Many Canadian parties are shifting their process for selectingleaders from delegate conventions to methods that -- at least in theory-- allow all members to vote for the leader. In the leadershipselections of the 1990s, Alberta's governing Conservatives used aprimary balloting system, the opposition Liberal Party allowed membersto vote by phone, and the NDP held a traditional leadershipconvention.
In Quasi-Democracy? David Stewart and Keith Archer examinepolitical parties and leadership selection in Alberta using mail-backsurveys administered to voters who participated in the Conservative,Liberal, and NDP leadership conventions elections of the 1990s.Leadership selection events, they contend, provide rare opportunitiesfor observing the internal workings of the parties and people who"stand between the politicians and the electorate." Usingparticipant accounts and material from the press media, the authorsanalyze the factors that influence leadership selection in each party,develop attitudinal profiles of the supporters of the parties, andexamine the party activists with respect to their backgrounds inprovincial and federal politics. Quasi-Democracy? will beinvaluable reading for students and scholars of party democracy andrepresentation, and for those interested in the intricate machinationsof the political process in Alberta.
David K. Stewart is a member of the Department ofPolitical Science at the University of Alberta. KeithArcher teaches in the Department of Political Science and isAssociate Vice-President (Research) at the University of Calgary.
Tables Preface 1. Party Democracy in Alberta? 2. The "United Right?" Lessons from the 1992 PC LeadershipElection 3. Electing the Premier 4. Electronic Fiasco: The 1994 Liberal Tele-Vote 5. A Party of "Communities?" The 1994 NDP LeadershipConvention 6. Gender Differences among Party Activists 7. Democracy, Representation and the Selection of Party Leaders 8. Quasi-Democracy? Lessons from Alberta Appendices; Notes; References; Index