Article - 27 novembre 2015

Does standing up for sovereignty pay off politically? Arctic military announcements and governing party support in Canada from 2006 to 2014

Mathieu Landriault, and Paul Minard. 2016. International Journal, volume 71, issue 1: 41-61

The defence of Arctic sovereignty has gathered high levels of support from the Canadian population in the past 40 years. However, the relationship between public opinion and decision makers is more ambiguous, in particular that between decisions taken by the governing party and an effect in the general population. This is especially true for foreign policy issues. Hence, this article offers a test to assess whether standing up for Arctic sovereignty translates into concrete political gains for the governing party. We gathered federal party support levels reported in 859 opinion polls conducted from 2006 to 2014 in Canada. By focusing on sovereignty operations held by National Defence Operations NUNALIVUT and NANOOK and aggregating poll results into a “poll of polls,” we found that standing up for Arctic sovereignty is politically profitable in certain circumstances.

Mathieu Landriault

Mathieu Landriault

Directeur, Observatoire de la politique et la sécurité de l'Arctique