Canadian Party Politics in the 2000s: A Re-examination of the Regionalization Thesis


  • SCOTT PRUYSERS Carleton University



political parties, party nationalization, regionalization, party system


Since the 1990s scholars of party politics have written of the increasing regionalization of Canadian party politics, going as far as to label the current system 'balkanized'. Using three widely established measures of party nationalization (party coverage, uniformity of support, and patterns of electoral competition), and one new measure (analysis of party advertisements), this paper explores the regionalization thesis in the post 1990s political landscape. While there is widespread consensus in the literature that the Canadian party system is highly regionalized, this paper provides evidence to the contrary. Rather than a balkanization of Canadian electoral and party politics we are witnessing a re-nationalization of Canadian party politics. This is especially true for those parties that compete in English Canada. Where regionalization does still exist is in the province of Quebec. Not only does the Bloc Quebecois represent a regionalizing force in itself, but the party's very presence alters the strategies of the other parties that compete in Quebec. As a result of the different dynamics of party competition in Quebec, we are left with two distinct party systems: a regional party system in Quebec and a national party system in the rest of Canada.




How to Cite

PRUYSERS, S. (2014). Canadian Party Politics in the 2000s: A Re-examination of the Regionalization Thesis. Canadian Political Science Review, 8(1), 27–42.