The Canadian General Election of 2004


390 pages
Contains Bibliography
ISBN 1-55002-516-3
DDC 324.971'071





Edited by Jon H. Pammett and Christopher Dornan
Reviewed by Eric P. Mintz

Eric P. Mintz is an associate professor of political science and
environmental studies at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, Memorial
University of Newfoundland.


The 2004 election not only resulted in a crisis-filled minority
Parliament, but also reflected longer-term changes to Canada’s party
system. This latest volume in a series of depictions of Canadian
elections provides background to the recent changes that have occurred
within each of the major parties and some analysis of their strategies
and tactics in the campaign. In addition, there are articles discussing
the role of the media (including the Internet), the problems with
public-opinion polling and seat projections, the factors that influenced
voters, and the continuing decline in voter turnout. Of particular
interest is the article by Alain G. Gagnon and Jacques Hérivault that
suggests that the success of the Bloc Québécois was not simply a
result of the sponsorship scandal, but was related to broader
constitutional problems.

Although Canadian election campaigns are not noted for their depth of
policy discussion, it would have been useful to have a chapter devoted
to a comparative analysis of party policy and ideological positioning.
Furthermore, although there is a chapter devoted to all of the minor
parties, there could have been a more thorough discussion of the Green
party, given that party’s increased significance in 2004. André
Turcotte’s analysis of voting behaviour based on Pollara Inc.’s
post-election survey is disappointing. Not only is the analysis rather
limited, but there appear to be errors in the tables presented as well
as a dubious inference from the data about the impact of the leaders’
debate. Overall, however, this book provides a useful record and timely
discussion of the election.


“The Canadian General Election of 2004,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 23, 2024,