Political Parties at the local Level

Essay by tommerUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, March 2004

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There are many problems facing local governments across Canada to which answers have yet to found. These consist of voter turnouts, Access and Participation, accountability, legitimacy and effectiveness to name a few. As these problems are investigated deeper and deeper, more and more people are beginning to believe that re-introducing political parties at the local level is the best solution available to solve these pressing issues. The main question facing those who govern at the local level is: Are political parties at the local level, the key to a more effective municipal government?

The first and perhaps most pressing issue facing local governments is the voter turnout rate which is averaging thirty-five to forty per cent locally. By introducing political parties at the local level it is believed that these parties would be able to spark more interest in their communities as well as by evoking party membership, people would feel a sense of duty to vote for the party of their membership.

By introducing political parties at the local level, they will be able to better mobilize the vote.(Drabek) By instituting a system with local political parties it may also boost awareness to the politics of local government as well as to the issues facing local communities within the city. This would give voters a sense of choice between candidates not only in the mayoral race but also within the Aldermen race.

In the past many Canadian cities have experimented with political parties at the local level and the results have varied. Winnipeg has had a long history with political parties at the local level that dates back to 1919. This political party, which was known by many names over the years most recently the Independent Citizen Election Committee or the ICEC, elected a majority of the members of...