Greatest strength lies in political party"s recognition of regional interests. Weakness is absence of any institutional opportunity for activists to exert meaningful i(cid:374)flue(cid:374)(cid:272)e o(cid:448)er the parties" poli(cid:272)y directions. Parties do(cid:374)"t re(cid:272)ruit fe(cid:373)ale (cid:272)a(cid:374)didates i(cid:374) (cid:272)o(cid:374)stitue(cid:374)(cid:272)ies (cid:449)here they are (cid:373)ost competitive. Selecting leaders, parliamentary candidates, and elections have the highest rates of participation and party membership levels: after these events, membership dramatically decreases to usual low levels. Although many people participate, the overall participations rates (potential partisans available for involvement in party leadership race=number of voters who supported that party) is very low. Us pri(cid:373)aries a(cid:374)d (cid:272)au(cid:272)us" ha(cid:448)e higher parti(cid:272)ipatio(cid:374) rates (cid:271)e(cid:272)ause they are usually less restrictive and more accessible than canadian leadership nominations. Parties need to do a much better job of reaching out to traditionally under-represented groups such as women and visible minorities and encourage them to participate both at constituency level and highest levels of internal party affairs.