Intra-party causcuses and N. D. P. leadership selection in 1989
Thomlinson, Neil R.
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The Canadian party of democratic socialism, the New Democratic Party (NDP), following the lead of its predecessor, the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation (CCF), has exhibited some characteristics which have distinguished it from its principal political competitors, the Liberal and Progressive Conservative parties. Some of those characteristics are identified by this study which focuses upon the process through which delegates assemble in biennial conventions, and the emergence of advocacy caucuses within the NDP. Delegate entitlement in the NDP is based upon party membership rather than the equality of constituencies. This study explores the consequences of that principle and offers some comparisons to the Liberal and Progressive Conservative parties. The modern and somewhat informal existence of numerous advocacy caucuses offers mute evidence of a desire on the part of the party to embrace organised interests. The extent to which advocacy caucuses are able to influence the agenda of the party is less clear. This study examines the relationship between delegate attendance of the Women's and Labour caucuses and candidate support across four ballots. Data from the 1989 NDP convention suggest that, with respect to the selection of a leader, there exists a positive relationship between delegate attendance of the meetings of some caucuses and candidate support across four ballots.