Canada has a long and storied history of political parties helping to shape and mold the fortunes and the future of this great North American country. Unlike many other democracies around the globe, Canada has a number of popular federal parties – at least six at last count – as opposed to other democratic countries like the United States where (even though other parties exist) only to are really relevant on a federal level.
To better understand the different political parties of Canada, this quick guide has been assembled so that you understand where they stand on critical platforms that are of interest to you.
Let’s dive right in!
The Conservative party of Canada has historically been one of the most influential parties of the six major federal political parties across the nation. With a very strong conservative streak (surprise, surprise) the Conservative party of Canada is focused on financial and fiscal responsibility, correcting the credit crunch that has been impacting Canada (the rest of the globe) ever since the mid-2000s, and embracing the market economy and all it has to offer.
The Liberal party of Canada has also been one of the more influential parties in all of Canada’s history, and stands in direct contrast to the Conservative party. Focusing in mostly on social liberalism, equality of rights for all, moderate politics and a mixed economy (with their views on the financial and credit crisis differing from their Conservative brethren), they governed Canada for most of the 20th century but have started to fall a little bit out of favor in the last few elections.
Canadian Action Party
One of the more modern political parties to explode onto the scene in the Canadian government (and being established in 1997), the Canadian Action party focuses on Canadian nationalism, and anti-globalization slant, and favors a very strict overhauls and an almost “reset” of the financial and credit world as far as Canada is concerned. For example, they favor the Bank of Canada (as opposed to chartered banks) providing loans to the government and they also oppose (and hope for a dissolution of) the North American Free Trade agreement.
Mostly interest in the affairs of Québec above all else, this Canadian federal party definitely leans towards left-wing nationalism, separatism from the rest of the Canadian government, and challenges the government regularly for Québec sovereignty. A defection of the progressive conservative party and Liberal party, they currently hold four of the 308 seats in the House of Comments (and only collect representatives that are from Québec).
New Democratic party
The New Democratic Party (frequently abbreviated as NDP) of Canada was established in 1961, and focuses on social democracy and a liberal slant towards financial and credit issues. Promoting human rights and civil liberties, expanding public health care, and raising the minimum wage across Canada (all while focusing on poverty issues, social issues, and other major issues confronting Canada right now), they currently hold 99 seats of 308 in the House of Commons and have become one of the more influential parties throughout Canada.
The Green party of Canada was founded in 1983, and has been led by Elizabeth May ever since 2006 – two short years after it first broke 1% of the popular vote and a federal election. Swinging between 3.1% and 14% of the popular vote ever since that 2006 election, they currently hold two seats in the House of Comments of the 308 that are available. Identifying themselves as a center/left government party, their views on most social, financial, and credit issues (as well as issues of nationalism, civil rights, taxation, and many others) lean farther left than anything else. Focusing mostly on issues that have to do with the environment, nonviolence, and social justice, they have started to gain a head of steam in the last decade or so.
That’s a quick breakdown of the major Canadian political parties and how they represent the different factions and ideologies that make up the Canadian government today. Obviously, this surface level breakdown is nowhere near enough information to assist you in deciding which of these major parties to support in any upcoming elections – so do all of the research and due diligence you need to determine where you stand on specific issues.