Political Parties in Canada: What Determines Their Entry, Exit and the Duration of Their Lives?
In this paper we consider two margins of individual political party life in Canada since Confederation— the extensive margin governing existence (the entry and exit decisions, together with party turnover or churning) and the intensive margin determining lifespan or survival length. The results on the extensive margin confirm in a more formal way many of the individual hypotheses advanced in the political literature for entry and exit—the importance of voter heterogeneity, minority governments, world wars, number of competitors and economic circumstances. What stands out most strongly in the data is the introduction of public funding for established political parties following 1974 and recent immigration flows. The intensive margin is explored using a number of hazard models before narrowing choice to semi-parametric models. Potential endogeneity is dealt with by using a discrete hazard model with discrete finite mixtures. This form best captures the empirical hazard, allowing for the detection of party type heterogeneity while being agnostic with respect to the correlation between observables and this specific type of heterogeneity. The results suggest the presence of two distinct political party types and, more generally, mirror the results found on the extensive margin.