Pro-Family Politics and Fringe Parties in Canada
Pro-Family Politics and Fringe Parties in Canada explores the organizational and ideological nature of political parties that are initially formed to do the work of social movements. Specifically, it examines the development of the Family Coalition Party of British Columbia (FCP) from its origins as a group of alienated Social Credit Party members to its rebirth as the Unity Party of British Columbia, and through its struggles as a marginal political entity along the way.
While addressing the FCP's relationship to the larger North American pro-family movement, Chris MacKenzie also deftly demonstrates how the party can be seen as organizationally congruent with its ideological antithesis, the Green Party. Basing his findings on seven years of field research, he identifies the obstacles that political parties involved in social movement work must overcome in order for them to achieve their goals. He concludes that, despite their invaluablecontribution to democracy, such party / movements have limited political institutionalization. Consequently, their only realistic goal may be to merge their ideals with those of another, larger political body.
This book makes a substantial contribution to our understanding of the genesis, development, and impact of political party / movements in Canada. Moreover, it provides useful insight into the dynamics and issues that make up the current pro-family movements in Canada and the United States.
In offering a thorough, thoughtful, respectful, examination of a movement that is clearly on the far periphery of the Canadian political landscape, MacKenzie adds a useful new piece to our understanding. His book is important for anyone interested in understanding the complex history of party politics in Canada … Pro-Family Politics is an interesting analysis of the relationship between structure and ideology and the impact of the two on electoral success. It makes a unique contribution to the field by treating seriously the role of an extremely minor party that has fallen far below the radar of most academics working in the field.
1 The Family Coalition Party of British Columbia: A Party of Last Resort
2 The Pro-Family Movement: Conservative Roots, New Right Economics, and Religious Ideals
3 The Burden of Form: The Family Coalition Party as a Movement
4 The Function of Form: Family Coalition as a Political Party
5 The Tensions of Form: Family Coalition as a Party/Movement
Appendix: Note on Methodology
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