The effect of economic inequality on voter turnout in Canadian federal elections, 1979-2011

Wesley, Kathryn (2015) The effect of economic inequality on voter turnout in Canadian federal elections, 1979-2011. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

Since the 1990s, voter turnout in Canadian federal elections has decreased considerably. During the same period, economic inequality significantly increased. Although there is much theoretical work, there have been few empirical studies examining the effect of economic inequality on voter turnout. Using data collected from both national and international sources, I conducted an aggregate level, time series analysis of national turnout and economic inequality for Canadian federal elections between 1979 and 2011. Moreover, this thesis tests Schattschneider's (1960) hypothesis, which argues that increasing rates of voter abstention are a result of economic inequality magnifying differences in relative power between affluent and non-affluent citizens. The findings indicate that economic inequality has a strong negative effect on voter turnout.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/11759
Item ID: 11759
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 121-131).
Keywords: Economic inequality, Voter turnout, Canada, Theory of relative power, Schattschneider
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Political Science
Date: September 2015
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Voter turnout--Economic aspects--Canada; Voting--Abstention; Equality--Canada; Canada--Parliament--Elections; Canada--Economic conditions--19th century; Canada--Economic conditions--20th century

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