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Political Science Canadian

Big Tent Politics

The Liberal Party’s Long Mastery of Canada’s Public Life

by (author) R. Kenneth Carty

UBC Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2015
Canadian, Political Parties, Post-Confederation (1867-)
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2015
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2015
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Dec 2015
    List Price

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Out of print

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The Liberal Party of Canada is one of the most successful parties in the democratic world. It dominated Canadian politics for a century, practising an inclusive style of “big tent” politics that enabled it to fend off opponents on both the left and right. This book traces the record of the party, unwrapping Liberal practices and organization to reveal its distinctive “brokerage” approach to politics and franchise-style structure. A masterful analysis of how one party came to define the nation’s public life, this book also identifies the challenges that lie ahead as the Liberals reinvent themselves for the twenty-first century.

About the author

Contributor Notes

R. Kenneth Carty is a professor emeritus of political science at the University of British Columbia. One of the country’s foremost experts on Canadian party politics, he was honoured with the Mildred A. Schwartz Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Political Science Association in 2013. He is also a past president (2002) of the Canadian Political Science Association. Carty has served as a consultant to both national and provincial royal commissions on issues of electoral organization and was a member of the Federal Electoral Boundary Commission for British Columbia for the 2004 national redistribution. During 2003-04, he was the director of tesearch for the British Columbia Citizens Assembly on Electoral Reform.

Editorial Reviews

Carty … is a leading authority on Canada’s political parties. He traces the history of the party, paying attention to its cycles against important changes in Canada’s demography (e.g., when increased immigration changed regional and national dynamics) and when parties entered the system.


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