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Divided Loyalties: The Liberal Party of Canada, 1984-2008 [Paperback]

Brooke Jeffrey

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Book Description

Dec 4 2010

The Liberal Party has governed Canada for much of the country's history. Yet over the past two decades, the 'natural governing party' has seen a decrease in traditional support, finding itself in opposition for nearly half of that time. In Divided Loyalties, Brooke Jeffrey draws on her own experience as a party insider and on interviews with more than sixty senior Liberals to follow the trajectory of the party from 1984 to the leadership of Stéphane Dion in 2008.

Riven by internal strife, leadership disputes, and financial woes, the Liberal Party today faces unprecedented challenges that threaten its very future. Conventional wisdom attributes the origins of the disarray to personal conflict between Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin. However, Jeffrey argues that this divisiveness is actually the continuation of a dispute over Canadian federalism and national unity which began decades earlier between John Turner and Pierre Trudeau. This dispute, as evidenced by recent leadership crises, remains unresolved to this day. An insightful examination of the federal Liberal Party, Divided Loyalties sheds much-needed light on an increasingly fissured party.


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Divided Loyalties: The Liberal Party of Canada, 1984-2008 + The Big Red Machine: How the Liberal Party Dominates Canadian Politics
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Review

'Divided Loyalties stands alone in the literature on Canadian political parties and makes an extraordinary contribution to how we understand this country's contemporary politics. Brooke Jeffrey advances crucial arguments on the Liberal Party's rapid decline that all future evaluations will need to take into account. She is uniquely positioned to communicate the complexity of the relationships between leaders, caucus, constituency associations, voters, and election advisers, and her extensive interviews with key Liberal politicians and advisers offer remarkably candid assessments of the party and its policies.' (David E. Smith, Professor Emeritus, University of Saskatchewan, and Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Regina )

About the Author

Brooke Jeffrey is an associate professor and Director of the Masters of Public Policy and Public Administration Program in the Department of Political Science at Concordia University. She has been actively involved in Liberal politics since 1984, including roles as Director of the Liberal Caucus Research Bureau, Secretary of the party's Platform Committee, and Secretary General of the leadership forums.


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