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

By John C. Courtney

Do Conventions topic? offers an entire evaluation of nationwide occasion conventions in Canada, from 1919, while 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 exhibits that Canadian conventions stay a particular technique of opting for social gathering leaders. concentrating on smooth advancements within the conference approach, Courtney highlights adjustments in illustration during the last thirty years, addresses criticisms approximately charges and delegate choice practices, and examines the function 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 circulation 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 larger 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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4 The Liberals had held their convention at the very time a political party has all of the disadvantages of being out of power. 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.

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. With or without local elections, the sitting MP could be sufficiently powerful to choose singlehandedly all the constituency delegates.

As his aides feared, Heseltine was destined to play the "stalking horse role - forcing the resignation of Mrs. "9 Described variously as "feeble," "overly casual," and "over-confident," the Thatcher leadership campaign organization badly misjudged the mood of the parliamentary party and the strength of the anti-Thatcher forces. The prime minister was very unpopular and under her leadership the party had sunk to a record low in the public opinion polls. Much of the opposition to Thatcher and her party was focused on the introduction of the hated poll tax and on the prime minister's resistance to European integration.

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