History of the Canadian Action Party
As Winston Churchill once famously stated in a speech to the House of Commons in 1947, “democracy is the worst form of government except all of those other forms that have been tried from time to time.” This pointed, albeit humorous criticism, has endured to this day. In the modern era, an illustrative example of this can be seen in the party systems of many democratic nations. In nations like Canada, England, and the United States, large parties dominate the political stage. The history of the Canadian Action Party, as well as other smaller parties from these nations, shows how even the most inclusive democracies can struggle to balance an abundance of competing views. While no two political environments are the same, and even a “static” system in one nation will evolve and change over time, the Canadian Action Party is extremely relevant to any discussion about the life, times, and ultimately demise of fringe parties in federal systems. They made several suggested improvements on things like workplace environment, an example of workplace hazards could be the dangers associated with h2s employment.
The Life and Times of the Canadian Action Party
Known by the abbreviation “CAP,” the Canadian Action Party began in 1997 as a small minority party with the goal of influencing policy debates at the national level. As is the case in so many systems, the volition of a few major parties can cause the spotlight of debate to shine brightest on a few key issues, while often ignoring or marginalizing others. Paul T. Hellyer founded the CAP to bring attention and focus on the important issues of Canadian sovereignty, civil / human rights, environmental issues, and monetary reform. More information on Canadian financial products can be found on Creditwalk.ca for credit cards and at Bad-Credit-Loans.ca for consumers with subprime and overextended debt situations. It may seem like a hodge-podge of issues to anchor a political movement, but at the time of the CAP’s formation, Hellyer did not feel that appropriate action was being taken by existing political institutions in those areas.
When it came to knowing the direction and stance of the major parties on the issues, Hellyer could not have been in a better position in the 1990s. A member of the Liberal Party of Canada prior to founding the CAP, Hellyer served as a minister of defense in the cabinet of Lester Pearson in the late 60s. After his time as defense minister, Hellyer attempted to take some control over the ebb and flow of the Liberal party’s positions, but was defeated in an election for the party leadership in 1968. Almost a decade later, Hellyer would suffer a similar defeat when attempting to secure a position in the leadership of the then recently formed Progressive Conservative Party.
The CAP was not only founded in 1997, but used that year’s federal election as their first opportunity to run a candidate for office. Although they came up short in that year’s election, they gained momentum in another way by absorbing another fringe party into their fold: the Canada Party. Created in a similar fashion as the CAP – the brainchild of individuals involved with, but disgruntled at the state of the current parties – the Canada Party was an offshoot of the Social Credit Party of Canada. The merger consolidated the two parties and integrated their leadership, with Claire Foss of the Canada Party serving as vice president of the CAP from the time of the merger until November of 2003 (prior to this, Claire Foss has been the leader of the Canada Party).
The Departure of Hellyer from the Canadian Action Party
The CAP lost their founder in 2003 when he decided to leave after a merger with the New Democratic Party (founded in 1961) fell through, which would have seen the NDP change its name. The transition of power was not smooth, and the mantle eventually fell on Connie Fogal, a Canadian activist and lawyer. The original successor to Hellyer was supposed to be David Orchard, a prominent Canadian political figure and author, but he failed to respond when the opportunity presented itself. Fogal stayed at the helm for approximately three years, but also walked away from the position in 2008. Her successor was a relative unknown named Andrew J. Moulden, who officially took over control after the 2008 election.
The departure of Hellyer was a sign of things to come for the CAP party leadership, as the Canadian Action Party saw Andrew Moulden resign from the position after just one year (in August of 2009). Moulden left the CAP and joined a rival, the Christian Heritage Party, and the CAP has had two subsequent leaders since. The first was Melissa Brade in 2010, who took over for two months as the interim leader in the wake of Moulden’s departure, with the second being the CAP’s current leader, Christopher Porter.
Why the Canadian Action Party Matters
To bring the discussion full-circle, the parade of leaders and obvious dysfunction exhibited by the CAP over its history is an argument for the ineptitude of democracy to sustain an abundance of viewpoints, which is strongly refuted by the party’s very perseverance at all. In democracies all over the world, small parties like the CAP play an important role in shaping the national or federal conversation between more major players. Even without making headways into the elected bodies the parties force politicians from other camps to talk about the issues they bring up.
On the other-hand, there are many examples of these fringe parties having minimal substantive impact on the overall debate. Leading public conversation and attention towards less mainstream issues may pay-off short-term dividends, but often they fail to translate into real change. In addition to the reliability of parties like the CAP to make a difference on a larger scale is the fact that it takes a certain level of cache to hold-down quality leadership, and yet it takes a certain level of experience in leading a party to develop the political cache. No matter what though, at the end of the day the activities of small fringe parties in shaping a well-rounded political debate are priceless.