New Democratic Party
|It doesn't stop at the water's edge:|
|Random strands and actors|
The New Democratic Party (NDP) is a Canadian social democratic political party. The NDP supports gender equality and equal rights for gays, lesbians, and minorities. In the 2011 it got the most seats ever in its history.
 Relation with the Christian left
The party enjoys good relations with Canada's Christian left and many other liberal religious groups.
 Issue in Quebec
In 1989, the Quebec branch of the party voted to disaffiliate from the federal NDP as a result of policy differences such as the provincial party's opposition to the \Meech Lake Accord, its support for Quebec's language policy, differences with the federal party over the Canada – United States Free Trade Agreement and its more favourable position towards Quebec nationalism. This last is a bit ironic, considering that 22 years later the federal NDP virtually swept Quebec, due in large part to the support of "soft nationalists" within the province.
The NDP was founded in 1961 by Tommy Douglas, the Premier of Saskatchewan out of a partnership between theCo-operative Commonwealth Federation and the Canadian Labour Congress. The party's platform is a mix of populism, agrarianism and democratic socialism (though it's trying to omit references of socialism and move itself into a more centrist stance for the 2015 election). Since it's inception, it has formed governments in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, British Columbia and Nova Scotia. It also has a habit of holding the balance of power in federal minority governments, and various key aspects of Canada's social safety net (i.e Universal Healthcare) can be traced back to its influence. For decades, it was the perennial third (or fourth; or fifth) party in Canada's House of Commons, but it has recently (as of 2011) displaced the Liberal Party of Canada as the official opposition to the Conservative Party of Canada.
As a party of the left, the NDP is often criticized by the more extreme conservatives as being dangerous, terrorist-loving, bible-burning, free enterprise-destroying anarcho-commie-fascists. More coherent criticisms of the party, from both the right and centre, maintain that its policies are fiscally untenable. In practice, NDP governments in the provinces have had a mixed record on the economy, with the branches in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia thought to be quite prudent, the branch in British Columbia thought to be "okay," and the branch in Ontario thought to be abysmal. With the party's recent massive breakthrough in Quebec, it has also been subjected to another criticism, this one issuing mainly from Liberals who would otherwise be sympathetic to the party's platform: namely, that the NDP is "soft" on Canadian Federalism, and willing to make far too many concessions to Quebec nationalists in a bid to win their votes. Additionally, they are often criticized by Communists, Marxist-Leninists, and others on the extreme left for being too bourgeois.