June 9, 2023

Meet our Newest Graduate: Ruth Thorkelson!

Convocating June 2023 with a Master’s degree from UCalgary Department of Political Science
Thorkelson Family

Meet Our Newest Graduate!

Ruth Thorkelson’s MA thesis was entitled “The Evolution of Candidate Vetting in the Liberal Party of Canada 1993–2015”. It was written under the supervision of Dr. David Stewart


Tell us a bit about your thesis! What was it about and what were its main arguments?

Historically, constituency associations in Canada have had independence in choosing candidates for their party. The process of vetting those potential candidates for office, however, has grown in size and importance in recent years, increasing the opportunities for the leader and central party agencies to intervene. As a result, the expansion of the “green lighting” process has contributed to a weakening of the dynamic interplay within constituencies by various power brokers interested in candidate nomination. This interplay had traditionally provided equilibrium for constituencies against the power of the leader within Canadian political parties. Thus, the entrenchment of the green lighting process has diminished the stratarchical imperative within the franchise model of party organization in Canada that had provided the capacity for local autonomy of constituencies

Thorkelson Headshot

Where has your degree taken you now?

As a mature student, I have a consulting practice of many years. But undertaking research as a student has interested me in doing deep dives on other areas of Canadian politics that are little reviewed. As I enjoy writing and the research process, I hope to start writing for small journals on these topics.

Congratulations Ruth Thorkelson on your MA degree!


To find out more about our current and past graduate students, please visit the Political Science website.