The Liberal Party has fallen on hard times since 2006. Once Canada’s governing party but now confined to the sidelines, it struggles to renew itself. Drawing on interviews and personal observations in cross-country ridings, Royce Koop reveals that although the federal Liberal Party disassociated itself from its provincial cousins to rebuild itself in the mid-twentieth century, grassroots Liberals in the constituencies are building bridges between the national party and the provinces. This insider’s view of party politics challenges the idea that Canada has two distinct political spheres – the provincial and the national – and suggests that national parties can overcome the challenges of multi-level politics by deepening ties with constituencies.
About the author
Royce Koop writes about political parties, representation, local politics, and online political communication. He is the author of Grassroots Liberals: Organizing for Local National Politics (UBC Press, 2015), which won the 2014 Seymour Martin Lipset Best Book Award from the American Political Science Association, and, with Peter J. Loewen, Jaime Settle, and James H. Fowler, “A Natural Experiment in Proposal Power and Electoral Success,” American Journal of Political Science 58, no. 1 (2014).
- Winner, Seymour Martin Lipset Book Prize, American Political Science Association
- Commended, The Hill Times List of Top 100 Best Books for 2012
Koop makes a compelling case that local diversity is an unavoidable feature of a “big tent” entity such as the Liberal Party of Canada.
Literary Review of Canada
Too often the study of politics is remote from the experiences of those who are engaged in it. Grassroots Liberals is an important corrective to this tendency and Koop is to be commended for taking the activities and insights of those who make their parties work at the local level seriously.