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Chapter 14

POLS 3470 Chapter Notes - Chapter 14: Sponsorship Scandal, Egalitarianism, Party System

Political Science
Course Code
POLS 3470
Tim Mau

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Business, Political parties and the Electoral Process
 The amount of influence that corporations (especially large scale financial
organizations) and their ability to influence the political process is why there is
such fine line between patronage and corruption
Political Parties: Representation, Mobilization, and Competition among interests
 Political parties are formal associations that contest elections and elect
candidates to public office
 Are also instruments for the mobilization of financial resources, campaigners
and public workers
 Changing forms of business interaction with political parties are called the
franchise structure by Carty and Eagles
 Laws placed in 2003 strictly regulate the amount that private corporations can
donate to political parties and the political process
 Although one corporation cannot have power to influence politics, as mentioned
in chapter 3, when a cohesive group of business owners and executives comes
together, it can be quite possible to influence the political direction and political
 Functional specialization has reduced the role of political parties in the
Government’s policy process
Leadership selection
 Party leaders are responsible for setting tone and direction for the party, and are
not always recruited from within the party itself.
 These leaders are elected to senior cabinet roles
 As the system changed in recent decades, it has gone from a national or
provincial funding level to a one member one vote type of system.
 Power has shifted from regional and local party organizations to campaign
organizations that are capable of mobilizing resources to successfully carry out
party races.
 When political executives need a sabbatical from politics, they can sometimes
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go into large corporations at senior levels to recharge their mental and financial
batteries, restock their networks and eventually get ready to go back to politics.
Setting party priorities
 Depending on the type of political party, its views and value, a party may place
more or less influence on economic markets and corporations.
 Others may discount business influence to bring voters to swing specific
influential decisions
 Anthony Downs’s Marginal voter model
Structure of Party Competition
 Kenneth Carty outlined four main party systems that have shaped Canada’s
political system
o First was loose coalitions and partisans as well as their economic
associates and clients
o Second, from 1920’s to 1950’s, resulted in the fragmentation of
political parties among class lines from the after effects of the first
world war
 Federal politics was the emergence of extra-parliamentary
parties to distance party leaders from necessary personal
 The provincial regionalization of party systems effectively
privileges the local economic business interests.
o Third system, primarily after the 1960’s up to the 1990’s, created
more wide-spread participation in political parties on the local level
and in leadership opportunities.
o Business influence is most likely to be influential in two or three
main party system, such as the system in Ontario, through brokerage
o When there is a dominant party system over a period of time there
begins to be a single kind of industry or business involvement with
the political party.
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