ABSTRACT: In an influential 2002 study, John Hibbing and Elizabeth Theiss-Morse make the provocative argument that high numbers of Americans seek “stealth democracy,” that is, processes that discover the will of the people without requiring substantial citizen effort. This article applies the concept in a Canadian province and argues that the stealth democracy measure represents an ambiguous amalgam of attitudes that are only loosely related to one another, and which do not appear to represent a single, underlying concept. We draw on 2011 Saskatchewan Election Study data and find that Saskatchewan responses to the stealth democracy items generally parallel the responses gathered in previous studies conducted in the United States, Finland, Britain, and Australia. We move beyond these studies by examining the components of the stealth democracy index. We conclude by suggesting that the concept of stealth democracy be rebuilt to better distinguish among attitudes toward democracy, politics, and governing.

, , , ,
American Review of Canadian Studies
Department of Political Science

Atkinson, M.M. (Michael M.), White, S.E, Berdahl, L. (Loleen), & McGrane, D. (David). (2016). Are Canadians Stealth Democrats? An American Idea Comes North. American Review of Canadian Studies, 46(1), 55–73. doi:10.1080/02722011.2016.1154880