Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science


Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Conrad Winn

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


Between reactionaries and radicals a wide gulf exists in terms of political opinions. Within much narrower realms of conflict are the political issues which separate the body politic into contending groups. Within this narrower ideological spectrum a survey of the Twenty-Ninth Parliament of the Ontario Legislative Assembly was undertaken. This survey sought data on the attitudes of legislators towards various beliefs, interest groups, symbols and values. These efforts were made in order to test the existence of ideological differences between the present political parties of Ontario.

The responses to the ideological questions were manipulated to construct attitudinal patterns. The results of the various statistical tests showed that three major ideological patterns exist in Ontario politics. These patterns can be characterized as Tory, Whig and Socialist. Each attitudinal pattern is integrally associated with one political party. The Progressive Conservatives are predominantly Tories while Liberals are Whigs and New Democrats are Socialists.

Efforts were made to explain the external features that influenced the particular attitudinal pattern a legislator adopted. The results of the study showed that the attitudes of a legislator were affected dramatically by the type of constituency he represented. However, the most important conclusion of the study is that the present party structure in Ontario is ideologically relevant. While parties display varying degrees of ideological cohesion the levels of cohesion are high enough for significant differences to exist between the attitudinal patterns of the parties.

Convocation Year