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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Grassroots Liberals

Organizing for Local and National Politics

The Liberal Party has fallen on hard times since 2006. Once Canada’s governing party but now confined to the sidelines, it struggles to renew itself. Drawing on interviews and personal observations in cross-country ridings, Royce Koop reveals that although the federal Liberal Party disassociated itself from its provincial cousins to rebuild itself in the mid-twentieth century, grassroots Liberals in the constituencies are building bridges between the national party and the provinces. This insider’s view of party politics challenges the idea that Canada has two distinct political spheres – the provincial and the national – and suggests that national parties can overcome the challenges of multi-level politics by deepening ties with constituencies.

228 pages

Table of Contents


1 Multi-Level Politics and the Liberal Party

2 Grassroots Party Activists

3 Constituency Associations: Organization and Party Life in the Ridings

4 Local Campaigns and Grassroots Armies

5 Small Worlds: The Riding Context

6 Little Fiefdoms: MPs, MLAs, and Their Local Organizations

7 Conclusion: The Local Political Worlds of the Liberal Party



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