Political parties in Canada: What determines entry, exit and the duration of their lives?
Two margins of political party life in Canada since Confederation (1867) are analyzed—the extensive margin involving entry and exit (together with party turnover or churning) and the intensive margin determining survival length. The results confirm many hypotheses advanced to explain entry and exit—the importance of social and religious cleavage, election institutions, and economic circumstance. More novel are the findings that public election funding and periods with larger immigration flows have reinforced established parties at the expense of entrants and smaller sized parties. The intensive margin uses a discrete hazard model with discrete finite mixtures to confirm the Duverger-type presence of two distinct long-lived political parties surrounded by a fringe of smaller parties. Both parametric and semi-parametric models concur in finding that public funding and higher immigration flows are as successful in extending the life of established parties as in discouraging entry and exit.