Friday, March 23, 2012

Book Notes: leadership selection studies

Just in time for the NDP leadershipapalooza in Toronto this weekend, Oxford University Press brings out some interesting reading: Politics at the Centre: The Selection and Removal of Party Leaders in the Anglo Parliamentary Democracies. It's by two Canadian political scientists, William Cross of Carleton and André Blais of the Université de Montréal, but (prestige alert!) the publisher is OUP, not OUP Canada, and it's part of an international series in comparative politics.

It's not about the NDP's current selection process, to be sure. It's a comparative statistical analysis of leadership processes in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom since 1965, flying at a fairly abstract level.  Since I'm reviewing it, I won't say much more here. Except I'm struck by the number of times, even as they work to find a statistical norm and a general trend to cover all these countries, they are compelled to write "the norm everywhere except in Canada," "the Canadian...parties are the exception," "with the exception of the Canadian parties," "dramatically different in Canada," and so on.  

On a world scale, the NDP process certainly partakes of that Canadian deviance.
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