Contagion in the West: The Survival and Success of the CCF-NDP in Western Canada
AdvisorSayers, Anthony M.
AuthorMolineaux, Connor John
Committee MemberLucas, Jack
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractThe CCF-NDP is the lone survivor of a number of new political parties to emerge in Western Canada around the mid-twentieth century. While most of those parties long ago disappeared, the CCF-NDP has not only survived, but has thrived. The CCF-NDP has successfully formed government in all four western provinces, even as it faces a very different combination of parties in each. In Alberta, the NDP first formed government in 2015, an astounding seventy-five years after its first election in the province. How did the CCF-NDP manage to persist and succeed in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan for so long when most other parties have failed? In this thesis, I argue that the CCF-NDP has managed to survive because it possesses certain organizational features that other parties lack. As a social democratic party, the CCF- NDP has maintained a core base of committed activists who sustain the organization even when it is electorally weak. The party competes in elections across multiple provinces and at the federal level, giving it organizational redundancy that most other parties lack. And the party has consistently been willing to reach out to new groups of voters by moderating its policies, but without losing its central identity as a social democratic party. I show this using process tracing by identifying the factors that contribute to the success or failure of several insurgent parties, including the CCF-NDP, at critical moments of electoral dealignment across each of the four western provinces.
CitationMolineaux, C. J. (2021). Contagion in the West: The Survival and Success of the CCF-NDP in Western Canada (Unpublished master's thesis). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB.
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