Partisan Odysseys: Canada’s Political Parties
Published: April 2020© 2020
Imprint: University of Toronto Press
Page Count: 240 Pages
Dimensions: 6.00 x 9.00
240 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 0.70 in
In Partisan Odysseys, Nelson Wiseman sets out to survey the history of Canada’s political parties. Uncovering distinctive motifs and events in Canadian party politics from pre-Confederation to the present, Wiseman shows how parties have adjusted, adapted, and reinvented themselves in response to significant social and economic changes as well as how parties have, in turn, shaped or reinforced these social forces.
The book begins by tracing the rise of four different types of parties in the nineteenth century. By the end of the century, the Conservative and Liberal parties that continue to this day were firmly established. Among the topics covered throughout are nationalism, minority governments, third parties, and the reconfiguration of party positions. Wiseman concludes by examining changes in the way Canada’s ever-evolving parties have operated and the rise of the modern party as a nimble, enterprising institution compared to its historical antecedent.
Substantial yet accessible, Partisan Odysseys will enlighten students, scholars, and general readers alike.
1. Four Party Types: Nineteenth-Century Party Politics
2. Imperialism, Continentalism, Nationalism
3. Industrialization, Urbanization, and Depression: The Rise of Third Parties
4. Parties of Warfare and Welfare
5. Minority Governments: The Diefenbaker-Pearson Years
6. Economy, Language, Unity
7. Trading Places
8. Division and Reconfiguration
9. Conservatism: Old and New
Conclusion: The Ever-Changing Party
"Partisan Odysseys is well-written, engaging, and an important body of work that offers a condensed look at the history of Canada’s political parties. Partisan Odysseys ‘falls between the cracks of history and political science. It reflects a wide reading of materials and may be read as a history of the parties through the lens of Canadian history or as a history of Canada through the lens of the history of the parties.’"
Kate Malloy, The Hill Times
“Partisan Odysseys is a timely celebration of Canadian-style democracy in an era of minority parliaments and the guillotine of surprise elections. It’s a first-rate observance of a hundred years of hell-raising. It makes you proud to be Canadian.”Holly Doan, Blacklock’s Reporter
"Partisan Odysseys: Canada’s Political Parties, by the well-known and respected political scientist Nelson Wiseman, summarizes the emergence, successes, failures, and fates of almost two dozen political parties from the early nineteenth century to today. Among the book’s many pleasures are numerous conclusions about national governance that are not generally accepted or well known. Those who know or know of Nelson Wiseman will not be disappointed by this work."Ron Hikel, Literary Review of Canada
"Calling upon a wide range of resources, Partisan Odysseys offers political science students an accessible overview of the story of Canada as presented through the lens of its political parties."Peter Woolstencroft, Department of Political Science, University of Waterloo
"In answering the question of how we got to where we are today, Partisan Odysseys presents an engaging overview of more than 215 years of federal Canadian party history that is both chronologically organized and easy to follow, providing the reader with an understanding of the evolution of this history, including where the parties came from and how issues have changed over time."David McGrane, Department of Political Studies, University of Saskatchewan