In Quebec and Scotland, questions of constitutional change, national identity, and national grievance play an important role in the electoral calculations of political parties and voters. Taking a strong stance on the national question can have strategic benefits both for parties pushing for greater autonomy and for those endorsing the status quo. In this in-depth look at issue voting, authors Éric Bélanger, Richard Nadeau, Ailsa Henderson, and Eve Hepburn examine how the national question affects political parties and voter behaviour in both substate nations. Through party manifestos, interviews with legislators, and opinion survey data, this book demonstrates that calls for constitutional change influence political debate, competition, voter choice, and the outcome of elections not only within Quebec and Scotland but also across Canada and the United Kingdom. Minority nationalist parties, the authors show, can gain support by claiming ownership of issues with widespread public agreement, such as self-determination and protecting the identity and interests of the nation. A comprehensive analysis of recent electoral politics, The National Question and Electoral Politics in Quebec and Scotland greatly enhances our understanding of the electoral impact of substate nationalism.
Éric Bélanger is professor of political science and director of the Quebec Studies Program at McGill University. Richard Nadeau, a Fulbright scholar and former chief advisor to the premier of Quebec, is professor of political science at the Université de