Does the internet encourage small parties? A case study of the minutiae of BC politics, 1996-2009

Ward, Ian (2011) Does the internet encourage small parties? A case study of the minutiae of BC politics, 1996-2009. Australian Journal of Political Science, 46 2: 229-242. doi:10.1080/10361146.2011.567973

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Author Ward, Ian
Title Does the internet encourage small parties? A case study of the minutiae of BC politics, 1996-2009
Language of Title eng
Journal name Australian Journal of Political Science   Check publisher's open access policy
Language of Journal Name eng
ISSN 1036-1146
Publication date 2011-06
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/10361146.2011.567973
Open Access Status
Volume 46
Issue 2
Start page 229
End page 242
Total pages 14
Place of publication Melbourne, Australia
Publisher Routledge
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Abstract Researchers remain divided on what Small describes as ‘a key debate in the cyber-campaigning literature’ – whether or not the emergence of the Internet enhanced the prospects of small parties on the periphery of mainstream politics that speak for those whose voices might otherwise go unheard. Often researchers have approached this question by seeking to establish if small parties are indeed able to maintain an on-line presence that matches that of larger, better resourced parties. The ultimate test of this ‘equalisation thesis’, however, is whether the Internet ushered in a period in which small parties could flourish. With its propensity to produce small parties and its rapid take-up of Internet technology from the mid-1990s onward, the Canadian province of British Columbia (BC) is an ideal case study. The number of small BC parties increased in the decade beginning 1995, but a close scrutiny of the minutiae of BC politics in this period finds no evidence to support a claim that the Internet favoured small parties and enlarged the opportunity for marginalised citizens to participate in politics. ‘Cyber-optimists’ will have to look to unconventional forms of political activity for evidence that the Internet can draw new constituencies into politics.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
School of Political Science and International Studies Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 4 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 07 Mar 2012, 15:28:04 EST by Dr Ian Ward on behalf of School of Political Science & Internat'l Studies