Simfish/InquilineKea's Thoughts

19 April, 2010 00:38
April 19, 2010, 12:38 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

also posted at heavengames


So as we all know, the remote extreme North in the US is quite conservative and Republican-supporting. (by "remote" I mean Alaska, Idaho, Montana, and North Dakota). Although Vermont/Maine/New Hampshire could fit in there as well, their climates are not as extreme as those of the aforementioned regions, and their population densities are higher.

But what I find interesting is this: The Yukon Territory and Northwest Territories consistently support liberals. In Sweden, the Northern parts are also the most liberal. The same goes for the United Kingdom (although this is probably since the conservatives are least receptive to increased Scottish autonomy). I also looked at Finland and Japan, where statistics are somewhat more ambiguous (Northern Finland is dominated by a minority group, so they would be expected to be more liberal).

So why is that the case? I know that a lot of anti-Democratic sentiment in the northwestern US is due to the environmental policies of the Democratic Party (even though they tend to be quite libertarian on social issues). But maybe the liberal parties in the other countries seem to have more significant support for labor issues than they do for environmental issues? (since I would presume that a significant amount of the employment in northern territories has to do with resource extraction, as it is one of the only "profitable" ways to live in the extreme remote North). Environmental issues tend to be most prominent in areas where there are still significant areas of government ownership/wilderness, and labor issues also tend to be prominent as extraction industries also tend to be the most dangerous ones.

Thinking of it more though, the northern US (minus Alaska) is still mild enough for farming/ranching of some sort. The other areas I mentioned (minus the UK, Hokkadio), however, are probably way too cold for farming (or anything other than resource extraction). Ranching interests, in particular, are particularly supportive of Republicans here.

Of course, there are rugged individualists too, but they tend to be the minority (although they do explain why those states also voted for Nader in the highest percentages back in 2000).


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