Outlooks toward Democracy in Quebec


Support for democratic regime principles is generally strong and stable across advanced industrial democracies. However, as groups of society are becoming increasingly informed and critical and certain segments remain widely and consistently left out or disillusioned, opinions of democracy may suffer. Using a unique dataset (the Comparative Provincial Election Study) with a representative sample of Quebec voters, this analysis provides for the first time a more detailed and focused examination of orientations toward the democratic political regime across three different levels of government (national, provincial, and municipal). Our study reveals that, while most Quebecers feel that a democratic political regime is a good way of governing at all levels of government, only slightly more than a majority commit solely to a democratic alternative and sizeable segments are open to other regime types as well. Also, few Quebecers feel that their democracies are working well in practice at all levels. Our analysis also reveals significant variation in terms of specific support for authorities, institutions of government, and the workings of democracy. More specifically, Quebecers have less confidence in their political leaders than in their elected representatives, more confidence in their legislatures and civil service than in governments and political parties, and they have the lowest confidence in most of these objects at the federal level. Finally, our findings show that these negative orientations toward specific political objects have robust and significant negative effects on the way Quebecers feel about how well their democratic communities are working in practice, even while controlling for other theoretically relevant cultural, structural, and contextual factors.

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Kanji, M. and Tannahill, K. (2014) Outlooks toward Democracy in Quebec. Open Journal of Political Science, 4, 291-302. doi: 10.4236/ojps.2014.44031.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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