Research projects

Canadian Election Study 2010-2015

3 of the 4 members of the next Canadian Election Study (CES) team (including the PI) are Centre members. As described in SSHRC’s call for proposals, “The CES is a world-class study of Canadian elections and related attitudes of key importance to the study and understanding of democratic processes and elections. In terms of global research stature, it is comparable to other national efforts such as the American National Election Studies and the British Election Study…Active since 1965, the CES has created a unique series of comparable surveys and studies of Canadian elections and related attitudes and perceptions. As such, it represents a crucial and collective piece of research data infrastructure used by researchers, students, and those studying elections in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors, as well as by media and the general public. The CES generates leading research on Canadian and international comparative studies of democratic processes.”

Principal investigator CES: Patrick Fournier

CSDC researchers: Dietlind Stolle, Stuart Soroka

CSDC collaborators:  Allison HarellÉric Bélanger

For more information on the CES visit:

Making Electoral Democracy Work Project

Funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) under its Major Collaborative Research Initiatives program, this $2,500,000 project has brought together an exceptional team of economists, political scientists, and psychologists from leading universities in Canada, Europe, and the United States to undertake the most ambitious study ever undertaken of the impact of electoral rules on the functioning of electoral democracy. Its three inter-related components include an intensive analysis of party strategies in 27 elections in five different countries (Canada, France, Germany, Spain, and Switzerland); surveys of voters in the same 27 elections; and a coordinated series of innovative experiments designed to complement the analyses of party strategies and the voter survey by explicating the underlying causal mechanisms.

Principal investigator MEDW Project: André Blais

CSDC researchers:  Elisabeth GidengilLouis Massicotte

Associate researcher: Martial Foucault

For more information on the project visit:

Vote Compass

In collaboration with SRC-CBC, we co-sponsored the Québec Vote Compass. This civic literacy tool is designed to get people talking about the election and provides them with an easy way of learning where the parties stand. The on-line tool enables visitors to the site to compare how their own positions on 30 campaign issues compare with those of each of the contending parties. Under François Gélineau’s direction, Centre members and students took on the task of developing the issue attitude statements and coding the parties’ positions based on their platforms, press releases and pronouncements. The Vote Compass was a huge success, attracting half a million visitors to the site.

The Centre also co-sponsored the British Columbia Vote Compass in collaboration with CBC. The site attracted 128,238 visitors during last spring’s provincial election. André Blais  and Elisabeth Gidengil  continue to serve on the national advisory committee for Vote Compass.

CSDC researchers: André BlaisElisabeth GidengilFrançois Gélineau, Marc-André Bodet

Fore more information on the Vote Compass visit:

The Brain Physiology of Political Decision-Making

This project  brings together researchers from political science and cognitive neuroscience to conduct ground-breaking research on neuropolitics. A series of experiments will be conducted to investigate the role of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex in political decision-making. Their design is based on the loss-of-function method where participants with and without VMF damage are matched and their performance compared on experimental tasks that simulate decision-making tasks that citizens confront as they vote in elections. The laboratory experiments will be complemented with functional magnetic resonance imaging studies that compare patterns of brain activation as function of individual differences in political knowledge as participants engage in a simple political decision-making task.

Principal investigator: Elisabeth Gidengil

CSDC researchers: Dietlind Stolle, André Blais

Associate researcher: Leslie Fellows