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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Independents and label change in Canadian federal politics Broten, Julianne


This project looks at the role of the independent status in Canadian federal elections and parliament since 1867 and uses data available from the Library of Parliament. Few independents are elected each parliament and few elected MPs become independent once in parliament, testifying to the centrality of political parties within federal politics. Even so, independents and label change are significant in parliament. First, it seems that the practice of moving to existing and new parties is important to the development of political parties. Second, becoming independent and changing labels allows dissatisfied MPs to exit their parties. As such, independents and label change are important, if relatively rare, aspects of the party system in national Canadian politics.

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