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Do Conventions Matter?: Choosing National Party Leaders in by John C. Courtney

By John C. Courtney

Do Conventions subject? presents an entire evaluation of nationwide occasion conventions in Canada, from 1919, whilst the 1st conference was once held, to 1993, together with the choice of Stanfield, Trudeau, Broadbent, Clark, Mulroney, Turner, McLaughlin, Chretien, Campbell, and Manning. Courtney compares management choice practices in Canada with these within the usa, Britain, and Australia, and indicates that Canadian conventions stay a particular technique of picking out get together leaders. concentrating on smooth advancements within the conference strategy, Courtney highlights adjustments in illustration over the past thirty years, addresses criticisms approximately expenditures and delegate choice practices, and examines the position of the media. He concludes with an exam of the way forward for conventions within the context of Canadian democracy, given sky-rocketing charges, the circulate to reform political events, and the rush in the direction of a common club vote. He argues convincingly that the ambitions of larger illustration and bigger democracy clarify either the emergence of conventions to settle on the leaders of federal events and their attainable dying within the close to destiny.

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15 Two Generations of Leadership Conventions So far as delegate selection was concerned, constituency executives of both parties were known to have appointed delegates without any semblance of an election when it suited their purposes. Sometimes they even appointed themselves. As recently as 1956, Progressive Conservative provincial executives, with the approval of the convention executive committee, could name riding delegates and alternates in the absence of a local constituency association. MPS and local party executives played a vastly more important role in choosing delegates to attend party conventions and in directing their voting behaviour than is now the case.

But as frequendy happens with intra-party reforms, it is the party in opposition that is more willing to take the risks and to chart the new course than the party in office. So it was in 1919, and again in 1927. That both parties then went on to electoral victory in the subsequent general election (the Liberals in 1921 and the Conservatives in 1930) could only reinforce the virtually unquestioned wisdom of changing the way that national party leaders were chosen. Electoral success was its own reward.

But with respect to the procedural characteristics of choosing the leader, the rules governing the election of the leader have survived largely unchanged in their broad oudine from the first to the second generation. On the other hand, rules governing the nomination of candidates have been modified to take into account concerns that all parties have shared from the outset of the second generation of conventions. Election rules. The basic principles followed in the election of die leader have been in place since 1919.

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