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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Big Tent Politics

The Liberal Party’s Long Mastery of Canada’s Public Life

The Liberal Party of Canada is one of the most successful parties in the democratic world. It dominated Canadian politics for a century, practising an inclusive style of “big tent” politics that enabled it to fend off opponents on both the left and right. This book traces the record of the party, unwrapping Liberal practices and organization to reveal its distinctive “brokerage” approach to politics and franchise-style structure. A masterful analysis of how one party came to define the nation’s public life, this book also identifies the challenges that lie ahead as the Liberals reinvent themselves for the twenty-first century.

Table of Contents

1 An Unnatural Party

2 The Natural Governing Party

3 Four Eras, Four Liberal Parties

4 A Different Kind of Party

5 The Life of the Party

6 The Chief Broker

7 Brokerage, the Liberal Party, and Canadian Politics

Appendix: Liberal Party Leaders, 1887 to the Present


Further Reading on the Liberal Party of Canada


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