A wide-ranging analysis of public and elite attitudes reveals a hegemonic order through the early 1980s, built around public support for the institutions of the Canadian welfare state. But there was also widespread public alienation from politics. Public opinion was quite strongly linked to class but not to party politics. Regional variation in political ideology on a broad range of issues was less pronounced than differences between Quebec and English Canada. Much deeper ideological divisions separated the elites, with a dramatic polarization between corporate and labour respondents. State elites fell between these two, though generally more favourable to capital. The responses of the business elites reveal the ideological roots of the Mulroney years in support for cuts in social programs, free trade, privatization, and deregulation.