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Canadian Political Parties

As of 2014, Canada has five political parties and four independent members represented in their federal Parliament. There are three parties who can realistically form or hold government in the near future: the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC), the New Democratic Party (NDP) and the Liberal Party of Canada (LPC).The internally-elected leaders of the CPC, NDP and LPC, Bloc Québécois and the Green Party respectively are Stephen Harper, Thomas Mulcair, Justin Trudeau, Daniel Paillé and Elizabeth May.With the exception of the NDP, Canadian federal parties are typically only loosely collected with their provincial equivalents. The NDP has a shared membership provincially and federally.

The Conservative Party holds a majority government with 160 of the seats in the House of Commons. This means their leader Stephen Harper is the Prime Minister of Canada. The party emerged as a political merger between the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada and the Canadian Alliance. Although not very far right wing, the party does support smaller government, more decentralization, and lower taxes.

The New Democratic Party is the official opposition to the government in the House of Commons with 100 seats held. They are a social-democratic party that stresses environmental protection, poverty reduction and higher corporate taxes. They were brought into official opposition in the 2011 general election by their popular leader Jack Layton who passed away shortly after. The party is now led by Thomas Mulcair.

The Liberal Party of Canada is the oldest party in the country. They currently hold 34 seats in the House of Commons, having lost a large amount of support in the 2011 general election under Michael Ignatieff’s leadership. They are a centre-centre left in the political spectrum and support renewable energy, family care plans and direct financial aid. While in government they legalized medical cannabis and same-sex marriage. The party is led by Justin Trudeau.

The Bloc Québécois holds 4 seats in the house and cannot form a government because they only have candidates in Quebec. They promote sovereignty of Quebec and almost exclusively are in the House to support the interests of Quebec. The Green Party’s one House seat is held by the party’s leader Elizabeth May. They are a grassroots political party that advocates for a green economy with no reliance on non-renewable energy resources and systems.

Parties Represented in the Senate, as of 2014:

  • Conservative (59)
  • Liberal (33)
  • Independent Progressive Conservative (1)
  • Independent (5)

Other recognized parties in Animal Alliance-Environment Voters,Canadian Action, Christian Heritage, Communist, Libertarian, Marxist-Leninist, Marijuana, Online, Pirate, Progressive Canadian, Rhinoceros, United, Western Block.