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Campaign Dynamics in the 2000 Canadian Election: How the Leader Debates Salvaged the Conservative Party

  • André Blais (a1), Elisabeth Gidengil (a2), Richard Nadeau (a3) and Neil Nevitte (a4)

Canada's Progressive Conservative Party faced the prospects of electoral annihilation going into the 2000 election. In the 1993 election, the party suffered what must surely be the most humiliating defeat ever visited upon an incumbent party; its share of the popular vote plummeted from 43% to 16% and it was reduced to a mere two seats (1%, down from 57%). So complete was the collapse that the party—one of the two parties that had alternated in power since Confederation in 1867—lost its official status in the House of Commons.A political party must have at least 12 seats to be recognized officially as a political party. This status confers significant benefits, such as being able to obtain funding and to ask questions at the highly visible question period. Meanwhile, the new party of the Right—the Reform Party—managed to get 19% of the vote and, thanks to the concentration of its support in western Canada, this translated into 52 seats.For an analysis of that spectacular change, see Johnston et al. 1996.

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Blais AndréMartin Boyer1996 Assessing the Impact of Televised Debates: The Case of the 1988 Canadian Election British Journal of Political Science 26 143 164
Blais AndréRichard NadeauElisabeth GidengilNeil Nevitte1999 Campaign Dynamics in the 1997 Canadian Election Canadian Public Policy 25 197 205
Blais AndréElisabeth GidengilRichard NadeauNeil Nevitte2002 Anatomy of a Liberal Victory: Making Sense of the Vote in the 2000 Canadian ElectionPeterboroughBroadview Press
Brady Henry E.Richard JohnstonForthcoming. Introduction: The Study of Political CampaignsCapturing Campaign EffectsHenry E. BradyRichard JohnstonAnn ArborMichigan University Press
Holbrook Thomas1996 Do Campaigns Matter?Thousand OaksSage
Johnston RichardAndré BlaisHenry E. BradyJean Crête1992 Letting the People Decide: Dynamics of a Canadian ElectionMontrealMcGill-Queen's University Press
Johnston RichardAndré BlaisHenry E. BradyElisabeth GidengilNeil Nevitte1996 The 1993 Election: Realignment, Dealignment, or Something Else?Presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, San Francisco
Lanoue David1991 Debates That Mattered: Voters' Reactions to the 1984 Canadian Leadership Debates Canadian Journal of Political Science 24 51 65
Nevitte NeilAndré BlaisElisabeth GidengilRichard Nadeau2000 Unsteady State: The 1997 Canadian Federal ElectionDon MillsOxford University Press
Norris PippaJohn CurticeDavid SandersMargaret ScammelHolli A. Semetko1999 On Message: Communicating the CampaignLondonSage
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PS: Political Science & Politics
  • ISSN: 1049-0965
  • EISSN: 1537-5935
  • URL: /core/journals/ps-political-science-and-politics
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