When relocating, politics in Canada may be something you are not familiar with, and specifically the different parties in the country and their political views. While this can be complicated and confusing information, as each country has different names for the same kinds of political parties, this simple explanation of politics in Canada may help!
Politics in Canada are conducted by a strong traditional democratic federal system of parliamentary government. It is a constitutionally monarchy, meaning that the monarch (currently Queen Elizabeth II) is the head of state. The head of state is represented by the Governor-general, and the Prime Minister and Cabinet are the other 2 parts of the executive strain of politics in Canada. There is a multi party system in Canada, and the political parties are described below:
– Current Leader: Stephen Harper (Prime Minister of Canada)
– Colloquially called the “Tories”
– Politics: sit on the right wing of the political scope
– Were formed by a merging of the Progressive Conservative Party and the Canadian Alliance
– Won their first house majority in 2011
– Current Leader: Bob Rae
– Colloquially called the “Grits”
– Politics: “Centrist”, or centre-left views, often sway slightly right in administration
– Swinging left and right on current issues driven by political pressures.
– Have had majority for over 70% of Canada’s history.
NDP (National Democratic Party):
– Current leader: Thomas Mulcair
– Politics: federal social-democratic party; secular and pluralistic.
– Have never held power.
– Were formed by a merging of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation and the Canadian Labour Congress
– Current Leader: Daniel Paillé
– Politics: sovereignists (separatists): dedicated to the protection of the interests of Quebec in the House of Commons.
– Run candidates only in Quebec
– Current Leader: Elizabeth May
– Politics: hold a multi-issue political platform based around their principal values: ecological wisdom, non-violence, social justice and grass roots democracy.
Political Party Standings in the House of Commons:
Conservative Party: 164 seats
NDP: 101 seats
Liberal Party: 35 seats
Bloc Québécois: 4 seats
Green Party: 1 seat
**The Bloc Québécois and Green party registered political parties, however are not considered “recognized parties” as far as political proceedings are concerned because they hold less than 12 seats in the House of Commons, the legal number of seats to be recognized.
Although voting is not mandatory, democratic politics in Canada allow this great country to be “the land of the free”!
Photo Credit: House of Parliament, Ottawa (Wikipedia)