List of federal political parties in Canada

Last updated

In contrast with the political party systems of many nations, Canadian political parties at the federal level are often only loosely connected with parties at the provincial level, despite having similar names and policy positions. [1] One exception is the New Democratic Party, which is organizationally integrated with most of its provincial counterparts including a shared membership.

Contents

Current parties

House of Commons

Represented parties

NameFoundedIdeologyLeader MPs as of 2021Largest MP caucusPolitical position
  Liberal Party of Canada
Parti libéral du Canada
1867 Liberalism, social liberalism Justin Trudeau
159 / 338
 
179 / 245
(1940) [lower-alpha 1]
Centre to centre-left
  Conservative Party of Canada  
Parti conservateur du Canada
2003 Conservatism, economic liberalism Pierre Poilievre
119 / 338
 
166 / 308
(2011)
Centre-right to right-wing
  Bloc Québécois 1991 Quebec sovereignty, social democracy, regionalism Yves-François Blanchet
32 / 338
 
54 / 295
(1993) [lower-alpha 2]
Centre-left
  New Democratic Party
Nouveau Parti démocratique
1961 Social democracy Jagmeet Singh
25 / 338
 
103 / 308
(2011)
Centre-left to left-wing
  Green Party of Canada
Le Parti Vert du Canada
1983 Green politics Elizabeth May
2 / 338
 
3 / 338
(2019)

Registered parties

The following political parties are registered with Elections Canada and eligible to run candidates in future federal elections, but are not currently represented in the House of Commons. [2]

NameFoundedIdeologyLeaderLargest MP caucusPolitical position
  Animal Protection Party of Canada
Le Parti pour la Protection des Animaux du Canada
2005 Animal rights, environmentalism Liz White 0 Single issue
 Centrist Party of Canada2020 Centrism A. Q. Rana Centre
  Christian Heritage Party of Canada
Parti de l'Héritage Chrétien du Canada
1986 Social conservatism, Christian right Rodney L. Taylor0 Right-wing
  Communist Party of Canada
Parti communiste du Canada
1921 Communism, Marxism–Leninism Elizabeth Rowley
2 / 245
(1943) [3]
Far-left
 Direct Democracy Party of Canada
Parti de la démocratie directe du Canada
2019 Direct democracy Partap Dua0
  Free Party Canada
Parti Libre Canada
2019 Vaccine hesitancy Michel Leclerc0
  Libertarian Party of Canada
Parti Libertarien du Canada
1973 Libertarianism, laissez-faire Jacques Y. Boudreau0
  Marijuana Party
Parti Marijuana
2000 Cannabis law reforms Blair T. Longley 0 Single issue
  Marxist–Leninist Party of Canada
Parti Marxiste–Léniniste du Canada
1970 Communism, Marxism–Leninism Anna Di Carlo0 Far-left
  Maverick Party 2020 Western separatism, conservatism, right-wing populism Colin R. Krieger Right-wing
  National Citizens Alliance of Canada
Alliance Nationale des Citoyens du Canada
2014 White nationalism Stephen J. Garvey0 Far-right
  People's Party of Canada
Parti populaire du Canada
2018 Conservatism, right-wing populism, classical liberalism, libertarianism Maxime Bernier
1 / 338
(2018)
Right-wing to far-right
  Rhinoceros Party  (II)
Parti Rhinocéros
2006 Satirical party Sébastien CoRhino0

Eligible parties

Eligible parties have applied to Elections Canada and met all of the legal requirements to be registered, other than running a candidate in a general election or by-election. [4] Such parties are eligible to run candidates in federal elections but will not be considered "registered" by Elections Canada until they have registered a candidate in an election or by-election. [4] [5] As of August 2022, the following are eligible parties: [2]

NameFoundedIdeologyLeaderPolitical position
True North Party of Canada2022 Conservatism, right-wing populism Derek Sloan Right-wing to far-right

Non-party parliamentary groups

At various points both the House of Commons and Senate have included non-party parliamentary groups, also called caucuses. These groups are unaffiliated with registered political parties, are not registered with Elections Canada, and do not run candidates in Canadian federal elections. Essentially, these parliamentary groups are equivalent to political parties in the legislative context, but do not exist in an electoral capacity.

Parliamentary groups in the House of Commons of Canada are typically made up of MPs that separate from a party over leadership conflicts. Notable past parliamentary groups in the House of Commons include the Ginger Group (1924–1932; split from Progressive Party), Democratic Representative Caucus (2001–2002; split from Canadian Alliance), and Québec debout (2018; split from Bloc Québécois).

Senate

The Senate of Canada currently has three non-party parliamentary groups: the Independent Senators Group (ISG), the Canadian Senators Group (CSG), and the Progressive Senate Group (PSG). These three groups do not share a formal ideology, platform, or membership in any one political party; the caucuses primarily serve to provide organizational support and better leverage parliamentary resources. Conservative senators remain formally affiliated with the Conservative Party of Canada. [6] [7]

NameFoundedIdeologyFacilitator/Leader Senators as of 2022Most senators
  Independent Senators Group
Groupe des sénateurs indépendants
2016 Non-partisan technical group Raymonde Saint-Germain
39 / 105
 
59 / 105
(2019)
  Conservative Party of Canada  
Parti conservateur du Canada
2003 Conservatism, economic liberalism Pierre Poilievre
15 / 105
 
65 / 105
(2013)
  Progressive Senate Group
Groupe progressiste du sénat
2019 Non-partisan technical group Jane Cordy
14 / 105
 
14 / 105
(2021)
  Canadian Senators Group
Groupe des sénateurs Canadiens
2019 Non-partisan technical group Scott Tannas
13 / 105
 
13 / 105
(2019)

Historical parties

House of Commons

Registered parties

These are political parties which either ceased to exist before Elections Canada was formed, or were once registered with Elections Canada but have become de-registered or ceased to exist due to dissolution. [2]

NameFoundedDissolvedIdeologyLargest MP caucusMost ridings contested
  Abolitionist Party of Canada 19931996 Social credit, monetary reform, social liberalism0
80 / 295
(1993)
  Anti-Confederation Party 18671867Opposition to Confederation (membership in Canada), Nova Scotia separatism
18 / 181
(1867)
20 / 181
(1867)
  Bloc populaire 19431949 Anti-conscription, Canadian nationalism, isolationism, French Canadian rights
4 / 245
(1943)
35 / 245
(1945)
  Canada Party (I)199319960
56 / 295
(1993)
  Canadian Action Party
Parti action canadienne
19972017 [8] Canadian nationalism, anti-globalization 0
70 / 301
(2000)
  Canadian Nationalist Party
Parti nationaliste canadien
20172022 White nationalism 0
3 / 338
(2019)
  Canadian Reform Conservative Alliance
Alliance réformiste-conservatrice canadienne
20002003 Conservatism, right-wing populism, social conservatism [9] [10] [11]
66 / 301
(2001)
298 / 301
(2000)
  Co-operative Commonwealth Federation
Parti social démocratique du Canada
19321961 Social democracy, democratic socialism, agrarianism [12]
31 / 245
(1948)
205 / 245
(1945)
  Confederation of Regions Party of Canada 19841988Regionalism, conservatism0
55 / 282
(1984)
  Conservative Party of Canada  (1867–1942) / Progressive Conservative Party of Canada  (1942–2003)18542003 Canadian conservatism, British loyalism, Canadian nationalism (particularly under John Diefenbaker), Red Toryism, economic liberalism (under Brian Mulroney), moderation, occasional populism
209 / 265
(1958) [lower-alpha 3]
301 / 301
(1997)
  Democratic 194519450
5 / 245
(1945)
  Equal Rights 189018910
2 / 215
(1891)
  First Peoples National Party of Canada 20052013 [8] Aboriginal rights advocacy0
6 / 308
(2008)
  Labour Party of Canada 19261968 Trade unionism, socialism
4 / 245
(1926)
28 / 235
(1921)
  Labor-Progressive Party
Parti ouvrier-progressiste
19431959 Communism, socialism, legal front of the banned Communist Party of Canada
2 / 245
(1943-1945)
100 / 245
(1953)
  Liberal-Progressive 19251955Nominated jointly by or aligned with both the Liberal Party and Progressive Party
8 / 245
(1926)
12 / 245
(1926)
  Liberal Protectionist 19251930Anti-free trade, protectionism 0
2 / 245
(1925)
  McCarthyite 18961898Anti-Catholic, anti-French, British imperialism
1 / 213
(1896) [lower-alpha 4]
11 / 213
(1896)
  National Party of Canada (II)19911994 Canadian nationalism, protectionism, progressivism 0
170 / 295
(1993)
 Nationalist (I)18731910Socialism, nationalization of industries
2 / 215
(1889)
6 / 215
(1887)
  Nationalist Conservative 18781911Used by Quebec Members in order to distinguish themselves from what has been referred by the party as the "British imperialist" reputation of the Conservative Party.
2 / 215
(1887)
2 / 215
(1887)
  Natural Law Party of Canada
Parti de la loi naturelle du Canada
19922004 [8] New age 0
231 / 295
(1993)
  Newfoundland and Labrador First Party 20072011 [8] Newfoundland and Labrador advocacy0
3 / 308
(2008)
  Non-Partisan League 19171917 Agrarianism 0
3 / 235
(1917)
  Parti de la Démocratisation Économique 196819680
5 / 264
(1968)
  Parti Nationaliste du Quebec 19831987Quebec independence0
74 / 282
(1984)
  Party for the Commonwealth of Canada 19841993 LaRouchite 0
66 / 282
(1984)
 Parti Patriote20192022 Quebec nationalism, Quebec sovereignty, right-wing populism 0
2 / 338
(2021)
  Patrons of Industry 18901900Pro-labour
2 / 213
(1896)
31 / 213
(1896)
  People's Political Power Party of Canada
Pouvoir Politique du Peuple du Canada
20062011 [8] Feminist, centrist, populist0
2 / 308
(2008)
  Pirate Party of Canada
Parti Pirate du Canada
20102017 Pirate politics 0
10 / 308
(2011)
 Parti pour l'Indépendance du Québec20192022 Québec independence 0
13 / 338
(2019)
  Progressive Canadian Party
Parti Progressiste Canadien
20042019 Red Toryism 0
25 / 308
(2006)
  Progressive Party of Canada
Parti progressiste du Canada
19211948 Agrarian, free trade, progressivism
58 / 235
(1921)
137 / 235
(1921)
  Progressive-Conservative 19251935
1 / 245
(1930)
2 / 245
(1926)
  Protestant Protective Association 18921898Anti-Catholic0
5 / 213
(1896)
  Radical chrétien 195819670
  Ralliement créditiste / Union des électeurs 19631971Split from the Social Credit Party; see Social Credit Party of Canada split, 1963.
14 / 264
(1968)
77 / 265
(1965)
  Reconstruction Party of Canada 19351938 Keynesianism, national conservatism, isolationism
1 / 245
(1935)
172 / 245
(1935)
  Reform Party of Canada
Parti réformiste du Canada
19872000 Fiscal conservatism, regionalism, social conservatism, democratic reform
60 / 301
(1997)
277 / 301
(1997)
  Republican Party (I) 196719680
2 / 264
(1968)
  Republican Party (II)
Parti republicain
197119710
  Rhinoceros Party (I)
Parti Rhinocéros
19681993Satirical0
121 / 282
(1980)
  Social Credit Party of Canada
Parti Crédit social du Canada
19351993 Canadian social credit, Canadian conservatism, right-wing populism, social conservatism
30 / 265
(1962)
230 / 265
(1962)
  Socialist Labour Party 19451968 Socialism 0
  Socialist Party of Canada (I)19041925Socialism0
  Socialist Party of Canada (II)193119610
 Stop Climate Change20192021 Environmentalism 0
2 / 338
(2019)
  Strength in Democracy
Forces et Démocratie
20142016 [8] Social democracy, regionalism
2 / 338
(2015)
17 / 338
(2015)
  Union Populaire 19791981 Quebecois independence (precursor of Bloc Québécois)0
  United Party of Canada (II)
Parti Uni du Canada
20092016 [8] Centrism 0
  United Party of Canada (III)
Parti Uni du Canada
20182020 Centre-left 0
  United Reform 19391940 Left-wing populism, reformism
1 / 245
(1939)
  Veterans Coalition Party of Canada
Parti de la coalition des anciens combattants du Canada
20192023 Single issue 0
25 / 338
(2019)
  Western Block Party 20052014 [13] Western separatism, paleoconservatism, libertarian conservativism 0

Non-party parliamentary groups

NameFoundedDissolvedIdeologyLargest caucus
  Democratic Representative Caucus 20012002Formed when several MPs left the Canadian Alliance due to the leadership of Stockwell Day. The group was dissolved after Day lost the party leadership to Stephen Harper.
13 / 301
(2002)
  Ginger Group 19241932 Progressivism, socialism
15 / 245
(1926)
  Liberal–Unionist 19171921Members of the Liberal Party who supported Robert Borden's coalition government.
11 / 235
(1917)
 Nationalist Liberal (I)18671921
1 / 215
(1891)
  Parti canadien 19421944Anti-conscription
1 / 245
(1942)
  Québec debout 20182018Formed when several MPs left the Bloc Québécois due to the leadership of Martine Ouellet. The group was dissolved after Ouellet lost a leadership review vote and resigned.
7 / 338
(2018)

Designations used by single candidates

  • Nationalist Liberal (II) (Fleming Blanchard McCurdy), 1920 – McCurdy won a by-election under the Nationalist Liberal designation, but sat with the National Liberal and Conservative Party caucus
  • Protectionist (Joseph-Édouard Moranville), 1926
  • Franc Lib (I) (Alfred Edward Watts), 1930
  • Prohibition Party (Edwin Clarke Appleby), 1930
  • Parti national social chrétien (Robert Rae Manville), 1934–1940
  • Anti-Communist (I) (Jean Tissot), 1935
  • Verdun (Hervé Ferland), 1935
  • Veterans Party (Alloys Reginald Sprenger), 1935
  • Technocrat (Joseph McCrae Newman), 1935
  • Anti-Conscriptionist (Louis-Gérard Gosselin), 1940
  • Social Credit-National Unity (Harry Watson Arnold), 1940
  • National-Unity (Robert Rae Manville), 1940
  • Trades Union (Nigel Morgan), 1945
  • Autonomist candidate (Paul Massé), 1947
  • Nationalist (II) (Adrien Arcand), 1949, 1953
  • Christian Liberal (Howard A. Prentice), 1953
  • Anti-Communist (II) (Patrick Walsh), 1953
  • Canadian Democrat (Gerry Goeujon), 1957
  • National Credit Control (John Bernard Ball), 1957
  • Capital familial (Henri-Georges Grenier), 1957–1962
  • Liberal Conservative Coalition (George Rolland), 1957
  • Parti ouvrier canadien (Jean-Jacques Rouleau), 1958
  • League for Socialist Action, 1961–1977
  • Co-operative Builders of Canada (Edgar-Bernard Charron), 1962
  • All Canadian Party (John Darby Naismith), 1962–1962
  • Parti humain familial (Henri-Georges Grenier), 1964
  • Droit vital personnel (Henri-Georges Grenier), 1965
  • Progressive Workers Movement (Jerry Le Bourdais), 1965
  • Esprit Social (Henri-Georges Grenier), 1967–1971
  • Franc Lib (II) (Jean-Roger Marcotte), 1968
  • National Socialist (Martin K. Weiche), 1968
  • New Canada Party (Fred Reiner), 1968
  • Nationalist Party of Canada (Bob Smith), founded 1977
  • Christian Democrat Party of Canada (Sydney Thompson), 1981
  • Work Less Party (Betty Krawczyk), 2007–2010
  • Party for Accountability, Competency and Transparency (formerly Online Party) (Michael Nicula), 2012–2016 [14]
  • Alliance of the North (François Bélanger), 2013–2019
  • The Bridge Party of Canada (David Berlin), 2015–2017 [8]
  • Seniors Party of Canada (Margaret Leigh Fairbairn), 2014–2016 [8]
  • Canada Party (II) (Jim Pankiw) 2015–2016 [8]

Senate

NameFoundedDissolvedIdeologyLargest caucus
  Liberal–Unionist 19171921Members of the Liberal Party who supported Robert Borden's coalition government.
4 / 96
(1919)
 Nationalist Liberal (I)18671921
2 / 72
(1867)
  Senate Liberal Caucus
Caucus libéral du Sénat
20142019Members of the Liberal Party who formed their own caucus after Justin Trudeau removed all senators from the Liberal Party's parliamentary caucus.
32 / 105
(2014)
 Senate Progressive Conservative Caucus
Caucus progressiste-conservateur du Sénat
20032016Members of the former Progressive Conservative Party who retained the caucus name after the party itself dissolved in 2003.
5 / 105
(2005)

Unofficial designations and parties who never ran candidates

The following parties do not appear on the federal election archive. [15] They either did not run candidates in any election or ran candidates as independents.

Pre-confederation political parties

Name changes

Communist Party

The Communist Party of Canada changed its name multiple times in its history. It was founded as the Communist Party of Canada in 1921. It was underground until 1924, and founded a public face, Workers' Party of Canada, from 1922 until 1924 when the Communist Party was legalized. From 1938 until 1943 its candidates ran under the banner Unity or United Progressive, and won one seat. The Communist Party was again banned in 1940, but from 1943 operated under the name Labor-Progressive Party. It won one seat under this name in a 1943 by-election, which it retained in 1945. In 1959 it reverted to the name Communist Party of Canada and has kept that name to the present.

The Marxist–Leninist Party of Canada unofficially uses the name "Communist Party of Canada (Marxist–Leninist)", but Elections Canada does not allow it to be registered by that name because of potential confusion with the Communist Party of Canada.

Labour Party

Labour Party candidates ran under numerous different designations:

Liberal Party

During Robert Borden's coalition government of 1917–1920, the Liberal Party of Canada split into two groups: the Liberal–Unionist who supported the coalition and the Laurier Liberals who opposed it.

Liberal-Progressive

Some Liberal-Progressive candidates used the designations:

New Democratic Party

The Co-operative Commonwealth Federation used the name New Party from 1958 to 1961 while it was transitioning to become the New Democratic Party. In French, the party used a literal translation of its name, Fédération du Commonwealth Coopératif, from until 1955.

Conservative Party

The first Conservative Party used several different names during its existence:

The second (and current) Conservative Party of Canada was a merger of the Canadian Alliance and the Progressive Conservative Party.

Progressive Party and United Farmers

Some candidates for the Progressive Party of Canada used United Farmer designations:

Rhinoceros Party

The first Rhinoceros Party disbanded in 1993. When it was revived in 2006 it used the name "neorhino.ca". The party changed its name to Rhinoceros Party in 2010.

Social Credit Party and Ralliement créditiste

Some Ralliement créditiste used the name Ralliement des créditistes from 1963 to 1967. One candidate used the designation Candidats des électeurs in 1957 and 1958. Others used the name Union des électeurs, although this was never formally registered.

In the 1940 election, 17 candidates ran jointly with the Social Credit Party under the name New Democracy.

See also

Notes

  1. In 2015, the Liberal Party held 184 seats; the most in its history. However, at that time there were 338 seats total, so the proportion of seats held by the party was smaller than it was in 1940.
  2. The Bloc Québécois also won 54 seats in the 2004 election, but at the time there were 308 seats total, so the proportion of seats held by the party was smaller than it was in 1993.
  3. In 1984 the Progressive Conservative Party held 211 seats; the most in its history. However, at that time there were 282 seats total, so the proportion of seats held by the party was smaller than it was in 1958.
  4. Dalton McCarthy won in two ridings, but could only accept one.

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References

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  14. "Deregistration of Western Block Party". Elections Canada. January 13, 2023.
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