William Cross

"Political Parties and Candidate Selection" Oxford Research Encylopedia, forthcoming 2018 (with Gideon Rahat).

"Sore Losers: the Costs of Intra-Party Democracy?" Party Politics, on-line first: https://doi.org/10.1177/1354068817728216  2016 (with Scott Pruysers).  

Abstract:  Drawing upon the ‘satisfaction with democracy’ and ‘divisive primary’ literatures, this article examines how losers of intra-party elections respond to defeat and the consequences that these choices have on party organization and strength. In other words, do losers of intra-party elections continue to support the party or do they, like losers of general elections, feel less satisfied with democracy and withdraw their support (or even ‘exit’ the party)? Exploring rates of membership activism and satisfaction from a recent study of Canadian party members, this article demonstrates that losers of intra-party elections are more likely to exit the party, significantly less likely to remain active and engaged in party politics, and significantly more likely to report dissatisfaction with party membership. These findings suggest that parties must find a way of keeping losers engaged with the party.

"The Importance of Local Party Activity in Understanding Canadian Politics: Winning from the Ground up in the 2015 Federal Election." Canadian Journal of Political Science, first view: doi: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0008423916000962 2016. (sole author).

Abstract:  Political parties have long been identified as critical players in Canadian democracy. In this address I focus on the activities of parties at the constituency level arguing that this is crucial to fully understanding many important questions in Canadian political science. By way of example, using data relating to the 2015 federal election, I argue that examining the relative vitality of local party associations in the period between election campaigns assists in a fuller understanding of election outcomes and that examining local party nomination dynamics is key to understanding the underrepresentation of women in the candidate pool and ultimately in the House of Commons.

 "Negative Personalization: Party Leaders and Parties Strategies." Canadian Journal of Political Science 49:3, 539-558, 2016 (with Scott Pruysers).

Abstract: While the negative campaigning literature has witnessed tremendous growth in recent years, the precise targets of campaign negativity have not been fully explored, as candidates and their parties are largely treated as the same target.  Likewise, although scholars are increasingly writing about the personalization of politics, this literature has not considered whether parties can 'personalize' their opponents by focusing their messaging and attacks more on individual leaders than the parties they lead. In an attempt to bridge the gap between these two literatures, we develop the concept of negative personalization. Negative personalization, as we define it, is an emphasis on opposing party leaders in campaign communication more so than the parties they lead. Exploring recent election campaigns in Canada's largest province, we document the extent to which parties engage in negative personalization and suggest hypotheses for the factors leading to increased negative personalization.

Party Rules, Party Resources and the Politics of Parliamentary Democracies:  How Parties Organize in the 21st Century.  Party Politics, on-line first 2016 (co-author with 22 others, collaborative publication of the Political Parties Database team).

Abstract: This article introduces the first findings of the Political Party Database Project, a major survey of party organizations in parliamentary and semi-presidential democracies.  The project's first round of data covers 122 parties in 19 countries.  In this article, we describe the scope of the database, then investigate what it tells us about contemporary party organization in these countries, focusing on parties' resources, structures and internal decision-making.  We examine organizational patterns by country and party family, and where possible we make temporal comparisons with older data sets.  Our analyses suggest a remarkable coexistence of uniformity and diversity.  In terms of the major organizational resources on which parties can draw, such as members, staff and finance, the new evidence largely confirms the continuation of trends identified in previous research: that is, declining membership, but enhanced financial resources and more paid staff.  We also find remarkable uniformity regarding the core architecture of party organizations.  At the same time, however, we find substantial variation between countries and party families in terms of their internal processes, with particular regard to how internally democratic they are, and the forms that this demcoratization takes.

Understanding Power Sharing in Political Parties: Stratarchy as Mutual Interdependence Between The Party in the Centre and the Party On-The-Ground. Government and Opposition, first view: doi: https://doi.org/10.1017/gov.2016.22 2016. (sole author).

Abstract: Recent literature has renewed interest in the stratarchical model of intra-party decision making. In this version of party organization, the functions performed by parties are distributed among their discrete levels. The result is a power-sharing arrangement in which no group has control over all aspects of party life. Thus, the model potentially provides an antidote to the hierarchical version of organization. This paper examines the principal parties in Australia, Canada, Ireland and New Zealand to test whether there is empirical evidence of stratarchy. An examination of candidate nomination, leadership selection and policy development finds strong evidence of shared-authority between both levels of the party in key areas of intra-party democracy.  Both levels accept that they cannot achieve their goals without the support of the other and so a fine balancing act pursues resulting in constant recalibration of power relations.  There is, however, little evidence of the commonly presented model of stratarchy as mutual autonomy for each level within discrete areas of competency. Instead, both the party on-the-ground and in the centre share authority within all three areas resulting in a pattern of mutual interdependence rather than mutual autonomy.

Candidate Selection in Canada: Local Autonomy, Centralization, and Competing Democratic Norms.  American Behavioral Scientist 60:7, 781-798, 2016. (with Scott Pruysers).

Abstract: This article examines how political parties choose their candidates in Canada's decentralized multi-level setting. We examine the selection practices of the leading federal parties, focusing on the formal and informal rules relating to the eligibility and mobilization of voters and candidates, the distribution of power within the party, and representational outcomes. In doing so we highlight how Canadian parties have approached the tradeoff between competing democratic norms as each party attempts to find a delicate balance between grassroots authority and central party involvement. Despite typically being considered a local affair, the selection of candidates is highly influenced by the central party apparatus  both formally and informally. This central party authority, however, often results in considerable tension that erupts in public conflict. We suggest that while centralization may undermine membership participation, grassroots autonomy, and responsiveness, central party involvement may also enhance the democratic values of fairness, representation, and in some instances even participation. 

Considering the Appropriateness of State Regulation of Intra-party Democracy: A Comparative Politics Perspective, Election Law Journal 15:1, 20-30, 2016. (sole author).

Abstract: This article considers the appropriateness of state regulation of the internal decision-making processes and organizational structures of political parties. After reviewing the most common arguments made in support of state regulation, the article takes a political science perspective in examining both the practical and democratic implications of such regulation with a focus on parties internal decision making. While state mandates are often an impulsive response to identified shortcomings in the ways parties operate, I argue here that regulation potentially comes with significant costs to the democratic operation of parties and the role they play in state-wide democracy more broadly. Regulation of the internal functions of parties challenges their role as civil society organizations operating independent of the state. It also dampens opportunity for diversity and experimentation in democratic practice and prioritizes some democratic values over others. State regulation also potentially deprives party activists of a meaningful say in the way their party is organized and thus makes participation in parties less attractive. The article concludes that beyond expressing a preference for parties to operate in a democratic  fashion, the internal workings of parties may best be exempt from state regulation and left to the discretion of the parties themselves.

The Influence of Party Candidate Selection Methods on Candidate Diversity,  Representation 51:3, 287-298, 2015(with Anika Gauja).

Abstract: In this research note we test the argument that centralised and exclusive nomination methods result in more diverse lists of candidates than do those organised with a more inclusive, decentralised selectorate. We do so using a database of candidate information compiled for the 2010 and 2013 Australian federal elections and an analysis of the House of Representatives selection rules for every state and territory branch of the Labor and Liberal parties. The Australian parties provide an excellent opportunity to examine this proposition as there is significant diversity in the types of selection methods used, both within and between the major parties. Our findings reveal significant differences between the two parties, even when similar methods of selection are used. We show that methods of preselection where authority is shared between local members and the central party are more likely to select female candidates, but only when this is supported by a willing party culture.

"Party Primaries: Towards a Definition and Typology," Representation 51: 2, 147-160, 2015 (with Ofer Kenig, Scott Pruysers, and Gideon Rahat).

Abstract: While primaries were once associated almost exclusively with the United States, similar methods for selecting party leaders and candidates have lately become common in many parliamentary democracies. This considerable expansion of intra-party democracy has resulted in the rising popularity and increased usage of the term  primary election. However, despite the popularization of the term, little work has been done to create a clear definition and to identify the range of selection methods that fall under this umbrella. Without conceptual clarity and a common definition, we lack the necessary tools for comparative work.

"Personalization of Campaigns in an SMP System: the Canadian Case,"  Electoral Studies 39:3, 2015, 306-315(with Lisa Young).

Abstract: This article considers the factors influencing the degree of personalization in constituency campaigning in the 2008 Canadian general election.  Examining local candidates campaign means, agenda and organization, we find a relatively high level of campaign personalization in this system.  We argue that this results from systemic factors such as the single member plurality electoral system, the stratarchical nature of party organization, the campaign finance regime, and a largely decentralized method of candidate selection. Beyond these, we identify candidate, party and constituency specific variables that assist in explaining significant variance among candidates, and between parties, in the three dimensions of campaign personalization.

"Evolving Membership Strategies in Australian Political Parties", Australian Journal of Political Science 49:4, 2014, 611-625 (with Anika Gauja).

Abstract: Like parties elsewhere, the Australian parties have witnessed a decline in membership numbers and activism in recent years and some have suggested that near memberless parties may become the norm.  Drawing on elite interviews, party documents and examination of recent organizational reforms, we argue that parties continue to need members and view their involvement as essential to achieving their objectives.  In response to declining rates of activism the Australian parties have begun to experiment with different forms of membership such as policy branches and to expand the traditional notion of membership to include  supporters in selected trials in candidate pre-selections.   We show that membership is a flexible and dynamic concept that is used by political parties to fulfill their institutional functions and electoral objectives, and is defined in unique ways in each sphere of party activity. We suggest that accounts of party decline relying solely on formal membership numbers may be inaccurate.

"Designing Candidate Selection Methods: Exploring Diversity in Australian Political Parties," Australian Journal of Political Science 49:1, 2014, 22-39 (with Anika Gauja).
Abstract: The processes political parties use to select their candidates for public office not only constitute a crucial element of political recruitment in representative democracies, they also provide important insights into how power is distributed within party organisations. In this article, we develop a framework for understanding the diversity of preselection mechanisms in Australia's major parties that is based on degrees of influence between the central and local components of the party organisation and that is grounded in our readings of party constitutions as public expressions of intra-party power sharing arrangements. Building on the existing comparative literature to contextualise candidate selection processes, we identify the practical and normative choices parties have to make when selecting, and implementing, a particular system.

Assessing the Psychological and Mechanical Impact of Electoral Rules: a Quasi Experiment, Electoral Studies 31:4, 2012, 829-37 (with Maxime Heroux Legault, Andre Blais, Laura Stephenson and Elisabeth Gidengil).

Abstract: The paper assesses the influence of electoral rules on vote choice and election outcomes using a quasi-experiment conducted during a recent Canadian provincial election. Respondents were invited to vote under three voting systems (first past the post, alternative voting and proportional representation) and to answer a short questionnaire. We examine how the distribution of votes and seats is affected, and we ascertain how much of the total difference is due to psychological and mechanical effects. We find that a PR system would have increased legislative fractionalization by the equivalent of one effective party and that the mechanical effect is much more important than the psychological effect. As for AV, its mechanical and psychological effects act in opposite directions.

Who Selects the Party Leader? Party Politics 18:2, 2012, 127-150 (lead article) (with Andre Blais).

Abstract: We study the degree of formal influence that rank-and-file members have on the selection of party leaders in the five English-speaking Westminster countries: Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. We find that in recent years there has been a general, though not universal, trend towards granting party members greater influence in the choice of their leader. We observe that the decision to broaden the selectorate has been made by most parties in the UK, Canada and Ireland, while parties in Australia and New Zealand have generally resisted reform. We set out a series of four hypotheses explaining the decisions made by parties in the first three countries. We show that this organizational reform is adopted by parties in opposition, in the aftermath of an electoral setback and by new parties. We also find a strong contagion effect within party systems. Finally, we offer an explanation for why the Australian and New Zealand cases have resulted in less change.

Explaining Local Campaign Intensity: the Canadian General Election of 2008Canadian Journal of Political Science 44:3, 2011, 553-572 (with Lisa Young).

Abstract: There is considerable evidence that local campaign activity is positively related both to a party's constituency level vote share and to voter participation rates. In this article we consider the degree of variance of local campaign intensity at the constituency level in the Liberal and New Democratic parties in the 2008 Canadian federal election and consider the variables that may explain this variance. Utilizing data collected through a post-election mail-back survey of candidates, we find significant variance in local campaign activity and identify six factors that influence it. These are an objective measure of the local candidate's chance for victory in the constituency, the candidate's subjective view of their chances, whether the candidate was challenged for the local nomination, how involved the candidate is in his/her local community, whether the candidate contested the prior election and whether party notables from outside the constituency campaigned in the riding.

A New Chair in Parliamentary Democracy at Carleton UniversityCanadian Parliamentary Review 32:2, 2009, 38-42 (sole author).

Abstract: In 2009, Carleton University launched the Honorable Dick and Ruth Bell Chair for the Study of Canadian Parliamentary Democracy. The Chair, which residesin the Department of Political Science in Carleton's Faculty of Public Affairs, is created through a generous gift from Dr. Ruth Bell in honour of her late husband, Richard A. Bell, a prominent attorney and parliamentarian. Elected to the House of Commons four times between 1957 and 1968, Dick Bell also served as Minister of Citizenship and Immigration in the Diefenbaker government. Ruth Bell is a Carleton alumnus and longtime educator and activist. She was one of the initial members of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women and was a founder of both the Canadian Commission for Learning Opportunities forWomen and the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women. This article outlines the mandate of the Chair and some areas in which it plans to encourage research.

Democratic Norms and Party Candidate Selection: Taking Contextual Factors into Account,  Party Politics 14:5, 2008, 596-619 (sole author).

Abstract: This article argues that the relative significance of party candidate selection processes in influencing representational and policy outcomes varies across countries and parties. Five variables are identified that influence this relationship: the electoral system, the degree of inter-party general election competition, the openness of the system to the election of independent candidates, whether representational demands are accommodated within or among parties, and the role of elected representatives in determining policy outcomes. From this, a normative argument is made that the strength of the case for democratically organized candidate nomination contests varies depending on the relative importance of these contests in determining policy and representational outcomes.

Activism among Young Party Members: the Case of the Canadian Liberal Party,  Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties 18:3, 2008, 257-281 (with Lisa Young).

Abstract: This article considers the determinants of youth member activism in political parties. Recent cross‐national studies have established that political parties are suffering a decline in youth membership numbers and that a significant number of members are inactive. We base our analysis here on the argument that in order to fulfill adequately their linkage role between civil society and the state, parties require an ongoing source of active young partisans to replenish an aging membership. Using data collected through a mail survey of 18-25 year old members of the Canadian Liberal party, we are able to identify several factors which are significantly related to degrees of activism among young party members. Our analysis considers socio‐demographic characteristics, paths to party membership, attitudes towards political parties and advocacy groups, and political socialization. Our most important finding is a strong positive relationship between membership in a party organ dedicated to young members and a high degree of party activism.

Factors Influencing the Decision of the Young Politically Engaged to join a Political Party: an Investigation of the Canadian CaseParty Politics 14:3, 2008, 345-69 (with Lisa Young).

Abstract: Situated in the literature concerning the decline of party members, and the dearth of young party members, this article considers the factors that influence the decision of a politically engaged young person to join, or not join, a political party. Making use of a unique dataset, we examine the attitudes and socialization of a large group of politically active young Canadians, a group that includes a significant number of both party members and non-party members. The article finds significant attitudinal differences towards political parties, with non-members highly suspicious of parties in terms of their general democratic performance, their efficacy in achieving social and political change and in the ability of grassroots members to influence party decision-making. We also find important socialization effects, the most significant being that young party members are considerably more likely than non-members to have a parent who is a party member. Recruitment through family members appears to be a principal path to party membership for young voters

"Are Canadian Political Parties Empty Vessels? Membership, Engagement and Policy Capacity," Choices 12:4, 2006, 14-29 (with Lisa Young).

Abstract: This article analyzes party membership in Canada. In particular, the focus is on why Canadians join parties, the role they play in party affairs, and their satisfaction with their role. Using data from a survey of party members from Canada's five major parties conducted in 2000, it is demonstrated that party members in Canada are rarely engaged and largely dissatisfied with their role in party life. Given this disengagement and dissatisfaction, the paper argues that providing party members with extensive opportunities to influence party stances on questions of public policy is the best way for parties to reinvigorate themselves.

Can Stratarchically Organized Parties be Democratic? Evidence from the Canadian Experience,  Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties 16:2, 2006, 93-114 (with R. Kenneth Carty).

Abstract: In this paper we are concerned with the fundamental question of internal partydemocracy. Must political parties that depend upon a substantial membership inevitably endas oligarchies? Has the emergence of the cartel party, the public utility of moderndemocracies, spelled an end to active citizen-partisans? To approach this issue we explorethe cartel theorists suggestion that stratarchical organizational forms might provide partieswith a way out of an apparent democratic dead end. The paper considers the logic of suchparties and then examines how Canadian parties have been organized around stratarchicalprinciples. The second substantial part of the paper turns to an assessment, in terms of thestandards adopted by the Canadian Democratic Audit, of how, and to what extent, theseparties might be considered democratic institutions.

The Rush to Electoral Reform in the Canadian Provinces: Why Now? Representation, 41:2, 2005, 75-84. (Sole author).

Abstract: The purpose of this essay is to consider why so many Canadian jurisdictions are now considering electoral system reform: is there a common set of motivating factors or are these processes driven by circumstances unique to each province? In recent years, there has been considerable attention paid to the adoption of new electoral systems in the emerging democracies of the former Eastern Europe; the new legislatures in Wales, Scotland and Brussels; and, following political upheaval, in New Zealand, Japan and Italy. The Canadian case is unique as it presents an opportunity to consider the conditions that have led governments in five different jurisdictions, all with longstanding attachment to the SMP system, to decide independently to engage in electoral reform projects at the same time. Through examination of this case we can better understand the conditions under which governments are willing to consider electoral reform.

The Contours of Political Party Membership in CanadaParty Politics, 10:4, 2004, 427-444 (with Lisa Young).

Abstract: This overview of political party membership in Canada begins with an examination of the norms of party membership in the new Canadian party system and then considers who belongs to Canada's parties, what activities members engage in and how active they are in party affairs. Data from a survey of members of the five major federal parties demonstrate that few Canadians belong to political parties, and those who do belong are not representative of voters generally. The findings also suggest that members are primarily engaged in low-intensity activity and generally contribute little time to party affairs. We conclude that the parties' inability to engage a significant number of voters as members, particularly younger Canadians, presents an ongoing challenge to their vitality as democratic institutions.

Policy Attitudes of Party Members in Canada: Evidence of Ideological PoliticsCanadian Journal of Political Science 35:4, 2002, 859-880 (with Lisa Young).

Abstract: This article considers the degree to which characteristics of the ideological model of political parties are evident in the Canadian party system. Four questions are considered: are members attracted to parties on the basis of their policy positions; is there a structure to party members' issue attitudes; is there significant attitudinal space between the parties; and is there cohesion within the parties on the identified attitudinal measures? Data collected through a national mail survey of members of the five federal parties are used to answer these questions. The article finds there is substantial evidence of the ideological model in the Canadian party system and concludes by considering the effect this may have on the brokerage traditions of Canadian parties.

The Rise of Plebiscitary Democracy in Canadian Political PartiesParty Politics, 8:6, 2002, 673-699 (with Lisa Young).

Abstract: In this article we trace the development of intra-party democracy within Canadian political parties and argue that a new, plebiscitary model of intra-party democracy is shaping internal party organization. This is evidenced by changing party practices, which are for the most part supported by grassroots party members. Data from a survey of members of the five major political parties demonstrate this support for plebiscitary democracy, and suggest that conflicts surrounding plebiscitary democracy shape party activists' structure of opinion on matters of internal party organization. This support among party members suggests that the move toward plebiscitary democracy in Canadian political parties is not merely elite-driven, and is likely to result in enduring changes.

Incentives to Membership in Canadian Political PartiesPolitical Research Quarterly, 55:3, 2002, 547-569 (with Lisa Young).

Abstract: This article analyses data from the 2000 Study of Canadian Political Party Members to address the question of why individuals join political parties in Canada and to trace their paths to activism. Because Canadian parties are essentially brokerage parties charactensed by ideological flexibility and limited substantive roles for their members, membership in a party islikely to be motivated less by ideological concerns than by membership in a social network mobilised in support of a particular individual. As a consequence, most accounts assume that individuals are mobilised into party membership by family, friends, and neighbors in order to support candidates for the leadership or local nomination. In contrast to this expectation, we find that for all five major Canadian political parties, it is the members' ideological or policy-related commitment to the party that is by far the most important motivation for joining. Although parties do, to varying degrees, rely on social networks for recruitment into party life, ideological concurrence between member and party acts as a constraint on recruitment. The data also indicate considerable differences between the two traditional brokerage parties and the newer, more ideologically oriented parties.

Ethnicity and Accommodation in the New Brunswick Party SystemJournal of Canadian Studies, 36:4, 2001, 32-58 (with Ian Stewart).

Abstract: This paper explores the relationship between New Brunswick's two ethno-linguistic communities and the province's Progressive Conservative and Liberal parties. Using data from provincial elections from 1908 to 1999, we examine the strength of electoral support enjoyed by each party in both communities and the degree to which the parties have represented both groups in their party decision-making bodies. Results from surveys of party activists are used to examine inter and intra party opinion structures on questions relating to language and ethnicity. We conclude that over the past three decades New Brunsiwck's political parties have adopted a brokerage approach and have managed to transcend the province's ethn0-linguistic divide.

Canadian Party Politics in the New CenturyJournal of Canadian Studies, 35:4, 2001, 23-39 (with R. Kenneth Carty and Lisa Young).

Abstract: This essay starts from the observation that the 1993 general election marked a major watershed in Canadian party politics. It witnessed the collapse of the national party system that had been established in the 1960s and instigated a decade of party system restructuring. It is now possible to identify some of the salient characteristis of the political parties - and the distinctive system of competition among them - shaping Canadian politics in the early years of the new century. Five dimensions of the new system are given particular attention: the emergence and impact of new parties, the regionalization of party politics, the diversifaction of parties, the democratization of party organizations and the fragmentation of the electorate. Together they have profound significance for the character and quality of democracy in Canada.

Canada Today: a Democratic AuditCanadian Parliamentary Review, 24:4, 2001, 37-55 (sole author).

Abstract: Much has been written in recent years concerning a 'democratic deficit' and 'democratic malaise' in Canada. There is substantial evidence that many Canadians are dissatisfied with the state of our democratic practices and institutions. At the same time, new phenomena such as increased pressures of globalization and changing communications technologies pose new challenges to Canadian democracy. To consider these issues, the Centre for Canadian Studies at Mount Allison University has launched a major research project entitled Canada Today: A Democratic Audit. Under the auspices of this project, a team of prominent political scientists from across the country will conduct the 21st century's first wide-ranging examination of democracy in Canada. This article looks at the project. 

The Conflict Between Participatory and Accommodative Politics: The Case for Stronger PartiesInternational Journal of Canadian Studies, volume 17 (spring, 1998), 37-55 (sole author).

Abstract: This article argues that the traditional Canadian political parties have emphasized their role as consensus builders at the expense of offering meaningful participation in intra-party affairs to their grassroots activists. Two results of this are: (1) considerable voter dissatisfaction with public decision-making processes; and (2) voter rejection of consensuses that result from elite dominated decision making. Using data collected from a national mail survey of riding association presidents, this article illustrates how the brokerage parties offer little opportunity for meaningful grassroots participation in candidate nomination, leadership selection, and policy study and development. it contends that political parties can increase opportunity for meaningful participation in these areas without jeopardizing their consensus building capacity. Finally, the Reform Party is shown to differ significantly from the brokerage parties in terms of both the quality and quantity of grassroots participation.

Local Party Association Activity and Electoral SuccessCanadian Parliamentary Review, 21:1, 1998, 14-16 (sole author).

Abstract: Most election study in Canada is focused on the leaders' tours and debates, and the perceptions of the campaign as relayed by the national media. Thus view of elections, prevalent in many parliamentary democracies, leaves little room for significant involvement by local party activists. Recent case studies of local election campaigns during the 1988 federal election conducted for the Royal Commission on Electoral Reform and Party Financing suggest that this view may be incomplete. Several authors, in a collection of ten case studies, conclude that local campaign efforts had a significant impact on the riding election results. These findings, while somewhat impressionistic, support the hypothesis that local association "vitality" can make the difference between victory and defeat at the riding level. This study builds on these case studies by using survey data collected from local parties after the 1993 election to examine the relationship between local party "vitality" and electoral success.

Direct Election of Provincial Party Leaders in Canada, 1985-1995: The End of the Leadership Convention? Canadian Journal of Political Science 29:2, 1996, 295-315 (sole author).

Abstract: Between 1985 and 1995, 12 provincial parties in Canada elected their leaders by a direct vote of their membership. This article examines the motivation behind the switch to direct election, the direct election procedures used and whether the expected benefits have been realized. Claims that direct elections are more democratic than traditional conventions and that they can revitalize a party membership are scrutinized.

Regulating Independent Expenditures in Federal ElectionsCanadian Public Policy 20:3, 1994, 253-264 (sole author).

Abstract: Policy-makers have struggled for more than a decade with the question of how best to regulate independent expenditures in federal elections. This debate has apparently reached an impasse between policy-makers primarily concerned with financial equity in the electoral process, and interest groups which, armed with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, desire to participate in election campaigns independently of parties and candidates. This article examines the democratic interests represented by the opposing sides and identifies a regulatory proposal that respects these competing interests.

Financing Leadership Campaigns in CanadaCanadian Parliamentary Review 15:2, 1992, 16-23 (sole author).

Abstract: In recognition of campaign financing's potential impact on the political process, Canadian governments have enacted campaign finance legislation. From the 1874 Dominion Elections Act various regulations have, among other things, required disclosure of campaign receipts and expenditures, imposed spending limitations on parties and candidates, and provided public funds for the financing of campaigns. One domain of electoral politics has, however, consistently remained outside the jurisdiction of these regulatory schemes, The financing of federal party leadership campaigns has never been regulated by parliament. In February 1992 the Royal Commission on Electoral Reform (Lortie Commission) included in its findings a recommendation that leadership campaign financing be included in any renewed effort at campaign finance legislation. The purpose of this paper is to outline these recommendations and to consider the impact they would have had on the two most recent federal leadership campaigns.