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Measuring Parliament's Attitude towards Canada-US Cooperation

Type: Research Studies
Date Published: June 15, 2009
Authors:
Research Topics:
Canada-US Relations

Mutual trade and investment as well as numerous shared political, security, and defense interests make Canada's relationship with the United States a uniquely large and important matter in Canadian public policy. While the state of this relationship and the quality of its management are under constant surveillance and commentary by journalists and scholars alike, there are few measurable or "hard" indicators of how Canadian policy makers view this relationship.

This publication offers a completely new contribution to Canadian-American studies. We evaluate how members of Canada's Parliament approach the Canadian-American relationship. Specifically, we measure Parliament's inclination towards seeking cooperative or non-cooperative solutions to Canadian-American issues and problems. Our focus is on the post-9/11 era. By carefully going through the parliamentary Hansard, we found 918 instances of transcribed debate where relations and cooperation were the focus of the comments. Using objective, reliable, and replicable scoring and data analysis methods from a field of social science called content analysis, we measured whether parliamentarians expressed their support for or opposition to more cooperation and/or better relations with the United States.

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