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Dennis M. Pilon

Department of Political Science

Associate Professor
Undergraduate Program Director
 
Office: S638, Ross (Undergraduate Program Director)
Phone: (416) 736-2100 Ext: 88832
Emaildpilon@yorku.ca
Primary websitewrestlingwithdemocracy.blogspot.ca/
 
  • Overview
  • Publications
  • Teaching
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Dennis Pilon received his Bachelor (Sociology/History) and Masters (History) from Simon Fraser University and his PhD from York University (Politics). In 2005/06 he was the Canada Research Chair Postdoctoral Fellow in Canadian Studies at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario. From 2006 to 2011 he was an Assistant Professor in the Political Science Department at the University of Victoria. In 2011 he was hired as an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at York.

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All Publications

Books

Wrestling with Democracy: Voting Systems as Politics in the Twentieth Century West, (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2013), 394pp.

Politics and Government in British Columbia, (Toronto: Emond Montgomery, 2009), co-edited with Michael Howlett and Tracy Summerville, 404pp.

The Politics of Voting: Reforming Canada’s Electoral System, (Toronto: Emond Montgomery, 2007), 209pp.

Book Chapters

“Labour and the Politics of Voting System Reform in Canada,” in Stephanie Ross and Larry Savage (eds.), Rethinking the Politics of Labour in Canada, (Halifax: Fernwood, 2012), 88-100.

“Introduction,” co-written with Michael Howlett and Tracy Summerville, in Michael Howlett, Dennis Pilon and Tracy Summerville, eds, Politics and Government in British Columbia, (Toronto: Emond Montgomery, 2010), 3-12.

“Democracy, BC-style,” in Michael Howlett, Dennis Pilon and Tracy Summerville, eds, Politics and Government in British Columbia, (Toronto: Emond Montgomery, 2010), 87-108.

“Understanding electoral systems,” in Heather McIvor ed., Election, (Toronto: Emond Montgomery, 2009), 35-56.

“Elections and Electoral Reform,” in Joan Grace and Byron Sheldrick (eds.), Canadian Politics: Democracy and Dissent, (Toronto: Pearson, 2006), 229-50.

“The Uncertain Path of Democratic Renewal in Ontario,” in Henry Milner (ed.), Steps Toward Making Every Vote Count: Electoral System Reform in Canada and its Provinces, (Peterborough: Broadview, 2004), 249-66.

“The History of Voting System Reform in Canada,” in Henry Milner (ed.), Making Every Vote Count: Reassessing Canada’s Electoral System, (Peterborough: Broadview, 1999), 111-21.

Journal Articles

“Review Essay: The Long Lingering Death of Social Democracy,” Labour/Le Travail, 70 (Fall 2012), 245-60.

“Solidarity Revisited: Organized Labour and the New Democratic Party,” with Stephanie Ross and Larry Savage, Canadian Political Science Review, 5:1 (January 2011), 20-37.

“The 2005 and 2009 Referenda on Voting System Change in British Columbia,” Canadian Political Science Review, 4: 2-3 (June-September 2010), 73-89.

“Investigating Media as a Deliberative Space: Newspaper Opinions about Voting Systems in the 2007 Ontario Provincial Referendum,” Canadian Political Science Review, 3: 3 (September 2009): 1-23.

“Explaining Voting System Reform in Canada: 1874 to 1960,” Journal of Canadian Studies, 40: 3 (Autumn 2006), 135-61.

“Socialist Democracy: What Role for Marxism?” Socialist Studies Bulletin, Fall 2003, 5-22.

Conference Papers

"From Dominion to Democracy: Canada's Democratization Process," Paper prepared for the Canadian Political Science Association Annual General Meeting, Brock University, May 27-29, 2014.

“Assessing Gordon Campbell's Democratic Legacy in British Columbia,” Paper prepared for the Canadian Political Science Association Annual General Meeting, University of Victoria, Victoria, June 4-6, 2013.

“The Electoral Subaltern: Utilizing ‘Class’ as Identity,” Paper prepared for the Canadian Political Science Association Annual General Meeting, University of Alberta, Edmonton, June 13-15, 2012.

“Contextualizing Democracy: Voting System Reform as Democratic Struggle,” Paper prepared for 18th International Conference of Europeanists, Barcelona, Spain, June 20-22, 2011, 37pp.

“The 2005 and 2009 Referenda on Voting System Change in British Columbia,” Paper prepared for BC Political Studies Conference, University of Victoria, Victoria, May 7-8, 2010, 11pp.

“Decidedly Different Democratic Reforms: The Political Fate of Fixed Election Dates Versus Voting System Reform in Ontario,” Paper prepared for the Canadian Political Science Association Annual General Meeting, Carleton University, Ottawa, May 27-29, 2009, 11pp.

“Voting System Reform in the Twentieth Century West: A Comparative Historical Approach,” Paper presented to the European Consortium for Political Research, Lisbon 2009 Joint Sessions of Workshops, Lisbon, Portugal, April 14-19, 2009, 42pp.

“Facts or Rhetoric? Elite Media Debate about Voting Systems in the 2007 Ontario Referendum Campaign,” Paper prepared for the Canadian Political Science Association Annual General Meeting, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, June 4-6, 2008, 27pp.

“BC-STV and the Representation of Women: Popular Debate, Academic Insights, and the Evidence from Comparative Experience – A Research Note.” Paper presented to the BC Political Studies Association, Capilano College, North Vancouver, May 4-5, 2007, 19pp.

“Local Members and the Size of Canadian Legislatures,” Paper presented to the Annual General Meeting of the Canadian Political Science Association, York University, Toronto, June 1-3, 2006 (co-authored with David Docherty), 15pp.

“Voting System Reform and the Left: An International Comparison,” Paper presented to the CPSA, Learneds, University of Toronto, Toronto, May 29, 2002, 36pp.

“Voter Registration in Ontario: Is There a Bias?” Paper presented to the CPSA, Learneds, Laval University, Quebec City, June 2, 2001 (co-authored with Robert MacDermid and Jon Carson), 21pp.

“Making Voting Reform Count: Evaluating Historical Voting Reform Strategies in British Columbia,” Making Votes Count Conference, Vancouver B.C., May 13, 2000, 20pp.

“Democracy, Social Movements and the State: Towards an Interactionist Mode of Representation,” Paper presented to the CPSA, Learneds, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, June 2, 1998, 41pp.

“Proportional Representation in Canada: An Historical Sketch,” Paper presented to the CPSA, Learneds, Memorial University, St. Johns, Nfld., June 10, 1997, 39pp.

“Social Credit and the Transferable Ballot; Demystifying the 1952 and 1953 B.C. Provincial Elections,” Qualicum Conference, Parkesville, BC, February 1996, 9pp.

Book Reviews

Review of Inside the NDP War Room: Competing for Credibility in a Federal Election, by James S. McLean, Canadian Journal of Political Science, 47:1 (March 2014), 197-99.

Review of The Politics of Electoral Reform, by Alan Renwick, Canadian Journal of Political Science, 45:1 (March 2012), 248-50..

Review of She’s So Fine: Reflections on Whiteness, Femininity, Adolescence and Class in 1960s Music, edited by Laurie Stras, Topia, 27 (Spring 2012): 309-15.

Review of In and Out of the Working Class, by Michael Yates, Socialist Studies, 6:1 (Spring 2010), 187-9.

Review of In Search of Canadian Political Culture, by Nelson Wiseman, BC Studies, 159 (Autumn 2008), 152-5.

Review of Elections, by John Courtney, Canadian Parliamentary Review, 28:3 (Autumn 2005), 52-3.

Review of Paradigm Shift: Globalization and the Canadian State, by Stephen McBride, Canadian Journal of Political Science, 36:2 (June 2003), 445-7.

Review of The End of Parliamentary Socialism, by Leo Panitch and Colin Leys, Labour/Le Travail, 44 (Autumn 1999), 253-6.

Review of Homo Economics, edited by Amy Gluckman and Betsy Reed, Labour/Le Travail, 42 (Autumn 1998), 300-2.

Research Reports

Left Turn in Canada? The NDP Breakthrough and the Future of Canadian Politics, with Murray Cooke, New York: Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, October 2012, 19pp.

Renewing Canadian Democracy: Citizen Engagement in Voting System Reform. Phase One: Lessons from Around the World, Law Commission of Canada, March 2002, 69pp.

Policy Papers

Canada's Democratic Deficit: Is Proportional Representation the Answer? Toronto: CSJ Foundation for Research and Education, 2001, 35pp.

STV - The Electoral Option for Canada, Submission to the Royal Commission on Electoral Reform and Party Financing, April 1990, 50pp.

Forthcoming

“British Columbia: Right-wing Coalitions and Neoliberalism,” in Bryan Evans and Charles Smith (eds.), Transforming Provincial Politics: Canada's Provinces and Territories in the Era of Neoliberalism, forthcoming from the University of Toronto Press in 2015.

“Assessing Gordon Campbell’s Uneven Democratic Legacy in British Columbia,” in Tracy Summerville and Jason Lacharite (eds.), The Campbell Revolution: Power and Politics in British Columbia from 2001 to 2011, under review at UBC Press.

"The Personal Dimension," in Cy Gonick (ed.), Fifty Years of Canadian Dimension, under review at the University of Toronto Press.

Upcoming Courses

TermCourse NumberSectionTitleType 
Fall/Winter 2014-2015 AP/POLS2910 6.0  Canadian Democracy in a North American Context LECT Course Website 


Dennis Pilon received his Bachelor (Sociology/History) and Masters (History) from Simon Fraser University and his PhD from York University (Politics). In 2005/06 he was the Canada Research Chair Postdoctoral Fellow in Canadian Studies at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario. From 2006 to 2011 he was an Assistant Professor in the Political Science Department at the University of Victoria. In 2011 he was hired as an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at York.


His research has focused primarily on issues of democratization and democratic reform in western countries in both contemporary and historical contexts. His published work includes articles in the Canadian Political Science Review, the Journal of Canadian Studies, and the Socialist Studies Bulletin (now Socialist Studies), reviews in the Canadian Journal of Political Science, the Canadian Parliamentary Review, Socialist Studies, Labour/Le Travail, and BC Studies, as well as reports for the Law Commission of Canada, the Centre for Social Justice, and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. In 2007 he published The Politics of Voting: Reforming Canada’s Electoral System, in 2009 co-edited (with Michael Howlett and Tracy Summerville) British Columbia Politics and Government, and in 2013 published Wrestling with Democracy: Voting Systems as Politics in the Twentieth Century West.

Over the past decade, Professor Pilon has done considerable public speaking and media work commenting on many aspects of politics with reporters from print, radio and television, particularly on topics relating to elections and political parties. He is presently a member of the National Advisory Board of Fair Vote Canada, a citizens’ group focused on gaining more proportional methods of voting for Canadian elections, and is a member of the editorial board of Canadian Dimension magazine. He has also acted as a consultant on election issues for various legal firms, political parties, trade unions, community groups, and the Auditor General of Canada.

Aside from all things political, his interests include distance running, record collecting, vintage clothes, science fiction, and his husband Dann, daughter Ryann, and son Jessie.

Area of Specialization

Canadian/comparative politics


Degrees

Doctorate, Political Science, York
Master of Arts, History, Simon Fraser
Bachelor of Arts, History/Sociology, Simon Fraser
Diploma of Technology, Broadcasting, BC Institute of Technology

All Publications

Books

Wrestling with Democracy: Voting Systems as Politics in the Twentieth Century West, (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2013), 394pp.

Politics and Government in British Columbia, (Toronto: Emond Montgomery, 2009), co-edited with Michael Howlett and Tracy Summerville, 404pp.

The Politics of Voting: Reforming Canada’s Electoral System, (Toronto: Emond Montgomery, 2007), 209pp.

Book Chapters

“Labour and the Politics of Voting System Reform in Canada,” in Stephanie Ross and Larry Savage (eds.), Rethinking the Politics of Labour in Canada, (Halifax: Fernwood, 2012), 88-100.

“Introduction,” co-written with Michael Howlett and Tracy Summerville, in Michael Howlett, Dennis Pilon and Tracy Summerville, eds, Politics and Government in British Columbia, (Toronto: Emond Montgomery, 2010), 3-12.

“Democracy, BC-style,” in Michael Howlett, Dennis Pilon and Tracy Summerville, eds, Politics and Government in British Columbia, (Toronto: Emond Montgomery, 2010), 87-108.

“Understanding electoral systems,” in Heather McIvor ed., Election, (Toronto: Emond Montgomery, 2009), 35-56.

“Elections and Electoral Reform,” in Joan Grace and Byron Sheldrick (eds.), Canadian Politics: Democracy and Dissent, (Toronto: Pearson, 2006), 229-50.

“The Uncertain Path of Democratic Renewal in Ontario,” in Henry Milner (ed.), Steps Toward Making Every Vote Count: Electoral System Reform in Canada and its Provinces, (Peterborough: Broadview, 2004), 249-66.

“The History of Voting System Reform in Canada,” in Henry Milner (ed.), Making Every Vote Count: Reassessing Canada’s Electoral System, (Peterborough: Broadview, 1999), 111-21.

Journal Articles

“Review Essay: The Long Lingering Death of Social Democracy,” Labour/Le Travail, 70 (Fall 2012), 245-60.

“Solidarity Revisited: Organized Labour and the New Democratic Party,” with Stephanie Ross and Larry Savage, Canadian Political Science Review, 5:1 (January 2011), 20-37.

“The 2005 and 2009 Referenda on Voting System Change in British Columbia,” Canadian Political Science Review, 4: 2-3 (June-September 2010), 73-89.

“Investigating Media as a Deliberative Space: Newspaper Opinions about Voting Systems in the 2007 Ontario Provincial Referendum,” Canadian Political Science Review, 3: 3 (September 2009): 1-23.

“Explaining Voting System Reform in Canada: 1874 to 1960,” Journal of Canadian Studies, 40: 3 (Autumn 2006), 135-61.

“Socialist Democracy: What Role for Marxism?” Socialist Studies Bulletin, Fall 2003, 5-22.

Conference Papers

"From Dominion to Democracy: Canada's Democratization Process," Paper prepared for the Canadian Political Science Association Annual General Meeting, Brock University, May 27-29, 2014.

“Assessing Gordon Campbell's Democratic Legacy in British Columbia,” Paper prepared for the Canadian Political Science Association Annual General Meeting, University of Victoria, Victoria, June 4-6, 2013.

“The Electoral Subaltern: Utilizing ‘Class’ as Identity,” Paper prepared for the Canadian Political Science Association Annual General Meeting, University of Alberta, Edmonton, June 13-15, 2012.

“Contextualizing Democracy: Voting System Reform as Democratic Struggle,” Paper prepared for 18th International Conference of Europeanists, Barcelona, Spain, June 20-22, 2011, 37pp.

“The 2005 and 2009 Referenda on Voting System Change in British Columbia,” Paper prepared for BC Political Studies Conference, University of Victoria, Victoria, May 7-8, 2010, 11pp.

“Decidedly Different Democratic Reforms: The Political Fate of Fixed Election Dates Versus Voting System Reform in Ontario,” Paper prepared for the Canadian Political Science Association Annual General Meeting, Carleton University, Ottawa, May 27-29, 2009, 11pp.

“Voting System Reform in the Twentieth Century West: A Comparative Historical Approach,” Paper presented to the European Consortium for Political Research, Lisbon 2009 Joint Sessions of Workshops, Lisbon, Portugal, April 14-19, 2009, 42pp.

“Facts or Rhetoric? Elite Media Debate about Voting Systems in the 2007 Ontario Referendum Campaign,” Paper prepared for the Canadian Political Science Association Annual General Meeting, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, June 4-6, 2008, 27pp.

“BC-STV and the Representation of Women: Popular Debate, Academic Insights, and the Evidence from Comparative Experience – A Research Note.” Paper presented to the BC Political Studies Association, Capilano College, North Vancouver, May 4-5, 2007, 19pp.

“Local Members and the Size of Canadian Legislatures,” Paper presented to the Annual General Meeting of the Canadian Political Science Association, York University, Toronto, June 1-3, 2006 (co-authored with David Docherty), 15pp.

“Voting System Reform and the Left: An International Comparison,” Paper presented to the CPSA, Learneds, University of Toronto, Toronto, May 29, 2002, 36pp.

“Voter Registration in Ontario: Is There a Bias?” Paper presented to the CPSA, Learneds, Laval University, Quebec City, June 2, 2001 (co-authored with Robert MacDermid and Jon Carson), 21pp.

“Making Voting Reform Count: Evaluating Historical Voting Reform Strategies in British Columbia,” Making Votes Count Conference, Vancouver B.C., May 13, 2000, 20pp.

“Democracy, Social Movements and the State: Towards an Interactionist Mode of Representation,” Paper presented to the CPSA, Learneds, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, June 2, 1998, 41pp.

“Proportional Representation in Canada: An Historical Sketch,” Paper presented to the CPSA, Learneds, Memorial University, St. Johns, Nfld., June 10, 1997, 39pp.

“Social Credit and the Transferable Ballot; Demystifying the 1952 and 1953 B.C. Provincial Elections,” Qualicum Conference, Parkesville, BC, February 1996, 9pp.

Book Reviews

Review of Inside the NDP War Room: Competing for Credibility in a Federal Election, by James S. McLean, Canadian Journal of Political Science, 47:1 (March 2014), 197-99.

Review of The Politics of Electoral Reform, by Alan Renwick, Canadian Journal of Political Science, 45:1 (March 2012), 248-50..

Review of She’s So Fine: Reflections on Whiteness, Femininity, Adolescence and Class in 1960s Music, edited by Laurie Stras, Topia, 27 (Spring 2012): 309-15.

Review of In and Out of the Working Class, by Michael Yates, Socialist Studies, 6:1 (Spring 2010), 187-9.

Review of In Search of Canadian Political Culture, by Nelson Wiseman, BC Studies, 159 (Autumn 2008), 152-5.

Review of Elections, by John Courtney, Canadian Parliamentary Review, 28:3 (Autumn 2005), 52-3.

Review of Paradigm Shift: Globalization and the Canadian State, by Stephen McBride, Canadian Journal of Political Science, 36:2 (June 2003), 445-7.

Review of The End of Parliamentary Socialism, by Leo Panitch and Colin Leys, Labour/Le Travail, 44 (Autumn 1999), 253-6.

Review of Homo Economics, edited by Amy Gluckman and Betsy Reed, Labour/Le Travail, 42 (Autumn 1998), 300-2.

Research Reports

Left Turn in Canada? The NDP Breakthrough and the Future of Canadian Politics, with Murray Cooke, New York: Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, October 2012, 19pp.

Renewing Canadian Democracy: Citizen Engagement in Voting System Reform. Phase One: Lessons from Around the World, Law Commission of Canada, March 2002, 69pp.

Policy Papers

Canada's Democratic Deficit: Is Proportional Representation the Answer? Toronto: CSJ Foundation for Research and Education, 2001, 35pp.

STV - The Electoral Option for Canada, Submission to the Royal Commission on Electoral Reform and Party Financing, April 1990, 50pp.

Forthcoming

“British Columbia: Right-wing Coalitions and Neoliberalism,” in Bryan Evans and Charles Smith (eds.), Transforming Provincial Politics: Canada's Provinces and Territories in the Era of Neoliberalism, forthcoming from the University of Toronto Press in 2015.

“Assessing Gordon Campbell’s Uneven Democratic Legacy in British Columbia,” in Tracy Summerville and Jason Lacharite (eds.), The Campbell Revolution: Power and Politics in British Columbia from 2001 to 2011, under review at UBC Press.

"The Personal Dimension," in Cy Gonick (ed.), Fifty Years of Canadian Dimension, under review at the University of Toronto Press.


Teaching:

Upcoming Courses

TermCourse NumberSectionTitleType 
Fall/Winter 2014-2015 AP/POLS2910 6.0  Canadian Democracy in a North American Context LECT Course Website