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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Identities and Interests

Race, Ethnicity, and Affinity Voting

Identities and Interests offers an entirely new perspective on the role of racial and ethnic identities in Canadian elections. Using a series of experiments, as well as candidate and census data, Randy Besco demonstrates that self-identification matters far more than self-interest, ideology, or policy. The largest minority groups – Chinese and South Asian Canadians – tend to support candidates of their own ethnicity. Yet inter-minority affinity voting also reveals the potential for “rainbow coalitions” and how minorities themselves think in terms of a white/non-white divide. Besco’s innovative work has major implications for social movements, issue opinions, fundraising, and political leadership races.


240 pages


Table of Contents

1 Introduction

2 Framing and Explaining Affinity Voting

3 Coethnic and Racialized Affinity in Canada

4 The Importance of Self-Identification

5 Ethnic Identity and Voter Behaviour

6 The Role of Interests, Ideology, and Policy

7 Affinity Voting in Federal Elections

8 Conclusion

Appendices

Notes; References; Index

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