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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?  by JENNIFER FRANCIS B.Mus., The University of Toronto, 1990 B.A., The University of Toronto, 1992  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES Department of Political Science  We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA October, 1994 © Jennifer Francis, 1994  In presenting this  thesis in  partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced  degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department  or  by  his  or  her  representatives.  It  is  understood  that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission.  Department of The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date  DE-6 (2/88)  ti &e  ,  ABSTRACT  This paper examines the nature of support for the Reform Party of Canada in the 1993 federal election. First, a general hypothesis of the typical Reform voter is established. This profile is based on an investigation of the party’s historical precedents, the political beliefs of the leader, policies and platforms, and the media portrayal of the Reform party. After establishing the Reform profile, the hypothesis is then compared with data from the 1993 National Election Study (NES). The NES data reflects a wide range of public sentiments, reporting the structure of opinion on many salient public issues. By using the crosstabulation procedure, the extent to which voting Reform is linked with particular sentiments is revealed. The result of this exercise is a confirmation of the Reform profile. Voting Reform was linked to economic liberalism: Reformers are likely to be concerned about the deficit and high taxation, favour freer trade flows, and are likely to cut rather than maintain social programs. Socially and morally, the data confirmed that Reformers are likely to maintain a traditional or conservative position. An exception to this forecast was that one’s position on abortion was irrelevant to voting Reform. As predicted, Reformers are more likely than not to be hostile toward differential treatment for ethnic minorities, and to want decreased levels of immigration. True to the Reform profile, voting Reform was linked to political alienation, but it was also linked to high levels of political interest. In a few areas, the data on demographic variables contradicted the Reform profile: voting Reform was not linked with church membership, nor with a belief in the importance of God. As well, older voters are not more likely to vote Reform, as projected. Overall, the NES data confirms the initial profile of the study and it is concluded that the Reform vote in the 1993 election substantiates the popular image of the party.  11  TABLE OF CONTENTS  ABSTRACT  .  ii  TABLE OF CONTENTS  iii  LIST OF TABLES  iv  ACKNOWLEDGEMENT  v  CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION  1  CHAPTER TWO: REFORM PARTY SURVEY  3  Introduction Historical Political Movements Preston Manning Reform Party Platforms Popular Commentary The Hypothetical Reform Supporter  3 4 12 20 26 30  CHAPTER THREE: NATIONAL ELECTION STUDY DATA Introduction The 1993 National Election Study Survey Results i. Economic policy ii. Social and Moral Issues iii. Ethnic Issues iv. Alienation v. Demographic Variables Summary  34 34 34 35 37 44 48 50 52 55  CHAPTER FOUR: CONCLUSION  58  BIBLIOGRAPHY  63  APPENDIX: SURVEY QUESTIONS  65  111  LIST OF TABLES  Table 1. Attitudes Toward Personal and Public Financial State  38  Table 2. Attitudes Toward Commercial Policy  39  Table 3. Conservative Attitudes Toward Conservative Regime Economic Policies  40  Table 4. Attitudes Toward the Deficit and Taxation  41  Table 5. Attitudes Toward Fiscal Issues  43  Table 6. Attitudes Toward Social Issues  45  Table 7. Attitudes Toward Moral Issues  46  Table 8. Attitudes Toward Social Groups  47  Table 9. Attitudes Toward Ethnic Groups  49  Table 10. Alienation  51  Table 11. Level of Political Interest  52  Table 12. Employment Data  53  Table 13. Demographic Variables  54  iv  ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I would like to thank my thesis advisors, Professor Richard Johnston and Professor R.K. Carty for giving me guidance throughout this endeavour. I would also like to thank Professor Donald Blake for his helpful comments. The data contained in this paper is the result of statistical manipulation of the 1993 National Election Study data set. The tables and conclusions in this paper are drawn from the NES data and are the sole responsibility of the author.  V  CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION The performance of the Reform Party of Canada emerges as one of the more remarkable political stories of the 1990’s. The party was conceived in 1987, failed to win a single seat in the 1988 federal election, and then went on to claim 52 seats in the 1993 federal election. During its rise to prominence, the Reform Party attracted considerable public attention. It was billed as a western separatist party, and a party infiltrated by religious zealots and white supremacists. Despite being criticized for its controversial stance on issues such as immigration, the constitutional status of Quebec, and public spending, the Reform party also gained the approval of business groups around the country, eliciting support from Globe and Mail editorials. The Reform party membership was also the subject of public attention, rumoured to be composed 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 the Canadian House of Commons. How can the party’s change in status from an -  extreme conservative party to a well-represented parliamentary party be -  explained? One question that emerges from the Reform story has to do with Reform voters, since the party owes its current status to those who supported it on election day. What is the nature of the Reform vote, and does the popular image of the party and its supporters bear any resemblance to the actual Reform vote?  This study attempts to investigate the characteristics of the alleged and actual Reform vote. The research is organized into two sections. First, the popular image of the Reform party is constructed, relying on the party’s historical precedents, the leader’s views, policies and platforms, and media coverage of the party. Second, 1  this hypothetical profile is compared to statistical data drawn from the 1993 National 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 as respondent opinion on moral issues. Ethnic concerns are investigated, pertaining to the status of Quebec, Aboriginal self-government, and feelings toward racial minorities. The respondents’ sense of political alienation is tapped through questions about politicians and the political process. Finally, demographic data is used to construct the essential characteristics of Reform voters. In this paper, the relationship between the popular image of the Reform party and the characteristics of its actual vote is determined.  2  CHAPTER TWO: REFORM PARTY SURVEY  Introduction  In order to obtain a comprehensive picture of the Reform party, several different aspects of the party are investigated in this chapter. The historical grounding of the Reform party, the personality and beliefs of the leader, the party’s policies and platforms, and the media portrayal of the party are each examined and discussed. The historical links between the Reform party and past populist movements are investigated, and include the federal Progressive party and the United Farmers of Alberta in the 1920’s. As well, the roots and evolution of the most important ancestor of the Reform party, the Alberta Social Credit party, are discussed. In each of these three political movements links to the present-day Reform party can be found, most notably in the existence of a populist support base and an incipient rise in popular support. Second, the views of Reform leader Preston Manning will be investigated through autobiographical and secondary material. Given the prominent role played by this leader in the development of the party, Manning’s views on political issues are central to a discussion of the Reform party. Third, the platforms and policies of the party will be examined. Since Reform is billed as a party of principle, its policies are clearly delineated and promoted alongside the party philosophy. Consequently, these positions tend to be well-known and discussed by the press, political commentators, and citizens alike. In attempting to decipher people’s views of the party, Reform platforms are therefore of central importance. Lastly, popular media coverage provides a further perspective on the party. While coverage of the Reform party after its inception appeared mostly in western publications, national press coverage increased with its steady rise in the poiis during the inter-election period. Together these four areas will provide an outline or picture of the Reform party.  3  Historical Political Movements  A discussion of the origins and nature of the Reform party can scarcely take place without the mention of its distinct roots prairie populism, western alienation and -  Preston Manning’s familial link to Albertan politics. The Progressive movement which emerged in the 1920’s was, like the Reform party, a national movement which found strong support in Alberta. Rising quickly, the Progressive anti-party principles and commitment to recall procedures for MP’s set it aside from the tenets of the Liberal and Conservative parties. The United Farmers of Alberta espoused populist principles which are similar to those now championed by Reform: the belief in delegate democracy, dissatisfaction with the party system and the unprincipled, brokerage tendencies of the traditional parties. The UFA leaders also shunned the competitive nature of the party system, preferring a cooperative interaction between occupational groups. The Reform party appears to be most closely linked to the Social Credit party in Alberta. Although the Social Credit movement was inspired by theories that opposed to the power of financial and business interests, it later evolved into a right-wing, business-oriented party whose anti-interventionist tenets are now held by the Reform party. The leader of the Alberta Social Credit party and premier for 25 years, Ernest Manning, is the father of Reform leader Preston Manning, and the similarities in their political philosophies have resulted in a close linkage between the parties they led. The Progressive, United Farmers of Alberta, and Social Creditparties are linked by their rapid rise to prominence, desire for political and economic change, and their populist origins, all of which are historically important features in this discussion of the Reform party. The populist element is perhaps the most important of these, and the rubric of populism will be qualified and explored.  4  In sorting out the roots of the disparate reform movements, a useful distinction is outlined by Flanagan and Lee in their paper “The Roots of Reform”. 1 Two major categories of populism are considered agrarian and political. Agrarian populism -  includes the farmers’ and peasants’ movements and is “constituted by the radicalism of commodity producers” and relates to efforts by “the people’ to gain control of the . Political populism is rooted in a concern about the relationship between 2 economy” elites and the populace, and embodies those movements “that aim at giving substance to the democratic ideal of ‘government by the people” . Thus, movements 3 which call for a more direct style of government, such as the use of recall, direct legislation, and referenda, exhibit traits of political populism. Populist movements are usually fuelled by political or economic grievances, which reach a certain boiling point and may be effectively translated into political action. The populist movements discussed here have some common roots of alienation which are associated with both economic and political relationships.  The Progressive, United Farmers of Alberta, and Social Credit movements will be discussed, followed by an examination of points of comparison with the Reform party. This discussion of these prairie populist movements must begin with an account of western grievances after Confederation, several decades before the creation of the prairie provinces. Many economic and political grievances emerged in response to Canadian nation-building initiatives. The National Policy of 1879 set the stage for a pattern of asymmetrical trading conditions, establishing a regime of protected trade for eastern manufactured products while western farmers had to contend with the vagaries of the international markets. By the 1920’s, the 1  Thomas Flanagan and Martha Lee “The Roots of Reform”, paper presented to the Canadian Political Science Association, June 1992. p. 17.  3 fl4. p. 18. 5  Progressives were to capitalize on these economic grievances, showing unprecedented support for a third party on the national scene.  In his book on the Progressives, Morton pinpoints the failure of the nation to assent to reciprocity in the 1911 election as a turning point in the strength of the farmers’ 4 The outcome of this decision was to preserve the east-west flow of resentment. trade, making it difficult for prairie farmers sell south of the border. The whole regime of protected trade, the terms of which seemed unalterable and unfair to western producers, was seen as consistent with a political system that rewarded established parties and interests to the detriment of fair policies. Other controversies emerged during the war and post-war period. The call in the west for Prohibition threatened to disrupt the few old-party ties that had existed. 5 The war produced an inflationary period which eroded the standard of living, a hardship felt particularly by the farmers and workers. The close of the war signalled a return to the safety of economic nationalism. As in many populist and revolutionary movements, adverse economic conditions produced the impetus for political mobilization.  The Progressives constituted an anti-party movement which shunned central control in favour of constituency autonomy. This party bubbled up from a surge in support for farmers’ parties provincially during the 1910’s and went on to claim 65 seats in the 1921 federal election. 6 The Progressives declined official opposition status despite being the second-largest party in the House of Commons. As a party of principle, the caucus did not seek engage in power alliances, but nonetheless  W.L. Morton The Progressive Party in Canada (Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 1950) p. 27. p. 28. p. 127.  6  managed to influence policy and address some of the western grievances that had been in evidence for decades. Given that the Progressives controlled a western block in the House of Commons, the party was able to force a slight lowering of tariffs, the completion of the Hudson Bay railroad, and adoption of the Natural Resources Transfer Act, which gave Alberta and Saskatchewan control over their natural resources. 7 Although the Progressive party survived only a decade, during which time its major policy demands were usurped and implemented by the King Liberals, the party’s rise signified the rejection of colonial status by the west and the assertion of its political strength.  During the time of the Progressive good fortunes, another agrarian populist party emerged to take power in Alberta. After World War I, a number of farmers’ parties sprung up in the provinces of Ontario, Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. The United Farmers of Alberta (UFA), one of the more electorally successful farmer groups, governed the province from 1921 until 1935. The UFA, like the Progressives, rejected strong party allegiance and its attendants, patronage and corruption. Greater independence for elected members was also advocated. The UFA found economic solace in party president Henry Wise Wood’s theories of a cooperative “group government”. In his anti-party model, representation in the legislature was to be based on occupational groups. 8 This theory of group government clashed with the requirements of the cabinet system of government, and UFA ideals were found to be impractical whilst in power. The UFA, again like the Progressives, fought for the reduction of tariffs, freight rates and other national economic policies. During the Depression, when Albertans became preoccupied 7 W .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.  7  with the monetary theories of Social Credit as an explanation for their financial woes, the UFA was swept from office in favour of another populist movement. Although the UFA and Social Credit were responding to similar economic and political grievances in Alberta, their histories reflect two different styles of populism.  Populist movements in Canadian, and particularly western Canadian, history have the prism-like quality of seeming to possess contradictory traits. Left and right wings are mingled, anti-capitalist views exist alongside anti-socialist views, and traditionalism and radicalism are fused in one movement. Nowhere was this more true than in the case of the Social Credit movement in Alberta. Initially, the Social Credit movement was fuelled by a desire to reconstruct the Canadian monetary system. It was anti-financier in rhetoric and anti-capitalist in ethic. At the same time, the sworn enemy of its founders, William Aberhart and Ernest Maiming, was godless communism or “communistic socialism”. Despite a commitment to the power of the people and the approval of recall measures, Aberhart was noted to be quite authoritarian in his running of the party and the province. Indeed, it is often noted that Aberhart managed to repeal the recall provisions in Alberta just as he was about 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 over the 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 early days of the movement, shortly after the ravages of the Depression, the impetus for the Social Credit League came from discontented farmers in Alberta who found in Aberhart’s version of Douglas Social Credit theory both a diagnosis and prescription for their economic problems. MacPherson notes, 8  Not only did [Social Credit theory] promise economic relief, it also could provide an explanation of the apparently senseless catastrophic world in which more and more Albertans found themselves grouping for understanding and hope. 9 During the thirties, Alberta’s economy was based overwhelmingly on farming and composed of independent producers. The economic conditions had quickly deteriorated during the Depression the price of wheat was low, foreclosures were -  common, and the ruling UFA government was able to do little for the farmers. The ravages of the depression were serious and widely felt in Alberta, conditions that were ripe for a radical new political movement. That the ruin seemed to be universal 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 agrarian discontent, evident in the farmer/producer concerns. The primary vehicle for change was Social Credit’s monetary reform the distribution of the ‘unearned -  increment’ of the eastern bankers and financiers. Complementing this was a claim for 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 Social Credit. The prevailing trade policy was based still on the 1879 National Policy, with freight rates set by the government. The western farmers were effectively left with no choice in either transportation costs or their markets, and were forced to buy manufactured products from Central Canada. The trade issue continued to be a grievance in the west, despite the Progressive successes in effecting change during its time in parliament.  C.B. MacPherson Democracy in Alberta (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1962) p. 145. 9  9  Although the rule of the Social Credit party far exceeded the lives of the Progressives and UFA, it was the party that remained least faithful to its initial mandate. Its promises of monetary action were found to be unconstitutional and, in any case, outside the jurisdiction of the province of Alberta. Although the party had democratic populist roots, it also possessed technocratic ideals which left the important policy details to the “experts’, and in practice followed an elitist model of representation. Thus, the democratic populism was ultimately a less important force in the party, with the Social Credit premiers running orthodox governments with little to distinguish them from their provincial counterparts.  Many common threads are woven through the histories of these three western protest parties the Progressives, the UFA, Social Credit and clear comparisons -  -  with the Reform Party may be made. Some reoccurring themes are noted. Both agrarian populism (concern with production and trade) and democratic populism (concern for democratic reforms) are in evidence in these three movements. A sense of regional alienation is strong, and economic problems are held to exist as a result of a particular political or economic system (usually involving unfair advantage). Calls for radical systemic change are seen as necessary to resolve grievances. Antiparty sentiments are present in all of these movements, combined at times with the rejection of the competitive party system and cabinet system of government. There is a resistance to centralization in government, and emphasis on the individual as the relevant political unit.  The Reform party’s raison d’etre is clearly linked to these political grievances. The driving force behind the organization of the party was a pervasive western alienation (“the West wants in”), accompanied by demands for a Triple F Senate, which would better represent the smaller provinces in the Upper House and 10  eliminate patronage appointments. The traditional fear of domination by Quebec and Ontario is also present in Reform, although it is expressed in the desire not to cater any further to Quebec’s political and constitutional demands. Laissez faire economic principles are also strongly embraced, largely consistent with the years of Social Credit rule under Ernest Manning. The farmers’ movements (the Progressives and UFA) and early Social Credit doctrine actually demanded more intervention into the economy, in contravention of a uniform ‘right wing’ philosophy, but consistent with populist claims that the economy was being controlled by hostile outside forces. ° In terms of trade, however, the free-trading stance of the 1 Progressives and UFA is reiterated in the Reform party, since the West’s economic interests have traditionally been served by a liberal trading regime. The decreased role of agriculture in the economy and the move to a freer trade regime has reduced the force of agrarian discontent. One would imagine that democratic populism is therefore more of a factor than agrarian populism in accounting for the rise in Reform support.  A crucial difference between the Progressives, the UFA, Social Credit, and Reform is noted by Therese Arseneau, namely, that the support for the first three movements initially bubbled up from the citizenry, whereas the important tenets of the Reform Party seem to be mostly the product of Preston Manning’s years of political observation and thought. 11 A reading of Ernest Manning’s 1967 book Political Realignment, which strongly presages the Reform party, reinforces this point. Since Preston Manning has been steeped in the history of populist movements, and grown  10 Flanagan and Martha Lee “The Roots of Reform”, paper presented to the Canadian Political Thomas Science Association, June 1992, p. 17. Therese Arseneau “The Reform Party of Canada: The Secret of its ‘Success”, paper presented to the Canadian Political Science Association, June 1991, p. 10.  11  up with a Social Credit government, he is no stranger to the waves of western populism.  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 of strict party discipline and the methods of the ‘old-line’ parties, the emphasis on effective government which is free of patronage and corruption, in the call for better western representation. Some new issues have also found their way onto the Reform 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’s mandate. As well, the abolishment of ethnic or racial differentiation in government policies (in aboriginal affairs, or multiculturalism programs) and the desire to control and reduce federal spending are relatively new issues that did not figure in earlier populist revolts.  Preston Manning  New political parties tend to be inspired by leaders who wield considerable influence in their creation. A strong leader has the ability to leave his mark on the organization and principles of the movement. In comparison to the leaders of established parties, the men and women who lead new political parties have a far greater influence: they are not merely stepping into roles that have been defined by previous generations, but forging their own ideals and conventions without much historical precedent. The Reform party presents a good example of this observation. The influence of Preston Manning within his own party is vast, and therefore this study of the Reform party gives consideration to his political values and outlook. Manning’s political views will be examined by looking at his early political  12  education and ideals as expressed in the 1967 work Political Realignment, which was researched by Prestion and written by his father, Premier Ernest Manning. Preston Manning’s career in the consulting business and his business connections will 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 the influence of his father, whose views are apparent in the younger Manning and in the Reform principles. During Ernest Manning’s reign as Premier of Alberta, he led a government which resisted the growth of the welfare state and the notion that government should provide universal, centralized social programs. “Medicare”, a centrepiece of Canadian values, was opposed by Ernest Manning in the sixties, as was the federal bilingualism project embodied in the Official Languages Act. The two Mannings share the same religious background, have similar ideas about the  role of government intervention into the economy and society, and together ran a consulting company, M&M Systems Research. In college, the younger Manning studied physics and economics, and was particularly interested in the use of private sector applications to solve social problems. This approach or philosophy was captured in the term “social conservatism”, which was embraced by the Mannings in an effort to make the Social Credit Party more palatable to the younger generation. During the sixties, when public attention became focused on the civil rights movement in the United States, and racial, gender, and class-based inequities, Preston Manning sought to address these salient issues in order to bring the Social Credit approach ‘up to date’.  The social conservatism idea and other political ideas were expounded in a 1967 book called Political Realignment. This work is an interesting read today, as it is predictive in nature. Political Realignment calls for the formal reorganization of the 13  federal Conservative Party together with conservative elements in the Social Credit and Liberal parties to form a principled, fiscally responsible, policy-oriented party of the right. This proposed party was to bring into political action previously unconunitted groups, among them i) young people, ii) New Canadians, iii) the politically disillusioned and iv) the politically uninvolved. 12 Written during a time of disorganization in the Conservative political party, just prior to the leadership convention of 1967, Ernest Manning feared that the divided and unprepared conservatives would be forever confined to opposition status.  In Political Realignment, the Social Conservative position is presented in contrast to the collectivist “humanitarian socialist” tradition. The author(s) state that Canadians desire the development of a new political ideology which will harness the energies of a free enterprise private economic sector to the task of attaining many of the social goals which humanitarian socialists have long advocated. 13 -  Social conservative ideals embrace the preservation of individual liberty, including freedom of thought and respect for cultural and intellectual diversity. The individual, rather than the collective or aggregate, is acknowledged as the primary social unit. Government is given a supporting rather than domineering role in the development and preservation of national resources, and in the well-being of individuals. Fiscally responsible government is stressed, and a “systems approach” to public policies is recommended, in recognition of the interrelationship between all parts of a social or economic system. 14 The articulation of the social conservative position warns against collectivism and the by-products of utopian thinking and coercive government. E.C. Manning Political Realignment (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1967) p. 27. 12 p. 62. p,jd p. 65-68. 14  14  What stands out about this work is the similarity between the prescribed course of the proposed Social Conservative party and the Reform party. Reform rose to prominence because of widespread disillusionment with the federal Conservative party and its nine-year rule. It emerged as a party of principle, committed to a platform of liberal individualism, fiscal responsibility, and less government. Reform gained support from the politically disillusioned and the politically uninvolved (although not the young and New Canadians). The role of western alienation is not predicted, perhaps because Political Realignment was directed at the Conservative Party with a view to national goals. Quebec’s role within Confederation and the Constitution are not mentioned, for at that time the issue had not yet risen to national prominence.  Political Realignment also brings home the point that Preston Manning (and his father) have been working on the concept of Reform for over 25 years. Preston Manning, a self-described student of prairie populism, vowed in his youth to wait for the next populist movement to become involved in politics. He writes, By 1986, there were signs that another populist movement was in the making in western Canada. When these signs were confirmed through consultations with others across the West, a number of us undertook to provide a new political vehicle through which that movement could express itself in the federal arena. That is how the Reform Party of Canada was born. 15 This account helps to explain why a young man, bright, apparently keenly interested in public affairs, and from a profoundly political family, would stay out of elected politics until the age of forty-five. One exception to this portrayal is that Preston Manning ran for federal office in 1965 under the Social Credit banner,  Preston Manning The New Canada (Toronto: MacMillan, 1992), p. 7. 15  15  promoted by his father who was then still Premier of Alberta. Maiming finished “a distant second”. 16 The possibility of political leadership emerged again in 1968, upon the retirement of Ernest Manning, but the younger Manning’s political inexperience made him a poor candidate for the premiership. The support of the Manning clan went instead to cabinet member Harry Strom.’ 7  Having opted for a non-political path, Preston Manning then went into private business. As befits an individual interested in private sector initiatives and individualistic solutions to public problems, Preston Maiming has spent a number of years engaged in both areas. His political thinking has centered on a “systems analysis” approach to problem-solving, which he also used in his business, a consulting firm. An ecological approach, systems analysis relies on determination and quantification of relationships, and analysis of potential outputs given a certain set of inputs. This method was used in two early projects by Preston Manning, an Alberta White Paper on Human Resource Development and a booklet called Requests for  Proposals and Social Contracts. This systematic approach is consistent with a mind interested in physics and economics it is reductionist in nature, and simplifies -  relationships in order to test the results of various changes to the system. Sharpe and Braid note that “[tihe White Paper is packed with organization charts and the peculiar 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 to look for “its reflection in earthly systems”.’ 8 The Request for Proposals paper outlines the privatization of many government services, including education and health care. It describes “a massive contracting out of services across the board and  16 Manning The New Canada (Toronto: MacMillan, 1992), p. 37. Preston Sydney Sharpe and Don Braid Storming Babylon (Toronto: Key Porter, 1992) P. 37. 7 ‘ j p. 57. 3 18p  16  re-defines and limits the role of government to ‘management”. 19 Modeled on developments in the U.S. aerospace industry, the aim of the proposal was to deliver services at the lowest cost, reduce government bureaucracy, and leave initiative and control in the hands of individuals. This model is criticized as being impractical, increasing rather than decreasing the influence of civil servants, and flawed in its assumption that decentralized, private organizations are able to produce the services required.  These private sector ideals, sustained by the Social Credit Party under Ernest Manning and applied to social services by Preston and the “young Turks” of the Social Credit Party in the 1960’s, can be seen as main tenets of Reform party principles today. The Reform party emphasizes the provision of public services only where the private market has failed, and stresses private initiative as an alternative to government-run job creation programs. The ‘systems analysis approach is evident in the party’s internal policy memos which entail extensive analysis of current public problems and government expenditures, complete with charts, graphs, and succinct solution proposals.  Preston Manning’s business experience has incorporated some of his own social conservatism principles. For over fifteen years, Manning was involved in community development work in the Slave Lake area, organizing financial and technical support with a view to real estate and housing developments. While Murray Dobbin sees Slave Lake Developments (SLD) as a vehicle for getting large oil companies a foothold in the development door over and above the interests of aboriginal people, Manning’s own account reflects his interest in the functioning of  Murray Dobbin Preston Manning and the Reform Party (Toronto: Lorimer, 1991) p. 47. 19  17  social conservatism. 20 “[T]he dual objectives of Slave Lake Developments represented an attempt to synthesize social and economic objectives within a 21 The enterprise was plagued by conflicts of interest, due mainly corporate vehicle.” to the fact that local leaders who were involved in the development projects also served in the municipal levels of government. Sharpe and Braid describe Manning’s involvement as befitting a dedicated and idealistic person. They admit that SLD prospered during the 1970’s and 80’s, possibly due to the Manning name and connections, but also owing to diligence and hard work. Whether the project represented a triumph for the private enterprise social conservative model is not entirely clear, since it solicited funds from the government, and then profited from renting its properties to government departments.  Preston Manning’s detractors are pleased to emphasize his business and big -  business connections, which are a somewhat incongruous link for a populist -  leader. Manning has been involved with such groups as the Business Council on National Issues, the National Citizens’ Coalition, and has been friendly with the kind of “50 Big Shots” the Social Credit party had railed against for years. 23 A detailed investigation of Reform party links has been made by Dobbin, and include large oil companies; pro-(apartheid) South Africa connections; the National Firearms Association, the Heritage Front; the Alliance for the Preservation of English in Canada; anti-abortion groups; and William Gairdner, whose recent best-selling book details a cultural protectionism which seems to appeal to many Canadians. 24  20 Dobbin Preston Maiming and the Reform Party (Toronto: Lorimer, 1991) p. 62. Murray Preston Maiming The New Canada (Toronto: MacMillan, 1992), p. 60. 21 Sydney Sharpe and Don Braid Storming Babylon (Toronto: Key Porter, 1992) p. 118. 22 p,ja p. 108. 23 Murray Dobbin Preston Manning and the Reform Party (Toronto: Lorimer, 1991) p. 86-115. 24  18  While the party’s right-wing links are exposed as evidence of extremism, Manning’s personal behaviour seems beyond reproach. As should befit a devout Christian, Preston Manning is reputed to be a kind and generous person. He is not concerned with amassing wealth, as evidenced for example by the meagre-salaried work done for SLD, and lives a quiet and modest life. Despite allegations of racism, often directed toward him personally, Manning is reported to give utmost respect to all people, regardless of race. His fundamentalist Christian religion has also been raised as an issue for public concern, but Manning maintains that the Reform party does not have a hidden religious agenda. As a practicing Christian, he believes that his values have an impact on his views, as there is no such thing as a “value-free” 25 politician.  Preston Manning’s personal views and background provide a good explanation of the history behind the Reform party. The impact of this leader’s views on the party is evidenced by the similarity between the ideas expounded in Political Realignment and the present day Reform party. The examination of Manning’s early years and consulting career reveals that he has developed and remained faithful to some basic tenets. These principles figure prominently in the Reform party, from the emphasis on “less government”, frugality and efficiency in government services, to the decentralized, community provision of welfare services and to Manning’s keen interest 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 evolved under his close direction.  Preston Manning The New Canada (Toronto: MacMifian, 1992), p. 100. 25  19  Reform Party Platforms  The platforms and policies of the Reform party will be outlined, based on official documents from the party. The material is divided into the following areas: (i) economic policy, (ii) social policy, and (iii) political and constitutional reforms. For the sake of brevity, the general principles of the party will be noted, followed by specific policy pronouncements on some issues.  Economic Policy The Reform Party’s economic policies are based predominantly on free market principles. Economic efficiency provides the basis for economic reform, as inefficient allocation of capital due to public intervention is minimized or eliminated. These inefficiencies are minimized through the elimination of transfers to business, the simplification of the tax system, and the reduction of regulatory barriers to business and trade. Reformers believe that initiative and the creation of wealth and employment rest in the hands of private citizens rather than governments. Therefore, “job creation” programs are notably absent. The economic reforms proposed are philosophically coherent and theoretically sound (at a basic economic level), although if carried out, such policies would drastically alter the current expenditure regime. This is the intended effect, as along with concern for economic efficiency the centrepiece of Reform economic policy is the elimination of annual deficits and the public debt.  “The Reform Party supports depoliticizing economic decision making in Canada through the long-term elimination of grants, subsidies, and pricing policies and all federal taxes... imposed on the natural resources of the provinces, other than income tax of general application.” 26 This separation of politics and economics pervades Reform Party of Canada Principles and Policies: The Blue Book (Calgary, 1991) p. 13. 26  20  Reform policy, the assumption being that economic decision making in the hands of bureaucrats is wasteful and ultimately too costly. Development funds for businesses or regions are not supported by the party, nor are business subsidies in the form of tax expenditures. The privatization of Crown corporations is advocated, including Canada Post and Petro-Canada. 27  Contrary to the desires of previous prairie populist movements, a cheap food policy is endorsed by the party, with a gradual phasing out of subsidies, and the negotiation of agreements with our trading partners. If subsidies or unfair trading practices are in evidence, countervail duties may be imposed. As well, the party recommends a privately run “Income Averaging Fund” so that farmers may be protected from the vagaries of international markets. 28 As with agricultural products, Reform energy policy is guided by “market mechanisms with the objective of meeting the demands of consumers for safe, secure supplies of energy at 29 Private sector mega-projects are approved, excluding competitive prices.” government involvement in the form of special tax treatment, subsidies and loan ° 3 guarantees.  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 of taxation” •31 It opposes the use of tax expenditures to mold economic decision making, and the use of tax credits generally.  p. 22. Reform Party of Canada Reform Party Agricultural Task Force (1993) Appendix II, p. 1. 28 Reform Party of Canada Principles and Policies: The Blue Book (Calgary, 1991) p. 15-17. 29 30 p. 17. Reform Party of Canada Election Platform of the Reform Party of Canada, January 29, 1993, p. 1. 31  21  Prominent election issues during the 1993 campaign included unemployment or job creation and the deficit. Reform’s policy linked the two questions, holding that deficit reduction would encourage stimulation of the private sector, where most jobs would be created. 32 The party’s deficit reduction plan would eliminate the annual deficit in three years, the most drastic plan of all the federal parties. This plan was slated to cut $19 billion over three years, from Unemployment Insurance, Old Age Security, transfers to the provinces, subsidies to businesses and groups, and government operations. 33  Social policy Reform social policies are linked to the party’s economic policies for both practical and philosophical reasons. Given that health, education, and transfers to individuals represent the most costly budget items, the goal of balancing the budget cannot be entertained without cuts in social spending. As well, the Reform party is against bureaucratic controls and the current spread of the welfare state, preferring private market solutions over public provision of goods. The Blue Book states, “The Reform Party opposes the view of universal social programs run by bureaucrats are the best and only way to care for the poor, the sick, the old, and the young.” and calls upon the private sector, communities, and non-governmental organizations to reassume their social service roles. 34 However, the party advocates the establishment or funding of public goods where private markets are incapable of providing the kinds of services required. This approach echoes the “social” of the social conservatism movement, although the tag has not been revived for its place in Reform. As with private industry, the main thrust of Reform social restructuring is  32 Globe and Mail, October 5, 1993, p. A4. The The Globe and Mail, September 23, 1993, p. A16. 33 Reform Party of Canada Principles and Policies: The Blue Book (Calgary, 1991) p. 28. 34  22  to ensure future viability by removing inefficiencies, curtailing expansionist tendencies, and reducing the role of government. Universality, a sacred cow of Canadian programs, is sacrificed where local management is perceived to be more efficient.  The Reform party stance on Medicare is that the provinces should be able to control and direct their own system without penalty by the Canada Health Act. This would not preclude the use of user fees, extra billing, or the private provision of health care. The party does not advocate decreased health spending in order to reduce the deficit. Reform favours an immigration policy which responds to Canada’s economic needs, accepting immigrants who have skills needed by the Canadian job 35 In the context of the current recession, Reform recommends reducing market. immigration levels from the current 250,000 to 100,000 or 150,000 a year. The Blue Book also advocates the ratification of major changes to immigration policy by referendum. The subsidy cutting platform of the party is extended to all interest groups and associations now receiving payment.  Cuts to social programs are proposed in order to reduce government costs, to preserve them by making them economically viable. This is a different rationale from that expressed by the Mannings in the 1960’s, namely that universal social programs replace community supports and increase centralization by governments. However, the Reform approach to social spending corresponds well to the debt issue, and its number one focus is that, for fiscal reasons alone, governments cannot continue to spend as they did in the past.  Reform Party of Canada Caucus Issue Statement Noi February 22, 1992. 35  23  Political and Constitutional Reforms The Reform party has enunciated a number of democratic reforms and constitutional platforms which are entirely consistent with its populist roots. Where other areas of policy have carefully worked out proposals, the political reforms defer to the “will of the people”. As stated in the Blue Book, We believe in the common sense of the common people, their right to be consulted on public policy matters before major decisions are made, their right to choose their own leaders and to govern themselves through truly representative and responsive institutions, and their right to directly initiate legislation for which substantial public support is demonstrated. 36 The democratic reforms enunciated by the party are generally well-known and have formed a part of the founding myth of the party: more free votes in Parliament; the use of binding referenda, particularly on moral issues such as abortion and capital punishment; voters’ initiatives pending the support of 3% of the electorate; the institution of recall procedures against Members of Parliament; and the requirement of fixed election dates. The political reforms desired by the Reform party are more reminiscent 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 of constituency or personal preference.  Reform’s constitutional reforms have achieved some prominence, in part because they are quite different from the positions of the other major parties, which generally support current parliamentary practices. The Reform party opposed the Meech Lake Accord and the Charlottetown Accord. The party advocates the Triple E Senate, a longstanding constitutional demand of Alberta and the West. Popular  Reform Party of Canada Principles and Policies: The Blue Book (Calgary, 1991) p. 9. 36  24  ratification of all constitutional amendments is recommended, passing with a simple majority in two-thirds of the provinces. The constitutional process should be “bottom up”, beginning with constitutional conventions. A “property rights” clause in the Charter of Rights is advocated, a longtime concern of Preston Manning. 37 In 1971, Manning was involved in an unsuccessful campaign to get property rights included in the Victoria Charter. 38 Perhaps the most salient constitutional plank in the Reform platform is its position on Quebec. The party is opposed to special status for Quebec, and favours a constitutional negotiation once Quebeckers have indicated their desire to remain in Canada. The Reform party is in favour of “a new relationship... between aboriginal peoples and the Government of Canada”, which includes the elimination of the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. Although the party does not reject “Aboriginal self-government” per se, it poses a number of questions about democratic accountability, legal equality, and cost sharing in future aboriginal developments. 39  As can be seen from this brief survey of Reform platforms, the party is very much concerned with policy. It has issued a detailed stance on nearly every facet of policymaking, except “women’s issues” which it believes to be an erroneous class of policy concerns. Many Reform policies constitute ‘pet issues’ of Preston Manning in the past property rights, the removal of business subsidies, and the privatization of -  certain public services. The policies of the Reform party have for the most part been molded in the image of the leader.  37 Party of Canada Caucus Issue Statement No. 21, February 22, 1992. Reform Sydney Sharpe and Don Braid Storming Babylon (Toronto: Key Porter, 1992) p. 109. 38 Reform Party of Canada Caucus Issue Statement No. 1Q, November 20, 1991. 39  25  Popular Commentary  This section presents a look at the media coverage of the Reform party, from its inception to the end of the 1993 federal election campaign. From the beginning, the Reform Party has been both cheered and derided by the media. Much of the popular focus has centered on Reform policies, since they are a highly visible source of party philosophy. The nature of the Reform membership has also attracted much attention, as the party’s billings ranged from an innocuous western fringe party, to a Christian fundamentalist party, to a party of racists and extremists. At the same time, the party was commended for its leadership by the well-established, albeit conservative, interests of the country.  During the first few years of the party’s history, Reform enjoyed broad and favourable coverage in Alberta Report, from the initial gathering of the movement through to the 1988 and 1993 federal elections. In 1988, then-External Affairs minister 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, than elsewhere 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 the imposition of the GST in 1991 snowballed into a mass of resentment by the early 1990’s. Reform’s 1991 decision to extend the party into Ontario and the Atlantic region reflected its new popularity in other parts of the country. Controversial elements of the Reform platform then became the subject of debate among the party’s supporters and detractors, particularly its policies on immigration, interest groups, the deficit, and Quebec. Despite popularity and polite audiences in the Western Report, 40  June 6, 1988, p. 16. 26  business sectors and conservative suburbs of Toronto, the Reform party was strongly resented by the more liberal elements. Manning’s appearance at the University of Toronto in 1991 was marked by angry protesters and charges of racism, revealing Toronto as a much different ballpark from Calgary. However, parts of the Reform theme rang true with Canadians in every province, which allowed for an extended honeymoon period, particularly with the business community and tax-weary voter: As long as the public’s deep disgust over the methods employed in trying to impose Meech Lake remains Mr. Manning will likely meet enthusiasm wherever he goes. A return to honest, straightforward politics with meaningful involvement by the voter has been identified by pollsters as the number one concern of the Canadian public. 41 The conservative nature of the Reform membership is revealed in a story on the party’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 on employment equity and pay equity, family violence, and women’s health care”, with position papers by feminist advocates. The members were shocked and rejected the notion that such issues are the domain of women, seemingly unwilling to acquaint themselves with the literature. 42 Although not official policy, the party has been repeatedly linked to an anti-abortion stance, traditional family roles, and the reinstitution of capital punishment, consistent with its ultra-conservative media image.  More recent attempts to broaden the party to appeal to a larger constituency of opinion has caused some friction in the party. The hiring of Ottawa insider Rick -4 Western Report, July 23, 1990, p. 15. Western Report, December 10, 1990, p. 18. 42  27  Anderson for the 1993 campaign raised the concern of some members that control of the party was being wrenched from them, and that slick election tactics would make Reform look like a traditional political party. 43  When 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 David Laycock notes, “parties of the left and right witnessed hemorrhaging of their traditional voting base toward Reform. They responded with desperate attacks on the Reform agenda, particularly on its prescriptions for the Canadian welfare 44 When the electorate and media focus turned to policy issues, Reform found state.” its detailed proposals faring well against those of the other parties, particularly the Conservative party which seemed to offer few concrete proposals until the last minute. Chretien’s Keynesian job creation plan provided a foil for Manning and his radical cuts. Maclean’s election coverage often featured the offerings of the five federal leaders, and once quoted Manning as saying, reminiscent of the folksy Ross Perot, “Any politician who thinks you can stimulate a $700-billion economy with some sewer projects... will believe you can start a 747 with a flashlight battery.” 45 The election coverage enabled Reform to appear as a serious contender, a national party, even though it had western origins, was not running in Quebec, and its support seemed to be based in Alberta and British Columbia. Thanks to the Bloc Quebecois’ secessionist constitutional position, Reform’s hard line on Quebec appeared less threatening. In any event, much of the election focus was on the deficit and spending issues. Maclean’s noted, “Manning forced other politicians to  43 August 9, 1993, p. 15; Western Report, September 6, 1993, P. 8. Maclean’s, David Laycock “Reforming Canadian Democracy? Institutions and Ideology in the Reform Party 44 Project” in Canadian Journal of Political Science, June 1984, p. 1. Maclean’s, September 20, 1993, p. 16. 45  28  at least set deadlines for their claims [on the deficit]. His arrival as a national force made a hawkish approach to deficit cutting the litmus test for aspiring leaders.” 46  Despite the praise bestowed on Reform for its serious attempts to address debt issues, the party was dogged during the campaign by allegations of extremism in the party. Manning stated repeatedly that his party did not condone extremism and racism. The Globe and Mail noted, Although the strategic objective of Mr. Manning’s Ontario tour was supposed to have been an attack on the Liberals as big spenders who will run up taxes, the Reform Leader kept returning to the attacks on his credibility and his party’s policies, especially regarding pensions and immigration. 47  Some Reform candidates reinforced the notion that the party was rampant with extremism. Candidate John Beck for York-Centre withdrew after a scandal involving anti-Jewish remarks to a York University paper, and other Reform candidates were quoted making outlandish statements about immigrants, the role of women, and the elderly. 48 This kind of reporting resulted in a somewhat defensive campaign, with Reform spin doctors working overtime.  This investigation of Reform media coverage presents a multi-faceted view of the party. The Reform party appears to invite both strong support and opposition for its policies. While the party’s deficit control plans earned high marks with the business community and those concerned with the public debt, its policies eliminating subsidies and the party’s commitment to a homogenous citizenship were rejected by many of the groups. The Reform party enjoyed several honeymoon 46 September 27, 1993, P. 33. Maclean’s, The Globe and Mail, October 20, 1993, p. AS. 47 The Globe and Mail, October 14, 1993, p. A6. 48  29  periods, particularly during episodes of disaffection with the Conservative party. It also gained status as a ‘serious’ party during the election campaign with the presentation of its deficit reduction plans and detailed assessments of the economy. These gains, however, were offset by some rocky periods prior to and during the election period, in which extremist elements in the party, particularly in the Reform candidates, were clearly visible.  The Hypothetical Reform Supporter The summary of views of the hypothetical Reform supporter will be presented with roughly 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, the extrapolation of the Reform supporter will present a more generalized picture than in the presentation of N.E.S. data. It is supposed that the views of the Reform supporter would match some or many of the characteristics described below. Furthermore, it is assumed that Reform supporters are actually aware of the party’s stated policies, and hold internally consistent views in political and economic matters, which may or may not be true. In practice, a voter may, for example, stress free market principles but be opposed to free trade between countries, or oppose subsidies to business while favouring the maintenance of agricultural subsidies.  Based on the portrait of the Reform party in this chapter, the Reform supporter is someone who is concerned about the federal debt and believes chronic deficit spending to be primarily a result of subsidies to various groups, government overspending, and too heavy a reliance on welfare programs. In short, economic mismanagement lack of foresight, patronage and politicking, the inability to -  30  restructure priorities is viewed as a serious flaw in the current system. The -  supporter is also likely to be aware of free market values, and view economic dislocations as the product of government interference and an inefficient allocation of resources. Comprehensive social programs, particularly welfare services, are perceived as expensive, overly bureaucratized and seen as creating dependency in their populations. Universal health care may or may not be defended. Some governmental provision of health care is regarded as a fundamental Canadian value, and the supporter is concerned about the viability of the program as it currently exists. 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 of the flow of goods and services is questionable, as few Canadian citizens would not be adversely affected by the withdrawal of subsidies and government spending. Perhaps Reform supporters are drawn from those groups who would be least affected, such as the self-employed, the private sector, non-special interest affiliated” citizens, the economically stable, and residents of the richer provinces. In short, those people who do not depend on government programs would be most likely to support Reform economic programs. The Reform supporter disagrees with the GST and is pro-free trade (consistent with an anti-taxation and free market stance), 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 reports suggests that Reform support increased dramatically after the 1991 furor over the GST, particularly in Alberta which had no provincial sales tax.)  The social and moral attitudes of the hypothetical Reform voter emerge as being rather traditional. A conservative stand is found on moral issues, including homosexual rights (gay marriages and adoption), the position of women in society, and with regard to abortion and capital punishment. Although the party’s stance on 31  the last two issues is ambivalent, recommending a national plebiscite for the determination 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 supporter may also harbor resentment against new immigrants and feel that these individuals, particularly the non-European immigrants, are financially burdensome to the country. 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 which partisan politics is practiced in Canada. He is fed up with patronage, political wrangling and elitism, and believes that much of the difficulty in which Canada finds itself (public debt, corruption, disaffection) is a result of these tendencies. Greater public input into government policy is desired, in order to lessen the power of elites and interest groups.  Although the demographics of Reform supporters and members have been the subject of much speculation since the partys inception, on the eve of the 1993 federal election the Reform supporter was perceived to be older (many retired), white, and more likely to be male. Private sector or self-employed occupational status was more common than public sector, with greater support from non-union people. The party seemed to draw support from both high and low economic classes, including both workers and the professions. The support base was found primarily in the West, particularly Alberta and British Columbia, but it also extended east into Ontario. 32  This Reform profile will now be compared with survey data from the 1993 NES in order to review its validity, and to see if the Reform party’s popular image measures up with the views of its supporters.  33  CHAPTER THREE: NATIONAL ELECTION STUDY DATA  Introduction  Where 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 views of Reform voters through data from the 1993 National Election Study. The National Election Study will be introduced along with an explanation of the statistical procedures used in this paper. The statistical data generated for this study will then be presented with a discussion of the similarities and differences in the image of the party and its actual support base.  The 1993 National Election Study  The 1993 National Election Study represents the most recent incarnation of a series of studies funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRCC) and is administered and run by political scientists. The authors of the 1993 NES are: Richard Johnston, Neil Nevitte, Henry E. Brady, Elisabeth Gidengil, and André Blais. The data consists of a set of responses from telephone  interviews which were administered daily throughout the election period. The NES includes response data from the 1992 Referendum campaign (conducted in October, 1992) and the 1993 election and post-election periods. This study is particularly  valuable because many respondents were interviewed for all three stages of the study, and this allows for comparison of attitudes across a volatile period in Canadian electoral politics from the summer of 1992 until late 1993. In that period, the electorate first defeated the constitutional referendum and then the Conservative government. Both events saw major Reform advances for the party as the only one  34  to oppose the Referendum. The Reform party then vaulted into third place in the House of Commons, winning 52 seats.  The data used in this study is based primarily on the 1993 NES. The tables of means and crosstabulations are based on one common element: the recalled vote of respondents in the post-election study. This measure was crossed with a series of questions tapping respondents’ orientations on various personal and public policy issues. The responses span the election phase, the post-election phase, and the previous year’s referendum phase of the NES. Since the orientations of respondents on public issues did not vary considerably during the election period (unlike their feelings about the leaders and vote intentions), the crosstabulation of the structure of opinion in one phase with that in another phase is possible. This study is not concerned with election dynamics, but rather the more long-term opinions of respondents. For greater clarity, Quebec respondents were omitted from the statistical operations, since the Reform party did not run any candidates in that province.  Survey Results  The 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 column percentages, which measure the proportion of Reform-voting respondents for each orientation expressed. For example, if Reform voters comprise 10% of unionized respondents and 20% of non-unionized respondents, then the link between a Reform vote and non-union membership is twice as strong as between a Reform vote and union membership. Looking at row percentages rather than the straight or column  35  percentages (i.e. what % of Reform voters are unionized) puts the data in the context of the entire electorate rather than merely looking at the Reform sample. The data as expressed here deals with probabilities, and shows where the likelihood of voting Reform is strong and where it is weak, given a particular policy orientation. Reform voters made up approximately 26% of the respondents, as the figures exclude Quebec respondents. If no relationship existed between a vote for Reform and the sentiment described, the party would be equally well represented (approximately 26%) in all categories. For the most part, data from the other parties is not shown in order to concentrate on the Reform results. The sample size for each response is indicated in italics under the percentage figure, and the number of respondents expressing a particular orientation may be found by multiplying the percentage figure by the sample size. Figures in bold highlight the sentiments that are most and least strongly related to voting Reform. If the ratio of the Reform shares of polar opposite sentiments, for example, if personal finances got ‘better’ or ‘worse’ in the past year, is greater than 1.5 (larger:smaller) then the figures in the tables are highlighted. Some of the tables display mean “feeling thermometer” scores. The NES feeling thermometer score questions ask the respondent to rate social and economic groups on a scale of 1 to 100, with 1 being the lowest and 100 the most favourable score. The Reform thermometer scores which reveal a 20% difference above or below the scores from respondents who voted for the other parties are also highlighted. Prior to exhibiting the data, the expectations of the Reformer will be briefly recapitulated in each area. Except where otherwise indicated, the pronouns  he 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.  36  i.  Economic policy  Based on the findings of the previous chapter, it is expected that the Reform supporter will emerge as fiscally conservative, wedded to the principles of economic liberalism. There will be an anti-government trace in his beliefs that governments foster administrative and economic inefficiencies. The Reform supporter will be concerned about the debt and excessive public spending. Consistent with these economic priorities, the Reform supporter will want to minimize the role of government in the provision of service, and look to private initiative to provide the kinds of services that have traditionally been provided by the welfare state. Therefore, the Reform supporter is likely to favour spending cuts and the restructuring of social programs. The Reformer will be supportive of free trade, and is likely to be unsupportive of the Goods and Services Tax.  Personal and Public Financial Health Reform voters emerge as being somewhat ambivalent about their financial situations -  feelings about changes in their financial situations made little difference to the  likelihood of voting Reform. In some economic areas, optimism is strongly linked to voting Reform, while in others Reform voters are more likely to be dissatisfied. Reform voters are different from Conservative voters in that the latter are much more likely to be supportive of the economic policies and initiatives of the former Conservative regime. Table 1 demonstrates that economic dissatisfaction indicators were largely irrelevant to voting Reform.  37  Table 1. Attitudes Toward Personal and Public Financial State  Question  % Reform in each category (N)  Personal finances past year Personal finances year from now Federal economic policies made you Economy of country past year Federal policies made country Economy of province past year  Better  Same  Worse  29.0  23.1  26.5  487  506  2009  25.9  25.0  29.6  478  1021  365  18.8  25.3  27.3  85  975  897  24.6  26.2  26.4  172  581  1238  25.0  23.2  29.0  104  845  1005  27.5  27.1  25.6  182  484  1334  In Table 1, the similarity in the row percentage figures for each question indicate that, one way or another, these feelings were not likely to have determined a vote for Reform. The only figure worthy of note can be seen in the question regarding the effect of federal economic policies on the respondent: Reform voters made up 18.8% 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 ratio of 1:1.5. The reference to the “federal government” in that question perhaps unleashed the partisan sentiments of former Tories who defected to Reform. The similarity of the figures in Table 1 suggests that there is in fact no obvious relationship between voting Reform and the awareness of downward economic change in either personal or public economies. Thus the economic protest/reform aspect of the Reform party cannot be accounted for by a precipitous decline in the fortunes of its supporters, nor by a sudden rise in economic standards.  38  Commercial Policy In the area of commercial policy, Reform voters were somewhat more likely to support as to oppose the substance and the principles of the Canada-U.S. and North American Free Trade Agreements, although the differences are not conclusive (Table 2). Table 2. Aftitudes Toward Commercial Policy  Question’  % Reform in each category (N)  Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement NAFTA  Support  Neither  Oppose  31.6  39.7  21.8  785  58  1101  32.5  25.8  24.1  530  31  1304  Agree*  Disagree*  FTA necessary ensure large market  30.0  22.4  1055  720  Unemployment up because of FTA  23.9  32.1  1387  492  27.8 662 25.3  24.7  1286  505  NAFTA necessary maintain position Unemployment up under NAFTA *  893  29.5  somewhat and strongly categories merged.  Based on this survey data, voting Reform emerges as consistent with support for free trade, true to the hypothetical Reform voter. In each question, Reform voters are more likely than not to take up a position in favour of free trade, although the differences are not very pronounced. These figures also show a slightly better  ‘V  Please refer to the Appendix for question wordings.  39  chance of Reform voters defending the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement than the NAFTA. A vote for Reform is not nearly as likely to be linked to support for free trade policies as a Conservative vote. The Conservative vote in this survey is also strongly linked to a defense of Conservative government policies (Table 3). Table 3. Conservative Attitudes Toward Conservative Regime Economic Policies  1’ Question’  % Conservative in each category (N)  Federal policies made you Federal policies made country Canada-U.S. FTA NAFTA GST  Better/Favour  Same! Neither  Worse! Opp.  30.6  18.7  9.6  85  975  897  42.3  18.8  9.1  104  845  1005  25.2  17.2  7.5  785  58  1101  24.7  22.6  10.7  530  31  1304  26.0 557  -  10.5 1431  Note: Quebec respondents not thcluded  Respondents who voted for the Conservative party are two to four times more likely than not to support the policies investigated in the survey. However, the (N)’s in Table 3 are very small for the “better/favour” response, in some cases one tenth the size of the “worse/oppose” category. The table shows a strong allegiance to the Conservative party on the part of its voters. The voters who left the Conservative party for Reform were likely motivated by something other than commercial policy,  41 refer to the Appendix for question wordings. ‘ Please  40  given that the Reform party’s ethic more or less supports Conservative economic policies. Fiscal Policy A third area of economic policy may be labelled as pertaining to fiscal policy. The NES tapped a number of areas related to government spending, the tax and deficit burdens, and preferred areas of funding cuts. These questions provided good indicators of respondent priorities, and reflected commonly discussed areas of public policy. On the whole, expectations about the nature of the Reform vote are confirmed (Table 4). Table 4. Attitudes Toward the Deficit and Taxation  Question  % Reform in each category (N)  Reduce deficit vs. maintain programs  Pay higher taxes reduce deficit Pay higher taxes maintain programs Only way to create jobs eliminate deficit Favour Goods and Services Tax Canada can get by without GST  41  Reduce deficit  Maintain programs  35.4  12.8  1142  670  Yes  No  25.7  26.4  541  1396  20.5  30.4  810  1123  35.9  19.8  234  455  29.8  25.0  557  1431  26.2  27.1  1162  761  As expected from our Reform profile, voting Reform was much more likely to be concerned with cutting the deficit rather than maintaining programs. Reform voters are three times more likely to want to reduce the deficit rather than maintain programs, and are more likely than not to be unwilling to pay higher taxes in order to maintain programs. The importance of deficit reduction is further underlined in the 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 a vote for Reform. Support and opposition to the GST may have acted to cancel each other out. Consistent with the trade liberalization focus of the Reform party, the GST replaced a hidden tax on the manufacturing sector. However, the GST also placed a tax on previously-untaxed services, which raised the ire of those concerned with the tax burden and the cost of living.  Table 5 displays the cost cutting propensities of Reform voters toward the most salient public expenditures.  42  Table 5. Aftitudes Toward Fiscal Issues  ’ 4 Question  % Reform in each category (N)  Welfare Unemployment Insurance Foreign Aid Pensions and Old Age Health Care Education Defence User fees=less waste (Yes/No)  A lot  Some  Not at all  37.4  28.2  14.9  433  949  598  41.7  28.5  18.4  230  974  771  35.5  22.3  19.9  645  1048  292  33.3  39.5  22.5  39  392  1574  30.8  36.9  22.5  39  488  1481  34.1  36.9  23.4  41  366  1596  25.0  25.6  29.2  597  1040  32.6  -  1075  332  18.9 869  The overall pattern is that Reform voters are cost cutters: they are far more likely (as high as 2.5 times) to cut rather than to maintain, except in the area of defense. The most 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 like to 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 on deficit slashing and cuts to programs. As the only area in which Reformers are likely to avoid spending cuts, defense seems to have escaped the deficit cutting logic of the party. Costly provincial programs such as health and education are less likely  4’  Please refer to the Appendix for question wordings.  43  to be targeted for cuts by Reform voters. However, user fees are likely to meet with approval by Reform supporters, who are more likely (1.8 times) to believe that user fees reduce waste in health care rather than hinder access to medical care.  ii.  Social and Moral Issues  Concerning social and moral issues, the Reform supporter is expected to hold traditional views. He is likely to favour capital punishment, and take a “law and order” stance against criminals. The Reformer should shun the provision of abortions, and hold conservative opinions on the nature and role of the family.  The NES provided a number of survey questions which tapped respondent views about social issues, both public and personal. Reform voters generally were more likely to hold conservative or traditional views about social arrangements (Tables 6 and 7). The “mean rating” percentage figures in Table 7 are the results of the NES thermometer scales.  44  Table 6. Aftitudes Toward Social Issues  % Reform in each category  ’ 1 Question’  (N)  Agree*  Disagree*  Women should stay home with children  31.3  21.1  948  1022  Gay marriages made legal  21.2  30.0  690  1201  32.1  23.8  644  1305  Only the legally married should have children  *  ‘1’  somewhat and strongly categories merged.  Please refer to the Appendix for question wordings.  45  Table 7. Aftitudes Toward Moral Issues  QuesfionW  % Reform in each category (N)  Never  If needed  Personal  24.7  28.5  25.0  186  701  1097  Abortion  Capital punish. never justified Crack down on crime even if lose rights  Mean rating: Police Mean rating: Anti-Abortion Groups *  somewhat and strongly categories  Agree*  Disagree*  15.7  30.6  568  1367  30.4  19.2  1179  757  Reform  All other parties  79.7% 42.5%  77.4% 42.3%  merged.  Reform voters were 1.5 times as likely to endorse traditional rather than liberal positions on marriage and the family. In Table 7, Reform voters were twice as likely to strongly disagree as to agree with the statement that “capital punishment is never justified”. A crackdown on crime in spite of lost rights also figured prominently as a determinant of the Reform vote. This data confirms the popular image of Reformers as being morally traditional, or right-wing, as well as having a tough stance on law enforcement.  ‘‘  Please refer to the Appendix for question wordings.  46  Respondent opinion on abortion presents a surprising exception to the consistently conservative moral views demonstrated in other questions. One’s position on abortion is not connected with the likelihood of voting Reform: respondents maintaining the “never”, “permitted when need established”, and “personal choice” positions are equally likely to place a vote for Reform. The abortion figure in Table 7 is consistent with the mean thermometer rating for “anti-abortion groups”, since the percentages are nearly identical. Reformers are not more likely to adhere to a morally conservative (i.e. pro-life) stance on abortion, and this data contradicts the Reform profile which hypothesized a consistent morally traditional outlook.  The results of the NES thermometer scales shown reinforce the notion that Reformers hold social and moral views that are much more conservative than supporters of the other parties. Table 8. Attitudes Toward Social Groups  Social Group  Unions Feminists Homosexuals People on welfare Small business Big business Farmers  Mean Rating% Reform  All other parties  41.3 46.4 37.1 45.1 82.5 61.5 81.0  52.8 56.7 46.2 51.5 80.4 61.1 81.0  The thermometer scores for feminists and homosexuals are roughly ten points lower than the other-party average, consistent with the family values evident in Table 6.  47  Given the free market, deficit-control principles of the Reform party, it is not surprising that Reform respondents ranked unions less highly than the rest of the sample. There were no notable differences in feelings about farmers, or big or small business.  iii.  Ethnic Issues  Based on the findings of chapter two, the Reform supporter is expected to favour a universal definition of citizenship, and reject all legal or administrative differentiation on the basis of race or ethnicity. Therefore, the Reformer should oppose special constitutional status for Quebec and the introduction of Aboriginal self-government. Affirmative action programs are also expected to be rejected. The lowering 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 Reform voters are intolerant of ethnic distinctions and/or ‘other’ ethnic backgrounds. The party’s official stand is that no ethnic differences should be enshrined in law or policy. The Reform respondents tend toward these views, although the question of immigration levels does not necessarily pertain to ethnic differences.  48  Table 9. Aftitudes Toward Ethnic Groups  Question”  % Reform in each category (N)  Recognize Quebec as distinct Proposal Quebec 1/4 House seats Recognize Aboriginal self-government Aboriginal should make own laws Immigration What should be done for racial minorities Mean Rating (%) Quebec Aboriginal Racial Minorities  Agree! More  Disagree! Less  22.1  29.9  312  375  14.2  29.1  120  567  24.2  31.2  471  186  16.1  29.2  442  186  19.7  29.4  346  1281  14.3  43.6  523  500  Reform 60.1 66.4 65.4  All other parties 62.1 71.4 69.7  As hypothesized for the Reform voter, there is a consistent rejection of differential treatment for ethnic groups. The likelihood of rejecting special or advantageous status depends on how the issue is framed. Table 9 reveals that Reform voters are twice as likely to reject as to support the reservation of 1/4 of House of Commons seats for Quebec, and also more likely than not to disagree with the recognition of Quebec as a distinct society. Similarly, Reform voters are twice as likely to reject as to support the making of aboriginal laws by aboriginal governments, and to a lesser extent, more likely to reject than support the recognition of Aboriginal self government. The most significant spread in the thermometer ratings pertain to  ‘‘  Please refer to the Appendix for question wordings.  49  aboriginal people a five point spread between Reform-voting respondents and the -  rest of the electorate. Sentiments toward racial minorities are consistent with the Reform voter profile. There is a four point spread in the thermometer ratings for racial minorities” between Reform and all other parties, which in itself is not that significant. However, Reformers are three times more likely to feel that less, rather than more, should be done for racial minorities. This is consistent with the party’s stance on interest groups, and its strong rejection of culture and language funding known as Multiculturalism. The Reform party’s stance calling for less immigration appears to have the support of voters Reform voters were more likely (1.5 times) to -  favour decreased rather than increased levels of immigration. The immigration issue may be a proxy for racial tensions, since a majority of immigrants now come from third world countries and have non-white backgrounds. Indeed, Reform’s former policy on immigration, now amended, was to favour immigrants who could adapt easily to Canadian living, but is now geared toward receiving immigrants who meet Canadian economic and labour needs. The sentiments on other ethnic groups expressed in the NES data confirm the structure of opinion found in the Reform profile.  iv.  Alienation  The Reformer is expected to be politically alienated, not having a great deal of confidence in the abilities and motivation of politicians. The Reform voter is should exhibit dissatisfaction with the process of governing in Canada. The Reformer is expected to believe that interest groups and elites have an influence into policymaking that far exceeds their numbers, and will look favourably upon direct democracy measures.  50  One composite measure which was strongly related to the Reform vote relates to alienation from the political process (Table 10). Table 10. Alienation  % Reform in each category (N) Disagree Agree 35.7 22.4  ’ 4 Question’  Satisfaction with Democracy in Canada Vote in 1992 Referendum (yes/no) Politicians no more corrupt than others Politicians say anything get elected Final say in changing Constitution Mean Rating (%) Politicians  1403  588  17.6  35.3  279  357  23.0  30.8  1141  811  26.6  20.6  1839  165  Referendum 29.4  Elected Reps 19.5  466  205  Reform 36.0%  All others 43.5%  As observed in Table 10, Reform voters were likely to take a consistently dim view of the behaviour of politicians. The extent of this alienation distinguishes them from the Conservative, Liberal and NDP voters, who are far less likely to exhibit hostility toward politicians. For example, in the question about satisfaction with democracy in Canada, the Reform party was alone among the federal parties to have better representation in the ‘disagree’ rather than the ‘agree’ response category (not shown). Chances are two to one that Reformers voted ‘no’ in the Charlottetown Accord referendum, although this is not surprising considering that Reform was alone in the major federal parties to oppose the Charlottetown Accord. Reformers are more likely to be disdainful about the character of politicians, and award them a N’  Please refer to the Appendix for question wordings  51  mean rating that is much lower than that suggested by supporters of the other parties. Populist tendencies were evident in the figures on constitutional amendment, 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 merely disaffected. Table 11. Level of Political Interest  Question  % Reform in each category (N)  During campaign discussed with others  Past week discussed politics What is inflation rate: gave answer What is unemployment rate: gave answer What is federal deficit: gave answer  Yes  No  27.3  18.1  1753  265  27.5  21.5  1550  466  28.7  21.3  1322  694  26.7  22.5  1732  284  28.6  20.8  1383  629  Respondents who voted Reform show a consistently high likelihood of exhibiting political awareness, and do not appear to lack political efficacy. Coupled with the political alienation, Reformers were ripe for a new political force on the federal horizon. The greater likelihood of being politically aware matches the Reform party’s affinity for detailed platforms and inclusive policy workshops.  52  v.  Demographic Variables  A 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. Private sector and self-employment occupations should be most common, with support from both working and professional economic classes. Union membership is expected to be less common than no union affiliation. The province of residence of Reform voters is most likely to be Alberta, British Columbia, or perhaps Ontario.  The NES revealed some interesting demographic data on Reform voters. Tables 12 and 13 display the most likely and least likely relationships. Table 12. Employment Data  Question  % Reform in each category Most Likely  Employment status Area of work Unionization  Means: Household Income  Least Likely  working  homemaker  student  laid off  27.8  32.1  14.2  16.7  private sector  self-employed  public sector  27.7  36.5  18.5  non-union  union  30.3  22.2  Reform $57, 300  All other parties $51,900  Employment status proved to be an important indicator of Reform vote: respondents were more likely to be working, to be homemakers, and less likely to be students or laid off. Clearly, the financially comfortable are more likely to be at home in the party than the economic marginalized or insecure. As expected, union  53  status 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 the vote from Alberta, the least unionized province, is largely offset by the vote in British Columbia, the most highly unionized province. Level of education seemed to be irrelevant to the vote, although the data revealed a slight overrepresentation in the technical school area. The mean income of Reform supporters is higher than that of the other parties, confirming the image of these voters as economically stable people. Table 13. Demographic Variables  Question  % Reform in each category  Most Likely Religion Ethnic Group Gender Province Means: Age  Least Likely  Protestant  None  29.1  29.5  19.2  0  E. Europe  N. Europe  Asian  French/Que  40.5  44.1  12.0  9.0  Catholic  Male  Female  30.5  21.5  Jewish  Alberta  B.C.  P.E.I.  Nfld.  45.4  34.3  1.4  0  Reform 44  All other parties 45  The crosstabulation of vote by religion finds that Reform voters are equally likely to be Protestant (29.1%), ‘Other’ (28.6%) and ‘None’ (29.5%), while Catholics are underrepresented in the party (19.2). These findings defy the notion that the party supports an overrepresentation of evangelical Christians (although within the Protestant group the evangelical sects are well-represented). Even more  54  surprisingly, a survey question asking about the importance of God produced the following result: those respondents who felt that God was “not important” or “not very important” (30.8%, 29.8%) were better represented within the Reform group than 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 the Reform group (although British origin provides the greatest numbers).  Interestingly, the Reform voter is more likely to be male than female, consistent with the “old, white male” support base of the party. But is it? Crosstab results of age deciles showed that Reformers are most likely to be in their 50’s, then 30’s, followed by 40’s and 20’s, but there is little difference in the row percentages among these age groupings (28.3 through 22.5). The average age of the Reform voter was in fact one year lower than the other parties combined. Thus, the image of the party’s supporters as dominated by older men is not borne out by this data.  Not surprisingly, Reform voters were much more likely to reside in Alberta and British Columbia, less so from Manitoba and Saskatchewan, followed by Ontario and the Maritime provinces.  Summary The National Election Study data reveals a number of significant patterns, some entirely predictable, but others which do not conform to our profile of the hypothetical Reform voter. In this data, the strength of the links between voting Reform and a particular sentiment range from a ratio of 1:1 (no relationship) to 1:2 and 1:3. Given this range, the opinions which are linked with a ratio of 1:2 or higher  55  are considered strong and worthy of consideration. Deficit and ethnic issues emerge as 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 deficit cutting over program maintenance (1:3) and job creation (1:2); and the rejection of differential 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 in capital punishment (1:2).  In the economic area, the extent of economic satisfaction or dissatisfaction bears little relationship to the likelihood of voting Reform. These results point to the existence of a non-economically motivated revolt, generated not by hardship but by some other kind of duress. As expected, Reform voters have a high chance of being concerned with the deficit and this comes across as a major political issue over and above program maintenance. The predicted areas of spending cuts welfare, -  income support programs, and subsidies to various groups have emerged in the -  data as being strongly linked to the Reform vote. Reformers are likely to be pro-free trade, as hypothesized, but they are also more likely than not to support the GST, an unanticipated finding.  The social and moral policy inclinations of Reformers have been well charted according to the NES data. With the exception of the abortion issue, Reformers have emerged as likely to be very socially and morally conservative, which is consistent with the party’s image. The consistent exhibition of moral traditionalism shown in the data is noteworthy. In addition to the moral stance, a law and order stance on crime and law enforcement was verified.  56  The hypothetical Reform voter profile proved to be consistent with Reform attitudes on other ethnic groups pertaining to the issues of Quebec, Aboriginal self-  government, and ethnic minorities (including immigration). The data showed that Reformers were much more likely to be hostile when faced with the demands of these groups, which is consistent with the universal citizenship models endorsed by the party.  As expected, Reformers tend toward political alienation, and express the desire to revise the present approach to politics and public policy. The link between political alienation and a vote for Reform is present, although the level of political interest of this 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 sector employment, and strong western representation, other figures refuted conventional notions of who Reformers are. The occupational and income data reinforced the notion that Reform is not a movement of the economically disadvantaged. Neither age nor level of education had an effect on voting Reform. The party’s electorate is equally well represented in the Protestant and ‘no religion’ categories, and less wellrepresented in the belief in the importance of God.  Overall, The NES data displayed in this chapter confirms the image of the party’s supporters, although in a few areas the Reform profile was not confirmed by the data. Reformers are not more likely to be pro-life, as one’s position on abortion makes no difference to the likelihood of voting Reform. As well, church membership, belief in the importance of God, and older voters were not positively linked to voting Reform. 57  CHAPTER FOUR: CONCLUSION This paper was conceived to answer questions about the 1993 Reform voter: how and to what extent does the popular image of the Reform party measure up with those 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 by looking at the partys historical precedents, the beliefs of its leader, its policies, and media 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 the party and the leader, and applied dispassionately to a myriad of public issues and problems. The reduction and elimination of the federal debt emerged as a central priority of the party, achieved not by increasing taxes, but by cutting public spending. It was not clear whether Reformers themselves were well off, but at any rate they were probably not overly dependent on the programs to which they proposed to make drastic cuts.  The social priorities of Reformers were seen to be based on economic imperatives and public waste, but also on a desire to reign in lavish welfare programs and encourage individual productivity. The current approach to immigration emerged as a major problem for Reformers, as there was a general belief that the country was suffering economically in bringing in refugees and immigrants. Party attitudes toward ethnic minorities were not noted to be charitable, and there was a hard line on ‘multiculturalism’ programs. A pronounced moral traditionalism was found in the Reform party, in a negative stance toward women’s issues, abortion, and gay rights, as well as a preoccupation with a plebiscite on capital punishment. As well,  58  attitudes about special treatment for ethnic groups, whether Quebecois, aboriginal, or visible minority, were disapproving. Instead, homogeneity in Canadian citizenship was favoured. Contrary to the ‘non racist’ policies of Reform, the party has 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 connection between 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 desire for greater input into political processes was generated in part by discontent with the traditional political parties, especially the ruling Conservatives. Reformers were seen to be politically alienated and desired a fundamental change in the style of government.  Demographically, the party was found to be likely to attract older, white, males who work in the private sector, although the party also appealed to women. It was not clear whether the Reform profile included people with a lot or little education, or whether support came primarily from urban or rural regions. Initially, the Reform party was linked with rural regions, but this may have changed prior to the 1993 federal election.  Following the investigation of the Reform party, data from the 1993 National Election Study was presented. This section detailed a crosstabulation procedure containing two elements, the Reform vote and the respondent’s opinion on a variety of public questions. Thus, the strength of the link between voting Reform and a particular sentiment revealed much about the nature of the Reform vote, that is, the likelihood of voting Reform if a certain opinion was expressed by the respondent. 59  The results of the crosstabs were then used to test the initial Reform profile, and the extent of difference between the two images the constructed Reformer and the -  surveyed Reformer was examined. -  Overall, there was not much different between the two images. The survey results showed that, overall, Reform voters are most likely to be concerned with cutting the deficit, controlling public spending, and the strong rejection of differential laws for ethnic groups such as the Quebecois, Aboriginal peoples, and racial minorities. Reform voters are more likely to enjoy employment, be self-employed, and they generate higher-than-average household incomes. They are not likely to be dissatisfied with the Tory economic policies (which are, after all, consistent with Reform economic policies) or feel that their livelihoods have been sacrificed in the process.  The social and moral stance of the Reform profile is confirmed by the NES data, demonstrating a consistently traditional base. Sociological groups such as feminists and homosexuals are rated less highly than by supporters of the other parties. The traditional moral base of the party is clearly evident in the data. However, the issue of abortion presents an exception. Where the hypothetical Reform voter was surmised to have a traditional view on abortion (i.e. pro-life), the data shows that there 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 special or differentiated ethnic status. They are also likely to be hostile toward special programs for ethnic minorities, and favour a lowering of immigration rates.  60  The populist sentiments of the Reform party are confirmed in the data on alienation and political efficacy. Reformers are likely to express dissatisfaction with Canadian democracy and politicians in general, unlike the respondents who voted for the other major parties, who are generally satisfied with political processes. Reformers are also more likely than not to be politically active, and to have a more heightened interest in public affairs.  Several demographic characteristics of the Reform profile were negated by the NES data. Reformers are not likely to be older than the general electorate, which contradicts the image of Reform as a party of the older and/or retired. The link between economic stability and Reformers was also confirmed in the data which shows that Reform voters are more likely to be homemakers, consistent with the more comfortable economic status of a single-income family. Despite the popular conception of the Reform party as a party of religious zealots, voting Reform is not linked 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. This validation reveals something about the nature of the Reform vote. A principal feature of the data is the finding that these voters are not likely to be economically depressed or malcontent with the economic policies of the day. Reform voters are more likely to enjoy employment, be self-employed, and they generate higher-than average household incomes. They are not likely to be dissatisfied with Tory economic policies, or feel that their livelihoods have been sacrificed in the process. The ramifications are engaging: a historically major source of revolutions and populist surges a downward swing in economic status is entirely absent in -  -  Reform support. The roots of support for the UFA, the Progressives, and the Social  61  Credit movements are therefore quite dissimilar from the economic forces which motivate Reform supporters.  Instead, the revolt of Reform seems to emerge in other areas of public policy, in addition to a general dissatisfaction with politicians and political processes. The NES data revealed that voting Reform is most strongly linked with the rejection of ethnic differentiation and deficit spending. These findings speak to a disenfranchisement of a different kind. Rather than economic concerns (pertaining to one’s standard of living) the Reform vote is concerned with the direction of policies attempted or adopted by government. A political rather than economic disenfranchisement is in evidence in the Reform party, and embodies the perception of having suffered a loss of status and public input. Consequently, voting Reform is linked with a negative view of “special interest groups” feminists, unions, racial -  minorities, Aboriginals, and Quebec. Cuts to social programs also confirm the desire to rein in the power of such groups. Populist initiatives are therefore favoured as a means of restoring the balance of democracy, giving ordinary, nonaffiliated citizens the chance to contribute to the political process.  This study has shown that the popular image of the Reform party is largely consistent with the characteristics of the vote as reported by the 1993 National Election Study. The party is linked to a free market values and concern with public indebtedness, a traditional orientation on social and moral issues, a rejection of ethnic differentiation in constitutional and public policy, and alienation from the current political discourse.  62  BIBLIOGRAPHY  Arseneau, Therese “The Reform Party of Canada: The Secret of its ‘Success”, paper presented to the Canadian Political Science Association, June 1991. Dobbin, Murray Preston Manning and the Reform Party (Toronto: Lorimer and Company, 1991). Flanagan, Tom and Martha Lee “The Roots of Reform”, paper presented to the Canadian Political Science Association, June 1992. Laycock, David “Reform Canadian Democracy? Institutions and Ideology in the Reform Party Project” in Canadian Journal of Political 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 Toronto Press, 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, January 29, 1993.  63  Sharpe, 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.  64  APPENDIX: SURVEY QUESTIONS Economic  Would 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 about the same? [Referendum phase] Have the policies of the federal government made you better, worse, or haven’t they made much difference either way? Would you say that over the past year Canada’s economy has gotten better, stayed about 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] have gotten better, stayed about the same, or gotten worse? In 1988, Canada signed a Free Trade Agreement with the United States. All things considered, do you support the agreement or do you oppose it? Canada and the United States have reached a new trade agreement which includes Mexico. 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 our products 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 the United 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?  65  -  Governments must maintain programmes even if that means continuing to run a deficit/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 social programmes? yes, no. -  The only way to create jobs is to eliminate the deficit strongly agree, somewhat agree, 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, somewhat opposed, 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 at all? Welfare Unemployment insurance Aid to developing countries Pensions and old age security Health care Education Defence If 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 Issues Society would be better off if more women stayed home strongly agree, somewhat agree, 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? -  66  Of the following three positions, which is closest to your own opinion: abortion should never be permitted, should be permitted only after need has been established by 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 strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree, strongly disagree? -  Using the 0 to 100 scale again, where 0 means very negative and 100 means very positive, I would like you to tell me how you feel about the following groups and placesPolice Anti-abortion groups Labour unions Feminists Homosexuals People on welfare Police Small business Big business Farmers Ethnic Groups How 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 of Commons 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 same laws as other Canadians. Do you think Canada should admit more immigrants or fewer immigrants than at present? How much do you think should be done for racial minorities? more, somewhat more, about the same as now, somewhat less, much less or haven’t you thought about it? (merged into more/same/less categories) -  67  Using the 0 to 100 scale again, where 0 means very negative and 100 means very positive, I would like you to tell me how you feel about the following groups and placesQuebec Racial minorities Aboriginal peoples Alienation How satisfied are you with democracy in Canada very satisfied, fairly satisfied, not very 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, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree, strongly disagree? -  Who should have the final say in changing the Constitution the people in referendum, 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? (gave answer/did not give answer). Using the 0 to 100 scale again, where 0 means very negative and 100 means very positive, I would like you to tell me how you feel about the following groups and places- Politicians  68  


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