Conservative Calgary consistently elects un-conservative mayors. Despite a mostly Conservative and right-wing electorate, right-wing mayoral candidates with Conservative Party ties consistently lose to moderate and un-conservative candidates. This voting pattern contradicts arguments against the localist thesis that suggest partisanship and ideology as primary influences on municipal voting. This paper uses data on the 2017 elections from the Canadian Municipal Election Study and Canadian Election Study and qualitative data from news sources for regression and qualitative analysis, testing the possibility that Calgary's non-partisan electoral system, vote splitting, and whether Conservative Calgarians being influenced by moderate operational ideology explain Calgary's deviant voting patterns. Testing the last explanation, this paper examines whether this moderate operational ideology is unique to municipal elections, consistent with the localist thesis, or if Conservative and right-wing Calgarians are operationally moderate across electoral levels. I conclude that Calgarians are somewhat influenced by moderate operational ideology in municipal elections.
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Thesis advisor: de Rooij, Eline A.
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