208 pages, 6 x 9
49 tables
Release Date:01 Feb 2001
Release Date:28 Jul 2000
Release Date:01 Feb 2001


Parties and Leadership Selection in Alberta

UBC Press

Many Canadian parties are shifting their process for selecting leaders from delegate conventions to methods that -- at least in theory -- allow all members to vote for the leader. In the leadership selections of the 1990s, Alberta's governing Conservatives used a primary balloting system, the opposition Liberal Party allowed members to vote by phone, and the NDP held a traditional leadership convention.

In Quasi-Democracy? David Stewart and Keith Archer examine political parties and leadership selection in Alberta using mail-back surveys administered to voters who participated in the Conservative, Liberal, and NDP leadership conventions elections of the 1990s. Leadership selection events, they contend, provide rare opportunities for observing the internal workings of the parties and people who "stand between the politicians and the electorate." Using participant accounts and material from the press media, the authors analyze the factors that influence leadership selection in each party, develop attitudinal profiles of the supporters of the parties, and examine the party activists with respect to their backgrounds in provincial and federal politics. Quasi-Democracy? will be invaluable reading for students and scholars of party democracy and representation, and for those interested in the intricate machinations of the political process in Alberta.

David K. Stewart is a member of the Department of Political Science at the University of Alberta. Keith Archer teaches in the Department of Political Science and is Associate Vice-President (Research) at the University of Calgary.



1. Party Democracy in Alberta?

2. The "United Right?" Lessons from the 1992 PC Leadership Election

3. Electing the Premier

4. Electronic Fiasco: The 1994 Liberal Tele-Vote

5. A Party of "Communities?" The 1994 NDP Leadership Convention

6. Gender Differences among Party Activists

7. Democracy, Representation and the Selection of Party Leaders

8. Quasi-Democracy? Lessons from Alberta

Appendices; Notes; References; Index

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