03 seats given by the Conservatives. The Con­ servatives also fare well with a low of 1.18 given them by the NOP and a high of 2.43 given by the Social Crediters. Note that again the two minor parties are the least favoured: the NOP is given 0.96 by the Lib­ erals, and 0.78 by the Conservatives while the Social Credit range from a high of 0.74 (from the Liberals) to a low of 0.44 (from the Conser­ vatives) (see Table 9). Once again we cannot tell from our sample data whether the major parties are favoured because they are major parties or because they are in the centre, but whatever the causes, the effect is clearly to locate the balance point of the system in the Liberal party. The average of the average parliaments of our four electorates shows the following ten-seat distribution: NDP 2.15; Liberal 3.17; Conservative 2. 97; Social Credit 1.71. In this "ideal" parliament, if we exclude combinations which would not respect the ideological continuum, no majority is possible without

58 / People vs Politics TABLB9 Average number of seats given by each party electorate to each party out of ten seats in 1965

the Liberals. When the Liberal party is not the first choice, it tends to be the second. CHARACTERISTICS OF ELECTORS WANTING A TWO-PARTY PARLIAMENT

A multi-party parliament may, by logical accident, be the result of the combined desires of electors all wanting to restrict the competition to no more than two parties if the two parties wanted are not the same for all. Whether or not our respondents prefer only two parties or more than two parties, a majority endorsed the status quo and gave seats to more than two. But the variations between electorates and age groups are remarkable. In all electorates other than the Social Credit, the tendency to restrict the number of competitors increases with the age of the respondent ( see Table 10). Among Liberals and New Democrats under 34 years old, 20 per cent of the respondents wished to restrict the parJiament to only two parties; this proportion increases to about 55 per cent for the people over 59 years old. Two possible explanations come to mind: either the phenomenon is due to aging of the population or to a historical differ­ ence between those who reached their political adulthood before 1935 and those who became political participants after the appearance of third parties during the 1930s. Of the two, the first hypothesis is the more plausible. 19 When separating the middle age group into those who became 20 between 1927 and 1936 and those who could have voted for the first time in federal elections between 1937 and 1951, 19 I A us survey finds a tendency among younger people to split their ballots more often than older, especially middle-aged, persons. See J. Crittenden, "Aging and Political Participation," Western Political Quarterly, 16, no. 2 (June, 1963), 323-31.

The Teams / 59 TABLE 10 Percentage of people giving the maximum ten seats to only two parties•

we do not obtain any marked difference supporting the second explana­ tion. If one assumes, and all evidence at my disposal justifies this, that in federal elections few people have in their lifetime voted for more than two parties, then a lessening of tolerance for those parties no longer voted for or even considered as possible alternatives must occur with time.20 These differences between age groups are hardly modified if we keep constant the place of early education of respondents. 21 The party system prevalent when one reaches adulthood therefore is less a factor than age in explaining the preference for an exclusively two-party system. Party preference is the second major correlate of a desire for a re­ stricted two-party system. Most open-minded are the Social Crediters also the most modest in their claims to seats for their own party - their tolerance of opponents extends almost equally to the Conservatives and to the Liberals. Between the other three parties the d ifferences are small: the NDP and the Conservatives, probably because of their ideological position, are less tolerant of opposition from more than one party than are the Liberals, who (after the Social Cred it party) have the greatest number of close neighbours. The New Democrats and the 20 / Eldersveld reports that Americans over 55 tend to be steadfast in their voting preferences, less likely to split their votes, and Jess likely to be "indepeo­ dant." See S. J. Eldersveld, "The Independent Vote: Measurement, Character­ istics and Implications for Party Strategy," American Political Science Review, 46,no.1 (1952),75ff. 2 1 / Contrasting those of our respondents who received their primary schooling in British Columbia with those who received such schooling in other provinces washes out some but not all of the differences observed. For the four parties combined (because of the small number of cases) and for the four age categories of Table 10 the percentage of people giving ten seats to no more than two parties is: for those educated in BC, 56 per cent (N = 25), 33 per cent (N = 55), 39 per cent (N 18), 30 per cent ( N 37); for those educated outside BC, 58 per cent (N 33), 50 per cent (N 32), 44 per cent (N 45), 21 per cent (N 51).







60 / People vs Politics

Conservatives act as though they were on the edges of the ideological settlement. THE " I D EA L" PAR LI AM ENT AN O THE IDEOLOGICAL CONTINUUM

The tendency to give seats more willingly to one's ideological neigh­ bours than to those further away may not be a rational way to increase the number of seats for one's own party, since such an increase is more likely to come from immediate opponents. Within parties conflicting de­ sires on these matters often exist; followers, should they see the need for a strong opposition, will want it to come from their close neighbours, whereas leaders, with tactics in mind, will seek such balance on a much wider base, allowing their group to grow at the expense of their more immediate competitors. In terms of the classical left to right alignment (NDP, Liberal, Conservative, Social Credit) only Social Credit sup­ porters would distribute 50 per cent or more of seats to a distant neighbour. If 17 per cent of New Democrats give more seats to the Con­ servatives than to the Liberals, 50 per cent do the reverse; if 27 per cent of Conservatives give more seats to the NOP than to the Liberals, 58 per cent do the reverse. Only 10 per cent of Liberals give more seats to the Social Credit than to the Conservatives, while 70 per cent do the oppo­ site. Social Crediters once again are outside this neat alignment: 33 per cent of them give more seats to the Liberals than to the Conservatives; only 26 per cent do the reverse. However, the left to right ordering re­ asserts itself vis-a-vis the NOP: if 14 per cent of Social Crediters give more seats to the NDP than to the Liberals, 64 per cent do the reverse. THE ELECTORATES - DEMOGRAPHIC COMPOSITION

Political parties facilitate the aggregation of "interests" because of the permanency of their symbols, structures, and ideologies. I define inter­ est as one's expected gratification, like the lowering of taxes on building material, the emancipation from one's father, the assimilation of Eski­ moes, the ending of colonial wars, or the enjoyment derived from losing. Interests are related to a political party by agents who will always be individuals but who relate their own interests to the interests of others, either directly or indirectly. The interests aggregated to a political party may be linked outside the party, and may be so linked either through a single individual or through a group of individuals. For example, in Figure 13 interests A and B are related both to the

The Teams / 61


13 Systematic representation of the links between interests, agents, and


party and to each other by a single individual; c and Dare not directly related to each other, but are linked to the party by two individuals not otherwise linked. Interests E and F are linked to the party by different individuals related to each other through a group which is not related to the party (a family, for example). Interests G and H, as in the preced­ ing case, are linked to the party and to each other, but the group church or trade union, for example - through which they are linked is also linked to the party. All the interests of an individual or of a group need not, of course, be attached to the same party. The same agent may link a variety of interests to different parties, either in succession or at the same time. There is a natural tendency in describing the composition of a party electorate to present it as a family picture, to see it as a gathering of individuals rather than of interests. Actually when we describe the characteristics of the people who compose an electorate, we do not know the interests which they have brought to the party. If we find a Chinese in the Conservative party we do not know whether he is there because he is Chinese or because he brought to the party the interests of the economic group, class, or religious denomination, Jewish, for example, to which he belongs. To the model of the links between interests, agents, and parties, now add a time dimension. In the game situation, where equibalance is an ob­ jective, the players change camp to re-establish a threatened eq uilibrium

62 / People vs Politics

irrespective of their non-game interests, irrespective of their religion, colour of hair, or height (if we assume that the players are inter­ changeable and all likely to change camp to keep the outcome uncer­ tain). We should expect that after many transfers the teams will be similar not only in strength but in other characteristics as well. The more a political situation resembles a game, the more the teams should become alike. In politics, however, equibalance may be obtained without the entropic effects expected from pure games. In the pure game, supposedly, when equilibrium is threatened, any player is as likely as any other to change camp. In politics, balance can be obtained by shifts limited to those standing in the middle of a continuum. Those changing camp in order to restore balance may always be the same or at least come from the same group.22 In looking at the composition of the electorates in 1963 and 1965 samples we shall ask ourselves whether the teams are similar and if not, whether the dissimilarities are worth noting. The anthropologist new to a primitive society will seek, by observing patterns of social interaction, to classify people into groups whose distinguishing characteristics he is then able to name; he will note that the hunters are males, that the slaves have a special colour of skin, that the rulers have more wives, that people with the same body paints or dress tend to sit together at meetings of the tribe; and as he accumulates observations he will intro­ duce into his original classification categories he could not at first have envisaged because they were peculiar to one society: when leaving for war, certain warriors start their walk with the left foot, those of another clan with the right.23 When studying non-primitive societies, especially the societies in which we live, we often assume that the characteristics we know to be important in our own subculture are also important in others. Rather than travelling like a hunter in unknown territory, careful and alert, we allow ourselves to be guided along familiar ground lulled into accepting that the extraordinary is no longer worth seeking. In my search for dif­ ferences and similarities, I have used mostly the classical demographic characteristics of age, sex, and occupation, but I now feel that I may have missed the essential: rather than the religious denomination, I 22 / See a discussion of centripetal and centrifugal tendencies in parliamentary systems according to the number and size of the competing parties in M. Duverger, Political Parties (London: Methuen, 1964 ed.), 387ff. 23 / The Osage Indians believed that all forms of life arose from two great forces, the earth and the sky, and that the continuity of life depended on their unity. Families were divided into sky and earth divisions. The sky was symbolized as the left and the earth as the right side of things. When going to war the leader of each side started with four sacred right or left footsteps according to his tribal division. See Ira S. Wile, Handedness - Right and Left (Boston: Lothrop, Lee and Shepard, 1934) , 50.

The Teams / 63

should know the type and intensity of religious life led by the respon­ dent; more important than bis age might be bis sense of humour or bis specific concern for body cleanliness. Very few of my questions, partly because of the failure to include more in the questionnaire, partly be­ cause of the limitations of short as opposed to depth interviewing, go beyond the immediately observable. I shall never come close to know­ ing whether our partisans leave for the polling station on a chosen or on a random foot. Before subjecting our data to any test of significance, let us compare the percentage distributions of our major variables within each of the four electorates. We want to know, for example, the proportion of men or of Catholics appearing in, say, the Liberal group-picture taken by our surveys and compare that proportion to those obtaining in the other parties. To do so, let us combine the 1963 and 1965 samples (see Table 11) and since working with percentage point differences tends to mini­ mize the contrasts in variables with a low rate of occurrence in the population studied, let us, at this stage, base our observations on the TABLE 11 Percentage of selected characteristics found in each electorate, Vancouver-Burrard* (Samples of 1963 and 1965 combined)

64 / People vs Politics TABLE12 Index of representation of selected characteristics by electorate, Vancouver-Burrard• (Samples of 1963 and 1965 combined)

table of indices (Table 12) which indicates in each row the deviations from the sample average. Defining an electorate by its salient characteristics (boxed figures) shows the NDP to be the party of men, manual workers (especially trade unionists), people who did not indicate any religious denomina­ tional affiliation ("no religion" as a shorthand), people who did not go to high school, and people with a high level of political knowledge. The Liberals appear as the party of young people, Catholics, and university­ educated individuals; the Conservatives as the party of women, older people, United Church members, Anglicans, and people of British ori­ gin; the Social Crediters, close in their scores to Conservatives, appear as the party of Protestants and of people with only a primary school education. This last characteristic which they share with the NDP does not, however, as in the NDP, correlate with a low proportion of univer­ sity-educated individuals.

The Teams / 65 TABLE13 Index of representation of selected characteristics by electorates, Canada• (CIPo samples of 1963 and 1965 combinedt) (a) excluding French Canadians (b) including French Canadians

Note that the opposition in each row of lowest and highest scores opposes Liberals to Conservatives four times while opposing New Democrats to Liberals only once, and, similarly, Conservatives to Social Crediters once only. These patterns suggest that along the social dimensions defined by the characteristics selected, a major cleavage runs between Liberals and Conservatives. At this point in the comparison of Burrard electorates let us con­ sider whether the contrasts in trends which we have obtained thus far match those occurring on a countrywide basis in the Canadian Institute of Public Opinion (CIPO) surveys of 1963 and 1965 which have been combined in order to make them comparable to the Burrard data (see Table 13). On the whole the CIPO contrasts duplicate those we have already obtained for Burrard, at least when we isolate English Can­ adians from French Canadians. Social Crediters in Burrard are some­ what older and better educated than those in English Canada as a whole, and the Burrard Conservatives are somewhat below their national

66 / People vs Politics

average in university-educated supporters; nevertheless, the CIPO vari­ ables produce characteristics similar to those of Burrard. This similarity is summarized in Table 14. That the crPo and the Burrard surveys pro­ duce similar contrasts on the few variables common to them adds interest to the characterization of the Burrard electorates by social imbalance. Returning to the Burrard data (see Table 12) let us now use a wider grid which will let slip the variables producing only small varia­ tions around the sample average and retain only the indices of represen­ tativeness lower than 75 or higher than 125. The least important variables, those no longer producing contrasts, are: sex, manual workers, Protestants, British origin, and education. The remaining contrasts show that the line of cleavage running between Liberals and Conservatives results from two major sets of oppositions: between Liberals and Conservatives in their share of older people, Catholics, and Anglicans; between NOP and Conservatives in their share of trade union members and non-religious people. Should we still widen slightly the grid and retain only the variables scoring at least 130, then the NOP would remain characterized by its trade union members, its non-reliTABLE 14 Variables obtaining the highest row scores by party in Burrard and in Canada* (1963 and 1965 surveys combined)

The Teams / 67

gious people and its high level of political knowledge; the Liberals by its Catholics; the Conservatives by its old peo ple24 and Anglicans; the Social Credit by its share of old people. When subjected to the same test, the countrywide CIPO data shows, for English Canada at least, the same contrasts, except that the Conservatives are nationally charac­ terized also as the party of the well to do (SES A). In either case, the three major variables in which electorates contrast are: age, social class, and religion.25 Finally, let us narrow the possibilities for contrasts in the data by retaining only the characteristics which, analysed separately in both the 1963 and 1965 Burrard samples, produced statistically significant differences (at the .05 level of confidence) when the electorates were compared two by two. For example, in a given year let us compare

24 / Even in 1958 at the time of an election which brought many young voters to the Conservatives, the imbalance in favour of older people was noticeable. According to the CIPO survey of that year (#267) the percentage of people in the various electorates was as follows: under 30 Conservatives 22.6, Liberals 26.1, NOP 26.9, Social Credit 11.1; over 40 Conservatives 53.2, Liberals 48.3, NOP 42.2, Social Credit 50.0. 25 / Among studies contrasting the demographic characteristics of Canadian party electorates see in particular S. M. Lipset, Agrarian Socialism (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1950); John Meisel, "Religious Affiliation and Electoral Behaviour: A Case Study," Canadian Journal of Economics and Politi­ cal Science, 22, no. 4 (November, 1956), 481-96; Walter O. Filley, "Social Structure and Canadian Political Parties: The Quebec Case," Western Political Quarterly, 9 (December, 1956), 900-14; D. H. Wrong, "The Pattern of Party Voting in Canada,'' Public Opinion Quarterly, 21 (Summer, 1957), 252-64, and "Parties and Voting in Canada," Political Science Quarterly, 78 (September, 1958), 397-412; P. Jewett, "Voting in the 1960 Federal By-elections at Peter­ borough and Niagara Falls: Who Voted New Party and Why?", CJEPS, 28, no. 1 (February, 1962); P. Regenstreif, "Some Aspects of National Party Support in Canada,'' ibid., 29, no. 1 (February, 1963), 59-74; Robert R. Alford, Party and Society: The Anglo-American Democracies (Chicago: Rand McNally, 1963); Les Electeurs quebecois: Attitudes et opinions a la veille de Nlection de 1960 (Montreal: Groupe de Recherches Sociales, 1964); P. Regenstreif, "Group Per­ ceptions and the Vote: Some Avenues of Opinion Formulation in the 1962 Cam­ paign," in J. Meisel, Papers on the 1962 Election (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1965); Robert R. Alford, "The Social Bases of Political Cleavage in 1962," ibid.; George Perlin, "St. John's West,'' ibid.; J. Meisel, "Conclusion, an Analysis of the National Results," ibid.; Leon Epstein, "A Comparative Study of Canadian Parties,'' American Political Science Review, 58 (March, 1964), 46-59; P. Regen­ streif, The Diefenbaker Interlude (Toronto: Longmans, 1965); Grace M. Ander­ son, "Voting Behaviour and the Ethnic-Religious Variable: A Study of a Federal election in Hamilton, Ontario,'' CJEPS, 32, no. 1 (February, 1966), 27-37; J. C. Courtney and D. E. Smith, "Voting in a Provincial General Election and a Federal By-election: A Constituency Study of Saskatoon City," ibid., 32, no. 3 (August, 1966), 338-53; J. E. Havel, Les Citoyens de Sudbury et la politique (Sudbury: Editions de l'Universite Laurentienne, 1966); F. C. Engelmann and M. A. Schwartz, Political Parties and the Canadian Social Structure (Scarborough, Ont.: Prentice-Hall, 1967). See also the very interesting data and analysis, un­ fortunately published too late for use in this study, given by M. A. Schwartz, Public Opinion and Canadian Identity (Berkeley: University of C:,lifornia Press, 1967).

68 / People vs Politics

successively the sexual composition of Liberals and Conservatives, Liberals and NDP, and New Democrats and Conservatives. In this final test (see Table 15) in only four instances do contrasts remain noticeable through the changing tides of the two elections studied: ( 1) the Conservatives have proportionately more people over 58 years old than the Liberals; (2) among males the NDP has a greater proportion of trade unionists than the Conservatives; (3) the NDP, as compared to the Liberals, has a greater proportion of people not giving any religious affiliation; (4) the NDP, as compared to the Conservatives, has a greater proportion not giving any religious affiliation. As previously, applying the same three variables continues to result in contrasts in the areas of age, social class, and religion. But the social class variable is narrowed to trade union membership, the age variable is narrowed to older people, and the religious variable to the absence of denominational affiliation.26 We have reached here the "hard" discrim­ inators, those most likely to describe the permanent links between the political system and other aspects of life: the closer to wealth and the closer to God (either in belief or age), the more conservative. It remains characteristic of politics in Protestant countries that reli­ gion is found on the left and on the right. But as the ethnic and class oppositions, which carried with them the religious contrasts, weaken, they uncover another and more long-lasting battle, that of the religious, or at least the pro-religious forces, on the one hand, and the anti- or at least a-religious forces, on the other.27 That the party distinguishing 26 / In his Glossop study, A. H. Birch, Small Town Politics (London: Oxford University Press, 1959), 111ft'. reports a slight tendency of the "non-denomina­ tional" to vote Labour. Among the "non-denominational" the voting patterns were: did not vote 40 per cent, Labour 40 per cent, Conservatives 20 per cent; among the "denominational" the proportions were: 18 per cent did not vote, 42 per cent Labour, 33 per cent Conservative, 8 per cent Liberal. A similar bias to Labour is reported by M. Benney et al., How People Vote (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1956), p. 47. For Canada our findings confirm those of P. Regenstreif who, in his 1958 countrywide mailed questionnaire study, found that 20 per cent of NOP respondents did not report any denominational affiliation; see P. Regenstreif, "Some Aspects of National Party Support in Canada," In his Sudbury study, J. E. Havel did not find any such difference between parties, all his respondents having indicated a religious affiliation. He notes, however, that New Democrats have the highest rate of non-religious practice: 5.0 per cent of the Liberals he interviewed said that they rarely or never went to Church, com­ pared with 16.3 per cent of Conservatives and 19.5 per cent of New Democrats. See J. E. Havel, Les Citoyens de Sudbury et la politique, 73. 27 / The literature on the links between religion and politics is so vast that I prefer to refer the reader to a single short essay: Robert Hertz, "La preeminence de la main droite : etude sur la polarite religieuse," Revue Philosophique, 68, (1909), 553-80. From his analysis of the symbolism of left and right in primitive societies, Hertz concludes that the duality basic to other social conflicts, political conflicts in particular, is the opposition between the sacred and the secular, the sacred being normally associated with the right, the secular with the left.

TABLE IS Contrasted demographic characteristics in percentage•

70 / People vs Politics

itself by the lack of religious practice among its members should have been led by an ordained minister is a minor cunning of history;28 it provides an illustration of the complex aggregates of interests and agents to which a party lends itself; interests and agents who, in tum, bring interests of their own. Not included in this last analysis (because of the small number of cases which results when demographic characteristics are analysed separately for the two samples) is the finding that the Social Credit electorate seems again close to the Conservatives; in both years it had very few trade union members and an older electorate and - surpris­ ingly, as many university graduates or Anglicans as either Liberals or Conservatives. This relatively high proportion of university-trained among the Social Credit electorate is not in keeping with the widespread anti-intellectualism of the British Columbia Social Credit leadership. 29 One would want to know whether the university-educated Social Crediters in the sample graduated from technical rather than academic departments; information which the questionnaire, unfortunately, did not yield. Although the four electorates have much in common, they are clearly distinguishable; political tides and conflicts have not washed out all differences. THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN TEAMS AS PERCEIVED BY THE ELECTORS

The picture each electorate has of itself in relation to the others appears in the answers to the question "On the whole, as far as you can tell, for what party do the following people vote: rich people, average people, poor people ... "30 The answers were, with few exceptions, the same in 1963 and in 1965; therefore, the first sample is sufficient illustration. Although the respondent of 1963 could have mentioned more than one party, relatively few people (rarely more than 20 per cent on any question) took advantage of this, and when doing so they usually linked together Liberals and Conservatives. The re-interview survey leads us to expect that many people who mentioned only one party did 28 / Douglas, the former leader of the NOP, is a Baptist minister who, however, has not been in the pulpit since 1935. His predecessor, Woodsworth, also a min­ ister, was expelled by his church. 29 I See D. V. Smiley, "Canada's Poujadists: A New Look at Social Credit," Canadian Forum, 42 (September, 1962), 121-3. 30 / See p. 49. Similar questions are occasionally used by CIPO surveys. See a partial report on their findings in H. Scarrow, "Distinguishing Between Political Parties," Midwest Journal of Political Science, 9, no. 1 (February, 1965), 61-76.

The Teams / 71

in fact hesitate between at least two before focusing more or less at random.31 The frequency of mention of a party in association with a given socio-economic or religious group should therefore be taken not as an exact measurement of an association exclusive of any other but as an indication of the relative strength of this association among others of the same kind. If we assume that four parties were in the respondent's field of perception, random choice of answer would have given about 25 per cent of responses to each party; similarly, for three parties the score for each would have been around 33 per cent; for two about 50 per cent. The reactions to the concepts "average people," "doctors," "white collar workers," "university professors," "United Church members," indicate that the Liberal and the Conservative parties were offered as equally satisfactory answers, but the over-all pattern of responses does not, for the other concepts, suggest randomness. The concepts which I selected describe either socio-economic, reli­ gious, ethnic, or age groups. (See the order in which they were pre­ sented on Table 16.) 82 The quick succession of the sixteen concepts composing the question made that part of the questionnaire one of the more taxing on the respondent, the one in which it was most difficult not to lose his co-operation. The answer "I do not know" was readily given because to say that one does not know how other people vote is perfectly legitimate. The level of abstention is consequently high and grows as the question unfurls. The group descriptions were ordered to include, both at the beginning and at the end, questions easier to answer than the others. "Rich people," at the top of the list, and "French Canadians," near the bottom, serve to measure the decrease in co­ operation: 16 per cent abstained on "rich;" 25 per cent on "French Canadians." Using these two percentages to control, at least roughly, the distortion caused by the increase in evasion of the question, we observe that the concepts on which there is the greatest abstention describe religious groups, even "Catholic" produced as much as 40 per cent abstention. The comments volunteered indicate that, in an unknown proportion, the abstentions were in part due to unwillingness to admit that politics is linked to faith, an admission risking or provoking a col­ lapse of the sacred into the secular. The concepts producing the least 31 / See chap. n above, 26. 32 / I borrowed the idea of producing a composite party image by asking the respondent to link selected social groups and parties from A. H. Birch, Small Town Politics. The concepts listed by Birch were: doctor, lawyer, corporation official, teacher, landlord, mill and factory manager, shopkeeper, railwayman, postman, textile worker, trade unionist, old age pensioner, young people, Roman Catholics, chapelgoers, Anglicans. Birch finds, as I did, that, on the whole, the socio-economic concepts are those producing the least number of abstentions.

72 / People vs Politics TABLE16 Percentage of abstentions on the question "What party or parties do you think that these people vote for?"* (Survey 1963)

amount of abstention described socio-economic groups or professions ("university professors" excepted), some ethnic groups (French Canadians but not Chinese Canadians), and age groups (see Table 16). The abstentions already indicate salieoces and contrasts; the answers will confirm these differences. The concepts on which there was high abstention produced fewer party contrasts than the others. CHARACTERISTICS OF ONE'S OWN PARTY

Each party may be described by the social groups which a majority of the electors of that party see as voting for it.38 New Democrats describe themselves as the party of the poor, the blue collar worker, and the young; the Liberals as the party of average people, Catholics, French Canadians, and young people; the Conservatives as the party of rich people, farmers, Anglicans, Jews, Canadian Chinese, and older people. 33 / Linking a particular social group to the party preferred may be because of desire or knowledge of such a link; it may also be a response to party propa­ ganda. See J. E. & M. F. McOarth, "Effects of Partisanship on Perceptions of Political Figures," Public Opinion Quarterly, 26, no. 2 (Summer, 1962) , 236-48.

The Teams / 73 TABLE17 Social groups seen by each party electorate as giving them primary support (Survey 1963)

*Indicates that the mode of the answers of a given party electorate favours their party. tindicates that the majority of the answers of a given party electorate (abstentions excluded) is for their party.

As for Social Crediters, they give themselves a majority only for French Canadians. Social Crediters, appearing so modest in their claim to par­ liametary seats as to seem unsure of their party's future, apparently also suffer from a lack of feeling of social distinctiveness; it may be, of course, that we did not list the terms that would have provoked domi­ nant associations, but it remains remarkable that on only one of the terms selected, "French Canadian," do they give themselves a majority, and for that high score they had to go to Quebec. By 1965 this sole association will have disappeared, leaving the Social Credit with no perception of a strong anchor in any of the groups selected. Let us now describe party, not by the composition of its majority, but by the mode of distribution of answers to the questionnaire. Note that conflicting claims, but fewer than expected ( see Table 17), occur mostly between Liberals and Conservatives who both see "average people," "university professors," "doctors," "United Church members," "Jews," and "French Canadians" as primarily supporting their party. Particu­ larly interesting is that the New Democrats are the only group who see another party, the Liberals, as having first claim to represent the "average people." This raises a question about whether, to a greater

74 / People vs Politics

extent than even the Social Crediters, the New Democrats form a pol­ itical subculture isolated from the whole society. The New Democrats we interviewed are not economically or socially marginal to the rest of the society; in education, income, and profession they were, in our sample, much more like the Liberals, much more "average" than either the Conservatives or the Social Crediters. Their feeling of distinctive­ ness must be political. In order to see, on an aggregate basis, how strong, how exclusive, the association of specific social groups is with one's preferred party, the data are separated in two tables. The first (Table 18) gives the party scores higher than 20 per cent, the second (Table 19) gives the scores lower than 20 per cent. Table 18 indicates, for example, that 35 per cent of Liberals see "rich people" as voting Liberal, and that 56 per cent of Conservatives see "rich people" as voting Conservative. Only two social groups score more than 20 per cent in the four elec­ torates: "average people" and "older people." Only two more groups score more than 20 per cent in at least three parties; surprisingly, they TABLE 18 Social groups seen by more than 20 per cent of the respondents of a given party as supporting that party, 1963*

The Teams / 75

are "Jews" and "Canadian Chinese," neither of which was expected to score so heavily among Social Crediters. The gaps in Table 18 give, on the whole, an accurate, although exaggerated, description of the actual weaknesses of the various parties. The Liberals see themselves as weak among poor people and farmers; the Conservatives among poor people, manual workers, French Canadians, Catholics, and young people; the NDP sees itself as weak among nearly all groups other than manual workers and poor people. Revealing the urban orientation of the New Democrats is the fact that they no longer see themselves as supported by farmers. Table 19 may be read as a confirmation of Table 18; it gives a rela­ tive measure of the areas of social weakness which each electorate assigns to its own party. Although 21 per cent of New Democrats in the sample are Cath­ olics, that religious group scores only 7 per cent. Although 20 per cent of the New Democrats are middle class, the concept "white collar" scores only 6 per cent. Only 12 per cent of Conservatives associate their party with French Canadians, although in the election of 1963 the party obtained 30 per cent of the total vote in Quebec. Of course the percentage of respondents belonging to a specific social group and the percentage of respondents associating that group with TABLE19 Social groups seen by less than 20 per cent of the respondents of a given party as supporting that party, 1963*

76 / People vs Politics

their party are not strictly comparable. However, even if we read the percentages with much latitude, it is clear that, on the whole, the respan­ dent tends to exaggerate the characteristics of his party. The "teams" clearly distinguishable to the outside observer are even more distin­ guishable to the participants. THE 1965 SAMPLE: THE RETURN OF FRENCH CANADIANS TO THE LIBERAL PARTY

The pattern of answers in 1965 generally duplicates that of 1963. There are a few exceptions: the New Democrats in 1965 more often mentioned their party in association with the terms "university pro­ fessors" and "farmers" ( about twice as much as in 1965), but they still associate farmers more often with the Conservatives than with them­ selves. The Liberals show no change of any significance, nor do the Conservatives except in the term "Jew" which had scored 62 per cent in 1963 but falls to 31 per cent (N 20) in 1965. For this very sig­ nificant drop I have no explanation. The only fundamental change in overall perception occurs among Social Crediters who lose the already weak religious and ethnic characteristic they had in 1963. The per­ centage of Social Crediters linking "French Canadians" with their party drops to 6 per cent (N 20), for "Canadian Chinese" it drops to 3 per cent (N 17), for "Catholics" to 8 per cent (N 15). This drop is no doubt the result of the much advertised split in the Social Credit party, and probably of the nature of the association with French Canadians in 1963 - being an ephemeral phenomenon it left little imprint on the elector's perception. Confirmation that the perception of overall national social conflicts is little disturbed by the personality of the local candidates is found in the 1965 answers to the word "doctor"; they are not significantly dif­ ferent from those of 1963. In 1965 only 9 per cent of New Democrats (N 60) associate the word "doctor" with their party although in that year their candidate was a medical doctor who endeavoured to use his professional title as a campaign appeal.






5 Issues and Dangers

A BLIND MAN INTERVIEWED HAD MENTIONED "nuclear arms" and "ma­ jority government" as the major issues debated in the campaign in 1963. When asked whether he would like to have seen some other problems discussed publicly, he said that there was one which dominated all others in importance: forest fires. Having been blind from birth, he felt insecure among so much timber. The vision of flames which water bombardments cannot bring under control, plus the belief in an all­ powerful government, explained his desire to bring a major private concern to the electoral forum. This respondent, however, was not typical; he knew that the problem, which was of paramount importance to him, was not, in fact, publicly discussed. Most respondents did not distinguish so clearly between what was and what should be debated. THE ISSUES OF 1 963 AND 1 965 The people of Vancouver-Burrard who answered the question about the major issues discussed in the campaign have their own peculiarities when compared with other Canadian electors. There are among them political types, Social Crediters, for example, not usually found else­ where; the Conservatives are of a western variety, different from that found in urban Ontario, who often trace their immediate family origins to the prairies and have much of the farmer's anti-urban and anti­ eastern establishment attitudes.1 Our respondents on the west coast are not generally as attuned to national politics and to the French-Canadian 1 / For analyses of the politics of the prairies see W. L. Morton, The Progres­ sive Party in Canada (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1950); S. M. Lipset, Agrarian Socialism (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1950); C. B. Macpherson, Democracy in Alberta (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1953).

78 / People vs Politics

problem in particular, as would be the case if they lived in the great eastern cities. But they represent Canadian voters quite as well as Lazarsfeld's Elmira respondents represent those of the United States. That the electors of the west do not deviate significantly in their per­ ception of issues from the main stream of English-Canadian politics is supported by data obtained from Gallup polls, not, unfortunately, at the time of the elections we study, but shortly before, in 1962. Jn an extensive national survey commissioned by one federal party shortly before the election of 1962, answers to a question asking the respon­ dent whether he thought that selected problems read out to him would TABLE20 Percentage of respondents who think that selected problems will be important campaign issues• (Survey done for the Conservative party prior to the federal election of 1962)

be major election issues, show, on the whole, no important difference between any of the English-Canadian regions; the differences were principally between Quebec and the rest of the country. Of the English­ Canadian regions the west and Ontario are closer in their opinions (see Table 20). Nothing suggests that this similarity was peculiar to 1962. The only significant deviations are on "old age pensions," "relations with Quebec," and the "flag," which could all be explained by the dif­ ferent political composition of these regions rather than by regional variations within parties. It is not essential to our analysis that our respondents be typical of Canadian regions other than their own, but that they should be adds interest to our observations.


More people could not name a single specific issue in 1965 than in 1963 (21 as compared to 11 per cent); a likely consequence of the greater apathy which characterized the campaign of 1965. These respondents, the least politically informed and the most likely not to vote, have not been included in the analysis which follows. Tables 21 and 22 require an explanation. Unlike the national poll question, ours was open ended. The issues were not suggested to the subject being interviewed and the number of issues he could list was not limited. In 1963, for example, 89 per cent of respondents (N 334)


TABLE 21 "What would you say are the major issues discussed in this campaign?" Percentage of respondents by party indicating specific problems as election issues, Burrard 1963•

80 / People vs Politics TABLE22 "What would you say are the major issues discussed in this campaign?" Percentage of resPondents by party indicating specific problems as election issues, Burrard1965•

gave at least one issue, 70 per cent at least two, and 30 per cent at least three. The perecentages in each cell of Tables 21 and 22 represent the number o! people who mentioned the relevant issue either in first, second, or third position. Fewer than 5 per cent of respondents having listed more than three issues, those listed in fourth position were not recorded. This limitation to three issues was not, however, pre-imposed, but resulted from the data - if a sufficiently high proportion of people had mentioned twenty issues we would have recorded twenty issues. It is conceivable that all cells of Tables 21 and 22 could have 100 per cent scores. The figure appearing in a given cell is, theoretically, inde­ pendent from those appearing in the other cells. However, the respon­ dent who could have listed twenty issues was unlikely to do so. An

Issues and Dangers / 81

interview is not an examination; the respondent stops answering after the minimum necessary display of knowledge and sociability, so that in fact the number of answers he would give was limited by the restrictions inherent in any interview. The dominance of nuclear arms in 1963 causes a flattening of the other percentages. That other per­ centages are higher in 1965 does not necessarily indicate that the issues to which they correspond are perceived by more people, but perhaps simply that one over-dominant issue has disappeared. In comparing the 1963 and 1965 percentages the reader should see them as indicat­ ing a rank rather than as accurately measuring a magnitude. PUBLIC AND PRIVATE ISSUES

In the absence of public campaign, in the absence of mass media, that is, if, as in the traditional Spanish inn, one had to depend on one's own food, what issues would the respondent bring to the election? The question is academic since electoral campai gns and public discussions of political problems are ever present between, as well as during, official election periods. However, the distinction between private and public issues, although we may be unable to sort out clearly one from another, is essential to our understanding of elections.2 This distinction was easier to make under the old type of campaigning. Imagine a politician on a tour of his constituency. His interests are with world affairs: he wishes to change his country's system of alliances, he wants to redirect trade from one continent to another. These are his private political concerns and as such dear to him. He has the choice of keeping them to himself or of sharing them with his constituents; he must decide whether or not to make them public. It is likely that he will prefer not to make them public if he knows that his constituents are not particu­ larly interested or should not become interested in them. The old style politician, unlike his modem counterparts, could prevent his private concerns from becoming public, and the old style elector could more easily know his own mind, could more easily separate his true private concerns from public issues which the campaign brings to his notice for the period of the election. The modem mass media blurs the difference between public and private issues. In a typical urban riding it is not candidates who select 2 / Berelson and his colleagues propose a different classification of issues. They contrast "position issues" which imply material rewards to the elector (taxes, for example) and "style" issues which involve taste and style of life. See B. Berelson etal., Voting (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1954), 184.

82 / People vs Politics

issues reaching the elector but press, radio, and television staff. Not that they have themselves much initiative in the matter, but since they can­ not analyse all the issues reaching them, they accept or reject according to the focus of their interests. Increasingly this tends to be the national party leaders; they are the ones who, either directly or through their advisers, orchestrate a national campaign. The issues originate with the party leadership, to a lesser extent with the mass media, and, to a lesser extent still, with the local candidates. When reaching the elector these issues may fall on prepared or unpre­ pared ground: in the first case, the public was already a private issue and the one activates the other; in the second case, the public issue becomes private if the elector makes the translation or remains public if the elector fails to assimilate it. That public-private issues are those most influential in determining the elector's vote can be assumed. This is different from saying that the issues the elector sees as most impor­ tant are those influencing him most. For example, in 1963 many more people thought "nuclear arms" rather than "unemployment" and "pensions" to be very important, but nuclear arms remained, as we shall see, a public issue; it never took roots in the individual, while pen­ sions or unemployment being private-public issues had such roots, and consequently a much longer life. In stating and ranking issues, politically well-informed electors use a public-private continuum and, in order to satisfy their non-egotistic political values, give verbal preference to public over private problems. The speed with which they forget the former as opposed to the latter suggests an inverse order of importance. In the 1964 reinterview of 110 respondents of 1963, eighteen months after the election, we found that more people remembered "pensions" as an issue than had mentioned it at the time of the campaign (an increase from 9 to 18 per cent), whereas "defence and nuclear arms" dropped from 62 to 20 per cent. As expected, "forgetting" the nuclear arms issue was related to general knowledge of politics, but all strata were markedly affected; among the badly and the poorly informed (N 78) mention of nuclear arms fell from 44 to 13 per cent; among 32) from 75 to 31 per cent. Those more the well informed (N involved intellectually with politics forget public issues less easily, but in both groups the rate of forgetfulness is impressive. We asked again the question of our 1965 sample: "As far as you can remember, what were the issues discussed during the election of 1963?" Half the people could remember at least one issue; 10 per cent said "pensions" (a percentage only slightly lower than the original percentage of 1963) but only 4 per cent remembered "defence" and "nuclear arms" either under that form



Issues and Dangers / 83

or under the form "relations with the United States." This drop is impressive. As well as justifying the historian's mistrust of people's recollections, it confirms that some types of issues - "nuclear arms" and probably also "relations with the United States" - have not, at least for the people in our sample, succeeded in penetrating the elector's private world of issues. Instead of becoming claims that the electors would make against the political system, they have remained claims that the political system has on them. THE SELECTIVE PERCEPTIONS OF EACH PARTY ELECTORATE

That our respondents reproduce so well the campaign presented by the newspapers3 indicates an overall similarity of perception, beyond which differences appear as electors mention more frequently the issues on which their party is campaigning. Liberals mention "nuclear arms" and "scandals" less often than others do and "majority government" more often than others do. Conservatives are more likely to mention "pen­ sions," less likely "medicare." These differences could of course be the result of factors such as the different demographic composition of the various electorates. Of our respondents more Conservatives are older people and therefore could be expected to mention the pension problem more frequently. Similarly, more New Democrats arc members of the working class and could be expected to mention unemployment more often. In other words, the differences observed might be thought to be due to the effects of intervening variables like age or occupation. This happens not to be the case. Whether or not we keep the variables ( age, sex, ethnic origin, religion, or occupation) constant, we do not wash out the differences observed between political groupings. Conserva­ tives under 39 are as likely to mention pensions as are those over 38; well-to-do New Democrats� judged by the value of their homes4 and their profession - are as likely to mention unemployment as are poorly housed manual workers. The ranking of the first five issues thought by our respondents to be either "important" or "very important" gives a good description of common concerns as well as of differences in emphasis among the four electorates. In 1963 the ranking was as follows: 3 / See chap 1, 14, above. 4 I The value of a respondent's home was, in the case of single dwellings or duplexes, determined by the assessment rolls; in the case of apartments it was determined subjectively by the author and an assistant. Location and rental rates were determining factors in the classification.

84 / People vs Politics NDP

1 2 3 4 5

defence, nuclear arms unemployment business, economy relations with us medicare

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

Conservatives defence, nuclear arms unemployment business, economy pensions majority government

1 2 3 4 5

Liberals defence, nuclear arms unemployment majority government business, economy relations with us Social Credit defence, nuclear arms unemployment business, economy taxes medicare

For 1965 a ranking of issues gave the following order: NDP

1 2 3 4 5

medicare pensions French Canada unemployment education

1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5

Conservatives pensions majority government medicare French Canada scandals

1 2 3 4 5

Liberals majority government medicare pensions education French Canada Social Credit medicare pensions majority government scandals business

For a given year an approximate index of disagreement between two electorates in the perception of issues can be obtained by subtracting the lowest percentages from the highest scored by specific issues. Had a given electorate not perceived as either important or very important a given issue so classified by all the respondents of another party, the maximum score of 100 per cent would have been obtained. Had all electorates given the same percentage of references to all issues, statis­ tically most unlikely, the score would have been zero. The maximum gaps observed are 23 percentage points for 1963 and 27 percentage points for 1965. 5 They give a rough measure of the location of our sample between the ideal consensus represented by 0 and the maximum 5 / Instead of working with percentage points, one might prefer to use propor­ tions relative to the percentages contrasted, for example, to say that in 1965 (see

Issues and Dangers / 85 discensus represented by 100. Like all such indices this can be related to time or space, or used to measure differences between regions or between ethnic groups, as well as differences between parties. For example, it can be used to measure the distances in perception among the four electorates taken in pairs ( see Table 23). TABLE23 Index of maximum dissent in the perception of issues*

Although the disagreements were over different issues for each elec­ tion, the distances between parties have remained within the same range. The indices of dissent for the parties taken two by two are bunched around the overall index. At least one issue distinguishes each party from each of the others: "relations with the us" is less of an issue to Social Crediters than to any of the other groups; "majority govern­ ment" is more often an issue to the Liberals than to the other elector­ ates; "unemployment" and "education" are more often an issue to the NDP than to the other parties; "pensions" and "scandals" are less frequently issues to the Liberals, "national unity" more often one to the Conservatives. THE IMPORTANCE OF ISSUES

Only 11 per cent of the issues mentioned in 1963 (N 15 per cent of those mentioned in 1965 (N

= 611) and only

= 490) were said to be

Table 22) scandals are mentioned 2.6 times as frequently by Conservatives as by Liberals. The disadvantage of such a measure is to misrepresent grossly differ­ences between small percentages; the disadvantage of the measure we used is to give undue importance to the high scores on Tables 21 and 22. More refined measurements of differences, and the use of tests of significance were, I think, un­necessary to the demonstration but would improve the index.

86 / People vs Politics

either "not very important" or "not important at all," confirmation that the individual interviewed does not exhaust the list of issues available to him but limits his answer to the two or three uppermost in his mind. Differences appear, however, in the use of the two top categories, "important" and "very important." With few exceptions the issues on which a party campaigns are thought to be more important by its electors than by the electors of other parties. This confirmation of simple common sense expectations renders the exceptions all the more interesting: in 1963 "nuclear arms" did not have a higher score among Conservatives6 than among Liberals and New Democrats; in 1965 "pensions" scored only 40 per cent in the "very important" category among the Liberals who mentioned it (N 3 7) as compared with 46 per cent for Conservatives (N 13), 62 per cent for New Democrats (N 21), and 66 per cent for Social Credit­ ers (N 9). The private-public issues have a higher percentage of "very impor­ tant" scores than have issues which failed to take root privately. In 1963 "unemployment" and "pensions" scored more heavily in the "very important" category than "nuclear arms" and "majority govern­ ment" among those who mentioned such issues; in 1965 pensions had again a slightly higher proportion of "very important" scores than did majority government.






The interviewing on campaign issues ended with the question "Are there other issues that you would like to see discussed?" Unlike the question on public issues which produced a clustering of answers on a few problems, the question on "other issues" gave a wide scattering on all the problems listed in Tables 21 and 22; none scored more than 10 per cent and only very few more than 5 per cent. Those appearing in this last category indicate, presumably, the more common private concerns of the electors interviewed. In 1963 they were unemployment, pensions, family allowances, state of the economy, and education, and in 1965 pensions, medicare, divorce laws, and education, which may indicate 6 / This might be due to avoidance by the Conservative candidate in Bu.rrard of the nuclear arms issue (see chap. 1, 16ff.). I doubt, however, that his avoid­ ance could have been an important factor. The few speeches and pamphlets orig­ inating with the local candidate do not weigh much compared to the mass media. Of the 37 Conservatives mentioning nuclear arms, 27 per cent said the issue was either "not very important" or "not important at all," compared with only 11 per cent of New Democrats (N 36), 8 per cent of Liberals (N 48), and 14 per cent of Social Crediters (N 14).

= =


Issues and Dangers / 87

the sort of problems likely to dominate a public campaign if electors had the initiative. When analysed separately by sex the answers of 1965 show a differ­ ence not registered in the perception of public issues. Among women the "other" issues scoring over 5 per cent are pensions, medicare, family allowances, divorce laws, education, and local problems; among men they are relations with the United States, unemployment, and rela­ tions with countries other than the United States. The contrast illus­ trates the "happy" marriage tale, the happiness being attributed by the wife to her exclusive concern for minor problems such as housing and education; whereas the husband dealt solely with the important ques­ tion - whether Red China should be admitted to the United Nations.7 THE PERCEPTION OF "DANGERS TO CANADA"

Fear is a function of the inherent qualities of the object feared and of the perceived relation of strength and activity between the object and the subject of fear. Individuals with the same opinion of the harmful­ ness of Catholicism may give widely different opinions about whether it is a danger and how much of a danger, according to whether they see it as active or passive, immediate or removed, and according to how they evaluate their own ability to resist it. Two types of questions were used to obtain respondents' opinions on dangers to Canada: the first, an open question, invited without any lead on our part identification of the dangers prominent in the mind of the respondent at the time of the interview; the second, a series of closed questions, asked the elector to indicate how serious, in his esti­ mation, were hypothetical dangers read to him by the interviewer. The different patterns of answers to open and to closed questions suggest that passive and removed dangers on the one hand, active and present dangers on the other, operate in widely separated areas of the field of consciousness. Dangers not mentioned in answer to the open question often ranked in the closed question as more dangerous than those vol­ unteered by the respondent. Any question, by its very wording, invites a search only within a limited area of one's mind. The more active and present a danger, the more likely it is to appear in answers to an open question. But the activity and the proximity of such dangers are not 7 / On the lesser interest of women for public as opposed to personal or family matters see R. Lane, Political Life: Why People get Involved in Politics (G!encoe: The Free Press, 1959). For an early study of the divergent interests of men and women see the study by H. T. Moore of conversations heard on Broadway as he walked between 33rd and 55th Street, "Further Data Concerning Sex Differ­ ences," Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 17 (1922) 210-14.

88 / People vs Politics

necessarily related to their perceived harmfulness; they may be active because they are kept dancing on the front stage of the respondent's mind by private or public discussions. The seeming lack of activity of background dangers may simply be the result of their distance and if the respondent is forced to beam consciousness on them, forced, as it were, to see them at close range, they may then become the most active. In short interviews we are never quite sure whether the respondent, when asked to search his own mind, comes back with convictions or newspaper clippings. This is added reason for combining whenever possible open and closed questions.


In the interview of 1963 the open question on "other dangers menac­ ing Canada" followed a series of closed questions asking the respond­ ent to locate on a "dangerous---not dangerous" continuum the position of hypothetical dangers. In 1965, on the contrary, the open question preceded the series of closed questions. Since the list of selected dangers in 1963 should be assumed to have had a bearing on the answers to the open question which followed, these hypothetical dangers should be presented at the outset of the analysis. In the order read to the subject interviewed they were: Communism, capitalism, Red China, England, United States, Jews, Catholics, Protestants, trade unions, big business, and USSR. Only 45 per cent of the respondents (N 343) answered the open question when it followed the closed ones, but 70 per cent (N 300) did so when it came first. Surprisingly, the answers are basically similar. Only six dangers were mentioned by more than 10 per cent of respon­ dents in 1963: the economic situation, war, the lack of public spirit and Canadian identity, us influence, drug addiction, and alcoholism. In 1965 the issues scoring over 10 per cent are again: the economic situa­ tion, war, the lack of public spirit and identity, and us influence; the only difference is that the issue of drug addiction is replaced by that of French Canada. Even with this last exception ( easily explainable by the increased attention given to the problem of Quebec by the mass media) the overall similarity in responses is impressive, and all the more so in that the individuals questioned were not the same in both samples, that they were interviewed 30 months apart, and that the posi­ tion of the open question in the interview was not the same. Among our respondents, and by inference those of whom they are typical, for the period considered, close and active dangers remained stable. To relate the perception of these dangers to political and demographic charac-



89 teristics is not to relate permanent traits to transient and accidental per­ ceptions. If differences appear between groups and especially between political parties, these differences are likely to be descriptive of a stable political orientation. We can, with some assurance of its soundness, apply the clinical axiom "to know someone is to know what he fears." Limiting the analysis to the sample of 19658 and to the dangers scoring more than 10 per cent, I sought statistically significant differ­ ences between sexes; ethnic groupings (British cf. non-British); reli­ gious groups (Protestants cf. non-Protestant religions); age groups (19-33, 34-58, 59 and over); occupations (manual, non-manual); and political parties (NDP, Liberal, Conservative, Social Credit). No statistically significant correlations appeared in the demographic char­ acteristics already found to be unrelated to political preference. The frequency of mention of the specific dangers analysed was roughly the same for men and for women, Protestants and non-Protestants, and people of British or of non-British origin. A difference appeared between age groups on the question of American influence, mentioned almost twice as often by the people less than 34 years old as by those over 59. Is this a difference between political generations or the result of aging? The data suggest that the two causes reinforce each other, the first being the more important (see Table 24 and Figure 15 below). Between occupational groups three statistically significant differ­ ences occurred. Only 6 per cent of white collar workers mentioned an economic danger, compared to 20 per cent for the other groups. us penetration and influence is mentioned only half as many times by manual workers as by white collar and professional men. The French­ Canadian problem concerns mostly white collar workers and liberal professions; they mention it twice as often as manual workers and business men (see Table 24). The major differences, however, occur between political parties. The New Democrats mention the economic situation twice as often as the other electors, and distinguish themselves from the other parties, especially the Liberals, in their more frequent mention of the danger of a Jack of national identity. The NDP and the Conservatives differ from the Liberals and the Social Crediters on the issue of war, the two former mentioning it much more often than the two latter. The New Democrats deviate from the other three in men­ tioning the United States's influence much more often. Lowering the statistical requirements and being satisfied with a .1 per cent level of confidence would allow another difference on the question of the lack of Canadian identity and public spirit, a difference again setting the Issues and Dangers /

8 / The 1963 sample is not included in the analysis because in the survey of that year the open question followed rather than preceded the closed question on dangers.

90 / People vs Politics TABLE24 "What would you say are the major dangers facing Canada today?" Percentage of respondents mentioning specific dangers, Burrard 1965*

NDP apart from the other groups, especially from the Conservatives and Social Crediters. Thus, the New Democrats distinguish themselves by their more frequent mention of economic dangers, war, United States infl uence, and lack of national identity; the Liberals by their less fre­ quent mention of the French-Canadian problem; the Conservatives by their more frequent mention of war. Apparently, then in listing the dangers to Canada respondents reproduce party themes. The major deviants are the New Democrats who appear in seven of the eight significant statistical differences observed when each party electorate is set against each of the others in turn; the Liberals appear in only four; the Conservatives in three; and the Social Crediters in two. Should the New Democrats be excluded from our universe only one

91 statistically significant difference would remain, that between Liberals and Conservatives on the frequency of mention of the danger of war ( the Conservatives mentioning it more often). Issues and Dangers /


The open question minimized the variations in responses and invited a socially acceptable answer; therefore the subject tended to echo party themes occupying the press and the radio at the time of the campaign. The closed question, on the contrary, forced the respondent to make choices he might have preferred to evade, and he was obliged to con­ sider a wider variety of internal as well as external problems. More pronounced differences appeared between demographic and party groupings. On the whole, however, the observations just made on the basis of the open question will be confirmed. In order to simplify the presentation, whenever possible the samples of 1963 and 1965 have been combined, since in both years the answer patterns were similar. After proposing a hypothetical danger like "Communism," or "Capi­ talism," the interviewer asked the respondent to rank the magnitude of the danger as very serious, serious, serious to some degree, or not at all. DIFFERENCES BETWE,EN SEXES IN THE RANKING OP SELECTED DANGERS

Whatever the cause of a woman's insecurity its political consequences are a greater need for order which, in terms of political behaviour, has taken the form of a more conservative vote.9 This difference based on sex between supporters of left or right parties was clearly apparent in our samples. In the combined 1963 and 1965 samples ( see Table 12), women were not evenly distributed between the various electorates. Furthermore, in each party, whether left or right, women arc likely to have a conservative influence if greater fears for the nation, the state, or themselves lead to greater acceptance of authority and of a stable status quo. It is remarkable that in the ranking of the fourteen selected hypothetical dangers women never appeared, as a group, less fearful than men, and in eleven of the fourteen cases women did appear more fearful. A typical distribution of scores is on Communism as a danger (see Figure 14). The pattern of distribution is the same but male answers are skewed to the "no danger" pole whereas female answers are dis­ torted towards "danger." In this as in any subjective descriptions of atti­ tude, it may be that we measure only verbal differences. To say that 9 I See M. Duverger, The Political Role of Women (Paris:



92 / People vs Politics

FIOURE 14 "Is Communism a danger to Canada? Is it no danger, some danger, serious danger or very serious danger?" Percentage of answers by sex, Burrard 1963 and 1965 samples combined (100 per cent= all the responses of a given sex)

Communism is "very dangerous" may be a woman's way of stating what a man might have simply called "dangerous." Indeed, for a man to appear too fearful is not culturally acceptable. Perhaps therefore the differences observed are due to either a greater sincerity or, on the con­ trary, to a greater tendency to exaggerate on the part of women. How­ ever, in the absence of any proof that the difference is purely verbal, I prefer to think that the pattern does indicate differences in attitude. This preference fits better with what is generally known of women's poli­ tical perceptions and the greater social insecurity10 which I assume to characterize them. 10 / Stouffer finds women less willing than men to tolerate nonconformism; see his Communism, Conformity and Civil Liberties (New York: Doubleday, 1955), chap. 6. However, a study of the relationship between political radicalism and

Issues and Dangers / 93 TABLE25 Sex and the perception of dangers to Canada Percentage of men and women ranking selected dangers from "some" to "very serious" danger (1963 and 1965 samples combined)

To simplify the presentation of the differences in perception between sexes let us regroup our four original categories of dangers into two: "no danger" and "danger." The last group includes the alternatives of "some danger," "serious danger," and "very serious danger" (sec Table 25). The differences between men and women are not as marked but do remain when we control for age. For example, under 34 years of age, 84 per cent of women (N 49) fear automation, but only 68 per cent of men (N = 49); 80 per cent of women fear Communism (N = 85), but only 73 per cent of men (N 110) .11




The hypothesis that low knowledge of politics would be associated with greater fear of public "dangers" was partly substantiated. Although the sense of personal security shows that men and women do not differ significantly. See G. Neither and J. R. Huffman, "Political Opinion and Personal Security," Sociometry, 20, no. 1 (1957), 51-66. 11 / Neither of these contrasts is significant at the .OS level of confidence.

94 / People vs Politics

dangers on which the expected association occurred - "Jews" and "Communism" - ceased to produce the same neat correlations when party preference was kept constant, it appears that, on the whole, political ignorance, which is itself associated with alienation from power and with less subjection to the dominant values of the time, is positively associated with the greater fear of "Communism" and "Jews." For the combined 1963 and 1965 samples the proportion of people saying that Jews are a danger to Canada was, for New Democrats, Liberals, and Conservatives: 19 per cent, 23 per cent, and 21 per cent among the poorly informed, 19 per cent, 5 per cent, and 9 per cent for the better in­ formed.12 For the same parties and in the same order the proportion of those saying that Communism is a danger was respectively 100 per cent, 87 per cent, and 86 per cent among the poorly informed; 53 per cent, 82 per cent, and 82 per cent among the better informed.13 RELIGION, ETHNICITY, AND DANGERS

Catholics are seen as a danger to Canada by 18 per cent of Protestants, but do not reciprocate; less than 5 per cent of them see Protestants as a danger, perhaps an indication of how natural is the association of Pro­ testantism with English Canada and of English Canada with Canada. The mention of Catholics as a danger is not clearly linked, among Protestant denominations, to dogmatic positions. While from 10 to 15 per cent of either Presbyterians, Lutherans, or United Church members see Catholics as a danger, 25 per cent of Anglicans, and 40 per cent of Baptists do. Otherwise religion did not produce any significant variation, not even, as I had assumed, in attitudes toward Jews and French Canadians.14 No interesting differences appeared between people of British and of non-British origin other than that 7 per cent of the former said that Jews were a potential danger,15 and 16 per cent of the latter. Whether the difference is related to socialization, social class, or knowledge of the dominant social values I cannot tell. AGE AND THE PERCEPTION OF DANGERS

The answers to the closed questions confirm previous observations. The concern with American influence is much higher among the people 12 / The N corresponding to these percentages are 21, 53, 23; 120, 184, 83. 13 / The N corresponding to these percentages are: 24,54, 22; 121, 34, 87. 14 / The N are as follows: Protestants, 346; Catholics, 118; Presbyterians, 32; Lutherans, 27; United Church, 109; Anglicans, 127; and Baptists, 20. 15 / N = 380,220. x2 7.9, dfl significant at .01.


95 under 40.16 It is interesting and reassuring to the researcher that the same conclusion comes from a purely quantitative measure, the fre­ quency of mention of the problem in the open question, and from a qualitative description, the indication of the intensity of the danger in the closed question. That political socialization is not the sole factor in explaining differences between age groups is obvious, especially if one analyses separately New Democrats and Liberals (see Figure 15). But, in both electorates, there is, in respondents around age 40, a break between political generations.17 Although too few to be included in the presentation, Conservative cases conform to NDP and Liberal patterns. Issues and Dangers /


The closer the association of a demographic variable with party pre­ ference, the greater the difference in the perception of specific dangers. In the case of sex, we observed not basic oppositions but simply dif­ ferences of location of parallel distributions; few disagreements ap­ peared between religious and ethnic groups; a few more in the case of age. Many more appear in the case of occupation. It will suffice to present these contrasts between professional groups briefly since they confirm observations already made on the basis of the open question. Manual workers and businessmen are, as a whole, char­ acterized by a lesser concern with American infl.uence. 18 White collar workers consider French Canadians as a danger much more often than do manual workers and are more likely than manual workers to mention trade unions as a danger. More interesting is to find that manual work­ ers are more afraid than white collar workers of too open an immigra­ tion policy: 50 per cent of the former (N 63) and only 27 per cent of the latter (N 62) placed "too many immigrants" in the danger category.19



16 / This finding is not corroborated by the survey made in 1964 by the Groupe de Recherches Sociales on the opinion of Canadians in urban centres on the question of political and economic integration with the United States. Age was not on the whole related to opinion differences. See Le Magazine Maclean, juin, 1964. 17 / A troublesome question, whenever we use age as a variable, is whether the differences we observe are due to aging of the individual or to the aging of the society. See Karl Mannheim, Essays on the Sociology of Knowledge (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1952), 286ff., and William M. Evan, "Cohort Analysis of Survey Data: A Procedure for the Study of Long Term Opinion Change," Public Opinion Quarterly, 23 (1959), 63-72. 18 / The Maclean survey (see n. 16 above) found unemployed workers to be the most favourable to political union with the United States (47 per cent); students, the least favourable (25 per cent). 19 / x2 = 5.3, dfl significant at .05.

96 / People vs Politics

FIGURE 15 "Is the us a danger?" Percentage of respondents who say the us is a danger, by party and age group, Burrard samples 1963 and 1965 combined (100 per cent = all party respondents in a given age group who answered the question and said that the us was either a danger or no danger)


As in the open question, the major differences in the rating of dangers are related to party preference. Out of fourteen hypothetical dangers selected, only four did not produce at least one statistically significant variation when the four electorates were in turn compared two by two. Table 26 gives a topographic location of each electorate in a "no danger - serious danger" continuum for each of the dangers appearing in the closed question. To obtain greater precision of location I shall use this time the original four categories of "no danger," "some dan­ ger," "serious danger," "very serious danger." To these I assigned values - 1 to no danger, 2 to some danger, 3 to serious danger, and 4 to very serious danger. For the 1963 and the 1965 samples taken sepa­ rately I then obtained for each party electorate the average position between 1 and 4. The location indicated on Table 26 is the average of the 1963 and of the 1965 positions. The chances that two electorates would have the same location point were minimal since the averages were figured with two decimals. However, the clusterings suggested that electorates separated by less than 15 intervals of the total 300 available on our scale should be considered as located at the same point. In order to avoid visual impressions from recording the close clusters in their misleading random order, I preferred to record only the average posi­ tion of the cluster, unless the pattern of distribution of the answers of two closely clustered electorates was significantly different when mea­ sured by chi-square at the .05 level of confidence. The danger box represented by Table 26 can be used to compare the varied positions of a given party on different issues as well as to com­ pare the relative positions of a number of parties vis-a-vis the same dangers. For all parties the concept "Protestant" scored closer to the "no dan­ ger" line. For the non-socialist parties the opposite extreme is obtained by "Communism"; for the New Democrats this extreme is obtained by "automation." The empty right side of the danger box indicates that the scale offered to the respondent was more widely open than necessary. Few people used the "very serious" answer. It is always preferable, of course, to have too wide rather than too narrow a scale, but note that if the scale was widely opened on the danger side, it did not extend to the positive side of the neutral point represented by "no danger." England, Catholics, and Jews stand against this middle neutral partition as a re­ quest to open the scale on the favourable side. If, instead of the "no danger - serious danger" scale, we had used a "very beneficial - very dangerous" continuum the location points would have been different


Electorates and dangers to Canada: average position (1963 and 1965 samples combined)

Issues and Dangers / 99

from those we observe. We wanted our respondents to think exclusively in terms of dangers. We cannot possibly determine from their answers what the ordering might have been in a favourable scale; very often it would not have been simply the reverse of the danger continuum. For example, in the danger scale "Jews" are closer than "Catholics" to the "no danger" pole; in the favourable scale "Catholics" might very well be closer to the positive end of the continuum. We have no way of tell­ ing. Assuming that an individual sees the government's major function as one of protection, we simply wanted to know against what dangers each electorate might eventually wish to turn the political system. Among national and ideological dangers "Communism" appears more threatening than "USSR," maybe because of its diffuseness and its lack of definite opposites which could be felt as a reassurance. Red China scores an intermediate position between "Communism" and "USSR." This ranking of China and of the USSR, odd as it may seem, if judged by actual military potential, describes well the post-Kennedy­ Khrushchev era: the balance of terror between the two super world powers having become accepted as a form of peaceful equilibrium, dangerous indeed are the newcomers who seek to disturb the status quo. Possibly too, Red China is a catalyst for racial and demographic fears in a way the USSR could never be. That China is taking the place formerly occupied by the USSR is suggested by the evolution of the rela­ tive position of the United States and of the two major communist pow­ ers between 1963 and 1965 (see Table 27). The United States has remained at the same place in the danger box, the USSR has moved to­ ward the no danger pole, but China has moved toward the danger side and now occupies slightly more extreme positions than those of the USSR in 1963. In relation to Communism and the USSR the classical left-to-right alignment appears clearly; it can still be observed in the reactions to "us ownership," "United States," and "big business," although the non­ socialist parties are then close enough to be practically identical. But interestingly, the left to right ordering does not follow on any of the other dangers: neither on "trade unions" nor "automation," which brings the Social Credit between the NDP and the major parties; nor on •sample of 1965 only. tSample of 1963 only. tThe x,2 was obtained on the null hypothesis that the distribution of answers in the four danger categories was the same for the two parties considered. Whenever needed the four categories were folded into either three or two so as to produce the minimum expected frequency of (5) in each cell. The number of respondents having given valid answers varies slightly from danger to danger. The minimum and maximums are as follows: 1963-NDP (78-80), Liberals (112-113), Conservatives (68-72), Social Credit (21-25); 1965- NDP (64-68), Liberals (122-127), Conserva­ tives (38-42), Social Credit (18-22).

100 / People vs Politics TABLE27 Evolution in the perception of China, the us, and the USSR as dangers to Canada Average location by party electorate on a four-point scale

"French Canadians," which separates the Social Credit from the Con­ servatives; nor on "too many immigrants," which surprisingly shows the Social Crediters and the Liberals as the least afraid and the Con­ servatives and the NDP as the defenders of the status quo. One of the surprises of the plotting of "dangers" is how well within the norm the Social Credit federal electors are. It may be that I missed the dangers which might have distinguished them from the other groups, dangers such as "irreligion" or "government in Ottawa," but it may well be also that the Social Crediters are not as different from the other electorates as I usually assume them to be. From these, as well as from previous,

102 / People vs Politics

major parties, and unlike some European socialist parties, it has not acquired a business elite. The social distance between leaders and fol­ lowers may well be as great as in the other parties, but the leaders can speak with a single voice and thus bring the follower group closer to them, allowing an exchange of concerns, claims, and fears. DANGERS, ISSUES, AND PUBLIC CAMPAIGNS

When reinterviewed eighteen months after the election, and asked again about dangers to Canada, even those respondents who thought no change had taken place in the intensity of the threat ranked the hypo­ thetical dangers as less serious than earlier. This suggests that election campaigns increase sensitivity to political dangers. Of course the dif­ ference of attitudes observed between April 1963 and November 1964 could be due to hidden causes - to increased economic prosperity or to the proximity of Christmas. But the answers given in 1963, 1964, and 1965 to the question "Is Red China a danger?" suggest that our first explanation is the more plausible. In 1965 Red China was seen as much more dangerous than in 1963, but in 1964 that country was, on the average, seen as no more or no less dangerous than in 1963, even though in the month preceding the interview the Chinese had exploded their first atomic device.20 Between 1963 and 1964 all "dangers" were seen as having declined ( see Table 29), whereas the degree of percep­ tion of Red China as a danger remained stable, notwithstanding the nuclear explosion. An explanation of the failure of the 1964 survey data to fit the trends suggested by the 1963 and 1965 surveys is in the fact that, unlike the other two, the interviews of 1964 were not done on the occasion of an electoral campaign. The evidence, admittedly circum­ stantial, offers strong suggestion that the major democratic ritual of an election campaign in no way reassures the electorate, but, on the con­ trary, frightens it. The situation surrounding an election corresponds in a much weak­ ened form to the sudden madness of a monarch or to the inheritance of the throne by a child: it is a time of insecurity; because of the power vacuum at the head of the state it is a time of potential civil strife. The end of a parliament is insufficient to make statues bleed and forecast, but the fall of any government provokes, however remotely, a sense of fear, of weakness, and of dangers. The greater political receptivity of an electorate in need of reassurance should favour political parties as a time to indoctrinate electors by substantiating their fears. That electors perceive and adopt mainly the slogans of their own 20 / On 16 October 1964.

Issues and Dangers / 103 TABLB29 Changes in the perception of dangers Percentage of respondents who ranked selected dangers lower or higher in 1964 than they had done in 1963*

parties is shown by the data presented. Our respondents' changing re­ actions to the statement "Canada should have nuclear arms" serves as further and concluding evidence. In 1963 the positive answers to the statement show clearly the official positions of the parties: 66 per cent of Liberals (N 38) said that Canada should have nuclear arms; 55


= 9); 41 per cent of Conservatives (N = 22); 13 per cent of New Democrats (N = 24). But the same

per cent of Social Crediters (N

respondents when reinterviewed eighteen months later gave strikingly different answers. The percentage of Conservatives who said yes was 68 per cent, 21 as compared to 56 per cent of Social Crediters, 48 per cent of Liberals, and 25 per cent of New Democrats. The New Democrats remain at the same rank and the Social Crediters at the same level of acceptance, indicating that the positions taken by their parties at elec­ tion time had not disturbed a basic equilibrium. On the other hand, between the two dates the Liberals and Conservatives exchanged posi­ tions. The election campaign had created among them a precarious and probably new equilibrium, which did not survive the election but one

21 / It is likely that this change among Conservatives is related to their relative lack of response to their party's anti-nuclear arms campaign in 1963; see p. 86. For a national survey of attitudes toward nuclear arms and disarmament see J. Paul and J. Laulicht, "Leaders' and Voters' Attitudes on Defense, Disarmament," In Your Opinion, I (1963).

104 / People vs Politics

which, and this is the important point, lasted at least as long as the campaign itself and one which could probably be recreated. The degree of an electorate's receptivity to issues used by its party will of course depend upon the type of electorate and upon the type of issue. The greater the clash between the public issue and those held privately by the elector, the less likely that issue to be adopted - for that reason parties have usually had, at least in North America, more leeway in international than in domestfc matters2'l - but whatever the degree of resistance of the electorate to propaganda, an election is a propitious time for a party to "educate" its electors, especially if the issues which it seeks to force on them play on the fear-reassurance syndrome created by the election. 22 / Miller and Stokes find the field of foreign affairs the field for which the us representative looks least to his district, to the actual or assumed wishes of his constituents. See W. E. Miller and D. E. Stokes, "Constituency Influence in Congress," American Political Science Review, 51 (March, 1963), 45-56.

6 Death, Children, God, Planets, and Politicians: The "Authoritarian Voter"


automatic reflexes, I failed to obtain from our subjects the authoritarian reactions assumed. No Guttman scale1 appeared from the responses to statements supposedly authoritarian, not even from those which had been taken or adapted from Adomo.2 I had used far fewer statements than recommended but still apparently scales of authoritarian attitudes, and probably scales of attitudes in general, are much more difficult to obtain from populations including a greater variety of political and social subcultures than from university communities. Although the answers obtained did not help to locate respondents and electorates in a dimension of authoritarianism, they will serve to further differentiate politically "teams" and "competitors." In the order in which they appeared in the interview, the statements, presented as taken from newspapers, were the following: "the schools are too soft on children"; "Canada should have nuclear weapons"; "the 1 / See L. Guttman, "The Basis for Scalogram Analysis," in Samuel A. Stouffer ed., Studies in Social Psychology in World War II, IV, Measurement and Predic­ tion (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1950). 2 / Modem research on authoritarian attitudes has its origins in the work of Adorno and his colleagues who sought to isolate the personal traits of individuals with authoritarian, fascist, and ethnocentric tendencies. See T. Adorno et al., The Authoritarian Personality (New York: Harper, 1950). They developed the so­ called F-scale of attitudes (after Fascist) and the E-scale (after ethnocentric). For a critique of Adorno (for having been too exclusively concerned with the political right-wing manifestations of authoritarianism and for taking insufficient account of environmental as opposed to personality variables) see A. Christie and M. Jahoda eds., Studies in the Scope and Method of the Authoritarian Personality (Glencoe: The Free Press, 1954). See also Leonard Webber, "The Relationship of Personality and Non-Personality Factors to Prejudice," Journal of Social Psychology, 63 (1964), 129-37; the author finds that the personality ch aracteris­ tics of the subjects he tested were, more than environmental characterisics, related to the E-scale but that, generally, personality and non-personality factors were strongly related to each other throughout the population studied.

106 / People vs Politics

us is ·our best ally"; "most politicians are dishonest"; "the death penalty should be abolished"; "we should have elections more often"; "doctors should be paid by the government not by the patients"; "there should be more religious instruction in the schools"; "to teach children to obey will serve them better in life than to teach them to look out for them­ selves"; and "the planet under which a child is born has some influence on his character." When a series of questions has to be answered by "yes" or "no," especially questions of only slight interest to the person interviewed, the danger is that the respondent will soon fall into the habit of answering "yes" systematically. To guard against this tendency the "authorita­ rian" statements were mixed with others referring to specific campaign issues like nuclear arms and medicare. The question on the frequency of elections was intended to segregate the individuals most likely to have fallen into the systematic habit of answering "yes." I assumed that be­ cause of the frequency of elections ( 1962, 1963, 1965), hardly anyone would have answered that statement positively in 1965, unless the answer "yes" had become mechanical. Of the respondents 14 per cent in 1963 (N 324) and 7 per cent in 1965 (N 288) agreed that in­ deed elections should be held more often; but compared with the rest of the sample these respondents showed no greater tendency toward a pattern of positive answers. In 1965, none of those in favour of elections more often were either Conservative or Social Credit, and 62 per cent of them (N 16) were Liberals; this difference suggests that the answer "yes" to this question may have been a form of "why not" challenge to the criticism of the Liberal leadership for having dissolved parliament in 1965. Whatever the case, our hope of controlling and identifying the "yes" men was defeated. The number of questions was sufficiently small however and the range of problems covered sufficiently diversified for the automatic "yes" effect to have been of little importance. Only one respondent gave a straight "yes" answer and none gave a straight "no" answer to all questions.





The 1965 sample is an illustration of a phenomenon which occurred also in 1963. The agreement with supposedly authoritarian statements varied from a low of 25 per cent ( on the one proposing that the planets have an influence on the character of children) to a high of 57 per cent (on the one affirming the greater importance of teaching children to obey). Measured by the percentage of "authoritarian" answers the statements ranked as follows: "the planet under which a child is born

The "Authoritarian Voter" / 107 has some influence on his character" - 25 per cent agreed; "most poli­ ticians are dishonest" - 25 per cent agreed; ''there should be more reli­ gious instruction in the school" - 31 per cent agreed; "the death penalty should be abolished" - 47 per cent disagreed; "the schools are too soft on children" - 48 per cent agreed; and "to teach children to obey will serve them better in life than to teach them to look out for themselves" - 57 per cent agreed. However, no Guttman scale could be obtained even at a low coeffi­ cient of reproduceability of 85 per cent. Agreeing with any of the "authoritarian" positions on the list is no guarantee of agreement with any of the "authoritarian" points of view appearing lower on the list whatever the order of rearrangement of the listing. For example, agree­ ment with the statement on planets does not permit a forecast on whether the elector will agree also with the statement on the teaching of children. Even if we restrict our interest to people with a high score on political knowledge, a restriction intended to eliminate the people most likely to answer at random, we still fail to obtain a scale. There was some indication in the data that the passive authoritarians, those likely to think that the planets have an influence on the character of children and that politicians are dishonest, are not of the same kind as the active authoritarians who want to keep the death penalty and think obedience beneficial to children. In the absence of the cultural stairway of authoritarianism which I had hoped to build and on which I bad sought to set respondents and political electorates, let us analyse separately the reactions to the various statements. Important as it is to the political scientist to know whether and bow various authoritarian attitudes are related, it is more impor­ tant for him to know not so much whether a person is on the whole authoritarian, but what he is authoritarian about. SEX, AGE, AND "AUTHORITARIANISM"

Only in their desire to have more religious instruction in the schools did women differ significantly from men - a difference hardly notice­ able among people under 34, marked but small among people over 60, and extreme in the middle age groups (see Figure 16). Middle age is the age of "religious detachment" for men but not for women. Translated into divergent political preferences, this pattern - if characteristic not simply of our middle-aged respondents but of middle age in general3 should contribute to the increase with age of the left-right gap between sexes. 3 / In a sudy of 80 American married couples, Mary Schooley found a tendency

16 Percentage of men and women by age group who agree with the statement "There should be more religious instruction in the schools," Burrard 1965



There is a greater likelihood for people with a very low knowledge of politics to agree that politicians are dishonest, that planets influence character, that more religious instruction should be given in the schools, for older married couples to be more distant from each other in aesthetic values than were those more recently married. She found no increasing difference with age on political values. The lower similarity scores were on economic, theoretic and religious values. See her "Personality Resemblances Among Married Couples," Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 31 (1936), 340-47. In our study the difference between men and women in the 34-58 age group (see figure 16) is statistically significant. x.2 = 3.9; significant at .05.

The "Authoritarian Voter" / 109 TABLE30 Percentage of respondents agreeing with statements designed to test authoritarian attitudes, by level of political knowledge (Samples of 1963 and 1965 combined)

and that elections should be held more often (see Table 30), and in this one can sense the alienation of political barbarians and their feeling of powerlessness, their desire for a discipline or an order which would both reassure them and integrate them into society. But is this authoritarian­ ism? Individuals who are politically and socially marginal, even if they wish a "ruling" authority, do not seem to want a "punishing" one. Their reaction to "abolition of the death penalty" was not markedly different from that of the politically well informed. The political barbarian evokes the image of the blind man caught in a tempest; he does not par­ticularly want to command the elements, only that they should be quiet. Age produced few significant contrasts in reaction to our supposedly authoritarian statements; people over 59 were not particularly in favour

110 / People vs Politics

of retaining the death penalty, nor did they differ from the average in their opinion on the "softness" of schools. On only two statements did they clearly differ from the younger groups: in thinking that the planets influence character (47 per cent as compared to 30 per cent and 15 per cent for those between 33 and 59 and those under 34) 4 and in thinking that there should be more religious instruction in the schools (50 per cent compared to 28 per cent and 28 per cent).6 The aged distinguished themselves by their greater religiousness which, if a sign of authorita­ rianism, is not translated into authoritarian attitudes regarding schools or the death penalty. Again the dat� suggest the distinction between passive and active authoritarians, between those who want to dominate and those who want to be reassured. 4 / (N) = 177, 244, 154. x2 for younger vs older age group= 37.2; significant at .001. 5 / (N) = 99, 124, 64. x2 for older vs younger age groups= 6.9; significant at .01.

7 Parties and Leaders

How A MAN RELATES IIlMSELF TO THE TERRITORY he occupies reveals his attitude toward other men; note, for example, how people in an elevator change location as the elevator becomes empty; or how in a slow London bus people spread out among the seats that become vacant. If they stay close together when free space invites them to move apart either moving is physically difficult or they want to sit next to one another. The tendency to set up a no man's land as a frontier and vary the amount of physical distance to others according to one's attractions or fears makes it possible and meaningful to ask people to give a spatial dimension to their political opinion. In order to obtain from the respondents a ranking of parties and leaders one could have given them a set of pins each marked with a name, such as "Liberal Party," "Pearson," or "Douglas," and asked that these pins be planted between two extremes marking extreme like or dislike. If the dimension used had a width, if it was shaped like a table, one would have seen very few people set their pins in a single row, nearly all would have adopted a column formation, the pins aligned, on the whole, one behind the other, few being abreast. Since our subjects were interviewed in their homes rather than in a laboratory it would have been difficult to use pins and tables; instead, and more simply, we asked subjects to mark on a numbered continuum, going from the bottom to the top of a page, the position they assigned to the names of parties and leaders submitted to them (see Table 31).



To illustrate the method used, as well as to obtain more detailed infor­ mation on the respondent's ordering of party preferences, let us first

112 / People vs Politics TABLE 31 Reproduction of a typical answer given by a respondent to the ranking of parties in the "like-dislike" scale, 1963 How much do you like or dislike these parties?

determine the average location set by each electorate for the four major parties. Comparison of Tables 32 and 33 shows that the ranking of opponents is subject to major variations over time. New Democrats who ranked the Conservatives second in 1963 ranked them last in 1965, possibly as a result of the anti-nuclear arms campaign of Diefenbaker. 1 The rank­ ing of the Social Credit party in second position by the Conservatives can be explained by the migrations which, from 1962 on, took to the Liberals many of those who were Conservatives in 1958,2 and likely to have ranked the Liberals ahead of the Social Crediters. Such expected variations validate the sensitivity of our instrument of measure and render more meaningful the constancy of some patterns. Note, in particular, that (a) Whether we use an 18-point scale as in 1963 or a 9-point scale as in 1965 the average distance between one's own party and its nearest opponent is subject to few variations - the "party liked best" averages at about 8/9 of the continuum, while its nearest com1 / See chaps. 1 and 5 above.

2 / See chap. 8, Figure 22.

Parties and Leaders / 113

petitor is only slightly over the middle point. The breathing space is considerable. 8 ( b) The party faithful, defined as those who supported the same party in the preceding election, put, on the average, a greater distance than the non-party faithful between their party and its nearest opponent. The Conservatives, who deviate slightly from this pattern, are hardly an exception because in both 1963 and 1965 we caught them at a low ebb of their party when very few Conservative electors had, in the preceding elections, voted for another party- even those who, by our definition, do not qualify as party faithful. (c) The NDP and the Communists are the only parties never to score, in the opinion of their opponents, in the "like" section of the continuum. Among Liberal, Conservative, and Social Credit faithful, the NDP always ranks last of non-Communist parties - even among Conservatives in 1963 when the latter failed to reciprocate the good ranking given them by the NDP. The Socialists appear thus next to the Communists, as the most stable "out group," whose position is most difficult to change; it, more than the Social Credit, is an outer, unchanging landmark in the political land­ scape. The reverse does not obtain - contrary to what I expected, the New Democrats do not have a fixed outer limit, not even the Social Credit party. Using the same data, that is, the average ranking of parties in the "like-dislike" dimension, let us proceed to a related problem and mea­ sure the space one puts between one's own party and opposing parties identified not by their names but by their ranks. To guide the analysis let us formulate two hypotheses (a) The party faithful put a greater dis­ tance between their own party and all other parties than do the non­ u party faithf l ( which by our definition are the electors who have not voted for the same party in the previous election). (b) The more "ideological" parties, the NDP especially, put a greater distance between themselves and the party ranked second, but not necessarily between themselves and the party ranked last. The second hypothesis calls for some explanation. Rokeach and his 3 / Whenever averages are used they should be read in the light of their un­ avoidable consequences. Averages give a familiar, simple summary of all the cases studied, they iron out marginal variations; but they allow marginal cases more chance to influence the scores presented than do other measures of centrality such as the mode or the median. Among the Conservative faithful, for example (see Table 32), 39 out of 55 individuals ranked Communist party at "1"; the mode as the median scores would have been "1"; but four Conservatives gave the score "9" and one the score "10," possibly by mistake, the average is thus pulled to what may seem a high 3.6. Random answers or wrong coding, especially with small samples, can affect an average markedly. We should thus consider that an average score of 1 or 18 on Table 32 was most unlikely. At the top as well as at the bottom of the scale there is a sort of irreducible empty space resulting from the method used.

114 / People vs Politics TABLE 32 Average ranking of selected parties by New Democrats, Liberals, Conservatives, and Social Crediters on an 18-point "like-dislike" scale, 1963

whole electorate • all supporters of the party party faithful= res po ndents wh o supported the s ame party in 1962 and 1963

colleagues4 found that the more structured a person's ideology - not necessarily political ideology- and the more committed a person to that ideology, the greater is his tendency to reject other ideologies (the equivalent for us of a subject putting a wider distance between himself and his nearest opponent); greater also is the tendency not to distin­ guish between ideologies other than one's own (the equivalent for us of a subject bunching rather than scattering his opponents on the scale). In order to test both hypotheses, the average distance in scale points 4 / See Milton Rokeach, The Open and Closed Mind (New York: Basic Books, 1960).

Parties and Leaders / 115

TABLE33 Average ranking of selected parties by New Democrats, Liberals, Conservatives, and Social Crediters on a 9-point "like-dislike" scale, 1965. Electora t e

whole electorate= all supporters of the party party faithful= respondents who supported the s a me party in 1962, 1963 and 1965.

set by each respondent between his party and the parties he had located in second, third, and fourth positions was taken for a party's electorate as a whole and the party faithful taken separately. The faithful were defined in the sample of 1963 as those having supported the same party in 1962 and 1963, and in the sample of 1965 as those having supported the same party in 1962, 1963, and 1965. In either definition we retained only answers of respondents having located on the continuum the four parties studied. We thus eliminated the least politically aware - those unable to express an order of preference for NDP, Liberal, Conservative or Social Credit. Communist party scores were not considered.

116 / People vs Politics

The first hypothesis is verified. In all cases the party faithful locates all parties further away from him than the average party supporter

(see Tables 34 and 35). As previously indicated, the Conservative party, which might appear as an exception in 1965 since the ranking is u the same in both the whole electorate and in the party faithf l columns, can hardly be considered as such because by 1965, after heavy migra­ tions to the Liberals, the remaining Conservatives whether or not they meet our definition of a party faithful, belonged to the solid party strata, and practically none of them had come recently from another electorate. The second hypothesis is confirmed neatly for the NDP; they diverge from the other electorates not by the distance they put between them­ selves and the opponents they like least, but by the distance they put between themselves and the opponents they like most (see Figure 17). This might be due to their marginality within the system, that is, being at a greater distance from the others they see them closely bunched to­ gether, or it might be due to a more structured ideology which has the same effect as looking through an opaque glass partition - it blurs or erases differences between the out-groups. I cannot decide on the basis of the evidence at my disposal which is the better explanation. Because of Rokeach's findings, and because of the contrast in our data between the ranking of opponents by New Democrats and Social Crediters, the second should, I think, guide further research. THE COMPARATIVE RANKING OF PARTIES AND LEADERS

Do people vote for party or for leader? Will a given leader outrank or trail behind his party in a popularity score? Are women more attracted to leaders than to parties? The answers to these questions are usually of more interest to political practitioners than to political scientists but, although our observations may do little other than record a passing and easily modifiable situation, they can be used to test the political folk­ lore which states that one votes for people and not for parties, and that women do so more than men. Since the question asking the respondent to rank parties and leaders in two separate but similar "liking" scales was not included in the 1963 survey, we must rely solely on the findings of 1965, a very low point in Diefenbaker's popularity and a time of marked decline in Pearson's (Table 36). The cartoons of the time often represent these two leaders as insignificant, quarrelling old women - manifestations perhaps of the

TABLE34 Average distance to one's party of the parties classed second, third, and fourth on a 9-point scale Comparison of the party faithful to the total number of party supporters (Sample 1965; maximum distance= 9 - 1 = 8)

TABLE35 Average distance to one's own party of the parties classed second, third, and fourth on an 18-point scale Comparison of the party faithful to the total number of party supporters (Sample 1963; maximum distance= 18 - 1= 17)

FIGURE 17 Distance to one's party of those ranked second, third, and fourth by party faithful, average of individual scores, 1963

Parties and Leaden

/ 119 longing for a Kennedy who could be seen in neither Douglas nor Thompson. 1965 is not a particularly good year to compare the popularity levels between parties and leaders since it lacks contrasts. The findings must be interpreted with these limitations in mind. Let us hypothesize that (a) leaders outrank their parties in popu­ larity score (except in the case of Diefenbaker who, folklore tells us, had become, even within his party, abnormally unpopular by 1965) ; (b) women more than men will put the leader ahead of the party;5 and (c) the ranking of one's preferred party is subject to fewer variations than the ranking of its leader. As is indicated below (in Table 39) the first hypothesis must be re­ jected. In all electorates, for both men and women, the party outranks its leader; the differences are not great but the pattern is clear. The sys­ tematic dominance of party over leader is, however, limited to the party of one's preference; in the ranking of opponents the situation is not at all clear; no pattern emerges for Conservatives, Liberals, and their leaders; only in the case of Douglas and of the NDP is there, among non-social­ ists, a clear preference indicated for the leader over bis party. This may be due to the pleasant television personality of Tommy Douglas, but it may be a way also of indicating that at both ends of the continuum, for the party liked best as well as for the party liked least, the reaction is primarily to a party's name, not to the personality of its leader. The second hypothesis must also be rejected; women do not tend, any more than men, to discriminate between party and leader by setting them more widely apart; women do not systematically rank the leader of their party higher than men do; both women and men put their party ahead of its Ieader. 6 S I The Michigan Survey Research Center studies show women to be more can­ didate oriented than men. See A Campbell et al., The Voter Decides (Evanston: Row Peterson, 1954), 155; A. Campbell et al., The American Voter (New York: Wiley and Sons, 1960), 492. The same observation is made by Greenstein in his study of school children. See F. I. Greenstein, "Se,c Related to Political Differ­ ences in Childhood," Journal of Politics, 23 (1961), 353-71. In our Burrard sur­ veys, on the question "Which is more important, the Prime Minister or the House?" I find no significant difference between sexes. In the 1963 and 1965 com­ bined samples 34 per cent of men say that the Prime Minister is more important, compared to 32 per cent of women. 6 I The hypothesis that women, whether ranking the leader higher or lower than their party, would discriminate more than men by setting leaders more widely apart was not verified. Among New Democrats who did not give the same rank to their party and to its leader, the average point distance used by females to separate Douglas and the NOP on a nine-point scale is 1.83, for men it is 1.63; but in the other electorates the pattern is reversed: 2.07 against 1.72 among Liberals; 2.66 against 2.14 among Conservatives. (The Social Crediters were too few to warrant analysis.)

120 / People vs Politics TABLE36 Average ranking on a 9-point scale of parties and leaders, 1965

Reading horiwntally the top rankings of Table 39 below will bring some limited confirmation to the third hypothesis that the ranking of leaders is subject to greater variations than the ranking of parties. Dief­ enbaker's loss of popularity does not seem to have affected seriously the ranking of the Conservative party by its own supporters. The kind of equilibrium at the level of perception between leader and party in a "like-dislike" as well as in other dimensions, and the amount of elasti­ city afforded by that equilibrium, that is, the distance the ranking of a party may decline without affecting the ranking of the leader or vice versa - these and related problems require further research on the role and relationship of abstract and human symbols in party identification.

Parties and Leaders / 121 TABLE37 Average ranking of party leaders on an 18-point "socialism- anti-socialism" scale, 1963 Electorate


In 1963 we asked respondents to locate national party leaders7 on an 18-point scale ( as on Table 31) in a series of five dimensions: new ideas - old ideas; for socialism - against socialism; friendly - cold; active - slow; powerful- weak. The first three are sub-categories of the original left-right continuum which had been abandoned after the pilot study had shown the question 7 / To avoid confusion the names of the leaders were followed by their party identification.

122 / People vs Politics

to produce too high a percentage of non-response and too many queries for clarification. 8 The three categories: "new ideas - old ideas," "social­ ism - anti-socialism," "friendly-cold" do not by any means exhaust the content of the left-right scale, (missing are a social class and a religious category). The two other dimensions proposed for the classification of the party leaders, "active - slow" and "powerful - weak," were used to relate leaders to the notions of power and activity. This battery of questions, limited as it may seem to the analyst, was very trying for the respondents - since they were asked to mark the scales, in order to give a visual translation of the relationship between leaders. Only 56 per cent of the subjects (N 198) completed all 9 scales for each of the four party leaders.



All four electorates agree in their location of Douglas, the NDP leader, on the socialism side of the scale and, surprisingly, agree also on the location of Thompson, the Social Credit leader, around mid-point on that scale, while the leaders of the two major parties, especially Diefen­ baker, are clearly on the anti-socialism side (see Table 37). The loca­ tion of the Social Credit leader closer than Conservative or Liberal to the socialist leader violates the ordering most often presented in aca­ demic descriptions; it might be in part caused by the very name of the party - the distinction between social and socialist, clear in European political thinking, is probably lost to a North American voter; but also, the location of the Social Credit at the centre of the scale may represent on the part of our respondents a perceptive and accurate description of a party which, in British Columbia at least, under the leadership of W. A. C. Bennett, has prided itself on being more socialist than the Socialists, more liberal than the Liberals, and more conservative than the Conservatives. Whatever the reason for the location, it makes one won­ der what effect campaigns fought around the word socialism might have on the electors when it is used to oppose Social Credit and NDP. LEADERS IN THE "N EW-OLD IDEA" DIMENSION

The degree of overall agreement that new ideas come from the smaller parties is remarkable. Douglas and Thompson never fall into the "old ideas" category and always rank ahead of Pearson and Diefenbaker, ex8 / See chap 2, 22. 9 I Restricting our cases to the people who completed the four scales eliminates from our analysis the subjects with a low level of political knowledge or interest.

Parties and Leaders / 123

cept among Liberals who place Pearson in first position; even then, how­ ever, the scores given by Liberals indicate that their ranking of their own leader ahead of the Social Crediter and of the Socialist was done in spite of the inclination to a ranking less favourable to their own cause. Among Liberals, Pearson averages only 13.0; among New Demo­ crats, Douglas averages 14.9; and among Social Crediters, Thompson averages 14.1 (see Table 38). I wish that at this point in the interview I had asked "What new ideas?" The campaign of 1963 had been fought, it must be remembered, mostly on the Liberal and Conservative themes of nuclear arms, majority government, and anti-Americanism; remem­ ber too, that Pearson did not then cast the image he was to give in the second part of the decade, that of a tired competitor who was never able to win decisively, forever pushing the finish line further away from himself as he came nearer to it. LEADERS IN THE "FRIENDLY,'"'ACTIVE," AND "POWERFUL" DIMENSIONS

Osgood and his colleagues10 identified three major basic dimensions needed for a minimum ability to understand our environment, to pro­ tect ourselves from it, and to have some control over it: "friendly dangerous,'' "active - passive,'' "powerful - weak." Because of the difficulty of applying the term "dangerous" to any of the politicians sub­ mitted to the respondent's choice "friendly - dangerous" was replaced by "friendly - cold," a quite different concept but one which should, together with the active and the powerful dimensions, identify the lead­ ers of the major parties competing at the time of the survey. In all electorates (see Tables 39, 40, and 41) the leader of one's pre­ ferred party is always more friendly, more active, and more powerful than the leaders of other parties. Note here how the positive ends of the continuums attract one another; within themselves these positive ends tend to form a constellation in which the mind moves more easily from one positive identification to another positive classification. The roman­ tic idealistic image is easier on the mind than the realistic image wher­ ever mistaken classifications do not have drastic and easily observable consequences; for example, to suppose that an animal is friendly or a fruit tastes good because each is beautiful has effects more easily ob­ servable and consequences of greater importance than to imagine the literary hero nice because he is attractive. As far as perceiving the quali­ ties of leaders is concerned, at least in the section of society we studied, politics is more in the category of the literary hero than in that of the 10 / C. E. Os good, G. J. Suci, and P. Tannenbaum, The Measurement of Mean­ ing (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1957).

124 / People vs Politics TABLE38

Average ranking of party leaders on an 18-point "new ideas - old ideas" scale, 1963

physical or animal environment. Since the leaders of the parties one likes are expected to be friendly, active, and powerful, one sees them as such. Although they tend to duplicate one another, the three dimensions do show some variations of significance. Most of these differences re­ flect conditions specific to the 1963 election. In a11 electorates but his own, Diefenbaker ranks last in both the powerful and the active scales, but does better on the friendly scale; as such, the NDP electors rank him second to their own leader. While Pearson always comes second in the power scale, except of course in his own electorate where he is first, Douglas comes second in the friendly scale. Passing circumstances of the election or the personality of the candidates may be the cause of these locations, but also it is possible, and likely, that powerful and

Parties and Leaders / 125 TABLE39 Average ranking of party leaders on an 18-point "friendly- cold" scale, 1963

friendly are to many people, incompatible. Such an idea, widely held, should act as a major mechanism of electoral migrations from party to party, causing the constant appearance of new challenges to the powers that be. To many the inescapable contradiction of politics is that it means making friends with the weak and turning them into powerful enemies. COMPOSITION OF THE VARIOUS ELECTORATES IN FUN -CTION OF THE ATTITUDES OF THEIR MEMBERS TO OTHER PARTIES

In locating the position of leaders and parties we have dealt exclusively with averages; a hypothetical party supporter has been expressing the

126 / People vs Politics TABLE40 Average ranking of party leaders on an 18-point "active - slow" scale, 1963

average opinion of his group. Using the same data obtained from the ranking of parties, let us now re-combine the scores into only two cate­ gories: "likes" and "dislikes" according to whether the ranking appears over or under the dividing line of the "like-dislike" scale (see Table 31 ). Suppose that a party is a fortress surrounded by other fortresses and that warfare consists primarily in inviting the troops of the opponent to come to one's camp rather than in protecting oneself against invasion. In such a situation, especially since the doors of the fortress are open, one would want to know toward which opposition camp one's support­ ers are leaning, and thus where the walls should be strengthened and the doors closed.

Parties and Leaders / 127 TABLE41 Average ranking of party leaders on an 18-point "powerful - weak" scale, 1963


Nearly all respondents, as should be expected, ranked their preferred party in the "like" category. In 1965, for example, less than 2 per cent of them did not, a percentage so near that of coding errors that we may ignore it altogether. Only a minority disliked all parties but their own: 19 per cent of New Democrats (N 59); 11 per cent of Liberals (N 111) 19 per cent of Conservatives (N 3 3) ; and 6 per cent of Social Crediters (N 18). An even smaller proportion liked all parties (com­ munists excluded): 12.5 per cent of New Democrats, 7 per cent of Liberals, no Conservatives, but 41 per cent of Social Crediters. This last percentage is really surprising if we consider that in the district studied





128 / People vs Politics

the Social Credit candidate had no chance of election, that he had hardly campaigned at all, and that his electors were thus among the hard core of Social Credit supporters. This liking of opponents and high proportion of goodwill to other parties do not fit the myth, in univer­ sity circles at least, which pictures the federal Social Crediter as a Cana­ dian forerunner of the mean-looking sneaker-shoed puritan lady of anti-Goldwater literature.


Ideally, one wants to determine the internal balance between the eight distinct categories obtained from the combination of two possible atti­ tudes - "like" and "dislike" - toward three opponents. For example, for the Liberal party one should study the characteristics of each of the following groupings which are defined by their like or dislike of oppo­ nents: ( 1) like NDP, Conservative, Social Credit (2) dislike NDP, Conservative, Social Credit (3) like NDP, Conservative; dislike Social Credit (4) like NDP, dislike Conservative and Social Credit (5) like NDP and Social Credit; dislike Conservative (6) like Conservative and Social Credit; dislike NOP (7) like Conservative; dislike Social Credit and NDP ( 8) like Social Credit; dislike NOP and Conservative. Since this would create too many categories for the limited size of the sample, I shall regretfully limit the analysis to the likes and dislikes of New Democrats, Liberals, and Conservatives. Eliminating Social Credit leaves only four distinct types according to like of both oppo­ nents, dis1ike of both, or like of one but not the other. CHARACTERISTICS OF IN DIVIDUAL S LIKING OR DISLIKING BOT H OPPONEN TS

To define those who either like or dislike both opponents, I used the dis­ criminators sex, age, religion, ethnic origin, education, occupation, and level of political knowledge. I first tested whether in all parties the universal likers or universal dislikers tended to come from specific groups. To retain as significant the differences observed on the variables selected I required three conditions: (a) that in both samples (1963 and 1965) the difference be in the same direction; (b) that for the corn-

Parties and Leaders / 129

bined samples the chi-square values be significant at .05; and (c) that conditions (a) and ( b) be met in the three electorates studied. Among those disliking their two opponents - let us call them group D, from "dislike" - none of these conditions were obtained. A few illustrations suffice. Had we used only the 1965 sample we would have concluded that the percentage of group D was positively related to age. Using the categories under 34, 34-58, 59 and over, we see that as age increases so does the percentage of people in group D: the progression is 19, 36, and 50 per cent among New Democrats; 10, 28, and 47 per cent among Lib­ erals; 18, 25, and 40 per cent among Conservatives.11 In addition to being statistically significant, these differences are so marked that they undoubtedly describe a particular trait of the 1965 election, but are not likely to reveal any permanent feature of the political system. In 1963 the respondents had produced a more or less opposite pattern of pro­ gression: 20, 26, and 12 per cent among New Democrats; 19, 12, and 14 per cent among Liberals; and 31, 23, and 35 per cent among Con­ servatives.12 The number of those liking two parties - group L from "like" - was so small that it restricted the possibility of detailed analysis. Even by regrouping sub-categories I could not produce any significant cbi­ square; this may, of course, be simply due to the small number of cases. Although not statistically significant, one consistent pattern emerged clearly in both 1963 and 1965: the proportion of group L increases with the level of education, an observation which would have to be confirmed by samples including a much larger number of university-educated individuals than was at our disposal. Finding no specific variables setting either group D or group L apart from the rest of the electorate may be because each party has its own type of likes and dislikes. If each party is anchored in different social groups and if universal dislike or like of other parties is related to attachment to party, one should indeed expect that group D and group L would vary from electorate to electorate, provided one assumes that those who dislike the other two parties are likely to be the hard core of party supporters. To avoid repetition let us concentrate attention on group D, using it to define each party's hard core and to see what distinguishes it from the rest of that party's electorate. Among New Democrats in 1963 and 1965, two of the usual variables satisfied the conditions of similarity of pattern and of significance at .05 level by the chi-square test: occupa­ tion and membership in trade unions. In 1963, 38 per cent of NDP manual workers (N 29) were in category D compared to 5 per cent


11 / The (N) are respectively 21, 28, 10; 49, 43, 19; 11, 12, 10. 12 / The (N) are respectively 25, 34, 16; 41, 40, 21; 16, 21, 31.

130 / People vs Politics


for non-manual workers (N 21); in 1965 the proportion was 46 per cent to 19 per cent (N = 13 and 21). (For the two samples combined the chi-square is 5.9, dfl, significant at .05). Trade union members set against non-trade union members give identical proportions within two percentage points and a similar chi-square value. Among Conservatives no consistent pattern appeared and only one variable was significant, "low level of political knowledge"; in 1965 the percentage of group D in that category was about twice the percentage among the better in­ formed (40 to 20 per cent) but the 1963 survey did not confirm that correlation. Although in each party group D is related to a different variable, a notable similarity links these variables together. Low level of political knowledge, 13 low level of education, lower occupational status, all appear associated with an inclination to dislike the other two major parties. The balanced dislike of those in category D, balanced because they dislike both opponents, must act as a party stabilizer. While among Conservatives and Liberals group D tends to come from politically pas­ sive and socially marginal categories, among New Democrats they come more frequently from categories politically active and usually well in­ formed, for example, unionized manual workers. If we continue to assume that those disliking their two major competitors are less likely to migrate to either of these parties, the politically active marginals will tend apparently to form the stable elements of opposition parties; the non-politicized, politically passive marginals will be the stable elements of the centre, governmental parties. This should be a great advantage to the latter in times of increased affluence and mechanization when the marginals are less and less the manual workers, and more and more the divorcees, the widows, and the aged - those directly affected by the weakening of the enlarged family rather than by work conditions.14 THE ELECTORATES DEFINED BY THE LIKES AND DISLIKES OF OTHER PARTIES AMONG THEIR SUPPORTERS

Setting in turn the New Democratic, the Liberal, and the Conservative electorates between each other, one may see whether and to which side the balance of likes inclines that electorate. How many Liberals like the 13 / This is subject to confirmation, since the significant correlation of 1963 was not confirmed by the 1965 survey; see paragraph above. 14 / The social characteristics we have found among group Dare not the result of excluding the Social Credit party from the analysis. Dislike of Social Credit is greater in group D than in the other groups considered for either of the three variables which we retained as good discriminators.

Parties and Leaders / 131

NDP? How many like the Conservatives? Are the proportions equal, and if not, which side is favoured and by how much? Beyond obtaining these measures for whole electorates we also want to determine whether each party has deviant categories; beyond knowing that New Democrats like Liberals more than they like Conservatives we also want to know whether socialists, for example, have on the average the same orien­ tation. Figures 18, 19 and 20 give for each of the three electorates the per­ centage of people, in selected demographic and political categories,


18 Percentage of Liberals liking the NDP and percentage of Liberals liking the Conservatives, samples of 1963 and 1965 combined (on each side the maximum is 100 per cent; the percentages are the average of the 1963 and 1965 percentages; the x2 is obtained on the combin� frequencies of 1963 . . and . 1965).. The sign ( >) is here to be read as "significant at."

132 / People vs Politics

FIGURE 19 Percentage of Conservatives liking the NDP and percentage of Con­ servatives liking the Liberals, samples of 1963 and 1965 combined (for an explanation of the graph see Figure 18)

liking the parties between which they have been set. These percentages are the average of the 1963 and the 1965 averages. On either side of the graph the maximum is 100 per cent; all Liberals, for example, could like the NDP and also like the Conservatives. The darkened area on each of the crosses measures the difference between the percentages of likes for both opponents and indicates the overall inclination of the electorate studied. In all the categories used the Liberals scored higher percentages of likes on the Conservatives than on the NDP side, even among manual workers ( see Figu re 18). On the NDP side only one variable produced a statistically significant difference; 53 per cent of Liberals in the category of low political knowledge liked the NDP compared to only about 40

Parties and Leaders / 133 % who like Conservatives

FIGURE 20 Percentage of New Democrats lilting the Liberals and percentage of New Democrats liking the Conservatives, samples of 1963 and 1965 combined (for an explanation of the graph see Figure 18)

per cent among the better informed. The same variable produces the same pattern on the Conservative side where 82 per cent of those with little political knowledge like that party compared to about 60 per cent among the better informed. This difference could not be explained by a tendency of the least informed to say that they like other parties more often than those politically more knowledgeable and thus, it is likely, more committed; among New Democrats and Conservatives the re­ verse pattern appears: the least knowledgeable are those least likely to indicate sympathy for the competitors to their party. As already indi­ cated, we observe that the least politically aware go naturally to the

134 / People vs Politics

dominant party not out of opposition to the other parties but in a large part because of their lack of opposition to any party. Note that age is clearly related, not so much to the political inclina­ tions of Liberals - the balance between liking of the NDP and of the Conservatives remains about the same - but to the frequency of liking for either of these two parties. The percentage of likes for NDP as well as for Conservatives declines with age. Note also the positive correla­ tion between education and greater liking for the Conservatives. Among Conservative respondents, on the whole liking for the Lib­ eral side dominates that for the New Democratic side, but there are some interesting exceptions. Among men the liking on the left and right sides are almost similar, 58 and 60 per cent, compared to 31 and 50 per cent among women. The same balance obtains among those with only a primary education, while among those with a low level of politi­ cal knowledge, as well as among manual workers, the NDP side dom­ inates. The parallel to this exceptional liking of the NDP by specific categories of Conservatives can be observed in the NDP, suggesting a privileged social road through which exchanges of supporters are likely to occur between the two parties. Indeed, among New Democrats the Liberals are favoured more than the Conservatives but, and these are interesting exceptions - among those with only a primary education, among those with a low level of political knowledge, and among manual workers, the Conservatives fare as well as the Liberals. Are the percentages recorded high or low? Jn the absence of com­ parable data from other studies I find difficulty in interpreting the sig­ nificance of the level of liking for the major competitors of an elector's party. All one can do is record for future comparisons. Note first of all that the percentage of liking is rarely under 30 per cent, rarely over 70 per cent; the overall party averages fluctuating between 40 and 60 per cent. The high scores of Liberals favouring the Conservative party are, undoubtedly, the result of the electoral migrations of 1962 and 1963. A study of the Conservatives of 1958 would have probably shown as sizable an inclination toward the Liberals. The recorded deviations from the party norm were usually by groups attracted to parties already strongly supported by people like them­ selves. The Liberal manual workers are attracted by the NDP; the older New Democrats by the Conservatives. Lack of historical depth in our data prevents us from knowing whether this fact is the result of entropic tendencies toward group similarity or of a mechanism which would, on the contrary, tend to increase differences and oppositions between com­ peting electorates. If at each election the shaking up of the system pro­ duces exchanges of a random kind between parties, then the party of manual workers will lose manual workers to the party of old people

Parties and Leaders / 13S

and vice-versa, and for some time afterwards those exchanged will con­ tinue to look back to their former party with sympathy. H, on the con­ trary, elections cause the formation of homogenous in-groups, each individual grouped with his own kind, then the observations bring to the surface the major social conflicts keeping the political system in a state of tension and flux, since the deviant groups, those who like specific competitors more than the norm, are the groups most likely to migrate, for whose allegiance political battles will be fought. Each of these ex­ planations, the entropic tendency toward similarity as well as the oppo­ site tendency toward differentiation into contrasted groups, accounts very likely, for part of the situation, but for lack of sufficient evidence one cannot assign explanatory power to either of these two explana­ tions.15 Whether the context is that of fading or sharpening contrasts, note that we find again age and social class - to which we should now add education and level of political knowledge - to be major discrim­ inating factors which set the electorates apart. 15 / The lessening of tensions between groups often leads to the misleading conclusion that the groups have become alike. The impression, for example, that Republicans and Democrats are more alike now in their socio-economic internal balance than they were in the 1930s is not supported by survey findings. The Gallup poll of 1963 �hows class voting to be as low then ns it ever was between 1936 and 1960. See R.R. AHord, "The Role of Social Class in American Voting Behavior," Western Political Quarterly, 16, no. 1 (March, 1963), 180-94.

8 Electoral Migrations


If at the next federal election electors were to decide by tossing a coin whether they should change their party preference and which party they would now support, and if random decisions were repeated at each and every election, then the four parties (four to simplify the illustration) would actually reach equal size. About half the voters would continue to change party but the parties themselves, once at the equal balance point, would hardly move at all. In the course of his voting life, an elector would have travelled throughout the whole system and at some time or another supported New Democrats, Liberals, Conservatives, and Social Crediters. How would the candidates react to these random movements assuming that they do not know that the decisions are made by chance? From studying the official electoral statistics candidates will see a remarkable stability among their supporters but will remain unaware of the vast electoral migrations affecting the electorate. Should they study electoral surveys they will know that at each election they and their opponents lose half of their supporters. In this situation, two likely courses of action are open to them. They may deem these migrations acts of God beyond their power to change, and, freed from any respon­ sibility to influence the electors, do as they please. This decision, of course, would appear to us most rational because we know that the electors vote at random whereas the politician does not, and will assume that the changes have their greatest frequency around the boundary separating him from his opponents. As a result, then, he will want to locate himself close to that boundary so as to play the role of military policeman to those who intend to desert his camp and recruiting agent

Electoral Migrations

/ 137 to those tempted over to his side. Thus, whatever their number, as Jong as they are aligned on a single continuum, the candidates will come so close together as to be politically indistinguishable. The electors, chang­ ing at random, will not only cause a constant shifting of candidates in and out of power, but will also fuse the candidates together and thus integrate the political system. Of course in any major democracy for which we have the necessary information, fewer than half the elector leave their previous party in normal elections. Although lacking sufficient data we take no great risk in presuming that a 50 per cent rate of desertion describes a revolution rather than a system so aboulic that one has to toss a coin to reach a decision. Barring catastrophes, most people will, at a given time, remain within their own political frontiers and, if they do migrate, it will not be at random but according to a complex system of likes and dislikes and ease or difficulty of access which will normally take them to politi­ cal neighbours. The random model is not intended to describe reality,1 but to emphasize the importance of electoral migrations in binding a society together and to invite a study of how far reality departs from randomness through (a) the size of the electoral migrations, (b) the directions of these migrations, and (c) the social and political charac­ teristics of migrants. A. THE SIZE OF THE ELECTORAL MIGRATIONS

We eliminated from our population the people who were voting for the first time in the particular election being studied (since their opinion could not formerly have been expressed in a vote) and the people who were undecided, abstained, or did not remember their previous vote;2 that is, we restricted observations to the respondents who indicated a specific party preference for the string of two, three, or, at most, four elections over which we shall follow their electoral travels (since one cannot possibly obtain from a cross-section of the population accurate descriptions of past voting behaviour beyond two or three "dead" elec­ tions). Even with so few respondents one runs the risk of being pre­ sented with a mashed chronology difficult to interpret; I have the im­ pression, for example, that people often collapse the election of 1958 into either that of 1957 or that of 1962. 1 / Random models can be made to fit reality more closely by conditions of social and geographical distance, likelihood of occurrence of a certain course of action, etc. See, for example, Kullervo Rainio, A Stochastic Model of Social Interaction (Copenhagen: Munks-Gaard, 1961 ). 2 / A criticism of studies on the floating vote is in H. Daudt, Floating Voters and the Floating Vote: A Critical Analysis of American and English Election Studies (Leiden: Stenfert Kroese, 1961 ).

138 / People

vs Politics In the sample of 1963 the percentage of electoral migrations is high: 29 per cent of the sample who indicated a party preference for both 1962 and 1963 supported in 1963 a party different from that they had supported previously. In the 1965 sample the rate of migration is lower, 22 per cent, but within the same range. To interpret the magnitude of these percentages we require some comparative measures. For Canada as a whole, the CIPO polls give 21 per cent for 1965, 22 per cent for 1963, 27 per cent for 1962, 15 per cent for 1957, 16 per cent for 1958, 17 per cent for 1953. The ratio obtained in Vancouver-Burrard for 1963 is thus above the national figure, but not markedly so - 29 per cent as compared to 22 per cent. The suggestion that the higher Burrard ratio might be the result of a rare balance between the three major parties in the district is not substantiated. It seemed reasonable to expect that newcomers who elsewhere in the past might not have been offered the possibility of voting New Democrat, Liberal, or Conservative without the risk of losing their vote, might, when first coming to the district, vote for the party they like best. The data, however, did not support the expectation. In neither the 1963 nor the 1965 samples were the new­ comers more likely to change than the older residents. The Canadian ratio of change resembles the French and the Ameri­ can rather than the British. The Michigan national studies give a rate of change - 19 per cent between 1949 and 1952, and 21 per cent between 1956 and 1958.3 The study by Dupeux of the French election of 1962 gives a rate of 30 per cent.4 In Great Britain, on the contrary, according to the various constituency studies made since the last war, the rate of change is much lower: 9 per cent in the district of Green­ wich studied by Benney and his colleagues in 1950;5 and in Bristol­ Northeast 5 per cent in 1951 and 9 per cent in 1955, according to the study of R. S. Milne and H. C. MacKenzie. 6 The level of migration observed in our district does not set it much apart from the Canadian norm and, judging from the fragmentary evi­ dence at our disposal, the latter appears to be in the category of systems with a high rate of electoral migrations. Further research might well show that the magnitude of these migrations is little influenced by the number of political parties in the system. 3 / See A. Campbell, "Surge and Decline: A Study of Electoral Change," Public Opinion Quarterly, 24, no. 3 (August, 1960), 397-418; and P. Converse, A. Campbell, and W. E. Miller, "Stability and Change in 1960: A Reinstating Elec­ tion," American Political Science Review, 55, no. 2 (June, 1961), 269-80. 4 / See G. Dupeux, "Le Comportement des electeurs frans;ais de 1958 a 1962 d'apres une enquete par sondage," Revue franraise de Science politique, 14, no. 1 (February, 1964), 52-71. 5 / See M. Benney, A. P. Grey, & R.H. Pear, How People Vote (London: Rout­ ledge & Kegan Paul, 1956). 6 / See R. S. Milne and H. C. MacKenzie, Straight Fight (London: Hansard Society, 1954), and Marginal Seat, 1955 (London: Hansard Society, 1958).

Electoral Migrations / 139 B. THE DIRECTION O.F CHANGE

It may have already been noted from the Canadian rates of electoral migrations that the level of these migrations is by itself an inaccurate indication of the changes occurring in the size of the various party electorates. The 16 per cent overall national migration of 195 8, one of the lowest of those studied, produced the greatest shift in electorate and party balance since the 1930s, a far greater shift than that resulting from the 22 per cent migrations of 1963, or the 27 per cent of 1962 (see Table 42). TABLE42 Electoral migrations and shifts in party balance in Canada (a) total percentage-point losses by all parties• (b) total percentage of migrants among party identifierst

The changes of 195 8 were no larger than in the previous election and smaller than in the next three, but the election was exceptional in pro­ ducing few compensatory migrations - nearly all the migrations were directed to a single party. The 1958 migration pattern departs to a greater extent than usual from the random model. Since the Burrard samples did not reach back to the 1950s, let us set the stage for the analysis of the direction of voting transfers by analysing the national scene as shown by the CIPO polls of 1958 and 1963, the first a "Con­ servative," the second a "Liberal" year. Remember that our analysis of migrations is limited to the individuals who indicated a party preference in the two elections correlated; new voters and the undecided or abstainers, all of whom usually follow the trends of the time, must have pushed the system further along the direc­ tion followed by the migrants. Whether we look at the number of individuals involved or at the per­ centages of supporters lost by a given party in 1958 the only sizable migration are those going to the Conservative party: 72 per cent of all

140 / People vs Politics

the transfers (see Figure 21). Should we consider only the transfers involving more than 10 per cent of the electors of the party of origin, the only three paths of migrations which would remain would be those leaving the Social Credit, the Liberal, and the New Democratic party and leading to the Conservative. In the election of 1963, on the contrary, the party benefitting most by the transfers, the Liberals, obtains only 37 per cent of all migrants (see Figure 22); and if we retain only the transfers involving more than 10 per cent of the electors of the party of origin, the only two paths remaining are not to the sole benefit of the party victorious at the polls; they lead from the Conservatives to the Liberals and from the NDP to the Conservatives. The difference between the two elections can be summarized by the rate of compensatory migrations, that is the number of individuals who could have paired and decided not to change, without affecting the overall results. Jn 1958 the maximum possible number of electors pair­ ing is 40 per cent (N = 124); in 1963, 55 per cent (N 419); in 1965, 56 percent (N 265). The 1963 Burrard data reproduces, on the whole, the national pat­ terns (see Figures 23 and 24) with a few important differences: the Burrard migrations, better than the national, respect the classical left to right ordering: NDP - Liberal - Conservative - Social Credit. The absence of a link from NDP to Conservative in the Burrard sample of 1963 is likely because of the small number of cases; such a link, note, exists in the 1965 sample. The only migratory link missing in both 1963 and 1965 is that between NDP and Social Credit; in neither 1963 nor 1965 does any New Democrat leave his party for the other end of the political spectrum. The reverse, however, does not hold. In both elec­ tions, notwithstanding the small size of our Social Credit sample, Social Crediters leave their party for the NDP. Travel from Social Credit to NDP is more likely than travel in the opposite direction.



Party stability The ability of a party to retain its electors will depend upon the trend of the election considered. The six cases presented, the four national surveys of 1957, 1958, 1963, and 1965, and the two Burrard surveys of 1963 and 1965, give enough data from which to draw general obser­ vations. Table 43 gives the percentage of people by party who did not change their party preference over two elections. The only major difference between the Burrard and the national polls of 1963 and 1965 is in the greater stability of the NDP electorate in Burrard. Even if we control for urban-rural differences in the national survey, the Burrard ratio remains markedly higher than the national

Electoral Migrations / 141 TABLE43 Index of party stability (y/x x 100)*

average. For people living in communities of over 100,000 inhabitants, the CIPO poll for 1963, for example, gives a ratio of 80 per cent to the NDP, compared with 74 per cent for the nation as a whole, and 96 per cent for Burrard. Suggested by the figu res in Table 43 is that a party should normally expect to lose at least 5 per cent and more likely 10 to 20 per cent of its electors at each election. Large-scale migrations are therefore a normal feature of electoral life in Canada, as much as residential mobility. All parties are affected; over three elections they should expect to lose, at least 10 to 15 per cent of their original electors. To follow the migration patterns over three federal elections we must now leave the national surveys, after they have to some extent assured us that despite their small number Burrard migrants do not produce aberrant statistical patterns. Limiting our observations to the 1965 Burrard sample let us follow the respondent's travel over the three elections, 1962, 1963, and 1965. Migrations over three elections

1. Patterns of immigration The more an election favours a specific party, the more probable that party will receive electors coming from other political electorates or returning to the party after temporary departures. Least favoured by the electoral trends of 1963 and 1965, the Conservative party should be expected to have a more politically homogeneous electorate in terms of past voting history. Indeed 85 per cent of the Conservatives of 1965 who stated their party vote as far back as 1962 (N = 28) were Con­ servatives then and remained so unbrokenly. For the other parties the percentage of faithful is much lower: only 64 per cent for the New Democrats (N 40), only 66 per cent for the Liberals (N = 62), and only 31 per cent for the Social Crediters (N = 31). Even in the absence of any basis for comparison, these figures seem a good indica­ tion of the high level of political mobility characterizing our population.




21 Electoral migrations between 1957 and 1958 for the whole of Canada, based on CIPO survey no. 267 (N = number of individuals)

1962 PIGURB 22 Electoral migrations between 1962 and 1963, Canada, based on CIPO survey no. 302 (N = number of individuals)

FIGURE 23 Electoral migrations between 1962 and 1963 in Vancouver-Burrard (N = number of individuals)


24 Electoral migrations between 1963 and 1965 in Vancouver-Burrard (N = number of individuals)

146 / People vs Politics

25 THIS AND OPPOSITE PAGE Parties supported federally in 1962, 1963, and 1965 by the respondents indicating a party choice in the three elections con­ sidered, Vancouver-Burrard survey, 1965 (N = number of individuals) FIGURE

Electoral Migrations / 147

148 / People vs Politics

This mobility can be best analysed, however, from the pattern of emi­ gration, taking 1962 as our starting point. 2. The pattern of emigration Over the two elections of 1963 and 1965, both of which showed in Burrard a general trend to the left, the NDP and the Liberals have almost similar ratios of resistance to emigration: 83 per cent of the NDP of 1962 and 81 per cent of the Liberals continued supporting their party in the two succeeding elections (see Figure 25) . On the right of the political spectrum, however, both Conservatives and Social Crediters show very low ratios of resistance to emigration: only 40 per cent of the Conservatives of 1962 and 45 per cent of the Social Crediters of 1962 remained faithful to their 1962 vote in the two following elections. Thus, the losing side is abandoned by about half of its original sup­ porters in the course of only two elections and, even more revealing, the winning side loses about a quarter of its original supporters. The migrants belong to one of three categories: (a) the temporary migrants who return to their party of origin; (b) the two-step migrants who in the course of three elections will have supported three different parties; and (c) the one-step migrants who having changed party in 1963 con­ tinued in 1965 to adhere to their new choice (see Figure 25). The temporary migrants The year selected as the base from which to study the migrations, 1962, is determined arbitrarily by our data. As a result of the lack of an adequate voting history for each elector, I cannot tell whether the individual who changes parties in 1963 leaves a party he had supported over a number of elections or returns to a party he had left temporarily. Many who left the Conservatives in 1963 must have been Liberals who had temporarily become Conservatives in 1957 or 1958. Had we been able to use either of these last two elections as our starting point, it is likely that we would have observed many more temporary migrants. Since over the three elections studied the general trend was to the left, one should expect that the frequency of return to the Liberals or to the NDP would be higher than the frequency of return to the Conser­ vatives or to Social Credit (see Figure 25). Of the 23 Conservatives of 1962 leaving that party in 1963 only one (4 per cent) returned to his party of origin in 1965, one of four Social Crediters, one of four Lib­ erals, and two of four New Democrats also did so. With such a small number of cases, one cannot measure the magnitude of these returns to the party of origin but simply call attention to the importance of this type of migration in linking parties together. The word "floaters," often used to describe the electoral migrants, suggests the Tolstoyian vision of an imbecile cork on the wave of history. But a voter, whether aimless

Electoral Migrations / 149 floater or direction-conscious traveller, crossing party lines becomes himself a link between parties; and in a situation where the parties fight for his allegiance, he is once again the means of linking them together. The one- and the two-step migrants Of the 35 individuals who changed party in 1963, 22 (63 per cent) maintained in 1965 their 1963 preferences; and 8 (23 per cent) moved to a third party. This last group is particularly interesting because the eight individuals came from the Conservative and Social Credit parties in 1963 and reached the Social Credit or NDP in 1965, but only after migrating temporarily to the Liberals in 1963. Three Conservatives of 1962 who reached the NDP in 1965 went via the Liberals in 1963, as did the three Conserva­ tives who eventually reached Social Credit. As well as a party in which to settle the Liberals are also a halfway house, a natural point of transit, a sort of Grand Central station for political re-routing. Their middle position and large size, as well as the trend of the elections invited them to play this role not only between NDP and Conservatives or NDP and Social Crediters, but between Social Credit and Conservatives as well. The invitation to question the ideological continuum along which I have aligned political parties is obvious. The left-right continuum Let us suppose that the NDP - Liberal Conservative - Social Credit ordering is the one along which political migrations take place and that the elector will tend to go to the party nearest to him on that continuum; so that any migration which bypasses at least one party on a selected continuum is "party jumping." Now let us consider in which ordering there is the minimum of "party jumping." Measuring in frequency would bias the solution toward the hypothesis by giving greater weight to the parties with large electorates and heavy migratory transfers (principally Liberals and Conservatives), and in using percentages there is no obvious single percentage to select - 100 per cent can be in either the party of departure or the party of arrival, and in either case 100 per cent can be the total electorates of the party considered or the total number of migrants from or to that party. There­ fore I shall use two measures: in (a) the first, 100 per cent is the num­ ber of electors in the party of departure; in (b) the second, 100 per cent is the number of people leaving the party considered. The draw­ back of this second measure is that when migrations are small it gives undue importance to deviant cases. For example, had a single indivi­ dual in a given sample left part A for party D, we would say that 100 per cent of A 's migrants jumped parties B and C. In four electorates testing the amount of party jumping over all pos­ sible alignments gives twelve possible permutations. To obtain these add the percentages crossing over at least one party. For example, 9.5 per cent of the 1962 NDP electors went to the Liberals in 1963. Accord-

150 / People vs Politics

ing to the specific left-right alignment tested here this move does not represent a jump, but 11 per cent of New Democrats going to the Con­ servatives and 6.2 per cent going to Social Credit do represent jumps (as do all the figures appearing in the upper right and lower left tri­ angles of the following contingency table). Adding the figures in the






triangles (11.0 6.2 3.9 5.4 2.4 10.3) gives 39.2 which is the jumping score for this particular party ordering when basing the percentages on the electorate of departure. For measure (a) the scores have been obtained separately for four CIPO national surveys and for the two Burrard surveys; for measure (b) the re-combination of the two Burrard surveys partially alleviated the difficulties arising from the small number of New Democratic transfers. The hypothesis that the classical left-right alignment, NDP - Liberal - Conservative - Social Credit would minimize party jumping is con­ firmed but with qualifications ( see Tables 44 and 45). In the CIPO polls the classical ordering, although best, on the whole, never comes first in any of these elections on either measure (a) or measure ( b). In the Burrard polls the classical alignment scores two out of three times ahead of all others but on measure (a) it ranks only second when the ranking scores of 1963 and 1965 are added. In the CIPO samples cover­ ing the whole country, the orderings which bring Conservatives and NDP close together are nearly as good as the continuum where they are separated by the Liberals. In Burrard the only ordering to have a con­ sistently good ranking on both measures (a) and (b) is the classical one yet as many as one quarter to one-third of the transfers do not follow this alignment. We do not know whether those who jumped parties were aware of doing so or simply of moving to a neighbouring party.7 Although this is not necessary information for our hypothesis, since we are not relat7 / The test of the existence of a left-right continuum can be, and has been, made on the basis of data other than party migrations; one can use parliamentary votes or ranking of selected leaders. See, in particular, the works of Duncan McRae Jr., "Une Analyse factorielle des preferences politiques," Revue franfaise de Science politique, 8, no. 1 (1958), 95-109, and Dimensions of Congressional Voting: A Statistical Study of the House of Representatives in the Eighty-First Congress (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1958).

TABLE44 Scores of arty jumping accorcliog to party ordering Measure (a a)•

TABLE45 Scores of party jumping accorcling to party ordering Measure (b}*

I People vs Politics behaviour to perception, knowing it would have allowed us to carry ing the analysis a step further. My intuitive impression is that the political ordering of parties describes for most Canadians the ordering of their likes and dislikes; the left-to-right ordering familiar to those controlling the political information and the educational systems is not, as in Euro­ pean countries, so much a part of the culture or so weighty on the elec­ tor's mind as to prevent him from adjusting the left-right continuum to fit his own preferences. Surprisingly, the worst offenders against the classical alignment are the New Democrats: in the CIPO studies they account for 29 per cent of all the party jumps,8 notwithstanding their relatively small size and in the CIPO samples of 1958 and 1963, more New Democrats transferred to the Conservatives than to the Liberals; in Burrard ( see Figures 23 and 24) the number of NDP transfers is too small to form a clear impression, but it confirms that even when the trend is to the Liberals the migrations from the NDP are not markedly in favour of the Liberals over the Conservatives. The ordering which minimizes NDP jumps is NDP - Conservative - Liberal - Social Credit. This preference given by the NDP to the Conservatives is not recipro­ cated; in all samples Conservatives transferred more to the Liberals than to the NDP. Seen from the Social Credit end of the spectrum, the picture is more confused; the Social Crediters in the 1958 CIPO sample transferred over­ whelmingly to the Conservatives, but the 1963 CIPO poll shows slightly more of their migrants going to the Liberals than to the Conservatives, and the combined Burrard surveys spreads them equally to all parties. To explain this distortion of the classical continuum by the extreme parties, which are in most political systems the stable reference points - the lighthouses of the left-right dimension - we must distinguish three major types of transfers: tactical, ideological, and social. The tactical transfers should occur mostly between the two centre parties; they do not imply changes of allegiance but are essentially temporary measures required by circumstances, to ensure a majority government, for ex­ ample. Ideological transfers, which usually produce permanent migra­ tions, come from the recognition of a basic conflict of opinion with the party previously supported, for example, on the question of nuclear arms. In general, social transfers also result in permanent new settle­ ments, corresponding to the individual's realignment of his political with his social position; a New Democrat may shift to the socially 8 I The Conservatives account for 29 per cent, the Liberals for 24 per cent, and 152

the Social Crediters for 19 per cent. The position of the party on the continuum selected influences the number of party jumps recorded. In the classical ordering, the only possible jump for Liberals is to go to the Social Credit, the only pos­ sible Conservative jump is to the NDP. For more recent data (1968) see appendix IV.

Electoral Migrations /

153 superior Conservatives, although the two parties may have similar poli­ cies on the only campaign issues of interest to him - pensions and nuclear arms, for example. Tactical changes occurring mostly between the ideologically less­ differentiated centre parties should not cause distortions in the classical left-right continuum; on the contrary, their weight will tend to bias the total migration pattern in favour of the classical ordering. Having found no satisfactory way of isolating these migrants from others, I can only speculate that their number, would be large. If the surveys had reached back to the election of 1957, we would have placed the 1957 Liberals who voted Conservative in 1958 and returned to their party of origin in 1962 and 1963 in the category of temporary tactical changes. Eliminating them from the analysis of migrations would no doubt have increased the overall proportion of party jumps. Since tactical changes are unlikely to explain the high level of party jumping, the ideological and social continuums may do so. We have already noted in this chapter that the Conservatives, while closer to the Liberals than to the NDP in ideological terms, often appear between the NOP and the Liberals. It might help at this point to see the social con­ tinuum as offering two roads, that of the elite and that of the "small man," in other words that of the establishment and that of Charlie Chaplin. In the first the hypothetical order of ascent is Social Credit NDP - Liberal - Conservative and in the second it is Social Credit NOP - Conservative - Liberal. In both categories the Liberals and the Conservatives are close together, but along the small man's road NDP and Liberals are separated by Conservatives ( see p. 134). In both, the Social Credit comes behind the NDP and consequently the transfers would be more probable from Social Credit to NOP than vice-versa. These relative positions would explain Social Crediters transferring more easily to the NDP than vice-versa, and New Democrats transfer­ ring more readily to the Conservatives than Conservatives to the NOP. However, these explanations must remain hypothetical since the data suggesting them did not provide enough information to verify them. The reasons for changing Our analysis of the reasons given by the party migrants for changing parties will be governed by two supposi­ tions: ( 1) that a migrant sees change in parties and leaders rather than in himself, and (2) that he tends to explain and justify change not so much by the attractiveness of the new involvement as by the failures of the old. These hypotheses assume that politics is so located between, on the one hand, the religious, the sacred, the unchanging pole, and, on the other, its mundane, secular, changing opposite, that the individual will value permanency of party affiliation more than he would value permanency of taste for commercial products and hence will be unwill-

154 / People vs Politics

ing to locate in himself the cause of his change of attitude. The first hypothesis was fully verified but not the second. ( 1) Party migrants locate change in the parties and not in them­ selves. In our 1963 sample none of 41 people located change in them­ selves when answering the question "If you changed party preference between 1962 and 1963 for what reason did you do so?" In 1965 all 22 people who answered a similar question assigned the change to their party or to their leaders. (2) The 1963 sample partly supported the second hypothesis since only 5 of 41 changers explained their migration by a positive reference to the party now favoured, to its leader, or to its new policies. But this low proportion was clearly a reflection of conditions specific to the 1963 election when most of the migrants went from the Conservatives to the Liberals and explained their move by anti-Diefenbaker statements, statements about indecisiveness, illness, and old age. In 1965, charac­ terized by a more varied mi gration pattern, the positive descriptions of the party newly favoured were equal to the negative statements on the party left. One must therefore reject the hypothesis. Party faithfulness is not so strongly valued that the negative descriptions of the parties of departure will be more frequent than the positive descriptions of the party newly supported. The marked difference between the answers of our respondents of 1963 and 1965 to the question about why they changed parties can be used to measure the balance of attraction compared to rejection which at any given time explains political as well as other migrations; often more revealing than the actual reasons given for changing is the way in which the reasons are presented - as praise of the new party or as criti­ cism of the one previously supported. Compared with the election of 1965, which is close to an equal balance between positive and negative reasons for changing ( given by 85 per cent of respondents) caused not by a positive move toward Liberal leaders or policies, but by a strong rejection of the Conservatives and of Diefenbaker in particular. Of the 28 Conservatives of 1962 who gave meaningful reasons for their change in 1963, 2 said that they changed because only the Liberals could produce a majority government and one praised in vague terms the Liberal programme but the other 25 criticized the Conservatives and, of those, 12 worded their criticisms as anti-Diefenbaker statements (describing him as too old, too indecisive, or unable to keep his party together); among those not mentioning Diefenbaker specifically, 7 said without elaboration that the Conservatives had not kept their promises, 3 were hostile to their anti-Americanism, and 2 mentioned the devalua­ tion of the Canadian dollar. We have seen that an electoral campaign is a time of increased sensi­ tivity to public dangers and we suggested that this may be because of a

Electoral Migrations /

1SS feeling of "emptiness" at the top of the political system resulting from the dissolution of the government and an open conflict for power be­ tween opposing parties and factions. A powerful weapon for the oppo­ sition at such a time will naturally be to paint the outgoing government in the image of an old age pensioner. The anti-Diefenbaker cam­ paign paid a great deal of attention to bis shaking hands, thereby invit­ ing uneasiness in those seeing him as leader and captain of their ship. But it is possible that during an electoral campaign, the electorate has a greater than usual immunity to negative criticisms. To have a better chance of success, an attack casting the government in the role of weak­ minded, indecisive, "non-government" should occur before the official campaign. Electoral perception of the personality of Diefenbaker who, according to the polls of the time, was still seen befort; the election of 1962 as forceful, must have changed between the elections of 1962 and 1963 that is, before the 1963 election was called, rather than during the election campaign. The respondents interviewed in the week preceding the election did not differ in their perception of Diefenbaker from those interviewed four weeks previously.9 The migrants For an explanation, transform the party changers, whom I described as migrants, into billiard balls; in the transformation leave them the will and pewer to move by themselves. Assume that the balls are on a table without a rail; those which fall from the table cor­ respond to the elector migrating to another party. The ball on the out­ side, on the edge of the table, is more likely to fall than those more cen­ trally located, even when the initiative to move does not come from it. Thus, movements originating at the centre may cause it to drop, even when those originating the movement do not themselves leave the table. We already know that migrations are for political reasons but beyond this we want to know whether the migrants have some common char­ acteristics. Do all migrants taken as a group have distinguishing fea­ tures other than their party preferences and opinions? And are migra­ tions in specific directions? This is the equivalent of asking whether the balls falling from the table are of specific weight, size, colour, or shape; 9 I In the sample of 1963 we find that among the Conservatives of 1962 who read the Province to the exclusion of other newspapers and Maclean's, only 10 per cent (N ·= 19) shifted to the Liberals in 1963; among the readers of the Sun, whether they also read Maclean's or not, the proportion of changers to the Liberals was 42 per cent (N = 35). The Province had supported Diefenba.ker in 1963, while the Sun had severly criticized him before, as well as during, the election. This significant correlation between newspaper reading and migrations from the Conservatives cannot be taken as proof that the cause of the change is in the newspaper; the small number of cases does not allow us to keep constant age and social class which are not similarly related to the readership of the two newspapers. Forty per cent of the readers of the Province, but only 28 per cent of the readers of the Sun, were over 50 years old; 78 per cent of the readers of the Province were non-manual workers, while only 54 per cent of the readers of the Sun belonged to that category.

156 / People vs Politics

and whether those falling, say, on the left are different from those falling on the right. C. THE MIGRANTS: SOCIAL AND



Having assumed that the tendency to shift from party to party is linked to uncertainty of one's social status, my hypothesis was that women, younger people, people with a lower level of formal education, and people with less knowledge of politics, were more likely to migrate. The relatively small number of migrants in our Burrard surveys restricts the analysis to migrations from either the Liberals or the Conservatives in both of the elections studied, 1963 and 1965. None of the variables selected produced a consistent pattern when controlled for party pre­ ference; in particular we found no confirmation of a correlation often reported in the literature between low level of political knowledge and tendency to shift from party to party;10 such indecision, notable among non-voting barbarians,11 does not apply to those electors who, while not better informed than the barbarians, do at least vote. Changing one's opinion, however superficial, is likely to be easier for those who do not translate it into action. Failure to obtain the expected correlations gives added weight to the criticisms that on this question many findings are based on very weak correlations. 12 In defence of these findings, however, it must be noted that the people least informed are also those most likely to misrepresent their past voting behaviour by making it coincide with their present preferences; such misreporting will normally weaken any gap between the well-informed and the less well-informed individuals - when the observer relies on the respondent's self description of his past voting behaviour, that is. Although based on an extremely small number of cases, there is indication of such an effect in our Burrard data. Thirty­ seven of the people in our sample were interviewed immediately after the election of 1963, then again in 1964 and in both interviews were asked how they had voted in the April 1963 election. Among the well informed (N 11) 9 per cent gave discrepant answers, but 19 per


10 / For these findings see Lazarsfeld et al., The People's Choice (New York: Columbia University Press, 1944), 69; Berelson et al., Voting (Chicago: Uni­ versity of Chicago Press, 1954), 306; Milne and MacKenzie, Straight Fight, 96; Milne and MacKenzie, Marginal Seat, 192. See also A. Girard and J. Stoetzel "Le Comportement electoral et le mecanisme de la decisions," in Le Referendum de Septembre et les elections de Novembre 1958 (Paris: A. Colin, 1960). 11 / See chap. 3. 12 / See Philip Converse, "Information Flow and Stability of Partisan Attitudes," Public Opinion Quarterly, 26, no. 4 (Winter, 1962), 578-600.

Electoral Migrations / 157

cent did so among the less informed (N = 26). The other six inconsis­ tent individuals are similar in their way of misreporting; the party they say they supported in 1963 is the party preferred at the time of the interview; they reduce dissonance by aligning the past with the present. However, our data is so limited that it should only be taken as an illus­ tration of the difficulty faced in interpreting such findings and as an invi­ tation to further research. It is unlikely that, even if modified to account for the bias due to misreporting, the contrasts given by Table 46 be­ tween Liberals and Conservatives would be washed out, since the cor­ relations between knowledge of politics and tendency to migrate have opposite signs for these two electorates and show marked differences, admittedly not statistically significant, between the high and the low strata of political knowledge. The absence of marked differences is confirmed at the national level when the 1957, 1958, 1963, and 1965 CIPO polls are compared (see Table 47). No systematic difference appears between sexes: the TABLE 46 Characteristics of migrants from Liberals and from Conservatives• (Burrar d samples of 1963 and 1965 combined)

TABLE 47 Characteristics of migrants from Liberals and Conservatives• (crro polls) (a) Migrations from Liberal Party

(b) Migrations from Conservative Party -


160 / People vs Politics

statistically significant predominance of male migrations in 1957 is not confirmed by later surveys. The national surveys indicate a slightly greater resistance to change among people over 50 than for those younger, but even here the pattern does not go unbroken: in 1958 more people over 50 than people between 30 and 39 moved away from the Liberals, and in 1963 as many people between 40 and 49 as over 50 moved from the Conservatives. Social marginality, measured here by education and SES, appears, as in Burrard, unrelated to migrations. In 1963 the largest migrations from the Conservatives occurred among University trained people plus those in the upper social strata ( SES A B categories); while among Liberals the opposite happened. Possibly, the direction of one's migra­ tion could have been an intervening variable clouding our observations. This is not so. The study of change in relation to its direction shows that higher education is not per se related to the propensity to migrate, but only to the propensity to migrate between the Liberals and the Conservatives.

= +

Characteristics of migrants according to direction of migration

In controlling for the direction of change and in searching for stable patterns, I gave special attention to the counter-trend migrations - that is, to those Liberals going to the NDP when the general trend of the elec­ tion is for Liberals to go to the Conservatives, or those Liberals going to Conservatives when the trend of the election is vice-versa - assum­ ing that the counter-trends would reveal permanent social mechanisms impossible to obliterate by the specific migrations of a given election. In other words, I looked at the deviant cases of each separate election, hoping that they might tum out to be the historical long term norms. Again using both the Burrard surveys and the CIPO polls we tested the following hypotheses. The first is that the pattern of migrations dif­ fers between men and women, men being more prone to transfer to the left. This was not substantiated in either national or local surveys. For example, in the CIPO survey of 1957 the transfers to the right (on the continuum NDP - Liberal - Conservative - Social Credit) were: men, 75 per cent; women, 78 per cent. In the survey of 1965 they were: men, 40 per cent; women, 40 per cent. The second hypothesis - that younger voters ( those between 19 and 34 years of age) are more likely to contribute to a trend or counter­ trend to the left � was also unsubstantiated. Young people are not particularly inclined to leftward migrations, because, first of all, they tend already to be on the left- by our definition of left, that is, they tend to be NDP and Liberal rather than Conservative or Social Credit - but, also, because the expected tendency characterizes the pre-middle ages,

Electoral Migrations / 161

those between 30 and 40, rather than those between 20 and 30. In the five surveys presented in Tables 48 and 49, whether one considers all the leftward migrations of Liberals, Conservatives, and Social Crediters, or whether one considers only the migrations to the NDP, one notes that the category 30-39 always produces more left­ ward migrants than the category 20-29, and, usually, more such migrants than the older age groups. Not finding the leftward trend where I had expected but in groups some ten years older suggests detachment from parental influence at a later age. The fresh new voter is often a mere electoral extension of his parents; the economic and family problems which he faces in his twenties delay the translation into political attitudes of his need for distance from the preceding generation. TABLE48 Percentage of migrants by age groups moving to the left on the continuum NOP Liberal - Conservative - Social Credit*

TABLE49 Percentage of migrants by age groups moving to the NOP from either Liberals, Conservatives, or Social Credit•

162 / People vs Politics

A third hypothesis is that university-trained people tend to migrate mostly between the two major centre parties while people at lower levels of formal education tend to involve minor parties also in their migrations. Although the transfers observed do not give clear and def­ inite support to the hypothesis, they do indicate a slightly greater resis­ tance of the university trained to travel to the parties on the fringes of the political spectrum. When analysed according to level of education, the proportion of Conservatives transferring to the Liberals forms, in both the national and the Burrard surveys, an ascending stairway cor­ responding to the educational hierarchy ( see Figure 26). As the level of education increases, the likelihood of transferring to the Liberals also increases. The Burrard samples provide too few cases of Liberal emigrants to support a study of the inverse movement from Liberals to Conserva­ tives; but the CIPO national polls, although somewhat short of cases too, indicate that in both the pro-Conservative elections of 1957 and 1958 and the pro-Liberal 1963 election, the same correlation obtains, but on a smaller scale (see Figure 27). The tendency of the lesser educated to transfer to the minor parties benefits both political extremes. In the Burrard samples, 25 per cent of university-educated Conservative migrants went to the NDP, but so did 29 per cent of those with less than university education; in the CIPO sur­ vey of 1963, 12 per cent of university-trained Conservatives went to the NDP but so did 19 per cent of those with less than university training. The transfers to the Social Credit are in similar proportions in the CIPO poll of 1963, the only sample large enough to allow isolating them; 19 per cent of university-educated Conservative migrants transferred to the Social Credit but so did 31 per cent of those with less than univer­ sity education. These observations confirm, in a limited way, the hypo­ thesis proposed earlier that sociopolitical migrations follow two differ­ ent roads, that of the establishment and that of the small man; but note that the difference between educational groups is very small. It is, of course disappointing that we failed to assign well-contrasted characteristics to the migrants moving in different directions politically because we had set ourselves the task of finding whether the electors on the fringes, those most likely to be mobile, could be differentiated by some permanent personal or social characteristics other than party of political preferences; it may be that we used the wrong social discrim­ inators or maybe the factors most likely to explain the tendency to migrate are strictly political, such as the strength and the type of attach­ ment one has for the party from which one migrated. To determine the strength of this attachment was unfortunately beyond our reach, since the measure of party preference obtained describes a post-immigration




FIGURE 26 Proportion of Conservatives transferring to the Liberals, by level of formal education: p primary; s secondary; u university (100 per cent = total migrants in the education category concerned)

27 Percentage of Liberal migrants transferring to the Conservatives, by level of formal education: p = primary; s = secondary; u = university (100 per cent total migrants in the education category concerned)



164 / People vs Politics

situation, one when the respondent had already changed his party preference. It would have been pointless to ask him "How much did you like the party you left before you left it?" A useful answer would have required observing and questioning him for a period of months or more probably of years. Should that be possible, one would want to describe the respondent by the type and strength of links to his pre­ ferred party One can imagine at one extreme the elector with a single link, the old-age pension, for example; and at the opposite extreme the elector with a multiplicity of links forming an ideological complex all of which would have to be measured for strength. But even if the data at our disposal had enabled us to write a variation on the apologue of "the rock, the moss, and the oyster" we would have been left with still more questions than those answered; what distinguishes the oyster that comes off easily from the one which does not, or what distinguishes a voter with a single claim on the party from one whose many links form an intricate structure. Again we would have hypothesized that sex, age, and other such demographic factors explained the likelihood of being the one or the other. The order tentatively imposed on our data did not explain something which we must continue to assume - that life creates an order which we have not found but one that is unlikely to be random. Relations between the federal, provincial, and American systems

The electors whom we studied operate within at least three major poli­ tical systems: the Canadian provincial and federal systems and the American system. I assume that the local systems, like those of city government and school boards, as well as other national systems, the British in particular, are of minor importance - either because they involve few of the Vancouver-Burrard electors or because in fact they affect them very little. The study of the influence of the American on the Canadian party system remains to be done. The average Canadian elector is probably more familiar with American than with Canadian party conventions or committee systems. (Some of Diefenbaker's success was likely pre­ pared by the election of Eisenhower, and some of Diefenbaker's down­ fall by the rise of Kennedy.) The natural tendency is for the researcher to jump from election to election within the same system, to explain changes in Canadian federal elections in terms of what happens within the Canadian political system rather than by following the changes that occur in an elector who is involved in provincial as well as - sentimen­ tally, at least -American contests. One specific Canadian characteristic is that national, foreign, and regional systems remain autonomous; provincial contests are still neatly

Electoral Migrations / 165 distinguished from national ones; the difference between the two is almost the same as between the federal and the American system. In France, Italy, or Germany where local elections have largely become rehearsals for national contests, the elector fails, at least in the large cities, to be the medium through which the local system could influence the national. The Canadian federal elector, on the other hand is often affected by his involvement with provincial and American elections since the latter each have their own perceived functions, issues, and payofis. Links between the federal and the American party systems The ability or willingness to state a preference between Democrats and Republicans in answer to the question "If you could vote in an Ameri­ can election, what party would you vote for?" is related to the respon­ dent's level of knowledge of Canadian politics. The four electorates show a similar pattern: a high proportion of abstentions among those with a low knowledge of Canadian political leaders compared to few abstentions among the well informed. The sample of 1965 can be taken as an example: 43 per cent (N 44) of the poorly informed, 29 per cent (N 104) of the moderately well informed, but only 7 per cent (N 54) of the well informed did not state a preference for either Democrats or Republicans. It seems the greater one's involvement with Canadian politics, the greater is the intellectual involvement with American affairs. This may seem obvious, yet the picture is often pre­ sented of Canadian masses more interested in American than in Cana­ dian affairs, apathetic within their own system but involved with that of the United States;13 such an analysis is given by Canadian intellec­ tuals or political leaders who fear that the United States, because of its proximity, might rob them of their "natural" public. Here the image obtained is rather different. Lack of involvement with the Canadian system does not mean compensatory involvement within the American, since those best informed about Canadian politics view themselves more easily as American voters - increasing awareness of Canadian politics suggests increasing awareness also of American politics. Among those in our sample making a choice in 1965 between Demo­ crats and Republicans, the percentage of those supporting the Demo­ cratic party declines from left to right: 86 per cent of New Democrats (N = 46), 82 per cent of Liberals (N = 94), 63 per cent of Conserva­ tives (N = 26), and 56 per cent of Social Credit (N = 16). A possible interpretation of the large support given by all parties to the Democrats is that, on the whole, the electorate studied is more to the left than




13 / See M. A. Schwartz, "Political Behaviour and Ethnic Origin" in J. Meisel, ed., Papers on the 1962 Election (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1965).

166 / People vs Politics

Americans generally are and that the end of the Canadian political spec­ trum to the right, at least in this district, falls near the middle of the American ideological continuum. Intuitively, this interpretation seems It is more likely that the overwhelming success of the Democratic party among our respondents measures a tendency ob­ served in the United States by Herbert McClosky when noting that the political preferences of American voters, whether they vote Democrat or Republican, are Democratic rather than Republican; and that the more distant one is from active party participation the more one shares the culturally dominant Democratic values. 14 Our respondents tend to perceive only the most salient traits of American politics; the United States, viewed sympathetically from abroad, somehow means the Democratic party rather than the Republi­ can, Roosevelt rather than Eisenhower, and Kennedy rather than Gold­ water, Nixon, or even Rockefeller: before one migrates to the United States one is in a sense, already a Democrat. Because of their lesser affective involvement with American politics and the fact of not being physically involved in the act of voting there, our respondents probably magnify the trends of the elections of the time. Among those interviewed at the time of the American election of 1964, the percentage of democratic sympathizers was even higher than among those interviewed in 1965. In November of 1964, 94 per cent of the NDP respondents mentioning a party (N 18) preferred the Democrats, 91 per cent of Liberals (N 35), 84 per cent of Conserva­ tives (N 19), and 66 per cent of Social Crediters (N 6). We have already noted that the voluntary non-voters register and magnify the election trends; Canadians, although forced rather than voluntary non-voters in us elections, seem to magnify the us trends as Canadian non-voters magnify the Canadian trends; it would seem that an easy way of detecting the shifts in us elections is to interview Canadians. At the time of the 1964 us Presidential election, of 49 individuals who answered meaningfully the question "What do you like about the Democrats?" only 6 per cent gave an answer implying that a democratic government in Washington was to the advantage of Canada; the others, judging by the wording of their answers, had identified themselves with American electors and answered as such. The reasons most often men­ tioned for liking the Democrats were: their Vietnam policies, men-





14 / See H. McClosky, "Consensus and Ideology in American Politics," Ameri­ can Political Science Review, 58 (June, 1964), 361-82; and H. McClosky, Paul J. Hoffman, and Rosemary O'Hara, "Issue Conflict and Consensus among Party Leaders and Followers," ibid., 44 (June, 1960), 406-27. They find that in the United States, Democratic and Republican voters are ideologically closer to each other than are their leaders and that the opinions of Republican voters are closer to the opinions of Democratic leaders than to those of their own leaders.

Electoral Migrations / 167 tioned by 9 per cent, their policies on welfare (8 per cent), and their civil rights policy (5 per cent). Notwithstanding the small number of cases, the reasons given by Canadian supporters for liking the Demo­ crats varied. Among New Democrats the reasons most often given were "Vietnam policies" and "welfare"; among Liberals "Vietnam" and "civil rights"; among Conservatives "welfare," "economic policies," and "leaders," none mentioning Vietnam. So few respondents said that they liked the Republicans ( only nine of them at the time of the Gold­ water-Johnson contest) that the analysis of their reasons can only be taken as suggestive.15 Three of the nine mentioned their liking for Goldwater as a person, one liked the Republicans for their economic policies, two for their stand on morals and religion, and one for their stand on individual freedoms. Even at this microscopic level the con­ trast familiar in American elections appears: freedom of the individual, free enterprise and morals on the right; welfare and civil rights on the left. The transfers between provincial and federal systems

The involvement of our respondents with their own provincial system is greater than with the American system, but appears less political in nature. The American system is concerned with security, defence, and civil rights, and the provincial mostly with roads, hospitals, and dams, whereas it is likely that the federal fluctuates between these two poles since it appears concerned with security rather than defence, prosperity rather than specific services.16 In 1963 we did surveys six months apart, first at the time of the April 1963 federal election, then at the time of the October 1963 provincial election. In April our respondents de­ scribed the campaign as dominated by two problems, nuclear arms and unemployment; the first issue they forgot as quickly as if it were mis­ placed and perhaps belonging to the American system; prosperity and employment they remembered when they were reinterviewed. But, at the time of the provincial election of October 1963, when asked to state the issues important to the campaign or those which they would have liked to see discussed, only 12 per cent of respondents (N 147) mentioned "unemployment" while 40 per cent had mentioned it six


15 I Whenever the number of cases at my disposal falls very low, I hesitate between two courses of action - not looking at them or following Robert Lane's example. See his remarkable study based on interviews with fifteen men: Robert Lane, Political Ideology: Why the American Common Man Believes What He Does (New York: The Free Press, 1962). 16 / In the provincial election of 1966 the Social Credit party campaigned on a problem which I assume to be "federal," the problem of unemployment. Unfor­ tunately I did not study that election and cannot thus tell how the electorate reacted to it.

168 / People vs Politics

months before, during the federal election. The drop is unlikely to be explained by a change in the employment level between the two dates. 17 The two problems dominating the provincial campaign, according to the respondents, were: hydraulic development - Peace River and Columbia - mentioned by 41 per cent of those interviewed and by 60 per cent of those who mentioned at least one issue (N 101); and the problem of medicare - mentioned by 31 per cent of respondents and 46 per cent of those mentioning at least one issue. In third position came the problem of "roads and bridges" mentioned by 13 per cent of re­ spondents. A specific political issue was mentioned by only 10 per cent of respondents - the nationalization of BC Electric, a privately owned company taken over by the government before the election and kept before the public by the press because of court cases arising from dis­ agreement over indemnities and compensations. Why was unemploy­ ment not seen as a provincial issue when it was seen as a national one if not because of an entirely different perception of the functions of the two levels of government, the provincial government not being held responsible for unemployment any more than a municipal government would be. But while the provincial system differs from the federal in percep­ tion of the functions assigned to each level of government, in the issues perceived during campaigns, in the type of campaign waged, and in the involvement of the mass media, both systems use the same party insti­ tutions and symbols. This symbolic and institutional continuity should make it more difficult for the elector to readjust his political positions as he transfers from the federal into the provincial system, more diffi­ cult than the transfer from the federal to the American system.


Migrations and travels between federal and provincial systems

Our 1965 survey obtained the respondent's voting history since 1962, thereby catching the provincial election of October 1963 between fed­ eral elections which followed one another in quick succession in 1962, in 1963, and in 1965. This chronological "bunching" is particularly good; the age of our respondents was hardly more at the beginning of the period studied than at the end. Over the four elections through which their electoral paths were followed they changed less, no doubt, than if the federal elections had been spaced as usual - five years apart. Let us restrict population to respondents resident in British Columbia since at least 1962, and to those who indicated in the 1965 survey a 17 / In April 1963 the unemployment level in British Columbia was 8.3 per cent; in November it was 5.6 per cenL However, April marks an improvement over the previous month; November registers the usual increase at the approach of winter.

170 / People vs Politics

28 Electoral path of New Democrats of 1962 who were residents of BC between 1962 and 1965 (N = number of individuals)


oppasite ideological direction, the movement observed between the fed­ eral and the American system, with one impartant difference: if the Social Credit and the Conservatives participated in the Democratic stampede, the New Democrats are not moved by the flow of migrations to the Social Credit. The more ideological an electorate, the greater is the degree of perception of the boundaries around it and the less likely is the electorate to change in behaviour when moved from one political system to another. Not that we should have expected a high level of migration from the party which is the runner-up to Social Credit in British Columbia, but the smooth transition of the NDP from one system to the other, neither participating in nor benefiting from an extremely large migration, sets it apart, politically, from the other groups.

Electoral Migrations / 171

29 Electoral path of Liberals of 1962 who were residents of 1962 and 1965 (N number of individuals)





Rates of losses and of recovery Since over 90 per cent of all the transfers are to the Social Credit, re­ stricting our relation of the rates of losses and of recoveries of each electorate to the transfers benefiting the Social Crediters provincially will clarify the presentation. I shall use two measures. In measure (a) 100 per cent is the federal electorate of a given party in the election of u April 1963. In measure (b) 100 per cent includes the "faithfl" sup­ porters only (that is, those who had voted federally for the same party in 1962 and 1963). In measure (a) the NDP loses 8 per cent of its 1963 federal sup­ porters (N 25) to the Social Credit; the Liberals 55 per cent (N



172 / People vs Politics

30 Electoral path of Conservatives of 1962 who were residents of BC be­ tween 1962 and 1965 (N = number of individuals)



55), and the Conservatives 62 per cent (N 29). In the 1965 federal election the NDP's recovery was 100 per cent - it recovered its two supporters who provincially had voted Social Credit; the Liberals re­ covered 60 per cent (N 30); the Conservatives 71 per cent (N 17). Among those not returning to their federal party of origin, only slightly more than half stayed with the Social Credit, the others went to other parties, respectively 15 per cent and 15 per cent for the Lib­ erals, 20 per cent and 10 per cent for the Conservatives. In measure (b) when we restrict our observations to the electors supporting the same federal party in 1962 and in 1963 we reduce the proportion of losses and increase the rates of recovery, but the pattern of migrations remains the same; the NDP loses 4 per cent (N 21); the Liberals 53 per cent (N 36); the Conservatives 66 per cent





Electoral Migrations / 173

FIGURE 31 Electoral paths of Social Crediters of 1962 who were residents of BC between 1962 and 1965 (N = number of individuals)


(N 25) ; for the three parties the ratios of recovery are respectively 100 per cent, 84 per cent, and 73 per cent. Either of the two measures indicates that the rate of loss increases as one moves from left to right on the ideological continuum, but the rate of recovery follows the same progression only for the party "faith­ ful" (measure (b)); when "new" and "faithful" supporters are poJied together the Conservatives have a better rate of recovery than the Lib­ erals. The migration path of the 18 Conservatives voting Liberal in the 1963 federal election (see Figure 30) suggests that the provincial election detached them from the Liberal party to which they had just come, and facilitated their re-transfer to the Conservatives in the fol­ lowing national election. Between the federal elections of 1963 and

174 / People vs Politics

1965, the only gains made by the Conservatives are from these migrants who had gone from the Liberals to the Social Creditors in the interven­ ing provincial election. A likely effect of the provincial election on the federal system was to help shift back to the Conservatives votes they had lost federally. The opposite bending of the federal system - to the right by provincial elections, to the left by American elections - are of course specific to the period analysed. Depending upon the year or the province, the shake-up and ensuing fall-out might have been in a different direction, but whatever the direction of movement the mechan­ ism is interesting to observe; it provides a good illustration of the effect autonomous systems may have on one another when involving the same individuals. Characteristics of federal-provincial migrants to the Social Credit party

When broken down by party of origin, the number of cases of migrants to the Social Credit is too small to justify the use of statistical tests of significance to sort out variables discriminating between the migrants and the non-migrants. We can do little more than seek the stable charac­ teristics of the Liberal and Conservative migrants, the only two groups for which a separate analysis can be made, by deciding arbitrarily to retain as discriminators the variables producing a similar difference of at least ten percentage points between migrants and non-migrants in both parties. The variables are: sex, age (19-33, 34-58, over 58); ethnic origin (British, non-British); religion (Protestant and non­ Protestant); education (primary, secondary, university); occupation (manual, non-manual); knowledge of politics (low, medium, high); and province of origin (primary school in BC, primary school in other provinces). Only one variable satisfied the 10 per cent condition: among both Liberals and Conservatives more men than women transferred to the Social Credit party. Among Liberals the proportions of transfers are 67 per cent for men (N 43), and 57 per cent for women (N 26); for Conservatives the proportions are 78 per cent (N 14), and 57 per cent (N 19). As for why women who on the federal level are as likely as men to change parties transfer less to the Social Credit party in provincial elections, I have no satisfactory explanation. Instead maybe one should ask why women do not transfer intellectually from the federal to the provincial system. But again the explanation eludes me, unless it might be that if provincial politics is in the nature of an administrative subsystem rather than a full fledged political system, women, being intellectually more distant from such a system, would be less likely to change.20





20 / This hypothesis does not find support in J.C. Courtney and D. E. Smith,

Electoral Migr ations / 175

Political opinion variables again turn out to be better indices than demographic characteristics. We already know that the migrants are unlikely to be socialists. A party-liking scale enables us to distinguish further between Liberal and Conservative migrants: as expected, the average ranking assigned by changers and non-changers on a 9-point liking scale shows that non-migrants like their "federal" party better than do the migrants who provincially go to the Social Credit. Liberal faithful rank their own party at 8.3, Liberals voting Social Credit pro­ vincially rank it at 7.9, Conservative averages are respectively 8.7 and 8.0. The Liberal, as well as the Conservative faithful, rank the Social Credit at about the same level, 4.0 for Liberals and 4.3 for Conserva­ tives, but migrants of both parties have a quite distinct ranking of the Social Credit- 5.8 by the Liberals, 7.1 by the Conservatives. Not only do Conservatives transfer to Social Credit in greater number, but their liking for that party is more intense. Note also that the Liberal faithful have a slightly better opinion of the NDP than have Liberal migrants to TABLE50 Average ranking of federal parties on a 9-point scale by federal Liberals and Conservatives of 1963 who (a) remain faithful to their party in the provincial election of1963 and (b) vote Social Credit in that provincial election (Burrard Survey 1965)

the Social Credit, 3.7 as compared to 3.1; and that, on the contrary, the Conservative faithful have a lower opinion of the Socialists than have those who transfer to the Social Credit, 4.0 compared to 5.2. This fits the supposition of a small-man link between NDP, Social Credit, and Conservatives. Another interpretation of these average scores (see Table 50) is, however, possible. Note that voters who transfer to the provincial Social Credit have a slightly lower opinion of their federal party than have the party faithful, but a better opinion of all other ''Voting in a Provincial General Election and a Federal By-election: A Consti­ tuency Study of Saskatoon City, '' Canadian Journal of Economics and Political Science, 32, no. 3 (August, 1966), 338-53. The authors find that 82 per cent of men voted for the same party in both provincial and federal elections , while 80 per cent of women did so.

176 / People vs Politics

parties, even of the Communists ;21 being less attached to their federal party, and having a higher opinion of other parties, such individuals are more likely to be drawn to the political force dominating the system. This happens to be Social Credit but could well have been Conservative and even possibly NDP. The study of changes between federal and provincial elections did not produce beyond specific political characteristics, traits distinguish­ ing the migrants and the sedentaries. We did not obtain reliable social variables of a non-political character enabling us to relate the political to the total social system; this might be read as a justification for the Michigan school's approach to electoral research with concentration on the identification of specifically political variables rather than attempt, in Lazarsfeld's manner, to obtain sociological correlates; but if we did not identify the binges between political and other social systems, this is probably because we asked the wrong questions rather than because of the absence or the changing nature of the links we hoped to find. The usual social characteristics of sex, age, and education are easily obtainable; it may be that required were variables more difficult to iden­ tify - psychological characteristics in particular. Perhaps we should have known our subject's orientation to the powers that be - to the government in the abstract, and that knowledge might have enabled us to classify the migrants in other than the party categories which we used most of the time for lack of better discriminators. 21 / With one exception, however; among Liberals the ranking of the NDP is higher by the party faithful than by those who switched to the Social Credit (see Table 50).

9 Conclusion


while sifting through masses of computer print-outs, I regretted not having taken part as a participant observer. I should like to have met personally the people interviewed and seen them confronted with real life situations, rather than having to rely on the cold questionnaire recordings of reactions to verbal constructs which were formulated to test their opinions and perceptions. In one of his essays, Alain 1 warns that all scientific obser­ vations should be modelled on those of the astronomer who cannot touch the object of his attention, rather than on the behaviour of the child stretching his hand toward the bird he wishes to know. I am aware that the students sent to interview were like so many hands with whom I "frightened away" much of the data; but, unsatisfactory as our catch may be, it gives us, beyond the many detailed observations scattered like stones at a construction site, a few general conclusions on the rela­ tion between the variables used and on the look and mechanics of that part of the social and political system which was the focus of our attention. Throughout the study the same basic variables (sex, age, profession, social class, ethnicity, religion, education, level of political knowledge and party preference) were used to reveal differences and links between elements within the political system as well as between the political and other social systems. Repeatedly, I found that expected correla­ tions did not obtain, selected variables did not discriminate, or working hypotheses turned out to be blind alleys; in short, the political groups studied were often much alike. Correlations - such as the greater ten­ dency of men to support the NOP or the greater likelihood that univer­ sity-educated respondents will involve only the two major parties in their electoral migrations - even when statistically significant were 1 / See Alain, Propos (Paris: Gallimard, 1960), 293.

178 / People vs Politics

usually weak. The dominant impression was that the population studied lived in a political melting-pot. Had I selected my subjects differently, sampling from a few polls in the wealthy suburban areas, from others downtown, and from the industrial municipalities surrounding Van­ couver, sharper contrasts would have facilitated handling the data. However, the population studied allowed only the more important factors to emerge. In contrasting New Democrats, Liberals, Conservatives, and Social Crediters, we identified, along the left to right continuum, two major cleavages: a social cleavage running between Liberals and Conserva­ tives with trade unionists, Catholics, and young people leaning to the left, Anglicans and older people leaning to the right; and a more speci­ fically political cleavage resulting from differences of opinions, atti­ tudes, and electoral migrations which runs not, as one might have expected, along the social cleavage but between the NDP and the other electorates. The New Democrats appeared the only electorate with a high degree of resistance to emigration, the only one not to see itself as the party of the average man and the only group who, compared with any of its competitors, maintains a clear ideological distinctiveness (see, for example, Table 26); inversely, it seems the party which other groups view, on the whole, as the more systematically distant from themselves; the only party, for example, never to score2 on the "like" side of the "like-dislike" continuum (see Tables 32 and 33). Contrary to my expectations the Social Credit electorate did not appear as a distinct group, either in ideology or social composition: at times it looked like the Conservatives, at times like the Liberals.8 Unlike the NDP, it was not perceived by its opponents as a far-away group; for example, in the liking scale it ranked last of the four parties only once, in 1963 in the opinion of New Democrats (see Tables 32 and 33). The paradox of the contrast between the New Democratic Party and the other parties is not so much that the New Democratic Party holds opinions or appeals to social groups not found among its competitors, but that it holds only some of these groups and opinions. Its social and ideological bases are much narrower than those of the other parties who (the Liberals especially) mix rather than blend, groups and ideas from the left and from the right;4 the New Democratic Party has its bases clearly on the left. This observation is hardly a discovery but some of its corollaries are not immediately apparent; it was necessary to analyse 2 / When the score is a group average, see Tables 32 and 33. 3 / See for example Table 26. 4 / See an analysis of the broad social and ideological base of the Liberal party in R. R. Alford, Party and Society (Chicago: Rand McNally, 1963); and G. Horowitz, "Conservatism, Liberalism and Socialism," Canadian Journal of Economics and Political Science, 32, no. 2 (May, 1966), 143-71.

Conclusion / 179

separately the political attitudes of elites and non-elites to note that what sets the New Democratic Party apart from the other electorates in its attitude toward the United States is that its members share, as a group, the opinions of the professional elite which tends to be Liberal and Conservative. 5 Put simply, in Pareto's terms, the distinctiveness of the New Democratic Party, in the population we studied, is that it has a single unified elite of trade unionists and professionals (lawyers, doc­ tors, and professors) while the other parties, Liberals and Conserva­ tives especially, are battle grounds for professional and business elites. What makes the New Democratic Party appear as a subculture is cohesion. The striking size and diversity of the electoral migrations we observed in both elections is a phenomenon limited not only to this constituency but characteristic of Canada as a whole. Even at the time of elections which produce little overall change in the aggregate support of the competing parties (as in 1965), vast migratory undercurrents shift electors among the non-socialist parties. It is revealing that elections which produced important changes in overall party standing were also, as in 1957 and 1958, elections which had relatively low overall rates of migration; for the whole of Canada only about 15 per cent of party identifiers changed allegiance in either 1957 or 1958, while about 22 per cent did so in both 1963 and 1965 ( see Table 42) ; the "crisis" elections were not those causing the greatest amount of change in party support but those departing most from a random model and having the least amount of compensatory movements. The perception by electors of similarity of parties favours electoral mobility. Even though the causes may be different, the pattern of electoral mobility resembles the pattern of residential mobility when the similarity of houses and neigh­ bourhoods facilitates rather than render pointless the move from one place to another. The movement which we observed by electors amongst parties would normally tend to produce equibalance and similarity rather than the elimination of competitors but it is not random movement and cannot become such as long as societies produce hierarchies and politics remains a conflict between individuals and groups competing for a scarce supply of symbolic and material resources. Throughout the electoral shifts of the two years studied, three of the variables selected appeared as the most systematic discriminators be­ tween party electorates. They describe ·the major hinges between the political and the larger social system: social class, age, and religion; more precisely, trade union membership, old age, and absence of de­ nominational affiliation. They describe however the agents linked to 5 I See Table 28.

180 / People vs Politics

specific parties but not necessarily the interests of these agents. That the New Democratic Party should be a party for trade unionists as well as of trade unionists seems obvious, but as a party for a-religious as well as of non-denominational electors is less clear. 6 In what sense can we say that the Conservative (rather than the Liberal) party is a party for old people, and can we say that the Liberals (who appeared as a party of young people not only in our riding but nationally) are a party for young people. What interests did the young, or old, or a-religious people project into the party they supported? What pay-off did they expect? A major shortcoming of my questionnaire was in not providing the answers to this problem. I do not know what my respon­ dents expected from their vote, either materially or psychologically. However, such knowledge would probably have required depth inter­ viewing.7 To summarize our observations, to reflect on the limitations of the demographic and political variables used, to show the complexity of the social and political groupings which we isolated, let us imagine that we want to predict8 the party preference of our respondents from their answers to questions other than those on political preference. Let us bundle together the demographic variables which appeared to us to best contrast party electorates and to these - age, membership in a trade union, and the absence of affiliation to a religious denomination � let us add sex which is useful as an index when linked to other variables. Now let us order them as a series of tests to which we would submit our respondents (the combined samples of 1963 and 1965). For ex­ ample, for any person in the combined sample answering the ques­ tions on party preference and on the selected variables, the chances of being NDP stand at 27 per cent because we have 148 New Democrats out of 554 respondents. If we know that the respondent is a man, we have hardly improved our chance of predicting that he will vote NDP 30 per cent of males did so; knowing that he is a male trade unionist greatly improves our chance of predicting his vote because 49 per cent of male trade unionists intended to support the socialist party. Further, if we know that he is over 34 years old, then our power to predict an NDP vote increases to 61 per cent and, finally the likelihood of his being 6 / The party's position on divorce laws is likely related to an overall secular ideology which is more appealing than that of the other parties to the a-religious individual. 7 / As a model of what could be done see Robert Lane, Political Ideology: Why the American Common Man Believes What He Does (New York: The Free Press, 1962). 8 / As Alker would rightly object, this prediction would better be described as a post-diction. See H. R. Alker, Mathematics and Politics (New York: Macmillan, 1965).

Conclusion / 181 NDP becomes 83 per cent if he answers "none" to the question "What is your religion?" The variables used have much greater predictive power in combina­ tion than they have singly. To know only that a person is male (N 279) gave a 30 per cent likelihood of his being NDP; to know only that a person was over 34 would have given a likelihood of 24 per cent (N 368). Even the two best variables of the four, trade union membership and absence of reported denominational affiliation (i.e., a-religion), if used singly at best only double the chances of making a correct predic­ tion; 43 per cent in the case of trade union membership, (N 116), 53 per cent in the case of a-religion (N 51). The more variables that are combined the greater their power to predict, but the fewer the number of people to whom the prediction can apply. The 83 per cent chance of being right in predicting that an a-religious male trade union member over 34 will vote NDP is indeed high for a "social" prediction, but it applies to only 12 of 554 people, and to only 10 of 148 New Democrats. If our knowledge of the relationship between politics, re­ ligion, occupation, age, and sex has increased, our probability of mak­ ing correct prediction in future elections has not progressed very much. It may help the reader to see the tree-like graphs of Figures 32 to 37 as a series of mazes wherein all roads originate from a common starting point and, as they become increasingly diversified, segregate people increasingly - women this way, men that way; women under 34 to the left, women over 34 to the right. Before each limb the boxed figure in­ dicates the percentage of people who, having reached this particular point of the hypothetical maze, have indicated their intention to vote for the party studied. For each party we could have sought the order of presentation of the variables which would, on the whole, have shown a progressive increase in percentage for the better discriminators;9 the reading will be simplified, however, if for all parties we give the same order. At the first branching put the variable "sex," the variable which by itself discriminates least, then the variable "trade union member­ ship," thirdly the variable "age," and finally, at the end of the maze, the variable "a-religiousness." Any figure at least ten percentage points higher than the preceding figure in the tree and at least twenty percen­ tage points above the overall sample average for the party studied (the average appears at the very origin of the tree) may be considered a reliable indicator.

= =



9 I For a computer programme which could have been used to that effect see John A. Sonquist and James N. Morgan, A Report on a Computer Program for the Selection of Optimal Combinations of Explanatory Variables (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, Survey Research Center, 1964 ), monograph n. 35.

total 32 Percentage of respondents voting NDP, by demographic variables, samples of 1963 and 1965 combined (the variables are presented cumulatively from bottom to top, each box being defined not only by its specific identification but by those of the cells that precede it; the top left corner cell should be read, "a-religious men under 34 who are trade unionist") FIGURE


33 Percentage of respondents voting Liberal, by demographic variables, samples of 1963 and 1965 combined (the variables are presented cumulatively from bottom to top; N are the same as in Figure 32)

FIGURE 34 Percentage of respondents voting Conservative, by demographic variables, samples of 1963 and 196S combined (the variables are presented cumulatively from bottom to top; N are the same as in Figure 32)

Do you favour. medicare?


35 Percentage of respondents voting cumulatively from bottom to top) FIGURE


by opinion variables, samples of 1963 and 1965 combined (the variables are presented

Do you favour medicare?


36 Percentage of respondents voting Liberal, by opinion variables, samples of 1963 and 1965 combined (the variables are presented cumulatively from bottom to top; N are the same as in Figure 35)

Do you favour medicare?

total FIGURE

37 Percentage of respondents voting Conservative, by opinion variables, samples of 1963 and 1965 combined (the variables are presented cumulatively from bottom to top; N are the same as in Figure 35)

188 / People vs Politics

For the NOP, whose sample average is 27 per cent, the good indica­ tors, which must, by our definition, score at least 47 per cent, are:

When used in bundles, the variables presented have roughly doubled the likelihood of making an accurate prediction of an NOP vote, but this prediction would apply to only 32 per cent of the NOP electorate (28 per cent + 4 per cent) .10 For prediction among males, trade union membership is best when considering both the level of prediction (increased from 27 to 49 per cent) and the number of people falling in that category (28 per cent of the NOP electorate); age by itself is not a good discriminator but com­ bined with trade union membership it greatly increases the power of prediction of the latter. The older trade union member is probably a man who, unlike younger trade unionists, has a profession rather than a job, is settled in the occupational and social hierarchy, and has little likelihood of promotion in either. By itself a-religiousness is as reliable for prediction as trade union membership but applies to far fewer people. When combined with age and trade union membership it pro­ duces a high level of prediction but applies to even fewer people (since less than 10 per cent of the NOP respondents said that they had no de­ nominational affiliation). Among Liberals, only one cluster of variables satisfied the 20 per­ centage point condition: the grouping "male trade unionist under 34" gives 64 compared with the Liberal sample average of 44. Over 34 years of age the male trade unionist tended to be NOP, under 34 Liberal. Occupation and social expectations, as suggested, are the likely inter­ vening variables explaining the difference in the link between trade unionism and party preference by age. We find amongst the Liberals the lack of any sharp distinguishing characteristic of an electorate which is in the image of the society we studied. 10 / Some of the bundles of variables presented in the previous paragraph are repetitive, that is, a given individual may score in more than one bundle. By add­ ing the non-repetitive bundles 32 per cent is obtained.

Conclusion / 189

Among Conservatives only one cluster of variables satisfied our requirements: "female trade unionist under 34" has a percentage score of 57 compared with the Conservative sample's 21 per cent average. Of course, this group represents few individuals, only about 4 per cent of the electorate. It confirms, however, that if on the whole one is cor­ rect in saying that the NOP has the trade union vote, one must qualify this by saying that Liberals do better than New Democrats among younger trade unionists and that Conservatives do better than either among younger female trade unionists. The Social Credit electorate was too small to allow more than one factor at a time to be kept constant. In general terms it parallels the characteristics of the Conservative electorate: its low percentages are among male trade unionists but it does equally well among trade union­ ist and non-trade unionist females and its electorate is older among men than among women. The selection of political opinions as predictors of party affiliation is open to more bias than is the defining of demographic categories one can easily ask questions so narrow that they are the mere trans­ lation of party preference. Therefore let us use only questions of con­ cern to all the electorates which we seek to isolate. In the order used in the figu res (that is, bottom to top) the variables used to relate poli­ tical opinion to a party preference demanded a yes or no answer to the following questions: (1) Are trade unions a danger to Canada? (2) Is the United States a danger to Canada? ( 3) Is Communism a danger to Canada? (4) Should the doctors be paid by government instead of by the patients? The beliefs that trade unions and communism are no danger to Canada, that the United States is a danger, and that doctors should be paid by the government, are each positively correlated with a pref­ erence for the NOP. Each of these opinions taken singly is a good indi­ cation of a New Democratic preference, but the opinion on trade unions is not so reliable as the variable membership in trade unions: it raises the chances of being correct in predicting an NOP vote from 27 to 37 per cent. The belief that Communism is no danger to Canada raises markedly the predictive level of an NOP vote, from 27 per cent to 46 per cent; by itself medicare raises it only to 30 per cent. The groupings of variables which satisfied our conditions of being 20 percentage points above the sample average and increasing the previous score on the tree by at least 10 percentage points are the following:

190 /

People vs Politics

This bundle of variables is as a whole better than the bundle of demo­ graphic characteristics; it applies to many more people ( 66 per cent instead of only 32 per cent of New Democrats). Among Liberals the balance of opinion is exactly the opposite to that of the NOP. The "trade union, danger;" the "us, no danger;" the "Communism, danger;" and the "anti-medicare" sides of the dichotomies dominate. But as in the case of the demographic variables, even in combination the opinions selected rarely increase significantly the power to predict a Liberal vote. Only at the top of the tree do scores appear which are 20 percentage points above the 44 per cent sample average for Liberals, and only two bundles meet this requirement; the combination of "trade union, a danger; us, a danger; Communism, no danger; opposed to medicare" and the combination of "trade union, a danger; us, no danger; Com­ munism, a danger; opposed to medicare." Opinion variables are even less satisfactory in explaining a Conservative preference. Only one combination scores 20 percentage points above the Conservative sam­ ple average: 11 it links "trade union, a danger; us no danger; Commu11 / The 20 per cent point difference is, of course, arbitrary. The reader may wish to select either a higher or lower level when reading the trees presented in this chapter; instead of using a constant percentage points difference, which favours scoring by the larger electorates in the sample (Liberals and NDP), he may prefer to use a-multiplier; for example, retain any percentage that would be

Conclusion / 191

nism, no danger; anti-medicare" and has a predictive level of 43 per cent compared to the sample average of 20 per cent, but it describes only 3 per cent of Conservative electors. Whether we use demographic or political variables, high predictive power comes only from "bunching" of the variables used. But the more variables we team together, the fewer the number of people to whom the predictions can apply. Note that even by linking four variables together we obtain only once a predictive score over 80 per cent (see Figure 32, top line), that only three scores reach at least 70 per cent (see Figures 32, 33 and 36, top lines), and that of these four scores the one applying to the greater number of people covers only 27 of 554 individuals. Thus, when, as in the rest of this study, instead of bundling variables together, we simply kept some constant while studying the inter-play between others, we learnt the tendencies and the directions of the move­ ments within the system but nearly always the magnitude of the varia­ tions defined were very small. While learning about the relationship between variables such as age, social class, and party preference, we did not increase very much our power to predict a given individual's political behaviour. The social scientist is in a fortunate position. Should his research confirm the patterns, the rules, the laws which he assumes regulate social behaviour, this is a source of pleasure to him. However, should he find that the channels bounding behaviour are so many and so broad that they discourage prediction, he can derive some satisfaction from noting that so many channels, even if selected by us at random or, on the contrary, pre-determined for us, would still make our actions look like the result of free will. 1.S times above the sample average. For an interesting use of CIPO respondents' opinions on policy questions to discriminate between electorates see M. A. Schwartz, Public Opinion and Canadian Identity (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1967).

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Appendix I

I 1963 Federal Survey





5 II 1965 Federal Survey






194 / People vs Politics m Minor Surveys A Reinterview 18 months later of the respondents of 1963 DESIGN Attempt was made to reinterview the 334 respondents of April 1963 in November of 1964. Interviewing done by students. RESULTS

attempted interviews completed interviews refusals no contact after 3 attempts (moved, not at home, ill, dead, etc.)

N percentage 343 100 115 33.5 8.1 28 200


B Provincial election of October 1963 DESIGN Random sampling from the 40,569 names appearing on the fed­ eral electoral lists compiled in March 1963. INTERVraWING Interviewing by students during October 1963. RESULTS

attempted interviews completed interviews refusals non-contact

N percentage 321 100 147 45.8 56 17.4 118 36.8

This last survey illustrates the high mobility which occurs in this type of sampling when lists used have been established more than a few months before the survey (especially when summer holidays, the preferred time for moving, occur between the establishment of the lists and the survey) . I had not anticipated the high mobi1ity encountered.



As you know federal elections will be held on 8 November. 1. What would you say are the major issues in this campaign?



3 others 2. How important are these issues to you? How important is (read what the person indicated as number 1)? Is it very important, important, not very important, not important at all? What about (read issue number 2), is it very important, important, etc. Note to interviewer: ( circle the figure corresponding to the answer given) Issue 1 Issue 2 Issue 3 1 1 1 very important 2 2 2 important 3 3 3 not very important 4 not important at all 4 4 3. Are there other issues important to you that you would like to see dis­ cussed during the campaign?

0 no

1 yes If yes: what issues?

4. As far as you can recall, what would you say were the major issues discussed in the previous campaign, that of 1963?




I will now read to you a number of statements taken from recent news­ papers. They are statements one often hears these days. Please tell whether, on the whole, you agree or disagree. 5. "The schools are too soft on children." 1 agree 2 disagree

Appendix m / 197

6. "Canada should have nuclear weapons." 1 agree 2 disagree

7. "The UnitedStates is our best ally." 1 agree 2 disagree

8. "Most politicians are dishonest." 1 agree 2 disagree

9. "The death penalty should be abolished." 1 agree 2 disagree

10. "We should have elections more often." 1 agree 2 disagree

11. "Doctors should be paid by the government not by the patients." 1 agree 2 disagree

12. "There should be more religious instruction in the schools." 1 agree 2 disagree

13. "To teach children to obey will serve them better in life than to teach them to look out for themselves."

1 agree 2 disagree 14. "The planet under which a child is born has some influence on his character."

1 agree 2 disagree

15. Now turning again to the election, as you know a very large number of

people do not or cannot go to the polls the day of the election. In the last federal election, that of 1963, did you vote, that is, were you able to go to the polls?

1 yes, voted 2 no, did not vote If no, why? 16. If yes, what party did you support? 1 Communist party 2 Liberal party 3 NOP

4 Progressive Conservative

5 Social Credit

6 not of voting age 7 did not vote 8 cannot remember

198 / People vs Politics 17. As far as you can recall, what party did you vote for, not in the last election of 1963, but in the one before that, in 1962?

1 2 3 4

Communist party Liberal party NDP Progressive Conservative

5 6 7 8

Social Credit not of voting age did not vote cannot remember

18-19. What about provincial elections. As far as you can recall what pro­ vincial party did you vote for in the last two provincial elections, that of 1963 and that of 1960?

1963 1 Communist party 2 Liberal party 3 NDP

4 5 6 7 8

Progressive Conservative Social Credit not of voting age did not vote cannot remember

1960 1 2 3 4

5 6 7 8

20. In your opinion, who would you say is more important, the Prime Minister or the House of Commons?

1 Prime Minister 2 House of Commons 3 same 21. If the federal election were held today, what party would you vote for? 1 Communist party 4 Progressive Conservative 5 Social Credit 2 Liberal party 6 not of voting age 3 NDP 22. If you have changed party preference since 1963 could you tell why? 23. In the best interest of the country how many seats do you think each party should get? To make it simple, suppose there was only say, 10 seats in the parliament, how many would you give to the party you like best? Should the other parties have any seat at all? How many? Let us start by the party you like best, how many seats? What of the next?

Note to interviewer: for question 23, write name of party next to figure ask for the name of the party if the respondent fails to mention it. Note to interviewer: if the respondent has omitted to give seats to any of the parties mentioned below, ask question 24. 24. What of (name of party omitted)? Do you think they should have only

a few seats or no seats at all? No seat at all

1 Communist party 2 Liberals


4 Conservatives 5 Social Credit 6 Quebec Creditistes

Only a few seats

1 Communist party 2 Liberals 3 NDP 4 Conservatives 5 Social Credit 6 Quebec Creditistes

Appendix m / 199

25. Of course, not everybody votes the same way. Now what party or par-

ties do you think that these people vote for? Rich people, average people, etc.

26. What would you say are the major dangers, the major problems facing

Canada today?

27. I shall now read you a list of possible sources of danger or no danger.

Would you say "Communism" is a danger? ls it "no danger," "some danger," "serious danger," or "very serious danger"? What about "capitalism"? Is it "n.o danger," "some danger," etc.?

200 / People vs Politics 28. As far as you know, when you became of voting age, what was the political party preference of your father and of your mother?

Note to interviewer: if respondent is married ask following question: 29. As far as you know how would your wife or husband vote if the elec­ tion were held today?

wife or husband 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Note to interviewer: if the respondent has brothers or sisters ask the follow­ ing question: 30. As far as you can guess how would your brothers or sisters vote if the election were held today?

Note to interviewer: circle the relevant figure, then ask the approximate age of each brother and sister and write the age next to the circle. brothers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 sisters 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Note to interviewer: if the respondent has children ask the following question: 31. Now, as far as you know, how would your children vote? (Note to in­

terviewer: circle the relevant figure, then ask the approximate age of each son and daughter and write it next to the circle.) sons 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 daughters 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 32. What about your closest two friends? (Note to interviewer: use one circle for each friend.) friends 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

33. As you have known, there have been many criticisms of the press and

radio and television for not informing the public well enough on all parties. In order to find out whether the public is or is not sufficiently well informed, may I ask you to name the provincial and federal leaders of the following parties. Take the Liberals first - who is their federal leader? Who is their provincial leader? Now take the NOP, Conserva­ tives, Social Credit, Quebec Creditistes and Communists?

34. Here are the names of the candidates in this riding- could you tell me what party they stand for? I shall give them to you in the alphabetical order. (Note to interviewer: read out a name, wait for an answer, then

move to the next name.) Ron Basford Ed Chisholm

Marianne Linnell Ray Parkinson

Appendix III



35. Suppose you could vote in an American election. What party, on the whole, would you prefer?

36. How much do you like or dislike these parties?

37. How do you like or dislike these leaders?

Note to interviewer: the respondant must see and select himself the position of his answer. Explain that there must be only one circle in each column ( 1) means dislike very much (9) means like very much. Now finally I will ask you a few personal questions about yourself

38. Sex male 1 female 2 39. Year of birth 41. Married yes no divorced widowed

40. Month of birth 1 2 3 4

42. Do you have children that you are supporting at present? yes 1 no 2 43. Are you the breadwinner of your family? yes 1 no, not applicable 2

202 / People vs Politics 44. What is now your occupation? Specify. 1 manual 2 white collar 3 artisan, shopkeeper 4 business management 5 liberal profession 6 retired 7 housewife 8 student 9 other Note to interviewer: if the respondent is now retired, circle 6 but in the "specify" column indicate his previous occupation.

4 5. If you are not the head of the household, what is his or her occupation? 1 manual 2 white collar 3 artisan, shopkeeper 4 business management 5 liberal profession 6 retired 7 housewife 8 student 9 others 46. What was your father's occupation? 1 manual 2 white collar 3 artisan, shopkeeper 4 business management 5 liberal profession 6 farmer 7 other 47. Religion? 1 Catholic 2 Baptist 3 ucc 4 Jewish 5 Lutheran 6 Anglican 48. Ethnic origin? 1 English 2 Scottish 3 Irish 4 French 5 German 49. Are you a member of a trade union? 1 yes Which? 2 no

7 8 9 10 11

Buddhist Presbyterian None If other, which? Protestant (unspecified)

6 7 8 9 10

Ukrainian Dutch Italian Hungarian Other, specify.

Appendix m / 203

50. Are you a member of a political party? 1 yes Which? 2 no 51. In what province or country did you go to school?

52. What newspapers, magazines or radio stations do you read or listen to

most often? newspapers radio stations TV magazines

53. Since what year have you been in BC?

54. Since what year have you been at this address?


Questionnaire code No. 1. Name of interviewer 2. Date of interview

3. Was the person interviewed 4. Describe the housing simple dwelling duplex apartment house

alone 1 others present



1 2 3

5. How would you describe the occupation of the person interviewed? 1 student 10 qualified manual worker 2 housewife 11 lower white collar employee 3 retired 12 foreman, door to door salesman 4 farmer 13 top company employee, banker, 5 artisan, shopkeeper, manager, company salesman small business 14 white collar employee in 6 owner of big business government office 7 liberal profession, 15 middle civil servant 16 upper civil servant attorney, doctor, professor, etc. 17 army 18 teacher, judge 8 domestic help 19 clergy 9 unqualified manual worker

204 / People vs Politics

6. Would you say the person interviewed belonged to 1 upper middle class 2 middle middle class 3 lower middle class

4 upper working class 5 middle working class 6 lower working class

1. If the questionnaire has not been answered give reason 1 refusal 2 death 3 person senile 4 moved and could not be contacted 5 could not be located ( no such person, no such address) 6 still lives at address, but could not be contacted (on holiday etc.) 8. In case of a refusal give the approximate age of the person. 9. Did the person who refused give any reason?


The CIPO national survey conducted one week before the federal election of June 1968, and available too late for inclusion in our analysis, while indieating some important changes in party alignment ( sizable transfers of younger people and university-educated New Democrats to the Liberals) confirms on the whole the stability of the patterns we identified. I The Teams(see chap. 4, especially Table 13)

206 / People vs Politics II Migrations (see chap. 8) (a) Changes in party support Of the respondents who indicated a party preference for both 1965 and 1968, 23.7 per cent transferred from one party to another (cf. Table 31); an exceptionally high number of those, 78.1 per cent (N 243) could have paired (see p. 140). The size of these compensatory migrations accounts for the lack of translation of the high mobility rate into party instability measured by the overall aggregate statistics of votes. The index of stability (cf. Table 4 3) is as follows: NDP 80.3, Liberals 8 2.1, Conservatives 69.3, Social Credit 55.7. The actual transfers between parties is given by the following table, to be related to Figures 22 and 23.


Party preferred in 1965 and 1968, canada, CIPO Survey 1968 (percentages)

(b) The pattern of 1968 transfers reinforces our finding that the NDP Liberal - Conservative - Social Credit ordering is, among all possible cornbinations, that which minimizes party jumping (cf. Table 44).


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The correlations reported in this summary were not all established with the same degree of confidence; not all of them are statistically significant and some associations listed are very weak. The reader is in all cases referred to the text and mostly to the tables presenting these correlations; he may also wish to relate our observations to over 200 findings which summarize presented in the British and American electoral studies of the appendix A of B. Berelson et al., Voting (Chicago: University of Chicago Unfortunately, no handy summary of the more recent elec­ Press, toral studies is available; to relate our findings to such studies the reader is referred to the works cited in the footnotes, especially to those of Campbell, W. E. Miller, and their colleagues of the Michigan Survey Research Center. SEX


1 Women are as likely to vote as men 2 Non-married women are as likely to vote as married women 3 Men are better informed politically than women 4 Women are equally as permissive as men of Communists in Parliament 5 Men tend to support left wing parties (NDP especially), women to support right wing parties (Conservatives especially) 6 Women are, in all age groups, more likely than men to express fears of public dangers to the state 7 Women attach more importance than men to the teachings of religion in schools ... 8 ... however, when one controls for age, the difference appears mostly around middle age 9 Women do not differ from men in their respective ranking of party and leader 10 Women are as likely as men to change party between federal elections.

56 64 107

108 120 157


11 The older a person the more likely he is to want electoral competition to be restricted to two parties 58 12 Younger people tend to support left-wing parties, older people 64-5 right-wing parties Middle age is the age of political realignment, of greater electoral 160 migrations 14 The importance attached to the teaching of religion by women 108 increases with age 15 With social class and religion, age is the major factor distin68-9 guishing party electorates in their social composition.










95, NOP






Index of Selected Observations / 213 PAGE 56 ... but ( b) in the Socialism - anti-socialism dimension, all elec­ torates agree on the ordering NDP - Social Credit - Liberals Conservatives, except Social Crediters who see Conservatives 121 between NOP and Liberals 57 The more cohesive an electorate is in terms of ideology the greater the distance it puts between itself and its nearest opponent and the greater the bunching of these opponents on a like-dislike scale 113 METHODOLOGY

58 The less informed politically the individual is the more likely he is to misreport the past - by malcing past coincide with present opinions or behaviours. 157 21 59 Refusal to answer a questionnaire survey increases with age 60 Non-voters are more likely to refuse to answer a questionnaire survey 21 61 Misleading answers to the question "Did you vote in the last election?" are more likely from non-voters than from voters 24 62 Inconsistencies in the reporting of one's date of birth occurred only in the 30 and over age group 26 63 Protestants are often inconsistent in the reporting of their 27 denomination 64 Random answers by people devoid of true opinions have a greatly disturbing effect on associations tested for statistical significance 29 65 Residential mobility renders aggregate electoral statistics un­ reliable in the study of voter turn-out, unless one can control 33 for such mobility.


V .W.,




W. G.,

see also






see also etc.)

specific variables

see also

see also specific variables etc.)



also 95;

216 / General Index Gros, Lucien, 31n Gurin, G., 34n Guttman, L., 105n Guttman scale, 106-7 Hastings, P. K., 34n Havel,J.E., 32n,67n, 68n Health insurance: see Medicare Hertz, Robert, 68n Hoffman,Paul J., 166n Holsti, 0. R., 15n Horowitz, G., 178n Houtart, Frani;ois, 31n Huffman, J. R., 93n Huntington,Ellsworth, 38n Hursh,G. D., 4n,19n Hydro-electric power: as a campaign issue, 168 Hyman, Herbert H., 26n

53-4; and marital status, 37; and non-voting, 36-7, 40-4; and occu­ pation, 39; and party preference, 40-2, 54, 63-4, 66-7, 130-4, 165; and perception of dangers, 93-4; and remembering campaign issues, 82; and sex,174

Lacoste, Norbert, 3 ln Lakeman, E., 47n Lambert, James D., 47n Lancelot, A., 35n Lane, Robert, 87n, 167n, 180n Laponce, J. A., 20n, 33n, 47n Larsen, Otto N., 23n Lasswell, H. D., 15n Laulicht, J., 103n Lazarsfeld, P., 22n, 34n, 37n, 43n, 78, 156n Lazerwitz Bernard, 31n Identity, national: and party prefer­ Leaders (party): in active-slow scale, 126; in friendly-cold scale, 123-4; ences, 89 in left-right dimension,121-2; liking Images (of party electorates), 50-2, 72-6 for, by electorate, 113-16; liking for, compared to liking for party, Immigrants, 93,95, 98, 100 Income: and conservatism, 68; in 116-20; in new ideas scale, 122-4; party images, 72-5; and party pre­ in powerful-weak scale, 127; in ference, 27-9; of respondents, 6; socialism scale,121-2 see also Social class Left-right alignment: and age, 160-1, Information (level of): see Knowl­ 178; and attitude toward big busi­ edge (political) ness, 99; and attitude toward trade Innovation (new ideas-old ideas unions, 99, 178; and electoral migra­ tion, 149-53, 160-1, 173; and fear scale): used to compare the images of party leaders, t 24 of automation, 99; and fear of Com­ Involvement (with politics): see Par­ munism, 99; and fear of us in­ ticipation fluence, 99, 165-6; and liking for American parties, 165-6; and party Issues, campaign: 14-17; 81-7, 103, 112, 123, 167, 168; and ethnicity, preferences,60, 178; and ranking of 83; and occupation,83; and political leaders, 121-2; related to perception of dangers, 55; and sex, 91, 107 knowledge, 82; and party prefer­ ences, 84-5; and regional differ­ Leites, N., 15n, 54n ences, 77-8 Liberal party: see Party preference Lipset, S. M., 67n, 77n Jahoda, M., 105n Litchfield, E. H., 34n Janda, Kenneth, 23n Lowe,R.E., 30n Janowitz, Morris, 18n Lundberg, G. A., 23n Jewett, P., 67n Lutherans, 94 Jews: attitudes toward, 72-6, 93-4, 97-8, 103 McCarthy, P. J., 19n Kennedy,14,119,164,166 McClosky,H., 166 Knowledge (political): of American McCormick,T. C.,30n politics, 165; and attitude toward McDill,E. L., 37n Jews, 94; and authoritarianism,107, McGarth, J. E. and M. F., 72n 108-9; and Communism, 94; and Machiavelli, 36 cross-pressure, 42-4; and electoral MacKenzie, H. C., 22n, 35n, 37n, 39n, cleavages, 135; and electoral migra­ 138n, 156n tions, 156-7, 174; and extremism, McPhee, W., 22n, 34n, 37n

General Index / 217 Macpherson, C. B., 7711 McRae, Duncan, Jr., 150n Majority government: as an issue, 1416,77, 79-80,83-5,123 Mannheim, Karl, 95n Marital status: and political knowl­ edge, 37; and voting,37 Marvick, Dwaine, 18n Medicare: as a campaign issue, 7880, 83-4, 87, 168; and party pre­ ference, 79, 80, 83, 84, 185-7, 18990 Meisel, John, 16n, 17n, 22n, 43n 67n, 165n Merriam, C. E., 34n Migrants (electoral): and age, 156, 157-61, 174; and education, 156-63 passim, 174; and ethnicity, 174; and knowledge of politics, 156, 157,174; and length of residence of, 138; and misleading information, 156-7; and occupation, 157, 174; and party preference, 157-64, 175; and prov­ ince of origin, 174; and sex, 156-60, 174; and social class, 158-60; types of, 148-9; and wish for majority government, 13, 154; see also Elec­ toral migrations Miller, J.E., 34n Miller, Mungo, 25n Miller, W.E., 34n, 43n, 104n, 138n Milne, R. S., 22n, 35n, 37n, 39n, 138n, 156n Moore, H. T., 87n Morgan,James N., 181n Morton, W. L., 77n Narbonne, J., 35n National unity, as a campaign issue, 15, 16, 85 Neither, G., 93n New Democratic party (NDP) : see Party preference Newspapers: see Sun, Province Nixon, 166 Non-response to questionnaire: and age,4, 21; level of, 195 Non-voters: see Participation, Voting Nuclear arms: as a campaign issue, 14, 15, 16, 37, 77-84 passim, 103, 112, 123, 167 Occupation: and attitude toward French Canadians, 89-90, 95, im­ migrants, 95, trade unions, 95; and electoral migrations, 157, 174; and fear of us influence, 89-90, 95, 101,

179; and party cohesion, 101-2; in party images, 72-6; and party preference, 63-4, 66, 129-30, 1314, 179-81, 188; and perception of dangers to Canada, 89-90, 95; and perception of issues, 83; and politi­ cal knowledge, 39; of respondents, 8, 9, 195; and tolerance of Com­ munism, 55; and voting, 39 Ogden, D. M., 43n O'Hara, Rosemary, 166n Osgood, C. E., 123n Pareto, 179 Parliament, 52-60 Parry, H.J., 25n Participation (electoral), 31-45; and age, 36, 38; and astrology, 38; and attitude toward politicians, 38; of communists, 35; in critical districts, 11-12; and cross-pressure, 38; and ethnicity, 37; and knowledge of politics, 36-7, 40-4; and level of education, 37, 39; and Machiavelli, 36; and marital status, 37; and occupation, 39; and party prefer­ ence, 37, 40-1; and refusal to be interviewed, 21; and sex, 37-9; in United States, 34; voting turnout, 31-3, 40-2 Party cohesion: and occupation, 1012; and resistance to electoral migra­ tions, 140-9, 167-74, 206; see also Electoral migrations Party images, 49-50, 72-6 Party preference: and age, 18, 63-70, 83, 180; and Anglicans, 178; and attitudes toward Communism, 98, Communist China, 98, 100,England, 98, French Canadians, 90, 98, 100, immigrants, 98, 100,Jews,98, trade unions, 98-9, USSR, 98, 100, the us, 89, 90, 96, 98-100, 179, 185-7, 189, 190; and automation, 97-9 passim; and big business, 98, 99; and capitalism, 98; and Catholics, 63-7, 98, 178; compared to liking of leaders, 119-20; and education, 63-6, 70, 177; and electoral migra­ tions, 139-54, 157-64; and ethnicity, 63-6; and images of party elector­ ates, 50-2, 72-6; and income, 27-9; and left-right alignment, 178; and liking for us parties, 165-7; and majority government, 79-80, 83-5 passim, 123; and medicare, 79, 80, 83, 84; and national identity, 89;

218 / General Index and nuclear arms, 79-80, 84, 86, 103; and occupation, 63-4, 66, 179; and pensions, 79, 80, 84, 85, 86; and political knowledge, 40-2, 54, 63-4, 66-7; predictors of, 180-91; and Protestants, 63-6, 98; and Que­ bec, 79, 80, 84; related to preferred us party, 165-7; and relations with United States, 78-80 passim, 84, 85; and religion, 68-70, 180-4, 188; and scandals, 80, 83-5 passim; and semantic profile of leaders, 121-8; and sex, 63-6, 68, 83, 177; and social class, 65, 67, 68; and toler­ ance of oppositions, 52-60, 112-18, 129-35; and trade union member­ ship, 63-6, 68, 69, 178, 180; and unemployment, 79, 80, 83-5 passim; and Vietnam, 167; and voting, 37; and war, 89, 90; see also Predicting party preference Party system (preference for a two­ party system): and age, 58; and province of origin, 59 Pataut, Jean, 35n Paul, J., 103n Pear, R.H., 35n, 138n Pearson, Lester B., campaigns of, 16. 18, 116; liking for, 42; semantic profile of, 44, 120-7 passim Pensions: and age, 83; as campaign issue, 18-85 passim, 87; and party preference, 79, 80, 84, 85; and sex, 87 Perlin, George, 67n Pinard, Maurice, 37n Pollock, James K., 34n Popkin, S., 43n Powerful-weak scale: used to rank party leaders, 123-5 Predicting party preference: from demographic variables, 181-4, 1889; from political opinion variables, 185-7, 189-90 Presbyterians: attitudes toward Cath­ olics, 94 Progressive Conservative party: see Party preference Protestants: as seen by Catholics, 94; attitudes toward, and party prefer­ ence, 98; attitudes toward, and sex, 93; and party preference, 63-6, 1314; their perception of dangers to Canada, 89, 93-4, 97, 103; see also specific denominations Province (the newspaper): and cam­ paign issues, 14-15, 17

Province: see Regions of origin Quebec: as a campaign issue, 15-16, 78-80, 84, 88; see also French Canadians Questionnaire: pre-testing of, 22-3: text of, 196-204 Rainio, Kullervo, 137n Ranger, J., 35n Random answers, 26-9 Rapoport, A., 46n Refusal to answer, 195; see also non­ response Regenstreif, Peter, 13, 67, 68 Regions of origin: and differences in perception of campaign issues, 778; and electoral migrations, 174; and liking for a two-party system, 59 Religion, 107-8, 110; and age, 110; and attitudes toward Jews, 94, French Canadians, 94; and electoral cleavages, 179-84, 188; and elec­ toral migration, 174; in images of parties, 71-2; and party preference, 68-70, 131-4; as predictor of party preference, 180-4, 188; reliability of answers on, 27; of sample, 9; and sex, 107-8; and voting, 35 Republican party (us), 165-7 Residence, length of: of sample, 4-5; and interviewing, 21; and electoral migrations, 138 Respondents (see Sample, Non-re­ sponse) Responses (misleading): and inter­ pretation of survey data, 24-5, 1567; sample, type used, 19-21; imag­ inary demographic characteristics of, 4-9, 195; shortcomings of, 29-30 Ridley, J. C., 37n Rockefeller, 166 Rokeach, Milton, 114n Roosevelt, 166 Rosenberg, Morris, 38n Scandals: as campaign issues, xii, 14, 17, 80-5 Scarrow, H. A., 43n, 70n, 169n Schattschneider, E. E., 44n Schooley, Mary, 107n Schwartz, M.A., 42n, 67n, 165n, 191n SES: see Social class, Income Sex: and attitude toward big business, 93, Catholics, 93, England, 93, French Canadians, 93, immigrants,

General Index / 219 93, Jews, 93, Protestants, 93, trade Survey: see Sample, Questionnaire unions, 93, us, 93, ussR, 93; and authoritarianism, 107-8; of candi­ Tannenbaum, P., 123n dates, 18; and capitalism, 93; and Thompson, Robert: semantic profile of, 120-8 Communism, 56, 92-3; and Com­ munist China, 93; and electoral Tingsten,H., 35n, 39n migrations, 156-60, 174; and fear Trade unions: attitudes toward, and occupation,95; attitudes toward and of American ownership, 93; and party pref erence, 185-7, 189-90; fear of automation, 93; and left­ attitudes toward, and sex, 93; right align ment, 91; and medicare, change in attitudes toward, 103; and 87; and non-voting, 37-8; and party electoral cleavages, 178; and left­ preference, 63-6, 68,83,131-4,177, right alignment. 99, 178; and NDP, 180-4,188-9; and pensions, 87; and 179; and party preference,63-6,68, perception of dangers to Canada, 69, 98-9, 129-30, 178, 180-4; in 89-93; and perception of issues, 83, sample, 5 87; and political awareness,39, 174; and ranking of parties and leaders, 119-20; and religion, 107-8; of Unemployment: as a campai gn issue, 16, 78-85 passim, 87, 167-8 respondents, 195; and unemploy­ United Church members: their atti­ ment, 87 tude toward Catholics, 94, Com­ Sikhs, 6 munism, 56; in party images, 71-5 Smiley,D. V., 70n United States: fear of influence of,88Smith,D. E., 67n, 174n 90 passim, 93, 95, 96, 98-101, 179, Social class: and Communism, 55-6; 185-7, 189, 190; involvement of and electoral cleavages, 135, 179; respondents with the politics of, and electoral migrations, 158-60; in 164-7, 174; liking for Democratic images of parties, 71, 73-5; and party, 165-7, Republican party, party preference, 65, 67, 68; of 165-7; non-voting in, 34; relations respondents, 4, 195 with, as a campai gn issue, 15, 35, Social Credit party: see Party prefer­ 78-80 passim, 83-5 passim, 123 ence Socialism, scale: ranking of leaders on, USSR,93,98-100, 103 121-2 Verba, S.,22n,39n Sonquist,John A., 181n Voting trends: in Burrard, 9-14 Soviet Union: see ussR Voting turnout: see Participation Stability: see Party cohesion Stephan, F. F.,19n War, 89-91; and party preference, 89, Stoetzel, J.,35n, 39n, 156n 90; Vietnam, 167 Stokes, D. E., 34n, 104n Stouffer, Samuel A., 53n, 55n, 56n, Webber, Leonard, 105n Wile, Ira S., 62n 92n, 105n Wrong, D. H., 16n, 67n Suci, G. J., 123n Sun (the newspaper): and campaign Young, Walter, 16n issues, 14-15, 17