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It's Unemployment, Stupid! Why Perceptions About the Job Situation Hurt the Liberals in the 1997 Election


  • Richard Nadeau
  • André Blais
  • Neil Nevitte
  • Elisabeth Gidengil


The Liberals almost lost their parliamentary majority in June 1997. This article argues that preceptions of the unemployment situation hurt the Liberals and cost them the support of almost three percentage points of votes. We examine the reasons why Canadians did not render a more positive judgement on the job situation despite a decrease of the official unemployment rate in Canada during the Liberal mandate. The results of this study raise a number of questions about voters' behaviour, about the diffusion and penetration of both general and economic information within the electorate, about the criteria with which voters use to judge governments, and on the incentives these governments might have to manufacture political business cycles.

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  • Richard Nadeau & André Blais & Neil Nevitte & Elisabeth Gidengil, 2000. "It's Unemployment, Stupid! Why Perceptions About the Job Situation Hurt the Liberals in the 1997 Election," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 26(1), pages 77-94, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpp:issued:v:26:y:2000:i:1:p:77-94

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. anonymous, 1975. "Working Papers," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 22(2), pages 236-258, October.
    2. Jong-Il Kim & Lawrence J. Lau, 1996. "The sources of Asian Pacific economic growth," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 29(s1), pages 448-454, April.
    3. Happy, J. R., 1992. "The Effect of Economic and Fiscal Performance on Incumbency Voting: The Canadian Case," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 22(01), pages 117-130, January.
    4. anonymous, 1975. "Working Papers," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 21(5), pages 608-610, January.
    5. William D. Nordhaus, 1975. "The Political Business Cycle," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(2), pages 169-190.
    6. repec:cup:apsrev:v:88:y:1994:i:02:p:371-383_09 is not listed on IDEAS
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