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The Reform party image: fact or fiction? Francis, Jennifer 1994

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THE REFORM PARTY IMAGE -FACT OR FICTION?byJENNIFER FRANCISB.Mus., The University of Toronto, 1990B.A., The University of Toronto, 1992A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OFTHE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFMASTER OF ARTSinTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIESDepartment of Political ScienceWe accept this thesis as conformingto the required standardTHE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIAOctober, 1994© Jennifer Francis, 1994In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanceddegree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make itfreely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensivecopying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of mydepartment or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying orpublication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my writtenpermission.Department ofThe University of British ColumbiaVancouver, CanadaDate ti &e ,DE-6 (2/88)ABSTRACTThis paper examines the nature of support for the Reform Party of Canada in the1993 federal election. First, a general hypothesis of the typical Reform voter isestablished. This profile is based on an investigation of the party’s historicalprecedents, the political beliefs of the leader, policies and platforms, and the mediaportrayal of the Reform party. After establishing the Reform profile, the hypothesisis then compared with data from the 1993 National Election Study (NES). The NESdata reflects a wide range of public sentiments, reporting the structure of opinion onmany salient public issues. By using the crosstabulation procedure, the extent towhich voting Reform is linked with particular sentiments is revealed. The result ofthis exercise is a confirmation of the Reform profile. Voting Reform was linked toeconomic liberalism: Reformers are likely to be concerned about the deficit and hightaxation, favour freer trade flows, and are likely to cut rather than maintain socialprograms. Socially and morally, the data confirmed that Reformers are likely tomaintain a traditional or conservative position. An exception to this forecast wasthat one’s position on abortion was irrelevant to voting Reform. As predicted,Reformers are more likely than not to be hostile toward differential treatment forethnic minorities, and to want decreased levels of immigration. True to the Reformprofile, voting Reform was linked to political alienation, but it was also linked tohigh levels of political interest. In a few areas, the data on demographic variablescontradicted the Reform profile: voting Reform was not linked with churchmembership, nor with a belief in the importance of God. As well, older voters arenot more likely to vote Reform, as projected. Overall, the NES data confirms theinitial profile of the study and it is concluded that the Reform vote in the 1993election substantiates the popular image of the party.11TABLE OF CONTENTSABSTRACT.iiTABLE OF CONTENTS iiiLIST OF TABLES ivACKNOWLEDGEMENT vCHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION 1CHAPTER TWO: REFORM PARTY SURVEY 3Introduction 3Historical Political Movements 4Preston Manning 12Reform Party Platforms 20Popular Commentary 26The Hypothetical Reform Supporter 30CHAPTER THREE: NATIONAL ELECTION STUDY DATA 34Introduction 34The 1993 National Election Study 34Survey Results 35i. Economic policy 37ii. Social and Moral Issues 44iii. Ethnic Issues 48iv. Alienation 50v. Demographic Variables 52Summary 55CHAPTER FOUR: CONCLUSION 58BIBLIOGRAPHY 63APPENDIX: SURVEY QUESTIONS 65111LIST OF TABLESTable 1. Attitudes Toward Personal and Public Financial State 38Table 2. Attitudes Toward Commercial Policy 39Table 3. Conservative Attitudes Toward ConservativeRegime Economic Policies 40Table 4. Attitudes Toward the Deficit and Taxation 41Table 5. Attitudes Toward Fiscal Issues 43Table 6. Attitudes Toward Social Issues 45Table 7. Attitudes Toward Moral Issues 46Table 8. Attitudes Toward Social Groups 47Table 9. Attitudes Toward Ethnic Groups 49Table 10. Alienation 51Table 11. Level of Political Interest 52Table 12. Employment Data 53Table 13. Demographic Variables 54ivACKNOWLEDGEMENTI would like to thank my thesis advisors, Professor Richard Johnston and ProfessorR.K. Carty for giving me guidance throughout this endeavour. I would also like tothank Professor Donald Blake for his helpful comments.The data contained in this paper is the result of statistical manipulation of the 1993National Election Study data set. The tables and conclusions in this paper are drawnfrom the NES data and are the sole responsibility of the author.VCHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTIONThe performance of the Reform Party of Canada emerges as one of the moreremarkable political stories of the 1990’s. The party was conceived in 1987, failed towin a single seat in the 1988 federal election, and then went on to claim 52 seats inthe 1993 federal election. During its rise to prominence, the Reform Party attractedconsiderable public attention. It was billed as a western separatist party, and a partyinfiltrated by religious zealots and white supremacists. Despite being criticized forits controversial stance on issues such as immigration, the constitutional status ofQuebec, and public spending, the Reform party also gained the approval of businessgroups around the country, eliciting support from Globe and Mail editorials. TheReform party membership was also the subject of public attention, rumoured to becomposed mostly of older, white males with socially traditional, perhaps even racist,views.The Reform Party is now one seat away from forming the official opposition in theCanadian House of Commons. How can the party’s change in status - from anextreme conservative party to a well-represented parliamentary party - beexplained? One question that emerges from the Reform story has to do with Reformvoters, since the party owes its current status to those who supported it on electionday. What is the nature of the Reform vote, and does the popular image of the partyand its supporters bear any resemblance to the actual Reform vote?This study attempts to investigate the characteristics of the alleged and actualReform vote. The research is organized into two sections. First, the popular imageof the Reform party is constructed, relying on the party’s historical precedents, theleader’s views, policies and platforms, and media coverage of the party. Second,1this hypothetical profile is compared to statistical data drawn from the 1993National Election Study (NES). This survey provides a valuable source of data,revealing respondent opinion on a range of questions relevant to the public interest.Survey questions on a host of economic and social policies are used, as well asrespondent opinion on moral issues. Ethnic concerns are investigated, pertaining tothe status of Quebec, Aboriginal self-government, and feelings toward racialminorities. The respondents’ sense of political alienation is tapped throughquestions about politicians and the political process. Finally, demographic data isused to construct the essential characteristics of Reform voters. In this paper, therelationship between the popular image of the Reform party and the characteristicsof its actual vote is determined.2CHAPTER TWO: REFORM PARTY SURVEYIntroductionIn order to obtain a comprehensive picture of the Reform party, several differentaspects of the party are investigated in this chapter. The historical grounding of theReform party, the personality and beliefs of the leader, the party’s policies andplatforms, and the media portrayal of the party are each examined and discussed.The historical links between the Reform party and past populist movements areinvestigated, and include the federal Progressive party and the United Farmers ofAlberta in the 1920’s. As well, the roots and evolution of the most importantancestor of the Reform party, the Alberta Social Credit party, are discussed. In eachof these three political movements links to the present-day Reform party can befound, most notably in the existence of a populist support base and an incipient risein popular support. Second, the views of Reform leader Preston Manning will beinvestigated through autobiographical and secondary material. Given theprominent role played by this leader in the development of the party, Manning’sviews on political issues are central to a discussion of the Reform party. Third, theplatforms and policies of the party will be examined. Since Reform is billed as aparty of principle, its policies are clearly delineated and promoted alongside theparty philosophy. Consequently, these positions tend to be well-known anddiscussed by the press, political commentators, and citizens alike. In attempting todecipher people’s views of the party, Reform platforms are therefore of centralimportance. Lastly, popular media coverage provides a further perspective on theparty. While coverage of the Reform party after its inception appeared mostly inwestern publications, national press coverage increased with its steady rise in thepoiis during the inter-election period. Together these four areas will provide anoutline or picture of the Reform party.3Historical Political MovementsA discussion of the origins and nature of the Reform party can scarcely take placewithout the mention of its distinct roots - prairie populism, western alienation andPreston Manning’s familial link to Albertan politics. The Progressive movementwhich emerged in the 1920’s was, like the Reform party, a national movement whichfound strong support in Alberta. Rising quickly, the Progressive anti-partyprinciples and commitment to recall procedures for MP’s set it aside from the tenetsof the Liberal and Conservative parties. The United Farmers of Alberta espousedpopulist principles which are similar to those now championed by Reform: the beliefin delegate democracy, dissatisfaction with the party system and the unprincipled,brokerage tendencies of the traditional parties. The UFA leaders also shunned thecompetitive nature of the party system, preferring a cooperative interaction betweenoccupational groups. The Reform party appears to be most closely linked to theSocial Credit party in Alberta. Although the Social Credit movement was inspiredby theories that opposed to the power of financial and business interests, it laterevolved into a right-wing, business-oriented party whose anti-interventionist tenetsare now held by the Reform party. The leader of the Alberta Social Credit party andpremier for 25 years, Ernest Manning, is the father of Reform leader PrestonManning, and the similarities in their political philosophies have resulted in a closelinkage between the parties they led. The Progressive, United Farmers of Alberta,and Social Creditparties are linked by their rapid rise to prominence, desire forpolitical and economic change, and their populist origins, all of which arehistorically important features in this discussion of the Reform party. The populistelement is perhaps the most important of these, and the rubric of populism will bequalified and explored.4In sorting out the roots of the disparate reform movements, a useful distinction isoutlined by Flanagan and Lee in their paper “The Roots of Reform”.1 Two majorcategories of populism are considered- agrarian and political. Agrarian populismincludes the farmers’ and peasants’ movements and is “constituted by the radicalismof commodity producers” and relates to efforts by “the people’ to gain control of theeconomy”2.Political populism is rooted in a concern about the relationship betweenelites and the populace, and embodies those movements “that aim at givingsubstance to the democratic ideal of ‘government by the people”3. Thus, movementswhich call for a more direct style of government, such as the use of recall, directlegislation, and referenda, exhibit traits of political populism. Populist movementsare usually fuelled by political or economic grievances, which reach a certain boilingpoint and may be effectively translated into political action. The populistmovements discussed here have some common roots of alienation which areassociated with both economic and political relationships.The Progressive, United Farmers of Alberta, and Social Credit movements will bediscussed, followed by an examination of points of comparison with the Reformparty. This discussion of these prairie populist movements must begin with anaccount of western grievances after Confederation, several decades before thecreation of the prairie provinces. Many economic and political grievances emergedin response to Canadian nation-building initiatives. The National Policy of 1879 setthe stage for a pattern of asymmetrical trading conditions, establishing a regime ofprotected trade for eastern manufactured products while western farmers had tocontend with the vagaries of the international markets. By the 1920’s, the1 Thomas Flanagan and Martha Lee “The Roots of Reform”, paper presented to the Canadian PoliticalScience Association, June 1992.p. 17.3 fl4. p. 18.5Progressives were to capitalize on these economic grievances, showingunprecedented support for a third party on the national scene.In his book on the Progressives, Morton pinpoints the failure of the nation to assentto reciprocity in the 1911 election as a turning point in the strength of the farmers’resentment.4 The outcome of this decision was to preserve the east-west flow oftrade, making it difficult for prairie farmers sell south of the border. The wholeregime of protected trade, the terms of which seemed unalterable and unfair towestern producers, was seen as consistent with a political system that rewardedestablished parties and interests to the detriment of fair policies. Othercontroversies emerged during the war and post-war period. The call in the west forProhibition threatened to disrupt the few old-party ties that had existed.5 The warproduced an inflationary period which eroded the standard of living, a hardship feltparticularly by the farmers and workers. The close of the war signalled a return tothe safety of economic nationalism. As in many populist and revolutionarymovements, adverse economic conditions produced the impetus for politicalmobilization.The Progressives constituted an anti-party movement which shunned central controlin favour of constituency autonomy. This party bubbled up from a surge in supportfor farmers’ parties provincially during the 1910’s and went on to claim 65 seats inthe 1921 federal election.6 The Progressives declined official opposition statusdespite being the second-largest party in the House of Commons. As a party ofprinciple, the caucus did not seek engage in power alliances, but nonethelessW.L. Morton The Progressive Party in Canada (Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 1950) p. 27.p. 28.p. 127.6managed to influence policy and address some of the western grievances that hadbeen in evidence for decades. Given that the Progressives controlled a westernblock in the House of Commons, the party was able to force a slight lowering oftariffs, the completion of the Hudson Bay railroad, and adoption of the NaturalResources Transfer Act, which gave Alberta and Saskatchewan control over theirnatural resources.7 Although the Progressive party survived only a decade, duringwhich time its major policy demands were usurped and implemented by the KingLiberals, the party’s rise signified the rejection of colonial status by the west and theassertion of its political strength.During the time of the Progressive good fortunes, another agrarian populist partyemerged to take power in Alberta. After World War I, a number of farmers’ partiessprung up in the provinces of Ontario, Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and NewBrunswick. The United Farmers of Alberta (UFA), one of the more electorallysuccessful farmer groups, governed the province from 1921 until 1935. The UFA,like the Progressives, rejected strong party allegiance and its attendants, patronageand corruption. Greater independence for elected members was also advocated.The UFA found economic solace in party president Henry Wise Wood’s theories of acooperative “group government”. In his anti-party model, representation in thelegislature was to be based on occupational groups.8 This theory of groupgovernment clashed with the requirements of the cabinet system of government,and UFA ideals were found to be impractical whilst in power. The UFA, again likethe Progressives, fought for the reduction of tariffs, freight rates and other nationaleconomic policies. During the Depression, when Albertans became preoccupied7W.L. Morton “The Progressive Tradition in Canadian Politics” in Party Politics in Canada(Scarborough: Prentice-Hall, 1991) p. 319 and Sydney Sharpe and Don Braid Storming Babylon(Toronto: Key Porter, 1992) p. 62.8 C.B. MacPherson Democracy in Alberta (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1962) p. 38-46.7with the monetary theories of Social Credit as an explanation for their financialwoes, the UFA was swept from office in favour of another populist movement.Although the UFA and Social Credit were responding to similar economic andpolitical grievances in Alberta, their histories reflect two different styles of populism.Populist movements in Canadian, and particularly western Canadian, history havethe prism-like quality of seeming to possess contradictory traits. Left and rightwings are mingled, anti-capitalist views exist alongside anti-socialist views, andtraditionalism and radicalism are fused in one movement. Nowhere was this moretrue than in the case of the Social Credit movement in Alberta. Initially, the SocialCredit movement was fuelled by a desire to reconstruct the Canadian monetarysystem. It was anti-financier in rhetoric and anti-capitalist in ethic. At the sametime, the sworn enemy of its founders, William Aberhart and Ernest Maiming, wasgodless communism or “communistic socialism”. Despite a commitment to thepower of the people and the approval of recall measures, Aberhart was noted to bequite authoritarian in his running of the party and the province. Indeed, it is oftennoted that Aberhart managed to repeal the recall provisions in Alberta just as he wasabout to be recalled by his constituents. Billing itself as an anti-party movement, a“league”, the Social Credit party in Alberta set a Canadian record in presiding overthe longest reign in the province’s history (1935-1971).The Social Credit Party embodied both agrarian and democratic strains of populism,although the former was a more compelling force in the party’s support. In the earlydays of the movement, shortly after the ravages of the Depression, the impetus forthe Social Credit League came from discontented farmers in Alberta who found inAberhart’s version of Douglas Social Credit theory both a diagnosis and prescriptionfor their economic problems. MacPherson notes,8Not only did [Social Credit theory] promise economic relief, italso could provide an explanation of the apparently senselesscatastrophic world in which more and more Albertans foundthemselves grouping for understanding and hope.9During the thirties, Alberta’s economy was based overwhelmingly on farming andcomposed of independent producers. The economic conditions had quicklydeteriorated during the Depression- the price of wheat was low, foreclosures werecommon, and the ruling UFA government was able to do little for the farmers. Theravages of the depression were serious and widely felt in Alberta, conditions thatwere ripe for a radical new political movement. That the ruin seemed to beuniversal reinforced the notion on the part of the farmers that something was“wrong” with the system.The stimulus for the rise of the Social Credit Party was created by agrariandiscontent, evident in the farmer/producer concerns. The primary vehicle forchange was Social Credit’s monetary reform - the distribution of the ‘unearnedincrement’ of the eastern bankers and financiers. Complementing this was a claimfor fair national treatment vis-à-vis tariff and transportation policies. In retrospect,this was a far more rational and credible claim than the monetary demands of SocialCredit. The prevailing trade policy was based still on the 1879 National Policy, withfreight rates set by the government. The western farmers were effectively left withno choice in either transportation costs or their markets, and were forced to buymanufactured products from Central Canada. The trade issue continued to be agrievance in the west, despite the Progressive successes in effecting change duringits time in parliament.9C.B. MacPherson Democracy in Alberta (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1962) p. 145.9Although the rule of the Social Credit party far exceeded the lives of theProgressives and UFA, it was the party that remained least faithful to its initialmandate. Its promises of monetary action were found to be unconstitutional and, inany case, outside the jurisdiction of the province of Alberta. Although the party haddemocratic populist roots, it also possessed technocratic ideals which left theimportant policy details to the “experts’, and in practice followed an elitist model ofrepresentation. Thus, the democratic populism was ultimately a less important forcein the party, with the Social Credit premiers running orthodox governments withlittle to distinguish them from their provincial counterparts.Many common threads are woven through the histories of these three westernprotest parties - the Progressives, the UFA, Social Credit - and clear comparisonswith the Reform Party may be made. Some reoccurring themes are noted. Bothagrarian populism (concern with production and trade) and democratic populism(concern for democratic reforms) are in evidence in these three movements. A senseof regional alienation is strong, and economic problems are held to exist as a resultof a particular political or economic system (usually involving unfair advantage).Calls for radical systemic change are seen as necessary to resolve grievances. Anti-party sentiments are present in all of these movements, combined at times with therejection of the competitive party system and cabinet system of government. Thereis a resistance to centralization in government, and emphasis on the individual asthe relevant political unit.The Reform party’s raison d’etre is clearly linked to these political grievances. Thedriving force behind the organization of the party was a pervasive westernalienation (“the West wants in”), accompanied by demands for a Triple F Senate,which would better represent the smaller provinces in the Upper House and10eliminate patronage appointments. The traditional fear of domination by Quebecand Ontario is also present in Reform, although it is expressed in the desire not tocater any further to Quebec’s political and constitutional demands. Laissez faireeconomic principles are also strongly embraced, largely consistent with the years ofSocial Credit rule under Ernest Manning. The farmers’ movements (the Progressivesand UFA) and early Social Credit doctrine actually demanded more interventioninto the economy, in contravention of a uniform ‘right wing’ philosophy, butconsistent with populist claims that the economy was being controlled by hostileoutside forces.1° In terms of trade, however, the free-trading stance of theProgressives and UFA is reiterated in the Reform party, since the West’s economicinterests have traditionally been served by a liberal trading regime. The decreasedrole of agriculture in the economy and the move to a freer trade regime has reducedthe force of agrarian discontent. One would imagine that democratic populism istherefore more of a factor than agrarian populism in accounting for the rise inReform support.A crucial difference between the Progressives, the UFA, Social Credit, and Reform isnoted by Therese Arseneau, namely, that the support for the first three movementsinitially bubbled up from the citizenry, whereas the important tenets of the ReformParty seem to be mostly the product of Preston Manning’s years of politicalobservation and thought.11 A reading of Ernest Manning’s 1967 book PoliticalRealignment, which strongly presages the Reform party, reinforces this point. SincePreston Manning has been steeped in the history of populist movements, and grown10Thomas Flanagan and Martha Lee “The Roots of Reform”, paper presented to the Canadian PoliticalScience Association, June 1992, p. 17.Therese Arseneau “The Reform Party of Canada: The Secret of its ‘Success”, paper presented to theCanadian Political Science Association, June 1991, p. 10.11up with a Social Credit government, he is no stranger to the waves of westernpopulism.The Reform party has provided a vehicle for the expression of past (but perennial)populist demands. The most salient features of these demands are the rejection ofstrict party discipline and the methods of the ‘old-line’ parties, the emphasis oneffective government which is free of patronage and corruption, in the call for betterwestern representation. Some new issues have also found their way onto theReform plank, issues that did not exist during the last wave of western populism.The call for an end to the political coddling of Quebec is a salient part of the party’smandate. As well, the abolishment of ethnic or racial differentiation in governmentpolicies (in aboriginal affairs, or multiculturalism programs) and the desire tocontrol and reduce federal spending are relatively new issues that did not figure inearlier populist revolts.Preston ManningNew political parties tend to be inspired by leaders who wield considerableinfluence in their creation. A strong leader has the ability to leave his mark on theorganization and principles of the movement. In comparison to the leaders ofestablished parties, the men and women who lead new political parties have a fargreater influence: they are not merely stepping into roles that have been defined byprevious generations, but forging their own ideals and conventions without muchhistorical precedent. The Reform party presents a good example of this observation.The influence of Preston Manning within his own party is vast, and therefore thisstudy of the Reform party gives consideration to his political values and outlook.Manning’s political views will be examined by looking at his early political12education and ideals as expressed in the 1967 work Political Realignment, whichwas researched by Prestion and written by his father, Premier Ernest Manning.Preston Manning’s career in the consulting business and his business connectionswill then be examined, followed by an investigation of his personal beliefs.In examining the beliefs of Preston Manning, one cannot help but be struck by theinfluence of his father, whose views are apparent in the younger Manning and in theReform principles. During Ernest Manning’s reign as Premier of Alberta, he led agovernment which resisted the growth of the welfare state and the notion thatgovernment should provide universal, centralized social programs. “Medicare”, acentrepiece of Canadian values, was opposed by Ernest Manning in the sixties, aswas the federal bilingualism project embodied in the Official Languages Act. Thetwo Mannings share the same religious background, have similar ideas about therole of government intervention into the economy and society, and together ran aconsulting company, M&M Systems Research. In college, the younger Manningstudied physics and economics, and was particularly interested in the use of privatesector applications to solve social problems. This approach or philosophy wascaptured in the term “social conservatism”, which was embraced by the Mannings inan effort to make the Social Credit Party more palatable to the younger generation.During the sixties, when public attention became focused on the civil rightsmovement in the United States, and racial, gender, and class-based inequities,Preston Manning sought to address these salient issues in order to bring the SocialCredit approach ‘up to date’.The social conservatism idea and other political ideas were expounded in a 1967book called Political Realignment. This work is an interesting read today, as it ispredictive in nature. Political Realignment calls for the formal reorganization of the13federal Conservative Party together with conservative elements in the Social Creditand Liberal parties to form a principled, fiscally responsible, policy-oriented party ofthe right. This proposed party was to bring into political action previouslyunconunitted groups, among them i) young people, ii) New Canadians, iii) thepolitically disillusioned and iv) the politically uninvolved.12 Written during a timeof disorganization in the Conservative political party, just prior to the leadershipconvention of 1967, Ernest Manning feared that the divided and unpreparedconservatives would be forever confined to opposition status.In Political Realignment, the Social Conservative position is presented in contrast tothe collectivist “humanitarian socialist” tradition. The author(s) state that Canadiansdesirethe development of a new political ideology which will harnessthe energies of a free enterprise- private economic sector to thetask of attaining many of the social goals which humanitariansocialists have long advocated.13Social conservative ideals embrace the preservation of individual liberty, includingfreedom of thought and respect for cultural and intellectual diversity. Theindividual, rather than the collective or aggregate, is acknowledged as the primarysocial unit. Government is given a supporting rather than domineering role in thedevelopment and preservation of national resources, and in the well-being ofindividuals. Fiscally responsible government is stressed, and a “systems approach”to public policies is recommended, in recognition of the interrelationship between allparts of a social or economic system.14 The articulation of the social conservativeposition warns against collectivism and the by-products of utopian thinking andcoercive government.12E.C. Manning Political Realignment (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1967) p. 27.p. 62.14p,jd p. 65-68.14What stands out about this work is the similarity between the prescribed course ofthe proposed Social Conservative party and the Reform party. Reform rose toprominence because of widespread disillusionment with the federal Conservativeparty and its nine-year rule. It emerged as a party of principle, committed to aplatform of liberal individualism, fiscal responsibility, and less government. Reformgained support from the politically disillusioned and the politically uninvolved(although not the young and New Canadians). The role of western alienation is notpredicted, perhaps because Political Realignment was directed at the ConservativeParty with a view to national goals. Quebec’s role within Confederation and theConstitution are not mentioned, for at that time the issue had not yet risen tonational prominence.Political Realignment also brings home the point that Preston Manning (and hisfather) have been working on the concept of Reform for over 25 years. PrestonManning, a self-described student of prairie populism, vowed in his youth to waitfor the next populist movement to become involved in politics. He writes,By 1986, there were signs that another populist movement was inthe making in western Canada. When these signs were confirmedthrough consultations with others across the West, a number ofus undertook to provide a new political vehicle through whichthat movement could express itself in the federal arena. That ishow the Reform Party of Canada was born.15This account helps to explain why a young man, bright, apparently keenlyinterested in public affairs, and from a profoundly political family, would stay out ofelected politics until the age of forty-five. One exception to this portrayal is thatPreston Manning ran for federal office in 1965 under the Social Credit banner,15Preston Manning The New Canada (Toronto: MacMillan, 1992), p. 7.15promoted by his father who was then still Premier of Alberta. Maiming finished “adistant second”.16 The possibility of political leadership emerged again in 1968,upon the retirement of Ernest Manning, but the younger Manning’s politicalinexperience made him a poor candidate for the premiership. The support of theManning clan went instead to cabinet member Harry Strom.’7Having opted for a non-political path, Preston Manning then went into privatebusiness. As befits an individual interested in private sector initiatives andindividualistic solutions to public problems, Preston Maiming has spent a number ofyears engaged in both areas. His political thinking has centered on a “systemsanalysis” approach to problem-solving, which he also used in his business, aconsulting firm. An ecological approach, systems analysis relies on determinationand quantification of relationships, and analysis of potential outputs given a certainset of inputs. This method was used in two early projects by Preston Manning, anAlberta White Paper on Human Resource Development and a booklet called Requests forProposals and Social Contracts. This systematic approach is consistent with a mindinterested in physics and economics- it is reductionist in nature, and simplifiesrelationships in order to test the results of various changes to the system. Sharpeand Braid note that “[tihe White Paper is packed with organization charts and thepeculiar argot of systems analysis, Preston Manning’s great enthusiasm of the day”and also suggest that the Mannings’ belief in a divine religious order led them tolook for “its reflection in earthly systems”.’8 The Request for Proposals paperoutlines the privatization of many government services, including education andhealth care. It describes “a massive contracting out of services across the board and16Preston Manning The New Canada (Toronto: MacMillan, 1992), p. 37.‘7Sydney Sharpe and Don Braid Storming Babylon (Toronto: Key Porter, 1992) P. 37.18p3j p. 57.16re-defines and limits the role of government to ‘management”.19 Modeled ondevelopments in the U.S. aerospace industry, the aim of the proposal was to deliverservices at the lowest cost, reduce government bureaucracy, and leave initiative andcontrol in the hands of individuals. This model is criticized as being impractical,increasing rather than decreasing the influence of civil servants, and flawed in itsassumption that decentralized, private organizations are able to produce theservices required.These private sector ideals, sustained by the Social Credit Party under ErnestManning and applied to social services by Preston and the “young Turks” of theSocial Credit Party in the 1960’s, can be seen as main tenets of Reform partyprinciples today. The Reform party emphasizes the provision of public services onlywhere the private market has failed, and stresses private initiative as an alternativeto government-run job creation programs. The ‘systems analysis approach isevident in the party’s internal policy memos which entail extensive analysis ofcurrent public problems and government expenditures, complete with charts,graphs, and succinct solution proposals.Preston Manning’s business experience has incorporated some of his own socialconservatism principles. For over fifteen years, Manning was involved incommunity development work in the Slave Lake area, organizing financial andtechnical support with a view to real estate and housing developments. WhileMurray Dobbin sees Slave Lake Developments (SLD) as a vehicle for getting largeoil companies a foothold in the development door over and above the interests ofaboriginal people, Manning’s own account reflects his interest in the functioning of19Murray Dobbin Preston Manning and the Reform Party (Toronto: Lorimer, 1991) p. 47.17social conservatism.20 “[T]he dual objectives of Slave Lake Developmentsrepresented an attempt to synthesize social and economic objectives within acorporate vehicle.”21 The enterprise was plagued by conflicts of interest, due mainlyto the fact that local leaders who were involved in the development projects alsoserved in the municipal levels of government. Sharpe and Braid describe Manning’sinvolvement as befitting a dedicated and idealistic person. They admit that SLDprospered during the 1970’s and 80’s, possibly due to the Manning name andconnections, but also owing to diligence and hard work. Whether the projectrepresented a triumph for the private enterprise social conservative model is notentirely clear, since it solicited funds from the government, and then profited fromrenting its properties to government departments.Preston Manning’s detractors are pleased to emphasize his business - and bigbusiness - connections, which are a somewhat incongruous link for a populistleader. Manning has been involved with such groups as the Business Council onNational Issues, the National Citizens’ Coalition, and has been friendly with thekind of “50 Big Shots” the Social Credit party had railed against for years.23 Adetailed investigation of Reform party links has been made by Dobbin, and includelarge oil companies; pro-(apartheid) South Africa connections; the National FirearmsAssociation, the Heritage Front; the Alliance for the Preservation of English inCanada; anti-abortion groups; and William Gairdner, whose recent best-selling bookdetails a cultural protectionism which seems to appeal to many Canadians.2420Murray Dobbin Preston Maiming and the Reform Party (Toronto: Lorimer, 1991) p. 62.21Preston Maiming The New Canada (Toronto: MacMillan, 1992), p. 60.22Sydney Sharpe and Don Braid Storming Babylon (Toronto: Key Porter, 1992) p. 118.23p,ja p. 108.24Murray Dobbin Preston Manning and the Reform Party (Toronto: Lorimer, 1991) p. 86-115.18While the party’s right-wing links are exposed as evidence of extremism, Manning’spersonal behaviour seems beyond reproach. As should befit a devout Christian,Preston Manning is reputed to be a kind and generous person. He is not concernedwith amassing wealth, as evidenced for example by the meagre-salaried work donefor SLD, and lives a quiet and modest life. Despite allegations of racism, oftendirected toward him personally, Manning is reported to give utmost respect to allpeople, regardless of race. His fundamentalist Christian religion has also beenraised as an issue for public concern, but Manning maintains that the Reform partydoes not have a hidden religious agenda. As a practicing Christian, he believes thathis values have an impact on his views, as there is no such thing as a “value-free”politician.25Preston Manning’s personal views and background provide a good explanation ofthe history behind the Reform party. The impact of this leader’s views on the partyis evidenced by the similarity between the ideas expounded in Political Realignmentand the present day Reform party. The examination of Manning’s early years andconsulting career reveals that he has developed and remained faithful to some basictenets. These principles figure prominently in the Reform party, from the emphasison “less government”, frugality and efficiency in government services, to thedecentralized, community provision of welfare services and to Manning’s keeninterest in public problem-solving. One must conclude that the Reform party,although founded in 1987, began long ago in the mind of its leader, and has evolvedunder his close direction.25Preston Manning The New Canada (Toronto: MacMifian, 1992), p. 100.19Reform Party PlatformsThe platforms and policies of the Reform party will be outlined, based on officialdocuments from the party. The material is divided into the following areas: (i)economic policy, (ii) social policy, and (iii) political and constitutional reforms. Forthe sake of brevity, the general principles of the party will be noted, followed byspecific policy pronouncements on some issues.Economic PolicyThe Reform Party’s economic policies are based predominantly on free marketprinciples. Economic efficiency provides the basis for economic reform, asinefficient allocation of capital due to public intervention is minimized oreliminated. These inefficiencies are minimized through the elimination of transfersto business, the simplification of the tax system, and the reduction of regulatorybarriers to business and trade. Reformers believe that initiative and the creation ofwealth and employment rest in the hands of private citizens rather thangovernments. Therefore, “job creation” programs are notably absent. The economicreforms proposed are philosophically coherent and theoretically sound (at a basiceconomic level), although if carried out, such policies would drastically alter thecurrent expenditure regime. This is the intended effect, as along with concern foreconomic efficiency the centrepiece of Reform economic policy is the elimination ofannual deficits and the public debt.“The Reform Party supports depoliticizing economic decision making in Canadathrough the long-term elimination of grants, subsidies, and pricing policies and allfederal taxes... imposed on the natural resources of the provinces, other than incometax of general application.” 26 This separation of politics and economics pervades26Reform Party of Canada Principles and Policies: The Blue Book (Calgary, 1991) p. 13.20Reform policy, the assumption being that economic decision making in the hands ofbureaucrats is wasteful and ultimately too costly. Development funds for businessesor regions are not supported by the party, nor are business subsidies in the form oftax expenditures. The privatization of Crown corporations is advocated, includingCanada Post and Petro-Canada.27Contrary to the desires of previous prairie populist movements, a cheap food policyis endorsed by the party, with a gradual phasing out of subsidies, and thenegotiation of agreements with our trading partners. If subsidies or unfair tradingpractices are in evidence, countervail duties may be imposed. As well, the partyrecommends a privately run “Income Averaging Fund” so that farmers may beprotected from the vagaries of international markets.28 As with agriculturalproducts, Reform energy policy is guided by “market mechanisms with the objectiveof meeting the demands of consumers for safe, secure supplies of energy atcompetitive prices.”29 Private sector mega-projects are approved, excludinggovernment involvement in the form of special tax treatment, subsidies and loanguarantees.3°The Reform party endorses a tax system which conforms to a few simple principles.The party proposes to “work toward a simple, visible, and flat rate system oftaxation” •31 It opposes the use of tax expenditures to mold economic decisionmaking, and the use of tax credits generally.p. 22.28Reform Party of Canada Reform Party Agricultural Task Force (1993) Appendix II, p. 1.29Reform Party of Canada Principles and Policies: The Blue Book (Calgary, 1991) p. 15-17.30 p. 17.31Reform Party of Canada Election Platform of the Reform Party of Canada, January 29, 1993, p. 1.21Prominent election issues during the 1993 campaign included unemployment or jobcreation and the deficit. Reform’s policy linked the two questions, holding thatdeficit reduction would encourage stimulation of the private sector, where most jobswould be created.32 The party’s deficit reduction plan would eliminate the annualdeficit in three years, the most drastic plan of all the federal parties. This plan wasslated to cut $19 billion over three years, from Unemployment Insurance, Old AgeSecurity, transfers to the provinces, subsidies to businesses and groups, andgovernment operations.33Social policyReform social policies are linked to the party’s economic policies for both practicaland philosophical reasons. Given that health, education, and transfers toindividuals represent the most costly budget items, the goal of balancing the budgetcannot be entertained without cuts in social spending. As well, the Reform party isagainst bureaucratic controls and the current spread of the welfare state, preferringprivate market solutions over public provision of goods. The Blue Book states, “TheReform Party opposes the view of universal social programs run by bureaucrats arethe best and only way to care for the poor, the sick, the old, and the young.” andcalls upon the private sector, communities, and non-governmental organizations toreassume their social service roles.34 However, the party advocates theestablishment or funding of public goods where private markets are incapable ofproviding the kinds of services required. This approach echoes the “social” of thesocial conservatism movement, although the tag has not been revived for its place inReform. As with private industry, the main thrust of Reform social restructuring is32The Globe and Mail, October 5, 1993, p. A4.33The Globe and Mail, September 23, 1993, p. A16.34Reform Party of Canada Principles and Policies: The Blue Book (Calgary, 1991) p. 28.22to ensure future viability by removing inefficiencies, curtailing expansionisttendencies, and reducing the role of government. Universality, a sacred cow ofCanadian programs, is sacrificed where local management is perceived to be moreefficient.The Reform party stance on Medicare is that the provinces should be able to controland direct their own system without penalty by the Canada Health Act. This wouldnot preclude the use of user fees, extra billing, or the private provision of healthcare. The party does not advocate decreased health spending in order to reduce thedeficit. Reform favours an immigration policy which responds to Canada’seconomic needs, accepting immigrants who have skills needed by the Canadian jobmarket.35 In the context of the current recession, Reform recommends reducingimmigration levels from the current 250,000 to 100,000 or 150,000 a year. The BlueBook also advocates the ratification of major changes to immigration policy byreferendum. The subsidy cutting platform of the party is extended to all interestgroups and associations now receiving payment.Cuts to social programs are proposed in order to reduce government costs, topreserve them by making them economically viable. This is a different rationalefrom that expressed by the Mannings in the 1960’s, namely that universal socialprograms replace community supports and increase centralization by governments.However, the Reform approach to social spending corresponds well to the debtissue, and its number one focus is that, for fiscal reasons alone, governments cannotcontinue to spend as they did in the past.35Reform Party of Canada Caucus Issue Statement Noi February 22, 1992.23Political and Constitutional ReformsThe Reform party has enunciated a number of democratic reforms andconstitutional platforms which are entirely consistent with its populist roots. Whereother areas of policy have carefully worked out proposals, the political reforms deferto the “will of the people”. As stated in the Blue Book,We believe in the common sense of the common people, theirright to be consulted on public policy matters before majordecisions are made, their right to choose their own leaders and togovern themselves through truly representative and responsiveinstitutions, and their right to directly initiate legislation forwhich substantial public support is demonstrated.36The democratic reforms enunciated by the party are generally well-known and haveformed a part of the founding myth of the party: more free votes in Parliament; theuse of binding referenda, particularly on moral issues such as abortion and capitalpunishment; voters’ initiatives pending the support of 3% of the electorate; theinstitution of recall procedures against Members of Parliament; and the requirementof fixed election dates. The political reforms desired by the Reform party are morereminiscent of UFA and Progressive practices than those of the Social Credit party.They defer to the popular will and aim to break down party allegiance in favour ofconstituency or personal preference.Reform’s constitutional reforms have achieved some prominence, in part becausethey are quite different from the positions of the other major parties, whichgenerally support current parliamentary practices. The Reform party opposed theMeech Lake Accord and the Charlottetown Accord. The party advocates the Triple ESenate, a longstanding constitutional demand of Alberta and the West. Popular36Reform Party of Canada Principles and Policies: The Blue Book (Calgary, 1991) p. 9.24ratification of all constitutional amendments is recommended, passing with a simplemajority in two-thirds of the provinces. The constitutional process should be“bottom up”, beginning with constitutional conventions. A “property rights” clausein the Charter of Rights is advocated, a longtime concern of Preston Manning.37 In1971, Manning was involved in an unsuccessful campaign to get property rightsincluded in the Victoria Charter.38 Perhaps the most salient constitutional plank inthe Reform platform is its position on Quebec. The party is opposed to special statusfor Quebec, and favours a constitutional negotiation once Quebeckers haveindicated their desire to remain in Canada. The Reform party is in favour of “a newrelationship... between aboriginal peoples and the Government of Canada”, whichincludes the elimination of the Department of Indian Affairs and NorthernDevelopment. Although the party does not reject “Aboriginal self-government” perse, it poses a number of questions about democratic accountability, legal equality,and cost sharing in future aboriginal developments.39As can be seen from this brief survey of Reform platforms, the party is very muchconcerned with policy. It has issued a detailed stance on nearly every facet ofpolicymaking, except “women’s issues” which it believes to be an erroneous class ofpolicy concerns. Many Reform policies constitute ‘pet issues’ of Preston Manning inthe past - property rights, the removal of business subsidies, and the privatization ofcertain public services. The policies of the Reform party have for the most part beenmolded in the image of the leader.37Reform Party of Canada Caucus Issue Statement No. 21, February 22, 1992.38Sydney Sharpe and Don Braid Storming Babylon (Toronto: Key Porter, 1992) p. 109.39Reform Party of Canada Caucus Issue Statement No. 1Q, November 20, 1991.25Popular CommentaryThis section presents a look at the media coverage of the Reform party, from itsinception to the end of the 1993 federal election campaign. From the beginning, theReform Party has been both cheered and derided by the media. Much of thepopular focus has centered on Reform policies, since they are a highly visible sourceof party philosophy. The nature of the Reform membership has also attracted muchattention, as the party’s billings ranged from an innocuous western fringe party, to aChristian fundamentalist party, to a party of racists and extremists. At the sametime, the party was commended for its leadership by the well-established, albeitconservative, interests of the country.During the first few years of the party’s history, Reform enjoyed broad andfavourable coverage in Alberta Report, from the initial gathering of the movementthrough to the 1988 and 1993 federal elections. In 1988, then-External Affairsminister Joe Clark touted his constituency rival’s party as “a western fringe party”concerned with issues that are “relegated to the margins of the national agenda”.4°The Reform party has been better regarded in the West, and in Alberta, thanelsewhere in the country, and this is reflected in news coverage of the party.Political events such as the collapse of the Meech Lake Accord in June, 1990, and theimposition of the GST in 1991 snowballed into a mass of resentment by the early1990’s. Reform’s 1991 decision to extend the party into Ontario and the Atlanticregion reflected its new popularity in other parts of the country. Controversialelements of the Reform platform then became the subject of debate among theparty’s supporters and detractors, particularly its policies on immigration, interestgroups, the deficit, and Quebec. Despite popularity and polite audiences in the40Western Report, June 6, 1988, p. 16.26business sectors and conservative suburbs of Toronto, the Reform party wasstrongly resented by the more liberal elements. Manning’s appearance at theUniversity of Toronto in 1991 was marked by angry protesters and charges ofracism, revealing Toronto as a much different ballpark from Calgary. However,parts of the Reform theme rang true with Canadians in every province, whichallowed for an extended honeymoon period, particularly with the businesscommunity and tax-weary voter:As long as the public’s deep disgust over the methods employedin trying to impose Meech Lake remains Mr. Manning will likelymeet enthusiasm wherever he goes. A return to honest,straightforward politics with meaningful involvement by thevoter has been identified by pollsters as the number one concernof the Canadian public.41The conservative nature of the Reform membership is revealed in a story on theparty’s attempts to solicit opinion on women’s issues. A “women’s work group”was assembled and organized a mail out package that contained “presentations onemployment equity and pay equity, family violence, and women’s health care”, withposition papers by feminist advocates. The members were shocked and rejected thenotion that such issues are the domain of women, seemingly unwilling to acquaintthemselves with the literature.42 Although not official policy, the party has beenrepeatedly linked to an anti-abortion stance, traditional family roles, and thereinstitution of capital punishment, consistent with its ultra-conservative mediaimage.More recent attempts to broaden the party to appeal to a larger constituency ofopinion has caused some friction in the party. The hiring of Ottawa insider Rick4-Western Report, July 23, 1990, p. 15.42Western Report, December 10, 1990, p. 18.27Anderson for the 1993 campaign raised the concern of some members that control ofthe party was being wrenched from them, and that slick election tactics would makeReform look like a traditional political party.43When the success of Reform’s 1993 election drive into Ontario was seen in the poiis,the party was attacked by established political parties and interests. As DavidLaycock notes, “parties of the left and right witnessed hemorrhaging of theirtraditional voting base toward Reform. They responded with desperate attacks onthe Reform agenda, particularly on its prescriptions for the Canadian welfarestate.”44 When the electorate and media focus turned to policy issues, Reform foundits detailed proposals faring well against those of the other parties, particularly theConservative party which seemed to offer few concrete proposals until the lastminute. Chretien’s Keynesian job creation plan provided a foil for Manning and hisradical cuts. Maclean’s election coverage often featured the offerings of the fivefederal leaders, and once quoted Manning as saying, reminiscent of the folksy RossPerot, “Any politician who thinks you can stimulate a $700-billion economy withsome sewer projects... will believe you can start a 747 with a flashlight battery.”45The election coverage enabled Reform to appear as a serious contender, a nationalparty, even though it had western origins, was not running in Quebec, and itssupport seemed to be based in Alberta and British Columbia. Thanks to the BlocQuebecois’ secessionist constitutional position, Reform’s hard line on Quebecappeared less threatening. In any event, much of the election focus was on thedeficit and spending issues. Maclean’s noted, “Manning forced other politicians to43Maclean’s, August 9, 1993, p. 15; Western Report, September 6, 1993, P. 8.44David Laycock “Reforming Canadian Democracy? Institutions and Ideology in the Reform PartyProject” in Canadian Journal ofPolitical Science, June 1984, p. 1.45Maclean’s, September 20, 1993, p. 16.28at least set deadlines for their claims [on the deficit]. His arrival as a national forcemade a hawkish approach to deficit cutting the litmus test for aspiring leaders.”46Despite the praise bestowed on Reform for its serious attempts to address debtissues, the party was dogged during the campaign by allegations of extremism inthe party. Manning stated repeatedly that his party did not condone extremism andracism. The Globe and Mail noted,Although the strategic objective of Mr. Manning’s Ontario tourwas supposed to have been an attack on the Liberals as bigspenders who will run up taxes, the Reform Leader keptreturning to the attacks on his credibility and his party’s policies,especially regarding pensions and immigration.47Some Reform candidates reinforced the notion that the party was rampant withextremism. Candidate John Beck for York-Centre withdrew after a scandalinvolving anti-Jewish remarks to a York University paper, and other Reformcandidates were quoted making outlandish statements about immigrants, the role ofwomen, and the elderly.48 This kind of reporting resulted in a somewhat defensivecampaign, with Reform spin doctors working overtime.This investigation of Reform media coverage presents a multi-faceted view of theparty. The Reform party appears to invite both strong support and opposition forits policies. While the party’s deficit control plans earned high marks with thebusiness community and those concerned with the public debt, its policieseliminating subsidies and the party’s commitment to a homogenous citizenshipwere rejected by many of the groups. The Reform party enjoyed several honeymoon46Maclean’s, September 27, 1993, P. 33.47The Globe and Mail, October 20, 1993, p. AS.48The Globe and Mail, October 14, 1993, p. A6.29periods, particularly during episodes of disaffection with the Conservative party. Italso gained status as a ‘serious’ party during the election campaign with thepresentation of its deficit reduction plans and detailed assessments of the economy.These gains, however, were offset by some rocky periods prior to and during theelection period, in which extremist elements in the party, particularly in the Reformcandidates, were clearly visible.The Hypothetical Reform SupporterThe summary of views of the hypothetical Reform supporter will be presented withroughly the same format as the N.E.S. data, with the grouping of attitudes on (i)economic policies; (ii) social policies and moral issues; (iii) ethnic attitudes; (iv)degree of alienation; and (v) the demographic structure of support. Naturally, theextrapolation of the Reform supporter will present a more generalized picture thanin the presentation of N.E.S. data. It is supposed that the views of the Reformsupporter would match some or many of the characteristics described below.Furthermore, it is assumed that Reform supporters are actually aware of the party’sstated policies, and hold internally consistent views in political and economicmatters, which may or may not be true. In practice, a voter may, for example, stressfree market principles but be opposed to free trade between countries, or opposesubsidies to business while favouring the maintenance of agricultural subsidies.Based on the portrait of the Reform party in this chapter, the Reform supporter issomeone who is concerned about the federal debt and believes chronic deficitspending to be primarily a result of subsidies to various groups, governmentoverspending, and too heavy a reliance on welfare programs. In short, economicmismanagement - lack of foresight, patronage and politicking, the inability to30restructure priorities - is viewed as a serious flaw in the current system. Thesupporter is also likely to be aware of free market values, and view economicdislocations as the product of government interference and an inefficient allocationof resources. Comprehensive social programs, particularly welfare services, areperceived as expensive, overly bureaucratized and seen as creating dependency intheir populations. Universal health care may or may not be defended. Somegovernmental provision of health care is regarded as a fundamental Canadian value,and the supporter is concerned about the viability of the program as it currentlyexists. User fees are not rejected as incompatible with Canadian health care values.The extent to which Reform supporters are wedded to a free market explanation ofthe flow of goods and services is questionable, as few Canadian citizens would notbe adversely affected by the withdrawal of subsidies and government spending.Perhaps Reform supporters are drawn from those groups who would be leastaffected, such as the self-employed, the private sector, non-special interestaffiliated” citizens, the economically stable, and residents of the richer provinces. Inshort, those people who do not depend on government programs would be mostlikely to support Reform economic programs. The Reform supporter disagrees withthe GST and is pro-free trade (consistent with an anti-taxation and free marketstance), although the official policy of the party on the GST has been equivocal,opposing the tax but not favouring its abolition. (A survey of media reportssuggests that Reform support increased dramatically after the 1991 furor over theGST, particularly in Alberta which had no provincial sales tax.)The social and moral attitudes of the hypothetical Reform voter emerge as beingrather traditional. A conservative stand is found on moral issues, includinghomosexual rights (gay marriages and adoption), the position of women in society,and with regard to abortion and capital punishment. Although the party’s stance on31the last two issues is ambivalent, recommending a national plebiscite for thedetermination of policy, this in itself suggests disagreement with the present policy.The hypothetical Reform supporter favours a homogenous definition of citizenship,with no constitutional or legal differentiation between ethnic or cultural groups.Thus, special constitutional status for Quebec, the current regime of Indian Affairs,and future plans for aboriginal self-government are rejected. The Reform supportermay also harbor resentment against new immigrants and feel that these individuals,particularly the non-European immigrants, are financially burdensome to thecountry. The supporter is likely to favour a reduction in the number of immigrants.In terms of alienation, the Reform supporter is disgruntled with the way in whichpartisan politics is practiced in Canada. He is fed up with patronage, politicalwrangling and elitism, and believes that much of the difficulty in which Canadafinds itself (public debt, corruption, disaffection) is a result of these tendencies.Greater public input into government policy is desired, in order to lessen the powerof elites and interest groups.Although the demographics of Reform supporters and members have been thesubject of much speculation since the partys inception, on the eve of the 1993 federalelection the Reform supporter was perceived to be older (many retired), white, andmore likely to be male. Private sector or self-employed occupational status wasmore common than public sector, with greater support from non-union people. Theparty seemed to draw support from both high and low economic classes, includingboth workers and the professions. The support base was found primarily in theWest, particularly Alberta and British Columbia, but it also extended east intoOntario.32This Reform profile will now be compared with survey data from the 1993 NES inorder to review its validity, and to see if the Reform party’s popular image measuresup with the views of its supporters.33CHAPTER THREE: NATIONAL ELECTION STUDY DATAIntroductionWhere chapter two provided a profile of the Reform party through its history,leader, policies and media reports, the aim of this chapter is to investigate the viewsof Reform voters through data from the 1993 National Election Study. The NationalElection Study will be introduced along with an explanation of the statisticalprocedures used in this paper. The statistical data generated for this study will thenbe presented with a discussion of the similarities and differences in the image of theparty and its actual support base.The 1993 National Election StudyThe 1993 National Election Study represents the most recent incarnation of a seriesof studies funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council ofCanada (SSHRCC) and is administered and run by political scientists. The authorsof the 1993 NES are: Richard Johnston, Neil Nevitte, Henry E. Brady, ElisabethGidengil, and André Blais. The data consists of a set of responses from telephoneinterviews which were administered daily throughout the election period. The NESincludes response data from the 1992 Referendum campaign (conducted in October,1992) and the 1993 election and post-election periods. This study is particularlyvaluable because many respondents were interviewed for all three stages of thestudy, and this allows for comparison of attitudes across a volatile period inCanadian electoral politics from the summer of 1992 until late 1993. In that period,the electorate first defeated the constitutional referendum and then the Conservativegovernment. Both events saw major Reform advances for the party as the only one34to oppose the Referendum. The Reform party then vaulted into third place in theHouse of Commons, winning 52 seats.The data used in this study is based primarily on the 1993 NES. The tables of meansand crosstabulations are based on one common element: the recalled vote ofrespondents in the post-election study. This measure was crossed with a series ofquestions tapping respondents’ orientations on various personal and public policyissues. The responses span the election phase, the post-election phase, and theprevious year’s referendum phase of the NES. Since the orientations of respondentson public issues did not vary considerably during the election period (unlike theirfeelings about the leaders and vote intentions), the crosstabulation of the structure ofopinion in one phase with that in another phase is possible. This study is notconcerned with election dynamics, but rather the more long-term opinions ofrespondents. For greater clarity, Quebec respondents were omitted from thestatistical operations, since the Reform party did not run any candidates in thatprovince.Survey ResultsThe areas investigated are divided into the following groups: i. Economic policies, ii.Social and Moral issues, iii. Ethnic attitudes, iv. Alienation, and v. Demographics.The data presented in the tables focuses primarily on the row rather than columnpercentages, which measure the proportion of Reform-voting respondents for eachorientation expressed. For example, if Reform voters comprise 10% of unionizedrespondents and 20% of non-unionized respondents, then the link between a Reformvote and non-union membership is twice as strong as between a Reform vote andunion membership. Looking at row percentages rather than the straight or column35percentages (i.e. what % of Reform voters are unionized) puts the data in the contextof the entire electorate rather than merely looking at the Reform sample. The data asexpressed here deals with probabilities, and shows where the likelihood of votingReform is strong and where it is weak, given a particular policy orientation. Reformvoters made up approximately 26% of the respondents, as the figures excludeQuebec respondents. If no relationship existed between a vote for Reform and thesentiment described, the party would be equally well represented (approximately26%) in all categories. For the most part, data from the other parties is not shown inorder to concentrate on the Reform results. The sample size for each response isindicated in italics under the percentage figure, and the number of respondentsexpressing a particular orientation may be found by multiplying the percentagefigure by the sample size. Figures in bold highlight the sentiments that are most andleast strongly related to voting Reform. If the ratio of the Reform shares of polaropposite sentiments, for example, if personal finances got ‘better’ or ‘worse’ in thepast year, is greater than 1.5 (larger:smaller) then the figures in the tables arehighlighted. Some of the tables display mean “feeling thermometer” scores. TheNES feeling thermometer score questions ask the respondent to rate social andeconomic groups on a scale of 1 to 100, with 1 being the lowest and 100 the mostfavourable score. The Reform thermometer scores which reveal a 20% differenceabove or below the scores from respondents who voted for the other parties are alsohighlighted. Prior to exhibiting the data, the expectations of the Reformer will bebriefly recapitulated in each area. Except where otherwise indicated, the pronounshe or him refer to both men and women. The terms Reformer, Reform supporter,and Reform voter refer to those who voted for Reform in the 1993 election.36i. Economic policyBased on the findings of the previous chapter, it is expected that the Reformsupporter will emerge as fiscally conservative, wedded to the principles of economicliberalism. There will be an anti-government trace in his beliefs that governmentsfoster administrative and economic inefficiencies. The Reform supporter will beconcerned about the debt and excessive public spending. Consistent with theseeconomic priorities, the Reform supporter will want to minimize the role ofgovernment in the provision of service, and look to private initiative to provide thekinds of services that have traditionally been provided by the welfare state.Therefore, the Reform supporter is likely to favour spending cuts and therestructuring of social programs. The Reformer will be supportive of free trade, andis likely to be unsupportive of the Goods and Services Tax.Personal and Public Financial HealthReform voters emerge as being somewhat ambivalent about their financial situations- feelings about changes in their financial situations made little difference to thelikelihood of voting Reform. In some economic areas, optimism is strongly linked tovoting Reform, while in others Reform voters are more likely to be dissatisfied.Reform voters are different from Conservative voters in that the latter are muchmore likely to be supportive of the economic policies and initiatives of the formerConservative regime. Table 1 demonstrates that economic dissatisfaction indicatorswere largely irrelevant to voting Reform.37Table 1. Attitudes Toward Personal and Public Financial StateQuestion % Reform in each category(N)Better Same WorsePersonal finances past year 29.0 23.1 26.5487 506 2009Personal finances year from now 25.9 25.0 29.6478 1021 365Federal economic policies made you 18.8 25.3 27.385 975 897Economy of country past year 24.6 26.2 26.4172 581 1238Federal policies made country 25.0 23.2 29.0104 845 1005Economy of province past year 27.5 27.1 25.6182 484 1334In Table 1, the similarity in the row percentage figures for each question indicatethat, one way or another, these feelings were not likely to have determined a votefor Reform. The only figure worthy of note can be seen in the question regardingthe effect of federal economic policies on the respondent: Reform voters made up18.8% of respondents who felt that federal government policies had made them?bettern off, but 27.3% of those who felt that they had made them worse off, a ratioof 1:1.5. The reference to the “federal government” in that question perhapsunleashed the partisan sentiments of former Tories who defected to Reform. Thesimilarity of the figures in Table 1 suggests that there is in fact no obviousrelationship between voting Reform and the awareness of downward economicchange in either personal or public economies. Thus the economic protest/reformaspect of the Reform party cannot be accounted for by a precipitous decline in thefortunes of its supporters, nor by a sudden rise in economic standards.38Commercial PolicyIn the area of commercial policy, Reform voters were somewhat more likely tosupport as to oppose the substance and the principles of the Canada-U.S. and NorthAmerican Free Trade Agreements, although the differences are not conclusive (Table2).Table 2. Aftitudes Toward Commercial PolicyQuestion’ % Reform in each category(N)Support Neither OpposeCanada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement 31.6 39.7 21.8785 58 1101NAFTA 32.5 25.8 24.1530 31 1304Agree* Disagree*FTA necessary ensure large market 30.0 22.41055 720Unemployment up because of FTA 23.9 32.11387 492NAFTA necessary maintain position 27.8 24.7662 893Unemployment up under NAFTA 25.3 29.51286 505* somewhat and strongly categories merged.Based on this survey data, voting Reform emerges as consistent with support forfree trade, true to the hypothetical Reform voter. In each question, Reform votersare more likely than not to take up a position in favour of free trade, although thedifferences are not very pronounced. These figures also show a slightly better‘V Please refer to the Appendix for question wordings.39chance of Reform voters defending the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement than theNAFTA. A vote for Reform is not nearly as likely to be linked to support for freetrade policies as a Conservative vote. The Conservative vote in this survey is alsostrongly linked to a defense of Conservative government policies (Table 3).Table 3. Conservative Attitudes Toward Conservative Regime Economic PoliciesQuestion’1’ % Conservative in each category__(N)Better/Favour Same! Neither Worse!Opp.Federal policies made you 30.6 18.7 9.685 975 897Federal policies made country 42.3 18.8 9.1104 845 1005Canada-U.S. FTA 25.2 17.2 7.5785 58 1101NAFTA 24.7 22.6 10.7530 31 1304GST 26.0- 10.5557 1431Note: Quebec respondents not thcludedRespondents who voted for the Conservative party are two to four times more likelythan not to support the policies investigated in the survey. However, the (N)’s inTable 3 are very small for the “better/favour” response, in some cases one tenth thesize of the “worse/oppose” category. The table shows a strong allegiance to theConservative party on the part of its voters. The voters who left the Conservativeparty for Reform were likely motivated by something other than commercial policy,‘41Please refer to the Appendix for question wordings.40given that the Reform party’s ethic more or less supports Conservative economicpolicies.Fiscal PolicyA third area of economic policy may be labelled as pertaining to fiscal policy. TheNES tapped a number of areas related to government spending, the tax and deficitburdens, and preferred areas of funding cuts. These questions provided goodindicators of respondent priorities, and reflected commonly discussed areas ofpublic policy. On the whole, expectations about the nature of the Reform vote areconfirmed (Table 4).Table 4. Attitudes Toward the Deficit and TaxationQuestion % Reform in each category(N)Reduce deficit Maintain programsReduce deficit vs. maintain programs 35.4 12.81142 670Yes NoPay higher taxes reduce deficit 25.7 26.4541 1396Pay higher taxes maintain programs 20.5 30.4810 1123Only way to create jobs eliminate deficit 35.9 19.8234 455Favour Goods and Services Tax 29.8 25.0557 1431Canada can get by without GST 26.2 27.11162 76141As expected from our Reform profile, voting Reform was much more likely to beconcerned with cutting the deficit rather than maintaining programs. Reform votersare three times more likely to want to reduce the deficit rather than maintainprograms, and are more likely than not to be unwilling to pay higher taxes in orderto maintain programs. The importance of deficit reduction is further underlined inthe greater likelihood of Reform voters linking job creation with lowering the deficit.One’s stance on the Goods and Services Tax does not emerge as being linked to avote for Reform. Support and opposition to the GST may have acted to cancel eachother out. Consistent with the trade liberalization focus of the Reform party, theGST replaced a hidden tax on the manufacturing sector. However, the GST alsoplaced a tax on previously-untaxed services, which raised the ire of those concernedwith the tax burden and the cost of living.Table 5 displays the cost cutting propensities of Reform voters toward the mostsalient public expenditures.42Table 5. Aftitudes Toward Fiscal IssuesQuestion4’ % Reform in each category(N)A lot Some Not at allWelfare 37.4 28.2 14.9433 949 598Unemployment Insurance 41.7 28.5 18.4230 974 771Foreign Aid 35.5 22.3 19.9645 1048 292Pensions and Old Age 33.3 39.5 22.539 392 1574Health Care 30.8 36.9 22.539 488 1481Education 34.1 36.9 23.441 366 1596Defence 25.0 25.6 29.2597 1040 332User fees=less waste 32.6- 18.9(Yes/No) 1075 869The overall pattern is that Reform voters are cost cutters: they are far more likely (ashigh as 2.5 times) to cut rather than to maintain, except in the area of defense. Themost highly targeted areas are welfare, unemployment insurance, and foreign aid.As shown in Table 5, a vote for Reform is twice as likely if the respondent would liketo cut welfare and Unemployment Insurance, cutting spending “a lot” rather than“not at all”. The foreign aid row percentages are nearly as pronounced, at 1.8 to 1.This survey data is consistent with the hypothetical profile (and the party) stance ondeficit slashing and cuts to programs. As the only area in which Reformers arelikely to avoid spending cuts, defense seems to have escaped the deficit cutting logicof the party. Costly provincial programs such as health and education are less likely4’ Please refer to the Appendix for question wordings.43to be targeted for cuts by Reform voters. However, user fees are likely to meet withapproval by Reform supporters, who are more likely (1.8 times) to believe that userfees reduce waste in health care rather than hinder access to medical care.ii. Social and Moral IssuesConcerning social and moral issues, the Reform supporter is expected to holdtraditional views. He is likely to favour capital punishment, and take a “law andorder” stance against criminals. The Reformer should shun the provision ofabortions, and hold conservative opinions on the nature and role of the family.The NES provided a number of survey questions which tapped respondent viewsabout social issues, both public and personal. Reform voters generally were morelikely to hold conservative or traditional views about social arrangements (Tables 6and 7). The “mean rating” percentage figures in Table 7 are the results of the NESthermometer scales.44Table 6. Aftitudes Toward Social IssuesQuestion’1’ % Reform in each category(N)Agree* Disagree*Women should stay home 31.3 21.1with children 948 1022Gay marriages made legal 21.2 30.0690 1201Only the legally married 32.1 23.8should have children 644 1305* somewhat and strongly categories merged.‘1’ Please refer to the Appendix for question wordings.45Table 7. Aftitudes Toward Moral IssuesAbortionNever24.7186% Reform in each category(N)If needed28.5701Personal25.01097Capital punish. never justifiedCrack down on crime even if loserightsAgree* Disagree*15.7 30.6568 136730.4 19.21179 757Reform All other partiesMean rating: Police 79.7% 77.4%Mean rating: Anti-Abortion Groups 42.5% 42.3%* somewhat and strongly categories merged.Reform voters were 1.5 times as likely to endorse traditional rather than liberalpositions on marriage and the family. In Table 7, Reform voters were twice as likelyto strongly disagree as to agree with the statement that “capital punishment is neverjustified”. A crackdown on crime in spite of lost rights also figured prominently as adeterminant of the Reform vote. This data confirms the popular image of Reformersas being morally traditional, or right-wing, as well as having a tough stance on lawenforcement.QuesfionW‘‘ Please refer to the Appendix for question wordings.46Respondent opinion on abortion presents a surprising exception to the consistentlyconservative moral views demonstrated in other questions. One’s position onabortion is not connected with the likelihood of voting Reform: respondentsmaintaining the “never”, “permitted when need established”, and “personal choice”positions are equally likely to place a vote for Reform. The abortion figure in Table 7is consistent with the mean thermometer rating for “anti-abortion groups”, since thepercentages are nearly identical. Reformers are not more likely to adhere to amorally conservative (i.e. pro-life) stance on abortion, and this data contradicts theReform profile which hypothesized a consistent morally traditional outlook.The results of the NES thermometer scales shown reinforce the notion thatReformers hold social and moral views that are much more conservative thansupporters of the other parties.Table 8. Attitudes Toward Social GroupsSocial Group Mean Rating%Reform All other partiesUnions 41.3 52.8Feminists 46.4 56.7Homosexuals 37.1 46.2People on welfare 45.1 51.5Small business 82.5 80.4Big business 61.5 61.1Farmers 81.0 81.0The thermometer scores for feminists and homosexuals are roughly ten points lowerthan the other-party average, consistent with the family values evident in Table 6.47Given the free market, deficit-control principles of the Reform party, it is notsurprising that Reform respondents ranked unions less highly than the rest of thesample. There were no notable differences in feelings about farmers, or big or smallbusiness.iii. Ethnic IssuesBased on the findings of chapter two, the Reform supporter is expected to favour auniversal definition of citizenship, and reject all legal or administrativedifferentiation on the basis of race or ethnicity. Therefore, the Reformer shouldoppose special constitutional status for Quebec and the introduction of Aboriginalself-government. Affirmative action programs are also expected to be rejected. Thelowering of immigration levels should be decisively favoured.Attitudes toward Quebec, Aboriginal issues, and immigrants have been classified as“ethnic issues”. The common, if disparate, thread in these views is that Reformvoters are intolerant of ethnic distinctions and/or ‘other’ ethnic backgrounds. Theparty’s official stand is that no ethnic differences should be enshrined in law orpolicy. The Reform respondents tend toward these views, although the question ofimmigration levels does not necessarily pertain to ethnic differences.48Table 9. Aftitudes Toward Ethnic GroupsQuestion” % Reform in each category(N)Agree! More Disagree! LessRecognize Quebec as distinct 22.1 29.9312 375Proposal Quebec 1/4 House seats 14.2 29.1120 567Recognize Aboriginal self-government 24.2 31.2471 186Aboriginal should make own laws 16.1 29.2442 186Immigration 19.7 29.4346 1281What should be done for racial minorities 14.3 43.6523 500Mean Rating (%) Reform All other partiesQuebec 60.1 62.1Aboriginal 66.4 71.4Racial Minorities 65.4 69.7As hypothesized for the Reform voter, there is a consistent rejection of differentialtreatment for ethnic groups. The likelihood of rejecting special or advantageousstatus depends on how the issue is framed. Table 9 reveals that Reform voters aretwice as likely to reject as to support the reservation of 1/4 of House of Commonsseats for Quebec, and also more likely than not to disagree with the recognition ofQuebec as a distinct society. Similarly, Reform voters are twice as likely to reject asto support the making of aboriginal laws by aboriginal governments, and to a lesserextent, more likely to reject than support the recognition of Aboriginal selfgovernment. The most significant spread in the thermometer ratings pertain to‘‘ Please refer to the Appendix for question wordings.49aboriginal people- a five point spread between Reform-voting respondents and therest of the electorate. Sentiments toward racial minorities are consistent with theReform voter profile. There is a four point spread in the thermometer ratings forracial minorities” between Reform and all other parties, which in itself is not thatsignificant. However, Reformers are three times more likely to feel that less, ratherthan more, should be done for racial minorities. This is consistent with the party’sstance on interest groups, and its strong rejection of culture and language fundingknown as Multiculturalism. The Reform party’s stance calling for less immigrationappears to have the support of voters - Reform voters were more likely (1.5 times) tofavour decreased rather than increased levels of immigration. The immigrationissue may be a proxy for racial tensions, since a majority of immigrants now comefrom third world countries and have non-white backgrounds. Indeed, Reform’sformer policy on immigration, now amended, was to favour immigrants who couldadapt easily to Canadian living, but is now geared toward receiving immigrantswho meet Canadian economic and labour needs. The sentiments on other ethnicgroups expressed in the NES data confirm the structure of opinion found in theReform profile.iv. AlienationThe Reformer is expected to be politically alienated, not having a great deal ofconfidence in the abilities and motivation of politicians. The Reform voter is shouldexhibit dissatisfaction with the process of governing in Canada. The Reformer isexpected to believe that interest groups and elites have an influence intopolicymaking that far exceeds their numbers, and will look favourably upon directdemocracy measures.50One composite measure which was strongly related to the Reform vote relates toalienation from the political process (Table 10).Table 10. AlienationQuestion’4’ % Reform in each category(N)Agree DisagreeSatisfaction with Democracy in Canada 22.4 35.71403 588Vote in 1992 Referendum (yes/no) 17.6 35.3279 357Politicians no more corrupt than others 23.0 30.81141 811Politicians say anything get elected 26.6 20.61839 165Referendum Elected RepsFinal say in changing Constitution 29.4 19.5466 205Mean Rating (%) Reform All othersPoliticians 36.0% 43.5%As observed in Table 10, Reform voters were likely to take a consistently dim viewof the behaviour of politicians. The extent of this alienation distinguishes them fromthe Conservative, Liberal and NDP voters, who are far less likely to exhibit hostilitytoward politicians. For example, in the question about satisfaction with democracyin Canada, the Reform party was alone among the federal parties to have betterrepresentation in the ‘disagree’ rather than the ‘agree’ response category (notshown). Chances are two to one that Reformers voted ‘no’ in the CharlottetownAccord referendum, although this is not surprising considering that Reform wasalone in the major federal parties to oppose the Charlottetown Accord. Reformersare more likely to be disdainful about the character of politicians, and award them aN’ Please refer to the Appendix for question wordings51mean rating that is much lower than that suggested by supporters of the otherparties. Populist tendencies were evident in the figures on constitutionalamendment, with a greater chance (1.5) of choosing ratification by referendum.In addition to respondents’ feelings toward politicians and governance in general,levels of political interest were tapped, to see if they were disinterested or merelydisaffected.Table 11. Level of Political InterestQuestion % Reform in each category(N)Yes NoDuring campaign discussed with others 27.3 18.11753 265Past week discussed politics 27.5 21.51550 466What is inflation rate: gave answer 28.7 21.31322 694What is unemployment rate: gave answer 26.7 22.51732 284What is federal deficit: gave answer 28.6 20.81383 629Respondents who voted Reform show a consistently high likelihood of exhibitingpolitical awareness, and do not appear to lack political efficacy. Coupled with thepolitical alienation, Reformers were ripe for a new political force on the federalhorizon. The greater likelihood of being politically aware matches the Reformparty’s affinity for detailed platforms and inclusive policy workshops.52v. Demographic VariablesA number of demographic variables appear to have personified the Reform party.The Reform voter is expected to be older, male, and of Anglo-Saxon descent. Privatesector and self-employment occupations should be most common, with supportfrom both working and professional economic classes. Union membership isexpected to be less common than no union affiliation. The province of residence ofReform voters is most likely to be Alberta, British Columbia, or perhaps Ontario.The NES revealed some interesting demographic data on Reform voters. Tables 12and 13 display the most likely and least likely relationships.Table 12. Employment DataQuestion % Reform in each categoryMost Likely Least LikelyEmployment status working homemaker student laid off27.8 32.1 14.2 16.7Area of work private sector self-employed public sector27.7 36.5 18.5Unionization non-union union30.3 22.2Means: Reform All other partiesHousehold Income $57, 300 $51,900Employment status proved to be an important indicator of Reform vote:respondents were more likely to be working, to be homemakers, and less likely to bestudents or laid off. Clearly, the financially comfortable are more likely to be athome in the party than the economic marginalized or insecure. As expected, union53status and work in the private sector were important indicators of the Reform vote.Here, the Reform Party matched the Conservatives as the most anti-union party.The unionization figures cannot be explained solely by provincial origin, since thevote from Alberta, the least unionized province, is largely offset by the vote inBritish Columbia, the most highly unionized province. Level of education seemedto be irrelevant to the vote, although the data revealed a slight overrepresentation inthe technical school area. The mean income of Reform supporters is higher than thatof the other parties, confirming the image of these voters as economically stablepeople.Table 13. Demographic VariablesQuestion % Reform in each categoryMost Likely Least LikelyReligion Protestant None Catholic Jewish29.1 29.5 19.2 0Ethnic Group E. Europe N. Europe Asian French/Que40.5 44.1 12.0 9.0Gender Male Female30.5 21.5Province Alberta B.C. P.E.I. Nfld.45.4 34.3 1.4 0Means: Reform All other partiesAge 44 45The crosstabulation of vote by religion finds that Reform voters are equally likely tobe Protestant (29.1%), ‘Other’ (28.6%) and ‘None’ (29.5%), while Catholics areunderrepresented in the party (19.2). These findings defy the notion that the partysupports an overrepresentation of evangelical Christians (although within theProtestant group the evangelical sects are well-represented). Even more54surprisingly, a survey question asking about the importance of God produced thefollowing result: those respondents who felt that God was “not important” or “notvery important” (30.8%, 29.8%) were better represented within the Reform groupthan those stating God was “very” or “somewhat important” (24.8%, 26.4%).Ethnic groups from northern and eastern Europe are most likely to be found in theReform group (although British origin provides the greatest numbers).Interestingly, the Reform voter is more likely to be male than female, consistent withthe “old, white male” support base of the party. But is it? Crosstab results of agedeciles showed that Reformers are most likely to be in their 50’s, then 30’s, followedby 40’s and 20’s, but there is little difference in the row percentages among these agegroupings (28.3 through 22.5). The average age of the Reform voter was in fact oneyear lower than the other parties combined. Thus, the image of the party’ssupporters as dominated by older men is not borne out by this data.Not surprisingly, Reform voters were much more likely to reside in Alberta andBritish Columbia, less so from Manitoba and Saskatchewan, followed by Ontarioand the Maritime provinces.SummaryThe National Election Study data reveals a number of significant patterns, someentirely predictable, but others which do not conform to our profile of thehypothetical Reform voter. In this data, the strength of the links between votingReform and a particular sentiment range from a ratio of 1:1 (no relationship) to 1:2and 1:3. Given this range, the opinions which are linked with a ratio of 1:2 or higher55are considered strong and worthy of consideration. Deficit and ethnic issues emergeas salient areas for Reformers, and social and moral issues to a lesser extent.Overall, the strongest links in the data tie voting Reform to a preference for deficitcutting over program maintenance (1:3) and job creation (1:2); and the rejection ofdifferential treatment for other ethnic groups, including Quebec (1:2), Aboriginals(1:2) and racial minorities (1:3). Also strongly related to voting Reform is a belief incapital punishment (1:2).In the economic area, the extent of economic satisfaction or dissatisfaction bears littlerelationship to the likelihood of voting Reform. These results point to the existenceof a non-economically motivated revolt, generated not by hardship but by someother kind of duress. As expected, Reform voters have a high chance of beingconcerned with the deficit and this comes across as a major political issue over andabove program maintenance. The predicted areas of spending cuts - welfare,income support programs, and subsidies to various groups - have emerged in thedata as being strongly linked to the Reform vote. Reformers are likely to be pro-freetrade, as hypothesized, but they are also more likely than not to support the GST, anunanticipated finding.The social and moral policy inclinations of Reformers have been well chartedaccording to the NES data. With the exception of the abortion issue, Reformers haveemerged as likely to be very socially and morally conservative, which is consistentwith the party’s image. The consistent exhibition of moral traditionalism shown inthe data is noteworthy. In addition to the moral stance, a law and order stance oncrime and law enforcement was verified.56The hypothetical Reform voter profile proved to be consistent with Reform attitudeson other ethnic groups- pertaining to the issues of Quebec, Aboriginal self-government, and ethnic minorities (including immigration). The data showed thatReformers were much more likely to be hostile when faced with the demands ofthese groups, which is consistent with the universal citizenship models endorsed bythe party.As expected, Reformers tend toward political alienation, and express the desire torevise the present approach to politics and public policy. The link between politicalalienation and a vote for Reform is present, although the level of political interest ofthis group is more of a factor than anticipated.The demographic data presents some interesting variations on the Reform profile.While some links were confirmed, such as union membership, private sectoremployment, and strong western representation, other figures refuted conventionalnotions of who Reformers are. The occupational and income data reinforced thenotion that Reform is not a movement of the economically disadvantaged. Neitherage nor level of education had an effect on voting Reform. The party’s electorate isequally well represented in the Protestant and ‘no religion’ categories, and less well-represented in the belief in the importance of God.Overall, The NES data displayed in this chapter confirms the image of the party’ssupporters, although in a few areas the Reform profile was not confirmed by thedata. Reformers are not more likely to be pro-life, as one’s position on abortionmakes no difference to the likelihood of voting Reform. As well, churchmembership, belief in the importance of God, and older voters were not positivelylinked to voting Reform.57CHAPTER FOUR: CONCLUSIONThis paper was conceived to answer questions about the 1993 Reform voter: howand to what extent does the popular image of the Reform party measure up withthose who actually voted Reform? How deep is the gulf between these two images?In order to answer these questions, a profile of the Reform voter was investigated bylooking at the partys historical precedents, the beliefs of its leader, its policies, andmedia coverage of the party.The result of the investigation of Reform was a picture of an economically liberal (or‘neo-conservative’) party. Free market principles were consistently embraced by theparty and the leader, and applied dispassionately to a myriad of public issues andproblems. The reduction and elimination of the federal debt emerged as a centralpriority of the party, achieved not by increasing taxes, but by cutting publicspending. It was not clear whether Reformers themselves were well off, but at anyrate they were probably not overly dependent on the programs to which theyproposed to make drastic cuts.The social priorities of Reformers were seen to be based on economic imperativesand public waste, but also on a desire to reign in lavish welfare programs andencourage individual productivity. The current approach to immigration emergedas a major problem for Reformers, as there was a general belief that the country wassuffering economically in bringing in refugees and immigrants. Party attitudestoward ethnic minorities were not noted to be charitable, and there was a hard lineon ‘multiculturalism’ programs. A pronounced moral traditionalism was found inthe Reform party, in a negative stance toward women’s issues, abortion, and gayrights, as well as a preoccupation with a plebiscite on capital punishment. As well,58attitudes about special treatment for ethnic groups, whether Quebecois, aboriginal,or visible minority, were disapproving. Instead, homogeneity in Canadiancitizenship was favoured. Contrary to the ‘non racist’ policies of Reform, the partyhas attracted citizens with extreme views on racial and gender issues. Similarly,although religion plays no part in the platforms of the party, there was a connectionbetween fundamental Christianity and the Reform party.Reform was linked to a significant populist, anti-elitist and anti-politician base,reminiscent of the anti-party base of past western populist movements. The desirefor greater input into political processes was generated in part by discontent withthe traditional political parties, especially the ruling Conservatives. Reformers wereseen to be politically alienated and desired a fundamental change in the style ofgovernment.Demographically, the party was found to be likely to attract older, white, males whowork in the private sector, although the party also appealed to women. It was notclear whether the Reform profile included people with a lot or little education, orwhether support came primarily from urban or rural regions. Initially, the Reformparty was linked with rural regions, but this may have changed prior to the 1993federal election.Following the investigation of the Reform party, data from the 1993 NationalElection Study was presented. This section detailed a crosstabulation procedurecontaining two elements, the Reform vote and the respondent’s opinion on a varietyof public questions. Thus, the strength of the link between voting Reform and aparticular sentiment revealed much about the nature of the Reform vote, that is, thelikelihood of voting Reform if a certain opinion was expressed by the respondent.59The results of the crosstabs were then used to test the initial Reform profile, and theextent of difference between the two images- the constructed Reformer and thesurveyed Reformer - was examined.Overall, there was not much different between the two images. The survey resultsshowed that, overall, Reform voters are most likely to be concerned with cutting thedeficit, controlling public spending, and the strong rejection of differential laws forethnic groups such as the Quebecois, Aboriginal peoples, and racial minorities.Reform voters are more likely to enjoy employment, be self-employed, and theygenerate higher-than-average household incomes. They are not likely to bedissatisfied with the Tory economic policies (which are, after all, consistent withReform economic policies) or feel that their livelihoods have been sacrificed in theprocess.The social and moral stance of the Reform profile is confirmed by the NES data,demonstrating a consistently traditional base. Sociological groups such as feministsand homosexuals are rated less highly than by supporters of the other parties. Thetraditional moral base of the party is clearly evident in the data. However, the issueof abortion presents an exception. Where the hypothetical Reform voter wassurmised to have a traditional view on abortion (i.e. pro-life), the data shows thatthere is no correlation between such a position and the likelihood of voting Reform.As predicted in the Reform profile, Reformers are likely to be hostile toward specialor differentiated ethnic status. They are also likely to be hostile toward specialprograms for ethnic minorities, and favour a lowering of immigration rates.60The populist sentiments of the Reform party are confirmed in the data on alienationand political efficacy. Reformers are likely to express dissatisfaction with Canadiandemocracy and politicians in general, unlike the respondents who voted for theother major parties, who are generally satisfied with political processes. Reformersare also more likely than not to be politically active, and to have a more heightenedinterest in public affairs.Several demographic characteristics of the Reform profile were negated by the NESdata. Reformers are not likely to be older than the general electorate, whichcontradicts the image of Reform as a party of the older and/or retired. The linkbetween economic stability and Reformers was also confirmed in the data whichshows that Reform voters are more likely to be homemakers, consistent with themore comfortable economic status of a single-income family. Despite the popularconception of the Reform party as a party of religious zealots, voting Reform is notlinked to religious activity, nor to a strong belief in the importance of God.This paper has generally confirmed the popular image of the Reform party. Thisvalidation reveals something about the nature of the Reform vote. A principalfeature of the data is the finding that these voters are not likely to be economicallydepressed or malcontent with the economic policies of the day. Reform voters aremore likely to enjoy employment, be self-employed, and they generate higher-thanaverage household incomes. They are not likely to be dissatisfied with Toryeconomic policies, or feel that their livelihoods have been sacrificed in the process.The ramifications are engaging: a historically major source of revolutions andpopulist surges - a downward swing in economic status - is entirely absent inReform support. The roots of support for the UFA, the Progressives, and the Social61Credit movements are therefore quite dissimilar from the economic forces whichmotivate Reform supporters.Instead, the revolt of Reform seems to emerge in other areas of public policy, inaddition to a general dissatisfaction with politicians and political processes. TheNES data revealed that voting Reform is most strongly linked with the rejection ofethnic differentiation and deficit spending. These findings speak to adisenfranchisement of a different kind. Rather than economic concerns (pertainingto one’s standard of living) the Reform vote is concerned with the direction ofpolicies attempted or adopted by government. A political rather than economicdisenfranchisement is in evidence in the Reform party, and embodies the perceptionof having suffered a loss of status and public input. Consequently, voting Reform islinked with a negative view of “special interest groups” - feminists, unions, racialminorities, Aboriginals, and Quebec. Cuts to social programs also confirm thedesire to rein in the power of such groups. Populist initiatives are thereforefavoured as a means of restoring the balance of democracy, giving ordinary, non-affiliated citizens the chance to contribute to the political process.This study has shown that the popular image of the Reform party is largelyconsistent with the characteristics of the vote as reported by the 1993 NationalElection Study. The party is linked to a free market values and concern with publicindebtedness, a traditional orientation on social and moral issues, a rejection ofethnic differentiation in constitutional and public policy, and alienation from thecurrent political discourse.62BIBLIOGRAPHYArseneau, Therese “The Reform Party of Canada: The Secret of its ‘Success”, paperpresented to the Canadian Political Science Association, June 1991.Dobbin, Murray Preston Manning and the Reform Party (Toronto: Lorimer andCompany, 1991).Flanagan, Tom and Martha Lee “The Roots of Reform”, paper presented to theCanadian Political Science Association, June 1992.Laycock, David “Reform Canadian Democracy? Institutions and Ideology in theReform Party Project” in Canadian Journal ofPolitical Science, June 1984.Maclean’s, August 9, 1993, p. 15.Maclean’s, September 20, 1993, p. 16.Maclean’s, September 27, 1993, p. 33.MacPherson, C.B. Democracy in Alberta (Toronto: University of Toronto Press,1962).Manning, E.C. Political Realignment (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1967).Manning, Preston The New Canada (Toronto: MacMillan Canada, 1992).Morton, W.L. The Progressive Party in Canada (Toronto: University of TorontoPress, 1950).Reform Party of Canada Caucus Issue Statement No. 10, November 20, 1991.Reform Party of Canada Principles and Policies: The Blue Book (Calgary, 1991).Reform Party of Canada Caucus Issue Statement No. 25, February 22, 1992.Reform Party of Canada Caucus Issue Statement No. 21, February 22, 1992.Reform Party of Canada Reform Party Agricultural Task Force (1993).Reform Party of Canada Election Platform of the Reform Party of Canada, January29, 1993.63Sharpe, Sydney and Don Braid Storming Babylon (Toronto: Key Porter Books, 1992).The Globe and Mail, September 23, 1993, p. A16.The Globe and Mail, October 5, 1993, p. A4.The Globe and Mail, October 14, 1993, p. A6.The Globe and Mail, October 20, 1993, p. A8.Western Report, June 6, 1988, p. 16.Western Report, July 23, 1990, p. 15.Western Report, December 10, 1990, p. 18.Western Report, September 6, 1993, p. 8.64APPENDIX: SURVEY QUESTIONSEconomicWould you say that you are better off or worse off financially than a year ago?[Referendum phase]Do you think that a year from now you will be better financially, worse off, or aboutthe same?[Referendum phase]Have the policies of the federal government made you better, worse, or haven’t theymade much difference either way?Would you say that over the past year Canada’s economy has gotten better, stayedabout the same, or gotten worse?Have the policies of the federal government made Canada’s economy better, worse,or haven’t they made much difference either way?Would you say that over the past year economic conditions in [province] havegotten better, stayed about the same, or gotten worse?In 1988, Canada signed a Free Trade Agreement with the United States. All thingsconsidered, do you support the agreement or do you oppose it?Canada and the United States have reached a new trade agreement which includesMexico. All things considered, do you support this agreement or do you oppose it,or neither?[FTA] The agreement is necessary to make sure we have a large market for ourproducts- strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree, strongly disagree?[FTAJ Unemployment has gone up because of this agreement- strongly agree,somewhat agree, somewhat disagree, strongly disagree?[NAFTA] The new agreement is necessary to maintain Canada’s position in theUnited States’ market - strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree,strongly disagree?[NAFTA] Because of the new agreement, unemployment in Canada will go up -strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree, strongly disagree?65Governments must maintain programmes even if that means continuing to run adeficit/We must reduce the deficit even if that means cutting programmes.Would you, personally, be willing to pay higher taxes to help reduce the deficit? -yes, no.Would you, personally, be willing to pay higher taxes to help maintain socialprogrammes?- yes, no.The only way to create jobs is to eliminate the deficit - strongly agree, somewhatagree, somewhat disagree, strongly disagree?In 1991, the federal government adopted a new tax on goods and services, the GST.All things considered, are you very much in favour, somewhat in favour, somewhatopposed, or very much opposed to the GST?Do you think Canada can get by without the GST?If you had to, would you cut spending in the following areas a lot, some, or not atall?WelfareUnemployment insuranceAid to developing countriesPensions and old age securityHealth careEducationDefenceIf people had to pay fee each time they go to a doctor there would be less waste/people would not be able to get the health care they need.Social and Moral IssuesSociety would be better off if more women stayed home - strongly agree, somewhatagree, somewhat disagree, strongly disagree?Homosexual couples should be allowed to get legally married - strongly agree,somewhat agree, somewhat disagree, strongly disagree?Only people who are legally married should be having children - strongly agree,somewhat agree, somewhat disagree, strongly disagree?66Of the following three positions, which is closest to your own opinion: abortionshould never be permitted, should be permitted only after need has been establishedby a doctor, or should be a matter of a woman’s personal choice?Capital punishment is never justified, no matter what the crime - strongly agree,somewhat agree, somewhat disagree, strongly disagree?We must crack down on crime even if it means people lose their rights- stronglyagree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree, strongly disagree?Using the 0 to 100 scale again, where 0 means very negative and 100 means verypositive, I would like you to tell me how you feel about the following groups andplaces-PoliceAnti-abortion groupsLabour unionsFeministsHomosexualsPeople on welfarePoliceSmall businessBig businessFarmersEthnic GroupsHow do you feel about the proposal to recognize Quebec as distinct - agree, disagree(Referendum study).How do you feel about the proposal to give Quebec 1/4 of the seats in the House ofCommons- agree, disagree (Referendum study).How do you feel about the proposal to recognize Aboriginal self-government -agree, disagree (Referendum study).Aboriginal people should have the right to make their own laws, abide by the samelaws as other Canadians.Do you think Canada should admit more immigrants or fewer immigrants than atpresent?How much do you think should be done for racial minorities? - more, somewhatmore, about the same as now, somewhat less, much less or haven’t you thoughtabout it? (merged into more/same/less categories)67Using the 0 to 100 scale again, where 0 means very negative and 100 means verypositive, I would like you to tell me how you feel about the following groups andplaces-QuebecRacial minoritiesAboriginal peoplesAlienationHow satisfied are you with democracy in Canada - very satisfied, fairly satisfied, notvery satisfied, or not satisfied at all?Did you vote yes or did you vote no (Referendum)?Politicians are no more corrupt than anybody else - strongly agree, somewhat agree,somewhat disagree, strongly disagree?Politicians are willing to say anything to get elected - strongly agree, somewhatagree, somewhat disagree, strongly disagree?Who should have the final say in changing the Constitution - the people inreferendum, elected representatives, depends?During the federal election campaign, did you discuss politics with other people -yes, no.[Post-election phase]Over the past week, have you discussed politics with other people - yes, no.[Election phase]What would you say the unemployment rate in Canada is these days,approximately? (gave answer/ did not give answer).What would you say the inflation rate in Canada is these days, approximately?(gave answer/ did not give answer).What would you say the federal government’s deficit is, approximately? (gaveanswer/did not give answer).Using the 0 to 100 scale again, where 0 means very negative and 100 means verypositive, I would like you to tell me how you feel about the following groups andplaces- Politicians68


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