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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Political Parties

Political parties are at the centre of Canadian democracy. They choose our prime ministers, premiers, and candidates for public office; they decide which policy issues are considered in the provincial and federal legislatures; they dominate our election campaigns. As a result, a democracy that is participatory, responsive, and inclusive can only be achieved if Canadian political parties share these values and operate in a manner respecting them. In a concise and accessible manner, this book delves into the history, structure, mechanisms, and roles of Canada’s political parties, and assesses the degree to which Canadians today can rely on political parties as vehicles for grassroots participation.

Table of Contents

Figures and Tables


1. Auditing Canada’s Political Parties

2. Political Parties as Membership Organizations

3. Policy Study and Development

4. Candidate Selection

5. Selection of Party Leaders

6. Parties and Election Campaigning

7. Money and Politics

8. Four Proposals for Party Reform

Discussion Questions

Additional Reading

Works Cited


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