Outlooks toward Government Institutions in Quebec


The 2012 Quebec election campaign began with opposition parties claiming that factors such as corruption and false promises (among others) had made Quebecers leery of their government institutions. The time had come to clean house and get the province back on track to good governance and prosperity. In this paper, we employ new data from the Quebec component of the Comparative Provincial Election Project to examine Quebecers’ outlooks toward various government institutions. How confident are Quebecers in their political parties, governments, legislatures and civil service? Is there any evidence to suggest that Quebecers’ views on these specific government institutions are any different across various levels of government? And what accounts for any negativity that Quebecers may feel? More specifically, this analysis considers a variety of plausible explanations, including poor government performance, pervasive cynicism, rising levels of cognitive mobilization, the rise of post-materialist values and declining levels of interpersonal trust, just to name a few.

Share and Cite:

Kanji, M. and Tannahill, K. (2013) Outlooks toward Government Institutions in Quebec. Open Journal of Political Science, 3, 184-194. doi: 10.4236/ojps.2013.34025.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Bastedo, H., Chu, W., Hilderman, J., & Turcotte, A. (2011). The Real Outsiders: Politically Disengaged Views on Politics and Democracy. Samara Democracy Reports.
[2] Coalition Avenir Québec (2012a). Enough, vote for change! Revival plan for Québec.
[3] Coalition Avenir Québec (2012b). Time to clean up.
[4] Dalton, R. J. (2006). Citizen politics: Public opinion and political parties in advanced industrial democracies (4th ed.). Washington: CQ Press.
[5] Dalton, R. J. (2004). Democratic challenges democratic choices: The erosion of political support in advanced industrial democracies. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
[6] Della Porta, D. (2000). Social capital, beliefs in government, and political corruption. In S. J. Pharr, & R. Putnam (Eds.), What’s Troubling Trilateral Countries? (pp. 202-228). New Jersey: Princeton University Press.
[7] Easton, D. (1975). A Reassessment of the concept of political support. British Journal of Political Science, 5, 435-457.
[8] Easton, D. (1965). A systems analysis of political life. New York: Wiley.
[9] Howe, P. (2010). Citizens adrift: The democratic disengagement of young canadians. Vancouver: UBC Press.
[10] Inglehart, R. (2007). Postmaterialist values and the shift from survival to self-expression values. In R. Dalton, & H.-D. Klingeman (Eds.). The Oxford Handbook of Political Behavior. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
[11] Inglehart, R. (1997). Modernization and postmodernization: Cultural, economic and political change in 43 societies. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
[12] Inglehart, R., & Welzel, C. (2005). Modernization, cultural change, and democracy: The human development sequence. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
[13] Macpherson, D. (2012). Weak Government, Weak Opposition. Montreal Gazette, 5 September 2012.
[14] Nevitte, N. (2002). Value change and governance in Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
[15] Nevitte, N. (1996). The decline of deference: canadian value change in cross-national perspective. Peterborough: Broadview Press.
[16] Norris, P. (2011). Democratic deficit: Critical citizens revisited. New York: Cambridge University Press.
[17] Norris, P. (2000). A virtuous circle? The impact of political communications in post-industrial democracies. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511609343
[18] Norris, P. (1999). Critical citizens: Global support for democratic governance. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
[19] Nye, J., Jr., Zelikow, P. D., & King, D. C. (1997). Why people don’t trust government. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
[20] Patriquin, M. (2012). Quebec’s new ruling class: An attempt to end demonstrations against tuition hikes has only managed to escalate into a political and social stalemate. Maclean's.
[21] Patterson, T. E. (1994). Out of order: An incisive and boldly original critique of the news media’s domination of America’s political process. New York: Vintage Books.
[22] Pharr, S. J. (2000). Officials’ misconduct and public distrust: Japan and the Trilateral democracies. In S. J. Pharr, & R. Putnam (Eds.). What’s Troubling Trilateral Countries? New Jersey: Princeton University Press.
[23] Pharr, S. J., & Putnam, R. (2000). What’s troubling trilateral countries? New Jersey: Princeton University Press.
[24] Putnam, R. (2000). Bowling alone: The collapse and revival of American Community. New York: Simon & Schuster.
[25] Samara (2012). Who’s the boss? Canadians’ views on their democracy. Samara Democracy Report n. 4.

Copyright © 2024 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.