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HomePolicy Articles Article Summary

Are Canadian Political Parties Empty Vessels? Membership, Engagement and Policy Capacity

Research Report by William Cross, Lisa Young

This article analyzes the role played by political party members in Canada. William Cross and Lisa Young use the empirical evidence gathered by a survey of party members with the five major political parties, conducted in 2000, and find most to be dissatisfied with the roles they play. The authors argue that Canadians should be concerned by the fact that memberships in political parties, as far as members of the general public are concerned, are dropping unequivocally. In the authors’ view, this is significant because “party membership in Canada is a form of public service and thus contributes to the vibrancy of political life in the country.” Cross and Young suggest that in order to curb this problem, Canadian political parties need to offer a more meaningful role to party members, one which could allow them the opportunity to generate new policy initiatives and influence party direction.

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Policy Publication Details

Author(s): William Cross; Lisa Young;
Publisher: Institute for Research on Public Policy [ Visit Website ]
Year Published: 2006; Publisher Type: Research Institute
Publicly Available: Yes Research Focus: National;
Registration Required: No Language: English
Payment Required: No Publication Format: Adobe PDF

Subjects / Categories:

Policy Articles / Citizen Engagement / Elections & Voting
Policy Articles / Citizen Engagement / Political Party Contributions
Policy Articles / Public Administration / Accountability
Policy Articles / Citizen Engagement
Policy Articles / Public Administration
Policy Articles / Citizen Engagement / Elections & Voting / 2006
Policy Articles / Citizen Engagement / Political Party Contributions / 2006
Policy Articles / Public Administration / Accountability / 2006
Policy Articles / Citizen Engagement / Consultation
Policy Articles / Citizen Engagement / Consultation / 2006
Policy Articles / Citizen Engagement / Political Parties
Policy Articles / Citizen Engagement / Political Parties / 2006


Keywords / Tags:

parties; political; role; members; votes; voters; shape; life; public service; policy initiative; influence; direction;