Many Canadian parties are shifting their process for selecting
leaders from delegate conventions to methods that -- at least in theory
-- allow all members to vote for the leader. In the leadership
selections of the 1990s, Alberta's governing Conservatives used a
primary balloting system, the opposition Liberal Party allowed members
to vote by phone, and the NDP held a traditional leadership
In Quasi-Democracy? David Stewart and Keith Archer examine
political parties and leadership selection in Alberta using mail-back
surveys administered to voters who participated in the Conservative,
Liberal, and NDP leadership conventions elections of the 1990s.
Leadership selection events, they contend, provide rare opportunities
for observing the internal workings of the parties and people who
"stand between the politicians and the electorate." Using
participant accounts and material from the press media, the authors
analyze the factors that influence leadership selection in each party,
develop attitudinal profiles of the supporters of the parties, and
examine the party activists with respect to their backgrounds in
provincial and federal politics. Quasi-Democracy? will be
invaluable reading for students and scholars of party democracy and
representation, and for those interested in the intricate machinations
of the political process in Alberta.
David K. Stewart is a member of the Department of Political Science at the University of Alberta. Keith Archer teaches in the Department of Political Science and is Associate Vice-President (Research) at the University of Calgary.
Tables Preface 1. Party Democracy in Alberta? 2. The "United Right?" Lessons from the 1992 PC Leadership Election 3. Electing the Premier 4. Electronic Fiasco: The 1994 Liberal Tele-Vote 5. A Party of "Communities?" The 1994 NDP Leadership Convention 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