I have a variety of research interests, and am undertaking several projects related to the fields of Canadian politics and political behaviour.
The Canadian Municipal Election Study/Étude sur les élections municipales canadiennes: The CMES/EEMC is an extension of the 2014 Toronto Election Study (see below). The purpose of the project is to fundamentally transform the state of municipal election research in Canada, undertaking a study of eight Canadian cities in 2017 and 2018. Data will include surveys of electors and candidates for municipal office in Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, London, Mississauga, Toronto, Montreal and Quebec City.The project will capitalize on the immense diversity of Canadian municipalities to demonstrate not only the importance of local elections, but also the ways that municipal election research can inform our broader understanding of Canadians' voting and political behaviour.
Electronic Elections: The goal of this research program is to identify the effects of the modernization of Canadian elections. In particular, the project will study the effects of changes to voting methods made at the local level. By the time of the 2018 local elections in Ontario, approximately 170 municipalities will have either internet or telephone voting in place. At the same time, more than 100 are planning to eliminate the option to vote using a traditional paper ballot. In fact, Canada is the only place where paper ballots have been abandoned altogether in favour of fully-electronic elections. This study will examine the effects of these changes upon voter turnout, the composition of the voting population, and attitudes towards Canada’s democracy. This is a SSHRC funded project, and my collaborators are Nicole Goodman (PI) and Zac Spicer.
The Toronto Election Study (TES): The purpose of the TES is to develop an understanding of the attitudes and behaviour of voters and non-voters towards the 2014 Toronto municipal election. Project data were collected before and after the election, and include the results of a two-wave internet survey of 3000 Torontonians. A number of papers based upon these data are at various stages of the publication process. Topics covered thus far include the role of gender and ethnicity in shaping voter preferences at the mayoral and ward level, the influence of partisanship in officially non-partisan contests, economic voting in a setting where the government has little or no power over the economy, explaining the overwhelming success rates of incumbents at the municipal level, strategic voting, the special importance of homeownership as a sociodemographic characteristic in local politics, and ‘correct’ voting. I am the PI on this SSHRC funded project, and my collaborators are Aaron Moore and Laura Stephenson. We also conducted a "mid-term" survey of Torontonians in 2016 (with funding from Western), with the goal of studying attitudes towards municipal politics between elections.