André Blais

André Blais
Université de Montréal | UdeM · Department of Political Science

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467
Publications
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Publications

Publications (467)
Preprint
The international tax system is a pillar of the post-war economic order, but it faces major challenges with the rise of global value chains, digitalization, and tax avoidance. Debates over international tax reform usually occur within a small epistemic community of experts and technocrats. In this article, we step outside this restricted circle to...
Article
The decision to vote is partly based on the expected cost of voting. We test the hypothesis that voting in one election reduces the expected cost of voting in the following election, as voters learn that the cost of voting is low. Using three different datasets—the National Electors Study conducted during the 2019 Canadian federal election; a two-w...
Article
In a seminal article published in 2003, Blais et al. demonstrated that local candidates mattered for about 5 per cent of voters in the 2000 Canadian federal election. This study's reliance on a single election raises external validity concerns. We replicate Blais et al.'s original analyses on four elections from 2000 to 2008 using a decade's worth...
Article
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Citizens who voted for a party ending up in government are more satisfied with democracy than those who supported a party that ends up in the opposition. The assumption is that voting for a party that is included in the government produces a perception of having won the election, which increases one’s level of satisfaction with democracy. This (ass...
Article
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How do voters react to information about aggregate turnout? Do high turnout levels mobilize or discourage citizens to vote? We argue that it depends on individuals’ degree of conformity. We argue that in addition to the classic calculus of voting, conformist voters have an added incentive to ‘follow the pack’ and vote when turnout is high while abs...
Article
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There is perennial debate in comparative politics about electoral institutions, but what characterizes this debate is the lack of consideration for citizens' perspective. In this paper, we report the results of an original survey conducted on representative samples in 15 West European countries (N = 15,414). We implemented an original instrument to...
Article
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We ascertain whether citizens want to have smart ballots, that is, whether they appreciate having the possibility to express some support for more than one option (expression across options) and to indicate different levels of support for these options (expression within options). We conducted two independent yet complementary survey experiments at...
Article
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Why has voter turnout declined in democracies all over the world? This article draws on findings from microlevel studies and theorizes two explanations: generational change and a rise in the number of elective institutions. The empirical section tests these hypotheses along with other explanations proposed in the literature—shifts in party/candidat...
Article
In late 2017, the first unified Republican government in 15 years enacted the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which cut taxes for corporations and the wealthy. Why did so many citizens support a policy that primarily benefited people richer than them? The self-interest hypothesis holds that individuals act upon the position they occupy in the income distrib...
Article
There is a wide academic agreement on the existence of two different types of citizenship norms (“dutiful” and “engaged”), along with a generalized conviction about the prevalence of “engaged” norms among the young cohorts. These conclusions rely on a questionnaire battery that is omnipresent in the most important public opinion surveys and which n...
Article
Je décris ma conception et ma pratique de la recherche dans mon domaine d’expertise, l’analyse des comportements politiques. Faire de la recherche est pour moi une œuvre collective qui se réalise en équipe. Cette recherche porte d’abord sur des questions descriptives fondamentales. Pour l’analyse des causes des relations de causalité, on a intérêt...
Article
We examine citizens' evaluations of majoritarian and proportional electoral outcomes through an innovative experimental design. We ask respondents to react to six possible electoral outcomes during the 2019 Canadian federal election campaign. There are two treatments: the performance of the party and the proportionality of electoral outcomes. There...
Article
Citizens' evaluation of how well the system works is central to the legitimacy of a democratic system. Elections and voting are crucial parts of the democratic system, and therefore, it is very important to evaluate voter satisfaction with the electoral process. In this study, we evaluate one aspect of the electoral process: the supply of parties o...
Article
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We study the impact of compulsory voting in Brazil, where voting is mandatory from age 18 to 70 and voluntary for those aged 16, 17 and 70+. Using a survey sample of 8,008 respondents, we document voter confusion about how the age criterion applies. Some people falsely believe that what matters is one’s age in an election year rather than on Electi...
Article
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Interest in voting by mail has increased during the coronavirus as a way to avoid in person contact. In this study, we conducted a survey in February 2020 in the United States to examine citizen preferences to cast their ballot at a polling station, over the internet, or by mail. By including simultaneously internet and mail as alternative voting o...
Article
We perform a survey experiment on the issue of immigration. People are presented with a situation where public opinion is at odds with the election promise. In our control group, no information is given about public opinion. In the treatment groups, respondents are told that 55 per cent or 80 per cent of the people are against the project. When res...
Article
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We provide the first individual-level test of whether holding supranational elections in the European Union fosters satisfaction with European Union democracy. First, we examine whether participation at the European Parliament election fosters satisfaction with democracy and whether, among those who participated, a winner–loser gap materializes at...
Article
Political parties are key actors in electoral democracies: they organize the legislature, form governments, and citizens choose their representatives by voting for them. How citizens evaluate political parties and how well the parties that citizens evaluate positively perform thus provide useful tools to estimate the quality of representation from...
Article
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How should citizens be educated about complicated political issues like electoral reform? Are there basic principles that should be followed? This article tests one potential principle for government bodies, the media and educators to follow when conducting information campaigns: namely, lowering the reading level of information. Educators have lon...
Article
There is considerable evidence that elite polarization influences ordinary citizens. However, existing research ignores moderate citizens in conflicts opposing elites. We consider the exceptional election held in Catalonia in December 2017 following a period of intense conflict surrounding an illegal independence referendum. We assess the reactions...
Article
Do (many) voters like ranking? We address this question through an experimental study performed in four countries: Austria, England, Ireland and Sweden. Respondents were invited to participate in three successive elections. They were randomly assigned to one of four possible voting scenarios and asked to vote. The voting scenarios differed in terms...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter examines the relationship between voter turnout and political inequality. It investigates which groups are less (more) likely to vote, whether these groups are less (better) represented in Parliament, and whether their interests and values are less (better) defended in the actual policies that are adopted and implemented by governments...
Preprint
Citizens are increasingly involved in the design of democratic institutions, for instance via referendums. If they support the institution that best serves their self-interest, the outcome inevitably advantages the largest group and disadvantages minorities. In this paper, we challenge this pessimistic view with an original lab experiment in France...
Article
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Major crises can act as critical junctures or reinforce the political status quo, depending on how citizens view the performance of central institutions. We use an interrupted time series to study the political effect of the enforcement of a strict confinement policy in response to the COVID‐19 pandemic. Specifically, we take advantage of a unique...
Preprint
Major crises sometimes act as critical junctures whereas other times they reinforce the democratic status quo, depending on how citizens view the performance of central institutions. We use an interrupted time series to study the effects on a set of key political attitudes of the enforcement of a lockdown policy in response to the COVID-19 pandemic...
Article
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The SARS-CoV-2 virus was first identified in Wuhan, China, in late December 2019, and it quickly spread to many countries. By March 2020, the virus had triggered a global pandemic (World Health Organization, 2020). In response to this crisis, governments have implemented unprecedented public health measures. The success of these policies will large...
Preprint
In public health crises, the media and governments routinely share statistical analyses with the public. In the COVID-19 pandemic, the tool most commonly used to convey statistical information about the spread of the virus has been time-series graphs about the cumulative number of cases. When drawing such graphs, analysts have to make design decisi...
Article
In many western democracies, law has been the dominant occupational background of politicians. This raises the question whether lawyers get more votes when they run for election compared to non-lawyers. To our knowledge, this question has not been examined empirically over an extended period of time. Our study aims to fill this lacuna. We collected...
Article
Different people have different views about what elected representatives should do in a democracy. Some people think legislators should follow their own conscience (personal view), others think they should do what the majority of citizens in their constituency want (view of the constituency), and yet others think they should do what they promised d...
Article
The growing importance of polls in news coverage raises questions about whether legislators should regulate polls in election campaigns. Although restrictions are on the rise, little is known about some basic but important facts regarding polls. Who reads polls? Are citizens who are aware of polls more likely to change their voting behaviour? And d...
Article
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The polls of the 2018 Quebec election forecast a close race between the two leading parties. The result, a clear victory of the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) over the Parti libéral du Québec (PLQ), was clearly at odds with the polls. We argue that when the polls get it wrong, it is important to determine whether there was a polling miss , in which...
Article
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When judging how ‘fair’ voting rules are, a fundamental criterion used by both scholars and politicians is their ability or inability to produce proportional results, that is, the extent parties’ seat distribution after the elections accurately reflects their vote shares. How about citizens? Do citizens care about how proportional the outcome is? O...
Article
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The topic of gender differences in the propensity to vote has been a central theme in political behavior studies for more than seventy years. When trying to explain why the turnout gender gap has shrunk over the last few decades, some scholars have claimed that this might be due to the fact that women are more dutiful than men; however, no study to...
Article
While coalitions are conventionally seen as opportunities for parties to realise their policy preferences or to secure their control over political offices, recent studies show that citizens have preferences for coalitions which influence their vote choice. However, these studies do not consider how party and coalition preferences influence each ot...
Chapter
Electoral laws are often regarded as the key factors structuring party competition. Yet, despite having very similar electoral systems, reflecting a shared colonial legacy, the United States (U.S.) and Canada have had very different party systems. For the past 100 years, the U.S. is perhaps the most consistently two-party system among the world’s m...
Article
We know that many people feel that they have a duty to vote in elections, but we know little about what other civic duties they believe they ought to fulfill. In this study, we address the question of whether people feel that they have both a duty to vote and to be informed. We use an original Canadian survey which includes questions about whether...
Article
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It is widely assumed that celebrities are imbued with political capital and the power to move opinion. To understand the sources of that capital in the specific domain of sports celebrity, we investigate the popularity of global soccer superstars. Specifically, we examine players’ success in the Ballon d’Or—the most high-profile contest to select t...
Article
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Do Voters Benchmark Economic Performance? - Vincent Arel-Bundock, André Blais, Ruth Dassonneville
Article
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We argue that two different sets of considerations shape the decision to vote or abstain in an election–ethical and non-ethical. First the citizen may vote out of a sense of duty. Failing that, she may vote because she has strong preferences about the outcome of the election. Abstention occurs when neither duty nor a sufficiently strong preference...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
On October 1st 2018, the Quebec electoral campaign concluded with a majority government of a “new party” that had never been elected before, the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ), a right-wing party. The CAQ obtained 37.4% of the vote, more than 12 points above the Quebec Liberal Party (QLP) at 24.8%. The two other parties – Parti Québécois and Québec...
Article
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There is little research on voters who display incongruent preferences, that is, those who prefer a leader from another party than their preferred one. We address two questions. How many voters prefer a leader from another party? Do these incongruent voters vote for their preferred party or leader? We use the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems...
Article
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Voting rights are an essential feature of democratic citizenship. Turkey enfranchised its expatriate citizens in 1995, but they were first granted the right to vote from overseas in the 2014 presidential election. We examine turnout and vote choice among expatriates in Turkish elections from 2014 to 2018. We find that turnout among expatriates is l...
Article
This paper explores how the uniformity of electoral swings in the district vote within countries is affected by the level of economic and political decentralization. It relies on aggregate data from 3796 districts in 31 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries in two consecutive national elections before and after the...
Article
This paper explores how the uniformity of electoral swings in the district vote within countries is affected by the level of economic and political decentralization. It relies on aggregate data from 3796 districts in 31 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries in two consecutive national elections before and after the...
Article
This paper explores how the uniformity of electoral swings in the district vote within countries is affected by the level of economic and political decentralization. It relies on aggregate data from 3796 districts in 31 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries in two consecutive national elections before and after the...
Article
Full-text available
Voting early allows people to vote at the time that is most convenient to them. In this study, we examine whether early voting reduces satisfaction with vote choice. Using unique individual-level data from 16 surveys in national and regional elections in 4 countries and more than 15,000 voters, we show that early voters, particularly those who are...
Article
Despite a wealth of literature on the determinants of electoral turnout, little is known about the cost of voting. Some studies suggest that facilitating voting slightly increases turnout, but what ultimately matters is people's subjective perceptions of how costly voting is. This paper offers a first comprehensive analysis of the subjective cost o...
Presentation
Full-text available
La présentation fait état des résultats d'un sondage post-électoral qui permet de comprendre ce qui s'est passé lors de l'élection québécoise d'octobre 2018 et pourquoi les sondages ont mal prédit le vote. L'analyse examine également les sondages locaux faits dans 69 circonscriptions et les estimations faites par Qc125 à la lumière des résultats du...
Article
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Through a panel analysis conducted in Bavaria, which covers two adjacent elections – the federal elections and the European elections in 2013 and 2014 – we examine the attitudinal factors that drive citizens’ propensity to turn out. We find that abstainers have generally low levels of knowledge, interest and sense of civic duty. National-level vote...
Article
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This paper introduces a model of vote choice in mixed-member proportional representation systems where electors cast two votes. Despite the growing popularity of mixed systems around the world, a recent stream of literature suggests that the candidate vote contaminates the list vote, inducing the type of behavior observed under majority rule. We pr...
Book
Voters do not always choose their preferred candidate on election day. Often they cast their ballots to prevent a particular outcome, as when their own preferred candidate has no hope of winning and they want to prevent another, undesirable candidate's victory; or, they vote to promote a single-party majority in parliamentary systems, when their ow...
Article
Full-text available
Recent research about the decision to vote or abstain finds a causal effect of social networks and social pressure. Yet this literature does not examine how this social pressure is exerted and by whom. This study aims at correcting these shortcomings. Using a two-wave panel survey conducted in Canada, we distinguish between the pressure exerted by...
Article
Full-text available
According to conventional wisdom, the traditional gender gap in voting has disappeared or even reversed in most established democracies. Drawing on the existing literature on sex differences in political engagement and on pioneering voter turnout theories, this article questions the conventional assumption and hypothesises that women still particip...
Article
Full-text available
We study data on the gender of more than 21,000 unique candidates in all Canadian federal elections since 1921, when the first women ran for seats in Parliament. This large data set allows us to compute precise estimates of the difference in the electoral fortunes of men and women candidates. When accounting for party effects and time trends, we fi...
Article
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The paper builds upon an original pre- and post-election survey that we conducted before and after the 2015 Canadian election. Directly after Election Day, we asked Canadians for which party they voted, and whether they regret their choice. We find that 39% of them are not perfectly happy with their decision, and 4% even say that they made a bad de...
Article
A vast literature shows that voting for the winning party in elections boosts satisfaction with democracy. But in many list PR systems, voters do not only vote for a party, they can also vote for candidates within parties. Yet, we know very little about how such votes affect voters' satisfaction with democracy. In this paper, we analyse pre- and po...
Article
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Though Canada is internationally lauded for the success of its multiculturalism policies, debates about immigrant integration have arisen in recent years. These debates have turned on the extent to which religion should be accommodated in the public sphere. They have also been disproportionately concentrated in the French‐speaking province of Quebe...
Article
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National probability election surveys are more and more abandoned. Decreasing response rates and the escalating costs of face-to-face and telephone interviews have strengthened election scholars’ reliance on nonprobability internet samples to conduct election surveys online. In a number of countries, experiments with alternative ways of recruiting...
Preprint
The conventional theory of economic voting is that voters reward or punish the incumbent government based on how the domestic economy is doing. Recently, scholars have challenged that view, arguing that voters use relative assessments to gauge government performance. From this perspective, what matters is not how well the national economy is doing...
Preprint
We study data on the gender of over 21,000 unique candidates in all Canadian federal elections since 1921, when the first women ran for seats in Parliament. This large dataset allows us to compute precise estimates of the difference in the electoral fortunes of men and women candidates. When accounting for party effects and time trends, we find tha...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we investigate the phenomenon of party switchers in the Canadian House of Commons. With the most extensive dataset on party-switching MPs (1867–2015), we answer the following questions: What are the electoral trajectories of party switchers? Have their prospects changed over time? We assess whether the historical dynamics of the Cana...
Article
Full-text available
The Making Electoral Democracy Work project conducted a unique survey prior to the election held on 21 December 2017 in exceptional circumstances in Catalonia. In spite of a series of major events in fall 2017, overall election results were similar to those of the previous regional election, held in 2015. In addition to standard demographic, attitu...
Article
Full-text available
Political scientists, analysts and journalists alike have for long believed that the degree of satisfaction with the functioning of democracy determines voter turnout. In this article, we use survey data from 24 panel studies and demonstrate that the causal relationship is actually reversed: voter turnout affects satisfaction with democracy and not...
Article
Full-text available
Political scientists, analysts and journalists alike have for long believed that the degree of satisfaction with the functioning of democracy determines voter turnout. In this article, we use survey data from 24 panel studies and demonstrate that the causal relationship is actually reversed: voter turnout affects satisfaction with democracy and not...
Article
Full-text available
The existing literature on the local level assumes that citizens care about what happens in their district but that assumption has never been tested. We tackle this question using the Making Electoral Democracy Work data covering 11 elections in Germany, Spain, Canada and France to show that many citizens have strong attachments to their local comm...
Article
Full-text available
The conventional theory of economic voting is that voters reward or punish the incumbent government based on how the domestic economy is doing. Recently, scholars have challenged that view, arguing that voters use relative assessments to gauge government performance. From this perspective, what matters is not how well the national economy is doing...