Making Political Choices: Canada and the United States

By Harold D. Clarke, Allan Kornberg, and Thomas J. Scotto

© 2008

Recent national elections in Canada and the United States have been exciting, consequential contests. In the 2004 federal election in Canada, the Liberal Party narrowly clung to power after a volatile and bitter battle with the new Conservative Party. In 2006, the Conservative Party won a fragile victory, replacing the scandal-ridden Liberal government. In the 2000 American presidential election, Republican George W. Bush became the first candidate in over 100 years to capture the presidency without a majority popular vote. Four years later, Bush finally attained a narrow popular mandate but only after a hard fought campaign. Then, in 2006, the Republicans suffered a stunning reversal of political fortune, losing control of both Houses of Congress, as public opinion turned massively against the president.

In Making Political Choices: Canada and the United States, Harold Clarke, Allan Kornberg, and Thomas Scotto employ a wealth of new survey data to describe these elections and evaluate competing theories of party support and voter turnout. While examining various arguments, the authors contend that a valence politics model provides a powerful explanation of voting behavior in Canada, the United States, and other mature democracies.

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Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 304 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.8in x 0.8in x 8.8in
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SKU# HE000160

  • PUBLISHED NOV 2008

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    ISBN 9780802096746
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Quick Overview

"A timely and important contribution to voting literature. Both Canadians and Americans will develop a better understanding of their neighbours' elections, but will also gain many new insights into the politics of their own country." - Larry LeDuc, University of Toronto

Making Political Choices: Canada and the United States

By Harold D. Clarke, Allan Kornberg, and Thomas J. Scotto

© 2008

Recent national elections in Canada and the United States have been exciting, consequential contests. In the 2004 federal election in Canada, the Liberal Party narrowly clung to power after a volatile and bitter battle with the new Conservative Party. In 2006, the Conservative Party won a fragile victory, replacing the scandal-ridden Liberal government. In the 2000 American presidential election, Republican George W. Bush became the first candidate in over 100 years to capture the presidency without a majority popular vote. Four years later, Bush finally attained a narrow popular mandate but only after a hard fought campaign. Then, in 2006, the Republicans suffered a stunning reversal of political fortune, losing control of both Houses of Congress, as public opinion turned massively against the president.

In Making Political Choices: Canada and the United States, Harold Clarke, Allan Kornberg, and Thomas Scotto employ a wealth of new survey data to describe these elections and evaluate competing theories of party support and voter turnout. While examining various arguments, the authors contend that a valence politics model provides a powerful explanation of voting behavior in Canada, the United States, and other mature democracies.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 304 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.8in x 0.8in x 8.8in
  • Reviews

    Making Political Choices: Canada and the United States is a fascinating, evidence-based journey through some of the problematic and highly dramatic elections held in the United States and Canada over the last 30 years.
    American Review of Canadian Studies

    A timely and important contribution to voting literature. Both Canadians and Americans will develop a better understanding of their neighbours' elections, but will also gain many new insights into the politics of their own country in the process.
    Larry LeDuc, University of Toronto

    How do people make political choices without being experts on policy? Clarke, Kornberg, and Scotto show that voters are 'smart enough to know that they are not smart enough.' Instead, they rely on trusted clues that will help them figure out which party can best handle the most important issues of the day. The fundamentals matter across time, country, and level of government, and in this book we see the patterns unfold clearly and with great interpretation.
    Lynn Vavreck, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Author Information

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


    Allan Kornberg is the Norb F. Schaefer Professor of Political Science at Duke University. He is the co-author, with Harold Clarke, of Citizens and Community: Political Support in a Representative Democracy (Cambridge University Press, 1992) and has written widely in books and journals on political parties, legislatures, and comparative political behavior.



    Thomas J. Scotto is Lecturer in the Department of Government at the University of Essex. His research interests are in American and Canadian electoral behavior and public opinion, and he has published articles in journals such as Electoral Studies and the Journal of Politics.

  • Table of contents

    List of Figures

    List of Tables

    Preface

    1. Political Choices and Valence Politics

    2. Flawless Campaign, Fragile Victory: The 2006 Canadian Federal Election

    3. Too Close to Call: The 2004 Canadian Federal Election

    4. Red Voters, Blue Voters: The 2004 American Presidential Election

    5. Doing Politics His Way: The 2000 American Presidential Election

    6. A Big Blue Wave: The 2006 American Congressional Election

    7. Mulroney, Reagan, and Three Big Elections

    8. At the Polls? Why (Some) People Vote

    9. Political Choices Reconsidered

    References

    Index by Name

    Index by Subject

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