Discussant/Commentateur/Commentatrice : David McGrane (University of Saskatchewan)
Understandings Majority Attitudes Toward Minority Nations in Multinational Federations: The Case of Canada: Benjamin Ferland (Université d'Ottawa), Luc Turgeon (Université d'Ottawa) Abstract: While a relatively large body of literature has explored the conditions that might promote either reform and decentralization or the status quo in multinational federations, few studies have explored majority attitudes toward minority nations in the context of multinational federations. In this article, we asked what factors account for majority attitudes toward minority nations in multinational federations. In particular, we analyze the relative influence of identity/community and interest/calculations concerns by exploring the attitudes of Canadians outside Quebec toward Quebec. In making use of date from the Canadian election study (CES) from 1993 to 2015, we explore both attitudes toward Quebec in general and the willingness to do more for Quebec. Our results do indicate that Canadian attitudes toward Quebec are influenced both by what we call identity/community and interests/calculations concerns. Importantly, we find that those who score high on the index of generalized prejudice are much more likely to have negative attitudes toward Quebec than those with lowers scores. We also find that one’s perception of how her province is treated relative to others affects her evaluation of Quebec.
Public Opinion in the Provinces: Using Multilevel Regression and Poststratification to Estimate Support for Transgender Rights: Nicole McMahon (The University of Western Ontario) Abstract: Given the limited sample sizes often associated with nationally representative surveys, our knowledge of public opinion at the subnational level in Canada is quite limited. When using such data, it is common practice to rely on disaggregation techniques to estimate subnational results. However, this technique has been proven to be suboptimal relative to multilevel regression and post-stratification (MRP), which combines survey and census data to estimate public opinion at the subnational level. Despite its increasing popularity in the study of American politics, especially with respect to state politics, Canadian political scientists have yet to similarly integrate MRP. The purpose of this paper is to introduce the benefits and use of MRP for the study of Canadian politics. To demonstrate its effectiveness, I use a case study of public opinion on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights. More specifically, using a national survey and MRP, I create new estimates of provincial-level support for the inclusion of gender identity and gender expression in the Canadian Human Rights Act. Compared to results generated using traditional disaggregation techniques, the results using MRP yield a more accurate estimate of subnational public opinion on the issue. This paper thus contributes directly to our understanding of Canadian public support for transgender rights. More broadly, this underutilized method will support the study of public opinion and public policy across a range of issues in Canadian political science.