Auditing Canadian Democracy marks the culmination of this landmark project. Using the Audit's uniquely Canadian benchmarks of participation, responsiveness, and inclusiveness, the contributors synthesize and update their findings from the original volumes. A concluding chapter presents a synopsis of the various reform proposals put forth in the series.
Lively and accessible, this volume offers a succinct and thoughtful examination of existing practices and reforms. As Canadians continue to vote in ever lower numbers, this book's timely analysis should be of interest to all citizens concerned with the health of our democracy.
With an emphasis on Canada's federal parties, Cross examines party membership, candidate recruitment, leadership selection, policy development, election campaigning, and party financing. Throughout, he maintains a clear focus on how well Canadian parties are serving the Canadian people, and, in keeping with the aims of the Democratic Audit, interrogates their performance in terms of participation, inclusiveness, and responsiveness. In addition, the book also draws on the experiences of provincial parties to provide a comprehensive portrait of party life in Canada. Where appropriate, comparisons are drawn with parties in other Western democracies.
A crucial and timely overview of political parties, this book will appeal to all those who seek a fuller understanding of the Canadian party system. Those interested in how regular citizens participate in party decision making will be particularly concerned with Cross' disturbing conclusion that our parties are falling short in terms of benchmarks set forth by the Canadian Democratic Audit.
The collection includes essays on Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Norway and the United Kingdom which have important differences in their party systems, their degree of democratization, the role assigned to party leaders and their methods of leadership selection. Each country examination provides significant data relating to party rules and norms of leadership selection, leadership tenures and leadership contests. The book concludes with a chapter that merges the country data analyses to provide a truly comparative examination of the theoretical questions underlying the volume.
This book will be of strong interest to students and scholars of legislative studies, elections, democracy, political parties, party systems, political elites and comparative politics.