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Politique agricole et résultats électoraux en milieu agricole au Québec

André Blais
Canadian Journal of Political Science / Revue canadienne de science politique
Vol. 11, No. 2 (Jun., 1978), pp. 333-381
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3230783
Page Count: 49
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Politique agricole et résultats électoraux en milieu agricole au Québec
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Abstract

Politique agricole et résultats électoraux en milieu agricole au Québec. The purpose of this article is to assess the degree to which the agricultural policy of the Quebec government influences the provincial vote in rural areas. More precisely, does the pro-government vote shift as a result of the short-term economic impact of agricultural policy? This general hypothesis is broken down into four specific hypotheses. The unit of analysis is the agricultural locality, that is, one in which at least 50 per cent of the population lives on a farm. The analysis bears on the voting shifts in the elections of 1960, 1962, 1966, 1970 and 1973. Two of the hypotheses are clearly invalid. The other two are confirmed for the election of 1966 but not for the election of 1973. The agricultural policy of the provincial government seems, therefore, to have an electoral impact only under certain conditions. It becomes clear that only policy changes effected a short time before an election, and that involve programmes with a highly visible economic impact, can strongly influence the vote. In addition, we find that the pro-government vote varies according to the very short-term rise and fall in the price of the main product found in each locality. The federal policy of price support for agricultural products is equally a voting determinant in certain elections; in fact, some unpopular decisions of the federal government are turned against the provincial government. In summary, electoral results are strongly influenced by very short-term economic circumstances, whether the government is responsible for them or not.

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