Rebuilding Canadian Party Politics
276 pages, 6 1/4 x 9 1/4
22 b&w illustrations, 3 tables
Release Date:10 Mar 2000
Release Date:10 Mar 2000
Release Date:01 Nov 2007

Rebuilding Canadian Party Politics

UBC Press

Canadian party politics collapsed in the early 1990s. This book is about that collapse, about the end of a party system, with a unique pattern of party organization and competition, that had governed Canada’s national politics for several decades, and about the ongoing struggle to build its successor. Rebuilding Canadian Party Politics discusses the breakdown of the old party system, the emergence of the Reform Party and the Bloc Québécois, and the fate of the Conservative and New Democratic Parties. It focuses on the internal workings of parties in this new era, examining the role of professionals, new technologies, and local activists.

To understand the ambiguities of our current party system, the authors attended local and national party meetings, nomination and leadership meetings, and campaign kick-off rallies. They visited local campaign offices to observe the parties’ grassroots operations and conducted interviews with senior party officials, pollsters, media and advertising specialists, and leader-tour directors.

Written in a lively and accessible style, this book will interest students of party politics and Canadian political history, as well as general readers eager to make sense of the changes reshaping national politics today.

Rebuilding Canadian Party Politics is a valuable resource for bringing together existing scholarship on Canadian political parties, and for attempting to map a still-emerging forth party system ... It is an impressive opening volley in what promises to be a long and lively debate over the nature and role of parties in the Canadian political process. Miriam Lapp, University of Western Ontario, Canadian Journal of Political Science
En adoptant le systeme de parties federaux comme fil conducteur, les auteurs ont produit un ouvrage d’une grande originalite ... Rebuilding Canadian Party Politics est un ouvrage fort utile pour la comprehension de l’evolution des parties et elections au Canada. Francois-Pierre Gingras, ISUMA, vol. 1, no.2
R. Kenneth Carty, William Cross, and Lisa Young are members of the Department of Political Science at the University of British Columbia, Mount Allison University, and the University of Calgary respectively.

Figures and Tables


1 Party Politics at Century's End

2 The Party Question in Canada

3 Challenging the Consensus: Two New Parties

4 Struggling to Survive: Three Old Parties

5 Representing Interests 6. Remaking Party Democracy

7 Paying for Parties

8 On the Ground: The Local Campaign

9 In the Air: National Campaign Communication

10 Rebuilding the Canadian Party System

Appendix: Formal Interview Schedule




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