I completed a BA in French and Political Science at McMaster University, after which I spent a year in France as a lecturer in English at the Université de Paris X – Nanterre and a student at the Institut d’études politiques. I received my PhD in Political Science from Carleton University in 1990.
Prior to joining the department of political science at Wilfrid Laurier University in January 1988, I taught full-time for 1 year at Trent University and was a sessional lecturer at both the University of Ottawa and Carleton University.
In 2003-2004 I worked for the Law Commission of Canada as the lead author of Voting Counts: Electoral Reform for Canada, a report that was submitted to the federal Minister of Justice in March 2004. In October 2010, I was a visiting scholar in the Centre for Canadian Studies at the University of Edinburgh.
In addition to my work on electoral reform in liberal democracies, my recent research has focused on political parties and party systems, and particularly on the transformation of social democratic (NDP) and nationalist (Parti Québécois) parties in Canada. I have always been interested in the question of Quebec, especially the evolution of party politics in the “distinct society” and the issue of language and political identity.
I am currently conducting a critical case study of the role of Jean Marchand in the modernization of Quebec from the 1950s to the 1980s.
My research on electoral reform and political parties has been recognized by various governments in Canada. In 2005, I was invited as an expert witness to appear before select committees of both the Ontario and Quebec provincial governments to comment on proposed legislation on electoral reform.
In 1999, I appeared before the Senate Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology to discuss “Globalization and the Transformation of Political Parties in Canada.”
In 1995, I was invited to comment on the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada’s draft report to Parliament.
In 1990-91, Barry Kay and I drafted a research report on the election activities of interest groups for the Royal Commission on Electoral Reform and Party Financing (the Lortie Commission).
I am willing to supervise students working on any of the following topics: political parties (organization, leadership, ideology) and party systems; electoral reform in liberal democracies; Quebec politics; Ontario politics, language and political identity.
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