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the opinions of Canadians; many of these are primarily aimed at explaining voting behaviour. Only recently have books been published which provide in- depth analyses of opinions in Canada, or explore the divergence be- tween opinions expressed by residents of this country and those of our neighbours to the south. There are also several texts on research meth- ods available which explain techniques for conducting polls and sur- veys. Many of these have a Canadian orientation, but they do not always deal with the problems and challenges of collecting public 4 Polling

differences between the types of polls. The earliest polls on political opinion were of the action-oriented type but they did not use scientific methods. As we noted earlier, the straw polls conducted by various media aimed at predicting voting behaviour. The key characteristic of this polling method was the ability of any voter to be included in the poll if they cared to be; voters just had to respond to the questions. Of course, straw polls make no attempt to ensure that everyone had the chance to be included in the poll, and, as we have seen, they were dismissed for this

of ritualized participation are symbols of satisfaction for a pluralist, they may instead reveal the weakness of the transfor- . Social Structure and Politicization 83 mative potential of a society. The third section looks at the citizen's discriminating abilities and partisan activity. This chapter focuses on the inherent contradictions of the pluralist vision of a developing democratic polity, drawing on evidence from the survey of voting behaviour, governmental access, and partisan orientation to show the complex patterns through which hegemonic

various types of information, but usually include questions on socio-demographic data, such as education and age, ques- tions regarding attitudes and opinions on a broad range of topics, and questions on some elements of behaviour. Behaviourial questions in election studies address such topics as voting behaviour and other kinds 7 Jean Morton-Williams, Interviewer Approaches (Brookfield, Vt.: Dartmouth Publishing, 1993), P-2. 330 B R E N D A O ' N E I L L of political activity. The responses given to such questions are numbered into a small set of categories, which

(1901–76) [See also: Hypodermic Needle Theory; Media Effects; Two-Step Flow Theory] Paul Felix Lazarsfeld was an influential sociologist who pioneered various method- ologies based on quantitative analysis that came to be used to conduct research in the areas of mass communication, public opin- ion, voting behaviour, and popular culture. Born on 13 February 1901 in Vienna, Aus- tria, Lazarsfeld graduated in 1924 with a doctoral degree in mathematics from the University of Vienna. There, he remained as a mathematics instructor for the next five years. In 1929

constructed by polling in ways that are dispro- portionate to the facts relating to those issues. Sincerity of Opinions The volatility of opinions relating to voting behaviour or even to con- sumer preferences raises concern about the sincerity of the attitudes and preferences collected in public opinion research. Critics dispute whether respondents actually give honest responses to researchers’ questions and, perhaps more importantly, whether they have sufficient knowledge about the issues being investigated to be able to provide genuine answers to questions. Some have

- stituents, is inherently a group attribute, although a broader meaning of legitimacy touches on the basic political right of citizenship and the attendant right to vote (or to select one’s representative), which is an individual-level attribute; however, information on voting behaviour was not collected by the survey. The indicators of inclusion, participation, and belonging are used as dependent variables in a binary logistic regression model that incorpo- rates the major life course stages with a set of individual, family, and community-level variables.1 Individual

alone. It must be com- plemented with a range of qualitative approaches that manage to relate the contingency of individual voting behaviour to the spatially medi- ated social relations that give meaning to that behaviour. This is the case even more so now because the very expansion of electoral support for the FN has made this support more diffuse than it was in the 1980s. The Mediterranean and Northeastern bastions of the FN are still there. Yet, despite persistent spatial variation, the FN vote is a truly national phenomenon that cuts across unevenly

interests can file their claims and receive some satisfaction through a system of checks and balances, rule by a few. separated by balancing structures, is good government. 3 Dahl and Lindblom. 1963, 307. The literature on voting behaviour in the United States and recently in other democracies is voluminous but atheoretical (Seely, Wildawsley, and Glazer, 1967). The meaning of voting within democratic theory remains unclear beyond the descriptive level (Rose and Mossawir, 1967). The major findings of the empirical research are those of lack of information, lack of

. Education and income correlated with voters’ choices of left- or right- wing party representatives. The authors concluded that ‘ethnicity is largely a confounding category which disguises class voting behaviour’ in Winnipeg in the 1930s and 1940s.39 In sum the events of 1919 had etched a nearly indelible pattern into city life. The pattern had been present in the geography of development during the preceding two dec- ades but the general strike, the fl u epidemic, and the political responses on all sides had reinforced people’s awareness of social difference and