The Urban-Rural Divide in Canadian Federal Elections, 1896–2019 (Preprint)
Dave Armstrong, Jack Lucas, and Zack Taylor
Using a new measure of urbanity for every federal electoral district in Canada from 1896 to the present, this article describes the long-term development of the urban-rural in Canadian federal electoral politics. We focus on three questions: (1) when the urban-rural divide has existed in Canada, identifying three main periods – the 1920s, the 1960s, and 1993–present – in which the urban-rural cleavage has been especially important in federal elections (2) where the urban-rural divide has existed, finding that in the postwar period the urban-rural cleavage is a pan-Canadian phenomenon; and (3) how well urbanity predicts district-level election outcomes. We argue that the urban-rural divide is important for understanding election outcomes during several periods of Canadian political development, and never more so than in recent decades. We conclude by discussing the implications of our findings for research on urban-rural cleavages, Canadian electoral politics, and Canadian political development.
This is the final text of an accepted article. Please cite the published version when it becomes available.
Toward Regional Resilience in Toronto: From Diagnosis to Action
Zack Taylor and Leah Birnbaum
Greater Toronto is recognized as a high-performing urban region. Over the past decade, however, negative social, economic, and environmental trends have emerged that threaten the region’s future. On the basis of documentary research and four focus group workshops with a diverse array of professional practitioners, this paper assesses the Toronto region’s current assets and vulnerabilities in relation to future risks.The discussion is framed by the concept of resilience—an increasingly popular, yet abstract, concept in urban planning and public administration. This paper proposes, first, that planning and policymaking be directed toward increasing the region’s resilience, understood as the diversity and redundancy of social, economic, environmental, and fiscal-governmental systems. Second, it suggests that public resource allocation be guided by what some have called anticipatory governance—the proactive use of scenarios to discover where multiple risks and vulnerabilities intersect, and therefore where returns may be greatest. Finally, the paper suggests that an appeal to improving quality of life rather than to crisis or individual self- interest may be the most effective way to build broad support for long-term investments in resilience-enhancing infrastructure and services.
Western’s Department of Political Science is an international leader in research on local governance, urban politics, and urban public policy. This series comprises original research papers by faculty, graduate students, and associated researchers on related topics.
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