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category: Political Science
published: Sep 2017
publisher: UBC Press

The Canadian Party System

An Analytic History

by Richard Johnston

tagged: political parties, canadian

The Canadian party system is a deviant case among the Anglo-American democracies. Unruly and inscrutable, it is a system that defies logic and classification – until now. In this political science tour de force, Richard Johnston makes sense of the Canadian party system. With a keen eye for history and deft use of recently developed analytic tools, he articulates a series of propositions that underpin the system. For its combination of historical breadth and data-intensive rigour, The Canadian Party System is a rare achievement. Its findings shed light on the main puzzles of the Canadian case, while contesting the received wisdom of the comparative study of parties, elections, and electoral systems elsewhere.

About the Author

Richard Johnston

Contributor Notes

Richard Johnston is a professor of political science and Canada Research Chair in Public Opinion, Elections, and Representation at the University of British Columbia. He has also taught at the University of Toronto, the California Institute of Technology, Harvard University (Mackenzie King Chair, 1994-95), and the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author or co-author of five books, three on Canadian politics and two on US politics. He has co-edited four other books and written more than ninety articles and book chapters. Much of his work focuses on elections and public opinion in Canada and the US. He was principal investigator of the 1988 and 1992-93 Canadian Election Studies and research director for the National Annenberg Election Survey (Pennsylvania), 2000-8. Letting the People Decide: Dynamics of a Canadian Election (with André Blais, Henry E, Brady, and Jean Crête) won the Harold Adams Innis Prize for best Canadian book in the Social Sciences. The 2000 Presidential Election and the Foundations of Party Politics (with Michael Hagen and Kathleen Hall Jamieson) was the first book-length treatment of a presidential campaign that linked media data and survey data. The End of Southern Exceptionalism: Class, Race, and Partisan Change in the Postwar South (with Byron E. Shafer) won the best book prize from the APSA Race, Ethnicity, and Politics organized section and the VO Key Prize as the best book on Southern politics.

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