Since 1965, the CES has continually incorporated innovations to keep pace with context and academic interests. These include the “rolling cross section,” allowing for the analysis of campaign dynamics; changes in survey modes—such as the shift from face-to-face to random digit dialing surveys; panel studies; and the incorporation of online samples.
To build on the rich history of the CES, it is important to continue innovating. The 2019 CES has two specific research goals:
1. Better studying the heterogeneity of Canadian electors
Canada is a diverse society, and electoral behaviour is not uniform. We do not know much about how Canadian political behaviour differs between groups, such as young people, aboriginals, immigrants and the LGBTQ community, or even the impact of locality on voters. The 2019 CES will allow for a more fine-grained analysis of barriers to electoral participation and preferences at the micro-level than previous studies have been able to provide.
2. Studying attitudes & behaviour in nonelection years
Canadians do not learn anew each election cycle. There is a vast difference in salience and information during non-election years. The 2019 CES will be complemented by “Democracy Checkup” surveys conducted in non-election years. These surveys will replicate many CES questions and enable us to better account for dynamics in preferences and behaviour over the complete cycle of a government.
In order to accomplish these goals, the 2019 CES will be different from past studies in several ways. First, the scale of the study will be greatly increased. We are planning very large online samples in addition to a random-digit-dialed internet survey. Second, we will carry out large data collections in non-election years.