Canadian Political Parties


The selection of national party leaders and constituency candidates, the structure of party organizations and the management of party affairs all represent important and often controversial responsibilities of political parties. This volume presents six studies on the internal dynamics and organization of Canadian political parties.

Two of the studies, by Keith Archer and George Perlin, examine leadership selection in the New Democratic and Liberal parties, focusing on problems in the selection process as perceived by delegates, the need to reform the process and the willingness of party members to accept a degree of government control.

Kenneth Carty and Lynda Erickson detail the nomination process, noting that constituency associations’ closed membership and inconsistent rules can lead to the exclusion of women and visible minorities. William Chandler and Alan Siaroff compare the strengths and weaknesses of party government in Canada with that of other democratic countries. Réjean Pelletier notes the centralized nature of political parties in Canada, except at nomination time when power is decentralized to constituency associations. Keith Archer’s second study in this volume examines the unique relationship between the NDP and organized labour.

About the Author

Herman Bakvis

Posted by Dundurn Guest on December 6, 2014

Herman Bakvis

Herman Bakvis joined the School of Public Administration at the University of Victoria as a Professor in July 2005, after 26 years at Dalhousie University in both the Department of Political Science and School of Public Administration. He was Director of the School at Dalhousie from 2000 to 2004.