Roasting Chestnuts: The Mythology of Maritime Political Culture

Roasting Chestnuts: The Mythology of Maritime Political Culture

Roasting Chestnuts: The Mythology of Maritime Political Culture

Roasting Chestnuts: The Mythology of Maritime Political Culture

Excerpt

The shelf life of many scholarly articles is distressingly brief. Initially noted in the almost obligatory 'review of the literature' with which most academic works commence, they will soon be replaced, for a similarly short interval, by the very articles in which these citations appeared. Seen from this perspective, the scholarly community resembles a column of soldier ants attempting to ford a stream, each pushing a predecessor into oblivion, only to be similarly dispatched by a succesar. Richard Simeon andDavid Elkins 'Regional Political Cultures in Canada,' however, constitutes an obvious exception to this depressing generalization.

First published in the Canadian Journal of Political Science in 1974, it has exercised a strong and continuing influence on academe's understanding of Canadian regionalism. In fact, of all the articles published in the first ten volumes of CJPS , onlyAlan Cairns's study of the electoral system had, as of 1984, been cited more frequently in academic journals. Moreover, the 1991 edition of Rand Dyck Provincial Politics in Canada , which stands as both the most recent and comprehensive treatment of the field, relies extensively on Simeon and Elkins's analysis in its characterization of the various provincial political cultures. This anomalous durability of 'Regional Political Cultures in Canada' is both impressive and intriguing. Are Simeon and Elkins's findings still valid almost two decades after they were first published? Ultimately, this chapter will argue that they are not, and that there has, in fact, been a marked convergence of what were formerly distinctive regional cultures.

The central features of 'Regional Political Cultures in Canada' will be familiar to most students of politics in this country. Relying on data from the 1965 and 1968 national election surveys, Simeon and Elkins . . .

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