This overview of political party membership in Canada begins with an examination of the norms of party membership in the new Canadian party system and then considers who belongs to Canada's parties, what activities members engage in and how active they are in party affairs. Data from a survey of members of the five major federal parties demon-strate that few Canadians belong to political parties, and those who do belong are not representative of voters generally. The findings also suggest that members are primarily engaged in low-intensity activity and generally contribute little time to party affairs. We conclude that the parties' inability to engage a significant number of voters as members, particularly younger Canadians, presents an ongoing challenge to their vitality as democratic institutions.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Canadian politics, Party activists, Party democracy, Party members
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1177/1354068804043907
Journal Party Politics
Citation
Cross, W, & Young, L. (Lisa). (2004). The contours of political party membership in Canada. Party Politics (Vol. 10, pp. 427–444). doi:10.1177/1354068804043907