John Wesley Dafoe PSSC 2016 Conference - "Elections: Democratic Tools or Democracy Denied?”

27 – 29 January 2016
Great Hall, University College
Elections: Democratic Tools or Democracy Denied?
(please click the title to see the poster)

Student Organizers
Mr. Alexander Rudolph, undergraduate (Political Studies)
Ms. Ashley Evans, undergraduate (Political Studies)
Mr. Eric Fleming, undergraduate (Political Studies)
Ms. Shreya Ghimire, undergraduate (Political Studies)

Conference Summary
This free, public conference is addresses questions of representation and participation in elections, the conduct of elections on the international stage, future challenges for elections in the Canadian context, the role of public opinion polling, and campaigns in the twenty-first century.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Paul Buteux Lecture: Dr. David Coletto, Abacus Data (McNally Robinson Booksellers)
7pm – 7:45pm talk. 7:45pm – 8:15pm Q and A.
“Canadian Public Opinion: What we know, where it's going, and why it matters”

Public opinion polling is a critical part of elections in 21st century Canada. What we have learned from election polling, particularly in the last federal election? How we might expect Canadians' opinions concerning democracy and elections to change in the next few years? What do Canadians think were the key issues during the federal election, and what matters to them going forward?

Thursday, January 28, 2016 University College Great Hall

Introductions 9:30 -10:00am


Panel One: Election Campaigns in the 21st Century 10:00 – 11:30

Mr. Paul Samyn

Dafoe Foundation, Winnipeg Free Press


Ms. Laura Anthony


Citizen engagement in elections

Dr. Harold Jansen

University of Lethbridge

Election financing

Dr. Royce Koop

University of Manitoba

Political parties and elections



100 Years of Women’s Suffrage in Manitoba 11:45 – 12:45 pm


Panel Two: Public Opinion Polling 1:00 – 2:30pm

Mr. Richard Cloutier

CJOB Radio


Dr. Christopher Adams

University of Manitoba

How Public opinion research has developed and where it’s going

Mr. Scott MacKay

President, Probe Research Inc.

Practitioner’s perspective: election polling

Ms. Mary Agnes Welch

Winnipeg Free Press

Media and Polling


Panel Three:

Participation and Representaion in Elections 2:45- 4:30 pm

(Sponsored by the Duff Roblin Professor of Government)

Dr. Jodi Giesbrecht



Dr. Kiera Ladner

Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Governance, University of Manitoba

Aboriginal peoples’ participation in elections

Dr. Brenda O’Neill

University of Calgary

Women and elections

Dr. Dino Bozonelos

Victor Valley College, California

Religious minorities and political participation in the United States

Friday, January 29th, 2016, University College, Great Hall

Panel four: Conducting Elections on the International Stage 9:30 - 11:00am

Mr. Christopher J. Gunning

US Consul


Mr. Denys Volkov

Election Practitioner: Observer/Director of Communications

Election observing in Eastern Europe

Dr. Paul Sum

North Dakota University, Grand Forks

Elections in Romania

Dr. Tami Jacoby

University of Manitoba

Elections in Israel


Panel Five: Future Challenges for Elections 11:30 – 1:15

Dr. Barry Ferguson

University of Manitoba; Duff Roblin Professor of Government


Dr. Jonathan Rose

Queen’s University; Former Director, Ontario Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform

Citizen perspectives on reforming the electoral system

Mr. Richard Balasko

Former CEO, Elections Manitoba

Challenges facing elections agencies

Dr. Tamara Small

University of Guelph

Social media and

e-technology in elections.


For more details, email


About PSSC


Political Studies Student Conference
525 Fletcher Argue,
University of Manitoba,
Winnipeg, MB R3T 5V5

PH: (204) 272-1691

Thank you to all of our sponsors:

J.W. Dafoe Foundation

University of Manitoba Arts Endowment Fund

Dean, Faculty of Arts

Duff Roblin Professorship of Government

Department of Political Studies

Department of Sociology

Canadian Studies

St. John’s College

St. Paul’s College

University of Manitoba Students’ Union

Canadian International Council – Winnipeg Branch

Arts Student Body Council

Manitoba Institute for Policy Research