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Leadership, Representation, & Elections

Leadership, Representation, & Elections: Essays in Honour of John C. Courtney

Copyright Date: 2007
Pages: 240
  • Book Info
    Leadership, Representation, & Elections
    Book Description:

    Timely and engaging, this impressive collection honours an important scholar and makes a valuable contribution to the field.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-8470-6
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Contributors
    (pp. ix-2)
  5. Introduction
    (pp. 3-15)

    Thisfestschriftcelebrates the career of John C. Courtney, distinguished scholar, friend, and the editors’ colleague for many years at the University of Saskatchewan. John joined the university in 1965 after a two-year appointment at Brandon University. In his forty-one years as an academic, he excelled in all aspects of a social scientist’s career: teaching; service to his university, profession, and the broader Canadian public; and research and publication, which he continued to pursue after his retirement in 2004. This record of achievement made him a leading Canadian political scientist of his time, and one who richly deserves the tributes...

  6. Leadership Politics and the Transformation of Canadian Parties
    (pp. 16-38)
    R.K. CARTY

    In a perceptive essay written in 1968, Donald Smiley suggested that the party leadership conventions of 1967 and 1968 marked the emergence of a ‘new kind of institution’ in Canadian politics. Given the longstanding importance of leaders in Canadian party life, such a significant development led him to think that more than leadership politics was at stake and hence to conclude that ‘profound changes in the structure and functioning of the major Canadian parties’ (p. 396) were taking place. It was not the use of delegate conventions to choose party leaders that was new, for they had long been taken...

  7. Are Party Leaders Becoming More Important to Vote Choice in Canada?
    (pp. 39-59)

    Party leaders have aptly been called ‘the superstars of Canadian politics’ (Clarke et al. 1991: 89). They occupied a central place even in early interpretations of Canadian elections and electoral behaviour. According to James Mallory (1949), for example, the key to a party’s electoral success was its leader’s ability to capture ‘the national mood.’ The centrality of leaders was also reflected in the title of the first full-length, survey-based study of voting behaviour in Canada. It took its name from Diefenbaker, the prime minister who dominated the elections in question (Regenstreif 1965). Despite their centrality to electoral politics, however, there...

  8. Declining Political Survival among Parliamentary Party Leaders, 1867–2005
    (pp. 60-80)

    John C. Courtney’s scholarly work is located in several distinct areas of Canadian and comparative politics. His longstanding interest in electoral systems and election reform is expressed in studies such as ‘Reflections on Reforming the Canadian Electoral System,’ ‘Registering Voters: Canada in a Comparative Context,’ and his recent opusCommissioned Ridings: Designing Canada’s Electoral Districts(1980; 1991; 1995). In the field of party politics, Professor Courtney probed understudied questions and problems. Among his works in this area, articles on the ‘Recognition of Canadian Political Parties in Parliament and in Law’, ‘Norman Ward, C.G. Power and ’58: The Liberals in Convention,’...

  9. Citizens Speaking for Themselves: New Avenues for Public Involvement
    (pp. 81-109)

    Increasingly, Canadians are casting a critical eye on legislatures and their role as institutions of representative government. They are questioning whether elected members’ claims to carry forward the views of their constituents and others translate into an impact on public policies and programs. At the same time, there is growing criticism of the limitations of processes through which legislatures and other public bodies reach out to gauge the views of citizens. As discussed in the first section of this chapter, this has led to considerable interest in new avenues for public involvement, sometimes grouped under the label ‘citizen engagement.’ While...

  10. Royal Commissions and the Policy Cycle in Canada: The Case of Health Care
    (pp. 110-132)

    When John Courtney was working on his Ph.D. at Duke University in the early 1960s, there were comparatively few academic analyses of royal commissions in Canada. Instead, there were certain conventional viewpoints based upon flimsy evidence and considerable confusion concerning the role of such instruments in a democratic polity. The limited scholarly work that did exist had not fully addressed the question of the role and ultimate influence of royal commissions on public policy within a Westminster-style cabinet system of government.

    The subject of royal commissions and the basic question it raised attracted the interest of a budding young political...

  11. Canada’s New Elections Act and Citizen Access to Opinion Poll Information
    (pp. 133-153)

    Over his distinguished career, Professor John C. Courtney drew our attention to numerous issues surrounding Canadian elections. In his most recent book,Elections, he undertakes a ‘wide-ranging’ approach to his contribution to theCanadian Democratic Audit(Courtney 2004: xv). Rather than focusing simply on the questions surrounding our plurality voting system, he encourages the reader to think more broadly about electoral issues. While exploring the history of this country’s electoral machinery, Courtney argues that one of the two most significant dates in the democratization of Canada came in 1920 with the creation of the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer,...

  12. The Malaise of Canadian Democracy: What Is It? How Is It to Be Explained? What Can We Do about It?
    (pp. 154-175)

    Since the beginning of the twenty-first century there has been a growing movement to reform Canadian democracy. Five provinces and the federal government have established commissions or executive agencies with mandates to recommend change. Major reforms have been proposed in the form of enhanced independence for legislators, new administrative practices to strengthen the accountability of executive institutions, the replacement of the single-member constituency electoral system with proportional representation, the more widespread use of direct democracy, and the adoption of new methods to consult citizen opinion in the formulation of policy. The drive for reform has been precipitated by a growing...

  13. Institutional Reform: The Grass Isn’t Always Greener on the Other Side
    (pp. 176-193)

    I am writing this paper in the spring of 2004, at a time when Canada’s three main federal political parties are advocating a variety of changes to our parliamentary and electoral institutions. The ruling Liberal party is focusing primarily on parliamentary reform, and especially on limiting party discipline. The official opposition, the Conservative party, puts the priority on Senate reform: it believes senators should be elected. The third party, the New Democratic Party, focuses on the electoral system: it says that if the Liberals win only a minority government after the next election, the NDP may agree to be part...

  14. Indigenous Nationalism and the Nation State
    (pp. 194-219)

    The subject matter of my contribution to thefestschriftfor John Courtney does not overlap with John’s research interests. Earlier in my career when I wrote about parties and elections we shared a common intellectual territory and found ourselves in each other’s footnotes. For the last ten years, however, my interests have shifted to the position of Aboriginal peoples in Canada and the difficulty of achieving a reconciliation. I decided that a contribution focusing on my present concerns would be a more worthwhile contribution to a volume honouring a friend and distinguished colleague than revisiting my past. I wish to...