Political parties of Canada
|How the sausage is made|
Canada is a large country with very uneven population distribution and a low population in relation to its size, eh. As a result, there are a handful of federal level parties and a plethora of provincial or local groups. Major Canadian issues, other than the usual ones, include the sovereignty of Quebec, First Nation rights and relations with the USA, which happens to be very near to most of its major cities. Canada also has the distinction of being one of the few places that C.H. Douglas' Social Credit gained any traction, albeit at provincial level.
The major parties
- Name in English: (none) Apparently this party only runs in the French infested part of Canuckistan, screw bilingualism!
- Short-form Name/Nom abrégé: Bloc Québécois[note 2]
- Political positioning: Slightly center-left, but mostly pro-Quebec sovereignty.
- Party color: Light blue.
- Party leader: Yves-François Blanchet
- Party status: Third Party status.
A separatist party that works within the confines of the federal system to look out for Quebec's interests until the province achieves sovereignty. They were once, very awkwardly, the Official Opposition in Parliament, just from the one more seat they happened to win in Quebec. This role as the largest party on the other side of the government, as the first party to question the government, and as the party with the longest time accrued to question the government, lasted from 1993 through 1997. Their Opposition Leaders were Lucien Bouchard, Michel Gauthier, and Gilles Duceppe.
They did have left of center policy positions on their platform, however. They supported the Kyoto Accord, abortion rights, legalization of same-sex marriage, Environmentalism, decriminalization of cannabis, abolition of the Canadian Senate, withdrawal of Canadian troops from Afghanistan, opposition to the Iraq War, and legalization of assisted suicide; they only diverge significantly on their views towards ethnic minorities and immigrants, which are profoundly negative. Nevertheless, the policy most associated with them is the 1995 Quebec referendum, the second independence referendum in Quebec history. 50.6% of voters said no, with Montreal's overwhelming "No" tipping the balance.
They were almost wiped out in the 2011 election; their three remaining seats, from previously over 40, weren't even enough to give them official party status in Parliament anymore. . After electing rabid separatist Mario Beaulieu as leader shortly after their decimation, the Bloc suddenly realized how that made their prospects worse and brought back Gilles Duceppe... the guy who led them to their 2011 electoral defeat. In the 2015 election, they increased their share from 4 seats to 10... and still couldn't get official party status, with Duceppe himself losing in his race against an incumbent NDP candidate.
In 2019, Yves-Francois Blanchet was acclaimed as leader of the party. With a mixture of his Quebecois charm, and Quebec's renewed dislike for every other party, the Bloc managed to win win 32 seats, making them the third largest party in the country. Considering that the popularity of sovereignty is still relatively low, the BQ's success likely has more to do with annoyance at the big parties than anything else.
Conservative Party of Canada
- Nom en français: Parti conservateur du Canada
- Short-form Name/Nom abrégé: Conservative/Conservateur
- Political positioning: Center-Right to Right.
- Party color: Blue.
- Party leader: Erin O'Toole.
- Party status: Official Opposition.
It's very tempting to call it the Party of Stephen Harper. Ever since he pushed for the merger, the Conservative Party did almost anything that Harper wanted. He ruled with an iron grip, and threw everyone under the bus (including Mulroney) to maintain control. After the wingnuts were decimated during Brian Mulroney's reign, the Tories expanded their member base by devouring the Progressive Conservative Party and forming the
Progressive Party Refoooooooooorm! Party Social Credit Party of Canada Canadian Reform Alliance Party. This merger (those mergers?) effectively pushed the federal party hard[note 3] to the right, to the dismay of the old guard and many of the provincial versions of the Progressive Conservative parties. Their all-around unpleasantness had them working with minority governments for most of Harper's tenure, and Harper managed to eradicate what was left of the Progressives so the provincial parties would pledge their allegiance to his dumb ass. Essentially the Canadian equivalent to Blue Dog Democrats or Rockefeller Republicans, as they tend to lack the GOP's social conservatism, religious fervor, and penchant for voter disenfranchisement (this doesn't stop them from trying anyway). Good luck trying to find any other differences. With the growth of the NDP in Quebec and the collapse of the Liberals, they finally gained a majority of Parliament, with only 39.62% of the popular vote, in 2011. Everyone regretted that choice. They finally lost power in 2015 with the Liberals winning an outright majority, with only 39.47% of the popular vote, and the Conservatives now have less than 30% of the seats in parliament. As a result, Harper resigned as the party's leader (though he remained a sitting MP for some time). One of his former cabinet ministers was appointed to temporarily lead the party until they got around to electing Andrew Scheer as their new leader in May 2017. Harper officially resigned as an MP and is now part of an Alberta business firm. In 2019, Scheer got the most votes in the federal election, but couldn't capitalize in swing ridings. This made it the first time the winner of the popular vote lost the election since 1979. Thanks to Ontario's hatred for their conservative premier, Doug Ford, the liberals were able to take every seat in Toronto, and most of the surrounding area. Scheer's astounding defeat, despite seemingly infinite liberal scandals prior to the election, has been partially credited to his lack of actual messaging outside of attacks on Trudeau.
Green Party of Canada
- Nom en français: Le Parti Vert du Canada[note 4]
- Short-form Name/Nom abrégé: Green Party/Parti Vert
- Party color: Green (Duh).
- Party Leader: Annamie Paul
- Party Status: No official status in the House of Commons
- Political Position: Left (according to Vote Compass)
The Green Party of Canada is a green party that was founded in 1983, and is led by Annamie Paul since October 3, 2020. Paul sought to be a Member of Parliament (MP) in a 2020 by-election and in the 2021 election, but she lost both times to Liberal candidate Marci Ien. Elizabeth May served as the party leader from 2006 to 2019, and during the 2011 election, May became the first Green candidate to serve as MP, a position she retains to this day. At its peak in the 2019 election, the Green Party of Canada had three MPs, and it scored fifth place in the national popular vote since 2004. A controversy regarding the 2021 Israel–Palestine crisis resulted in Green MP Jenica Atwin crossing the floor to the Liberal Party of Canada, where she won a re-election later that year. With these events and the 2021 election, the Green Party is down to two MPs, and its national popular vote fell to sixth place, with the People's Party of Canada scoring fifth place.
The Green Party is also known for having extreme anti-GMO, radiophobic and several other pseudoscience positions. On economics, the party is complicated when it comes to fiscal issues: while it was previously near the centre, it is ranked as left-wing by Vote Compass, though slightly less so than the New Democratic Party.
Current and past Green MPs include:
- Elizabeth May (2011–present, Saanich–Gulf Islands)
- Mike Morris (2021–present, Kitchener Centre)
- Jenica Atwin (2019–2021, Fredericton)
- Paul Manly (2019–2021, Nanaimo—Ladysmith)
Liberal Party of Canada
- Nom en français: Parti libéral du Canada
- Short-form Name/Nom abrégé: Liberal/Libéral
- Political positioning: Centre to centre-left. Many argue they run from the left, but govern from the right.
- Partly color: Red
- Party leader: Justin Trudeau
- Party status: Minority government.
A.K.A the pricks who wanted to get back into power, then did. Molded from centrism, but considerably to the left of the American Democratic Party, the Liberals have been in power significantly longer than the Conservatives during Canada's history. Incredibly cocky, they've described themselves as "The natural governing party of Canada," which was admittedly accurate for 79 of 110 years between 1896 and 2006. They tend to steal the most popular ideas from the platforms of third parties and proceed to take all the credit (because they clearly have no ideas of their own), such as the post-war welfare state originally proposed by the NDP. Whenever they suffer a blow to their image, they have been known to bend to the demands of other parties to patch themselves up, such as the drastic spending cuts of the 1990s advocated by the Reform Party. If the effects of such demands don't end up helping the people all that much, the voters are happy to go "Oh, wait, this policy sucks and we're happy to throw your asses out." Their supporters consider it pragmatic-thinking realpolitik, while their opponents allege flip-flopping and corresponding lack of principles. In effect, they're the Canadian equivalent to Nancy Pelosi or Joe Biden. They were knocked down to a third party rump with only 33 seats in 2011, but it allowed the Conservatives to squeak into a majority. Under the command of Justin Trudeau, son of former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, the Liberals shifted themselves to the left as a way to undercut the insurgent NDP and dethrone Harper. They succeeded in 2015, to the point of going from third party status to winning an outright majority. In 2019, the Liberals lost 20 seats, but were still able to squeak by with a minority government.
New Democratic Party
- Nom en français: Nouveau Parti démocratique
- Short-form Name/Nom abrégé: NDP/NPD
- Political positioning: Center-left to Left.
- Partly color: Orange.
- Party leader: Jagmeet Singh
- Party status: Third party status.
A social democratic party founded in the mid twentieth century by rural farmers and urban unionists. They were consistently the smallest (or second-smallest) party in Parliament for most of their existence, with their only noticeable accomplishment being party leader Tommy Douglas successfully campaigning for the institution of universal healthcare. Their fortunes took a dramatic turn when Jack Layton took over as head of the party in 2003. With the help of a fairly brilliant presentation of the party platform, he brought the NDP to greater stature than ever before, to the point where the NDP was the dominant voice on the Canadian left (think Bernie Sanders or Dennis Kucinich) for an election cycle. In the 2011 election, he eradicated the Bloc Quebecois, crushed the once-invincible Liberals, and set up the NDP as the Official Opposition for the first time ever (and possibly ending the threat of Quebec separatism), with himself as Leader. Jack Layton died a few months after the election, and Thomas Mulcair was elected to replace him. Suffice to say, we know Jack Layton, and Thomas Mulcair is no Jack Layton - they were having a hard time doing much in provinces that aren't Quebec or British Columbia, until the provincial NDP's came-out-of-nowhere victory in the 2015 Alberta election gave the public perception of the party a massive boost, putting them in a tie with the governing Conservatives with the election just weeks away. Nonetheless, without Layton's leadership, they took a beating in the 2015 election (it didn't help that Mulcair's attempt to shift the party to the centre made it increasingly indistinguishable from the Liberal Party, who actually managed to outflank them on the left in parts of its platform; the NDP also promoted austerity, which destroyed most economic differences between the two) which put them back to their regular standing as the third party. In 2016 the New Democrat delegates fired Mulcair from leadership. However, the deputation chose him as the interim leader until he was replaced in 2017 by Jagmeet Singh. Heading into 2019, the NDP looked set for their worst showing in decades. Singh was not popular in Quebec, and it looked more and more as if the Green Party would replace them as the more left alternative to the liberals. The NDP, somewhat surprisingly, were able to gain back most of their lost voters (at least from the greens). They still lost 15 seats (partially due to the spoiler effect), but managed to put off what was expected to be a complete disaster.
People's Party of Canada
- Nom en français: Parti Populaire du Canada
- Short-form Name/Nom abrégé: PPC
- Political positioning: Right
- Party colors: Purple, red
- Party Leader: Maxime Bernier
- Party status: none
The People's Party of Canada (PPC) is a right-wing to far-right party that was founded in 2018 by party leader Maxime Bernier, as he lost the Conservative Party leadership election to Andrew Scheer. Bernier was the first and sole Member of Parliament (MP) for the PPC, though this is due to him crossing the floor from Conservative to PPC, as no MP won an election under the PPC banner to this day. The PPC did score fifth place in the national popular vote for 2021 election winning about 5 percent of the vote, surpassing the Green Party of Canada, which held fifth place from 2004 to 2019.
The PPC brings a brand of fiscal conservatism that hasn't been seen in Canada since the days of the Reform/Canadian Alliance, which dissolved in 2003. The PPC believes that the Conservatives have surrendered their rightful values, and are no longer able to be reformed. Their main focuses regard the ending of corporate welfare and supply management, opposing government intervention and starting a wider debate on the Canadian immigration system. Contrary to Bernier's goals, his best chance was to become the vote-splitting equivalent of the NDP on the right.
In 2019, Bernier's supplications and his MP seat were enough to get him a spot at the leader's debate. This made not a bit of difference in the election, as e no People's Party seats were elected. Bernier lost his riding's 2019 and 2021 elections to the Conservatives, and a 2020 York Centre federal by-election to the Liberals. The future of the party remains to be seen though polls have suggested the party is slowly becoming more popular, which could lead to a rightward shift by the Conservative party.
Really minor parties
Animal Protection Party of Canada
- Nom en français: (sans nom)[note 5]
- Short-form Name/Nom abrégé: Animal Alliance/Environment Voters
- Party color: Forest green
- Party leader: Liz White
Canada's Fourth Font
- Nom en français: Quatrième Avant du Canada
- Short-form Name/Nom abrégé: CCF/QFC
- Party leader: Partap Dua
- Big tent, anti-big-3 parties sort of thing
Canadian Nationalist Party
- Nom en français: Parti Nationaliste Canadien
- Short-form Name/Nom abrégé: CNP
- Party colors: Ensign red, white
- Party leader: Travis Patron
- Another worthy addition to Canada's endless carousel of who-cares nationalist parties
- Nothing more Canadian than British ensign red!
Christian Heritage Party of Canada
- Nom en français: Parti de l'héritage chrétien du Canada
- Short-form Name/Nom abrégé: CHP Canada
- Party color: Purple
- Party leader: Rod Taylor
- Under 50,000 votes since 1993!
Communist Party of Canada
- Nom en français: Parti Communiste du Canada
- Short-form Name/Nom abrégé: Communist/Communiste
- Party color: Red
- Party leader: Elizabeth Rowley
- Told you that Canuckistan is infested with Communists!
Libertarian Party of Canada
- Nom en français: Parti Libertarien du Canada
- Short-form Name/Nom abrégé: Libertarian/Libertarien
- Party colors: Indigo, yellow
- Party leader: Tim Moen
- Yes, we have these jerk-offs too, unfortunately
- Nom en français: Parti Marijuana
- Short-form Name/Nom abrégé: Radical Marijuana[note 6]
- Party leader:
Ricky, Julian, and BubblesBlair Longley
- Polling for pot. (Not to be confused with Pol Pot)
- Weed's still not legal enough
Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada
- Nom en français: Parti Marxiste-Léniniste du Canada
- Short-form Name/Nom abrégé: Marxist-Leninist/Marxiste-Léniniste
- Party colors: Red, yellow
- Party leader: Anna Di Carlo
- When one communist party just isn't sufficient.
National Citizens Alliance
- Nom en français: Alliance National des Citoyens
- Party colors: Red, white, black
- Party leader: Stephen Garvey
- Other boring nationalist party, this one more focused on anti-Islamic rhetoric.
Progressive Canadian Party
- Nom en français: Parti Progressiste Canadien
- Short-form Name/Nom abrégé: PC Party
- Party colors: Blue, red
- Party leader: Joe Hueglin
When the Progressive Conservatives merged with the Canadian Alliance to create the Conservative Party of Canada, a few more liberal-leaning members decided to create a party for Red Tories. It is yet to win a single seat and the future looks less than promising.
- Nom en français: Parti Rhinocéros
- Short-form Name/Nom abrégé: neorhino.ca
- Party colors: Red, white
- Party leader: Sébastien CoRhino Corriveau
- Satirical party, now relevant for running their own Maxime Bernier against Maxime Bernier
- "All the other parties have election platform. We rather choose a happyform to explain our views." [sic]
United Party of Canada
- Nom en français: Parti Uni du Canada
- Short-form Name/Nom abrégé: UPC
- Party colors: Red, blue
- Party leader: Bob Kesic
- Self-described centrists
- Their platform looks like it belongs in a major party, so there's the first problem
- Political parties of Ireland
- Political parties of Germany
- Political parties of Hong Kong
- Political parties of Italy
- Political parties of the United Kingdom
- By no means do the parties have to be major, they simply have to register and pass the test on this list
- Since when does the full name become the short name when it isn't any shorter? Though the accents aigus gets annoying after a while.
- We'd normally make a "that's what she said" joke, but that would get us spied on by the CSIS.
- It is not clear whether they are intentionally altering the sort order by inserting the article "Le" in their name
- Apparently this party only runs in the English infested parts of Canuckistan, screw bilingualism again!
- For some really f**ked up reason the short form name is longer than the actual name. The weed is good in Canada, what can we say?
- Source for all the names: Elections Canada (In Canuckistan we have a separate group of bureaucrats to promote the gerrymandering. Better yet, you can't even elect these guys!)
- Green Party of Canada Official website
- Yep, they're kinda nutty.