chapter  9
Estimating interparty policy distances from election programmes in Quebec, 1970–89
ByFRANÇOIS PETRY, RÉJEAN LANDRY
Pages 14

Estimating interparty policy distances from election programmes raises two important methodological debates. One debate opposes two conceptions of what the proper unit of analysis should be. Some scholars utilise the specific pledges that parties present in their programmes; others analyse all of the text in the party programmes. The other debate concerns the choice of variables, and attributes thereof, used to operationalise interparty distance. Some scholars argue that we should look at the substantive positions that the parties take on issues; others argue that we should be more concerned with party emphasis.