While primary elections are most often associated with presidential candidates in the United States, similar methods for selecting party leaders and candidates are becoming increasingly common in parliamentary democracies around the world.
The Promise and Challenge of Party Primary Elections introduces the first comprehensive examination of both the concept and the practice of primary elections outside of the United States. By offering a clear definition of primary elections and examples of their types, the authors deliver the tools needed for comparative analysis within and across diverse party systems.
Focusing their attention on Canada and Israel - two early adopters of primary elections - the authors unveil the most pressing challenges of conducting internal elections, including questions of financing, monitoring and oversight, and the recruitment of new party members.
At the same time, the book highlights the democratic benefits of primaries through direct and widespread participation in internal party decision making. Drawing upon the experience of parties with a long history of primary elections, The Promise and Challenge of Party Primary Elections offers valuable lessons and insights for parties around the world in search of more open and inclusive democratic practices.