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Save the date! Religion and Canadian Party Politics book launch May 31st

religion-and-canadian-party-politicsSave the date! David Rayside, Jerald Sabin and I would like to invite you to the launch party for our new book Religion and Canadian Party Politics, which is taking place May 31st, 2017 at the historic Arts and Letters Club in Toronto from 4 to 6 PM. The event is conveniently located just across Yonge St. from Ryerson University for those attending the Congress of the Social Sciences.

We’re grateful to the Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies, the University of Toronto Department of Political Science, and UBC Press for sponsoring the event, and are looking forward to seeing you there.

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Thoughts on prospects for electoral reform in Canada

votesign___contentThis week one of my students emailed asking if I could help him with a journalism assignment. He was writing a piece on prospects for electoral reform in Canada now that the Liberal government has abandoned its plans to change the voting system, and was wondering if I could give some commentary.

Below is what I sent him. I’m curious to see how it compares with other people’s assessments of the way forward.

I don’t believe that electoral reform is likely to succeed in Canada unless there is a drastic change in the way that it is approached. The one common factor in the reform processes at the Federal level and in BC, Ontario, and Prince Edward Island is that the parties involved campaigned on a promise to pursue electoral reform without specifying exactly what new system would be put in place. Instead, after forming government the parties each began consultation or committee processes to determine proposals for what system should be adopted. In the provincial cases these proposals were put to referendums, all of which failed. In each case (and especially in Ontario), it was argued that the government did not do a good job of promoting the referendums, with many voters not actually being aware of the issues when they went to vote. At the federal level, the government appears to have decided that it did not like the proportional approach recommended by the Special Committee on Electoral Reform, and so decided to kill the process rather than designing a specific system to put forward in a referendum.
Continue reading “Thoughts on prospects for electoral reform in Canada”

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It’s going to be a busy spring

At present count, I will be presenting six different papers at three separate conferences between the beginning of March and the end of June. The line up is:

Visions for Canada 2042: Imagining the Canada of the Future – Carleton University
Paul Thomas. “The Rise of All-Party Groups in Canada: Towards a New Politics?”
March 4, 2017, 9:45-11:00, Richcraft Hall 
Conference details

(British) Political Studies Association 67th Annual Conference – Glasgow, UK
Paul Thomas. “Cooperation without consequence? A review of participation in all-party groups by members of the House of Lords.”
April 10, 2017, 9:30-11:00, McCance 3.03

Continue reading “It’s going to be a busy spring”