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Lawrence LeDuc, "Democratizing Party Leadership Selection," Party Politics, 7 (May 2001), 323-341.

First Paragraph:
Political parties choose candidates for their country's highest office through a variety of different institutions. As Rahat and Hazan note (this issue), the manner in which a party selects its candidates reflects party politics in a variety of ways. The choice of alternative methods for the selection of party leaders sometimes reflects a party's view of its competitive position within the electoral system. For example, parties which have suffered a serious electoral setback may embark on a process of party 'renewal' in order to lay the foundations for an eventual return to power. In such instances, an important component of the argument can be the need for greater 'democratization' - to open the party up to new ideas, new groups and broader participation. But through such a process a party can change significantly. In adapting and surviving, a party's attempts to renew itself by 'democratizing' the processes through which it selects its leader can have a number of consequences for the type of party which it ultimately becomes, and not necessarily those anticipated when the process of democratization was implemented.

Figures and Tables:
Figure 1: Categorizing party leadership selectorates p. 325
Table 1: The growth of presidential primaries in the United States: 1968-2000 p. 328
Table 2: Elections for leader and deputy leader of the British Labour Party: 1981-94 p. 331
Table 3: Characteristics of major party leadership conventions in Canada: 1919-93 p. 334
Table 4: Canadian Progressive-Conservative Party leadership election: 24 October 1998 and 14 November 1998 p. 336

Last Paragraph:
Rahat and Hazan (this issue) show that the composition of party selecorates has a direct effect on shaping the image which a party presents to he voters in an election. The same line of argument may readily be applied to the mechanisms for selection of party leaders. As politics becomes more candidate centered' (Wattenberg, 1991), the leader is the party for large numbers of voters. Leaders have assumed greater electoral importance, even in parliamentary countries 'such as Britain or Canada in which citizens armor vote for them directly (McAllister, 1996). In an earlier time, parties guarded the right to select their leaders closely, and often fought tenaciously to ensure that the leader was someone with proven party credentials and demonstrated political abilities. With less predictable selectorates, such constraints may no longer apply. As the pressures for greater democratization for internal party politics build, parties run the risk of losing control of their own leadership selection mechanisms. To a large extent, this has already happened in the United States. If party selectorates in other countries ecome more like those of the US, will we be surprised someday to discover that parties elsewhere have begun to look more like American parties? Lord Bryce would not be.