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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. One exception is the New Democratic Party, which is organizationally integrated with most of its provincial counterparts including a shared membership.
|Name||Founded||Ideology[original research?]||Leader||MPs||Most MPs (numerically)||Most MPs (proportionally)||Senators|
|Liberal Party of Canada
Parti libéral du Canada
|1867||Liberalism, Social liberalism||Justin Trudeau||157||184 (2015)||73% (1940)||0|
|Conservative Party of Canada
Parti conservateur du Canada
|2003||Conservatism, Economic Liberalism, Fiscal conservatism||Andrew Scheer||121||166 (2011)||54% (2011)||24|
|Bloc Québécois||1991||Quebec sovereignty, Social democracy, Regionalism||Yves-François Blanchet||32||54 (1993)||18% (1993)||0|
|New Democratic Party
Nouveau Parti démocratique
|1961||Social democracy, Progressivism||Jagmeet Singh||24||103 (2011)||33% (2011)||0|
|Green Party of Canada
Parti vert du Canada
|1983||Green politics||Jo-Ann Roberts
|3||3 (2019)||1% (2019)||0|
|Animal Protection Party of Canada||2005||Animal rights, Environmentalism||Liz White||0||0||0||0|
|Canada's Fourth Front||2019||Partap Dua||0||0||0||0|
|Canadian Nationalist Party||2017||Canadian nationalism, White nationalism||Travis Patron||0||0||0||0|
|Christian Heritage Party of Canada
Parti de l'Héritage Chrétien du Canada
|1986||Social conservatism, Christian right||Rodney L. Taylor||0||0||0||0|
|Communist Party of Canada
Parti communiste du Canada
|1921||Communism, Marxist-Leninism||Liz Rowley||0||3 (1945)||1% (1945)||0|
|Libertarian Party of Canada
Parti Libertarien du Canada
|2000||Cannabis legalisation||Blair Longley||0||0||0||0|
|Marxist–Leninist Party of Canada
Parti Marxiste–Léniniste du Canada
|1970||Anti-Revisionist Marxism-Leninism||Anna Di Carlo||0||0||0||0|
|National Citizens Alliance
Alliance Nationale des Citoyens
|2014||Right-wing populism, anti-globalism, white nationalism||Stephen J. Garvey||0||0||0||0|
|Parti pour l'Indépendance du Québec||2019||Quebec nationalism, Quebec sovereigntism||Michel Blondin||0||0||0||0|
|People's Party of Canada
Parti populaire du Canada
|2018||Conservatism, Right-wing populism, Classical liberalism, Libertarianism||Maxime Bernier||0||1 (2018)||<1% (2018)||0|
|Rhinoceros Party (II)
|2006||Satirical party||Sébastien Corriveau||0||0||0||0|
|Stop Climate Change Party||2019||E. Ken Ranney||0||0||0||0|
|The United Party of Canada||2019||Carlton L. Darby||0||0||0||0|
|Veterans Coalition Party of Canada||2019||Randy David Joy||0||0||0||0|
|2019||Quebec Nationalism, Right-wing populism, Quebec Sovereignty||Donald Proulx||0||0||0||0|
|Wexit Canada||2020||Western Separatism, Conservatism||Peter Downing||0||0||0||0|
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.
House of Commons
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).
The Senate of Canada currently has three non-party parliamentary groups: the Independent Senators Group (ISG), the Senate Liberal Caucus, and, as of November 4, 2019, the Canadian Senators Group (CSG). The Senate Liberal Caucus is made up of Senators who are personally members of the Liberal Party of Canada, but form a group that is organizationally and politically independent of both the Liberal Party structure and the Liberal caucus in the House of Commons. The ISG and the CSG include non-partisan senators who, while not sharing a cohesive ideology, platform, or membership in any political party, have formed a caucus to provide organizational support and better leverage parliamentary resources. Conservative senators remain formally affiliated with the Conservative Party of Canada. Additionally, on January 24, 2020, the Senate Liberal Caucus is expected to lose their status as an official Senate caucus when the caucus is reduced to eight senators with the retirement of Senator Joseph A. Day. A minimum of nine members is required for official caucus status which entitles the grouping to access to funding for a research budget and other supports and privileges. Additionally, Liberal party member Senators Joyal and Dyck will retire from the Senate on February 1, 2020, and August 24, 2020, respectively, which means that the soon-to-be unofficial parliamentary group will be further reduced to six Senators, who would then be officially styled as non-affiliated Senators regardless of an unofficial parliamentary grouping they may or may not opt to maintain.
Facing extinction, on November 14, 2019, Senator Joseph Day announced during a press conference that the Senate Liberal Caucus had been officially disbanded, with its current complement of nine members forming a brand new, non-partisan parliamentary group in the Progressive Senate Group. Unlike the Independent Senators Group (ISG) and newly-formed Canadian Senators Group, which impose either prohibitions or limits, respectively, on outside partisan activities, there was no mention that the new Progressive Senate Group would have similar limits; however, Senator Day confirmed that, like the aforementioned two groups, the PSG would not have whipped votes, and the requirements of membership included supporting or holding "progressive" political values, support of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and supporting a new relationship with Canada's Indigenous peoples. With this dissolution, as of November 14, 2019, the Canadian Senate no longer has a Liberal Senator, the first time since Canada's confederation in 1867. On November 18, Percy Downe left to join the Canadian Senators Group. As Downe's departure dropped the PSG's standings below the minimum 9 members required to be recognized as a caucus, the PSG has lost its official status and is ineligible for the privileges associated with being an official parliamentary group. Unless the group is able to recruit additional members, the caucus will likely lose $410,000 in annual funding for staff and research as well as its right to be represented on Senate committees and procedural rights on the Senate floor.
With Senator Day's mandatory retirement in January 2020, on December 12, 2019, Senator Jane Cordy tweeted that her colleagues in the PSG had selected her as the new leader, ostensibly effective that same date. Additionally, she subsequently announced later that day Senator Mercer would be moving into the Whip/Caucus Chair role, that Senator Dennis Dawson would be become the new Deputy Leader, and that the interim monikers were being removed at the same time. On January 24, 2020, Senator Marc Gold left his position as Caucus Liaison of and as a member of the ISG to become the new Representative of the Government in the Senate as a non-affiliated senator.
|Independent Senators Group
Groupe des sénateurs indépendants
|2016||Non-partisan technical group||Yuen Pau Woo||50||57 (2019)|
|Canadian Senators Group
Groupe des sénateurs Canadiens
|2019||Non-partisan technical group||Scott Tannas
|Progressive Senate Group[a]
Groupe progressiste du sénat
|2019||Non-partisan technical group||Jane Cordy||7||9 (2019)|
- The PSG currently doesn't have official party status
|Name||Founded||Dissolved||Ideology||Most MPs (numerically)||Most MPs (proportionally)|
|Abolitionist Party of Canada||1993||1996||Social credit, monetary reform, social liberalism||0||0|
|Anti-Confederation Party||1867||1867||Opposition to Confederation (membership in Canada), Nova Scotia separatism||18 (1867)||10% (1867)|
|Bloc populaire||1943||1949||Anti-conscription, Canadian nationalism, isolationism, French Canadian rights||4 (1943)||2% (1943)|
|Canada Party (I)||1993||1996||0||0|
|Canadian Action Party
Parti action canadienne
|1997||31 March 2017||Canadian nationalism, anti-globalization||0||0|
|Canadian Reform Conservative Alliance
Alliance réformiste-conservatrice canadienne
|2000||2003||Conservatism, right-wing populism, social conservatism||66 (2001)||22% (2001)|
|Co-operative Commonwealth Federation
Parti social démocratique du Canada
|1932||1961||Social democracy, democratic socialism, agrarianism||13% (1948)|
|Confederation of Regions Party of Canada||1984||1988||Regionalism, conserativism||0||0|
|Conservative Party of Canada (I) and
Progressive Conservative of Canada
|2003||Canadian conservatism, Loyalism, Canadian nationalism (particularly under John Diefenbaker), Red Toryism, Economic Liberalism (under Brian Mulroney), moderation, occasional populism||211 (1984)||78% (1958)|
|First Peoples National Party of Canada||2005||31 July 2013||Aboriginal rights advocacy||0||0|
|Labour Party of Canada||1926||1968||Trade unionism, socialism||2% (1926)|
|Liberal-Progressive||1925||1955||Coalition between the Liberal Party and Progressive Party||3% (1926)|
|Liberal Protectionist||1925||1930||Anti-free trade, protectionism||0||0|
|McCarthyite||1896||1898||Anti-Catholic, anti-French, British imperialism||1||<1% (1896)|
|National Party of Canada (II)||1991||1994||Canadian nationalism, protectionism, progressivism||0||0|
|Nationalist||1873||1963||Various parties and candidates||1% (1887)|
|Nationalist Conservative||1878||1911||1||<1% (1891)|
|Natural Law Party of Canada
Parti de la loi naturelle du Canada
|1992||23 January 2004||New age||0||0|
|Newfoundland and Labrador First Party||2007||31 January 2011||Newfoundland and Labrador advocacy||0||0|
|Parti de la Démocratisation Économique||1968||1968||0||0|
|Parti Nationaliste du Quebec||1983||1987||Quebec independence||0||0|
|Party for the Commonwealth of Canada||1984||1993||LaRouchite||0||0|
|Patrons of Industry||1890||1900||Pro-labour||2 (1896)||1% (1896)|
|People's Political Power Party of Canada
Pouvoir Politique du Peuple du Canada
|2006||13 April 2011||Feminist, centrist, populist||0||0|
|Pirate Party of Canada
Parti Pirate du Canada
|Progressive Canadian Party
Parti Progressiste Canadien
|Progressive Party of Canada
Parti progressiste du Canada
|1921||1948||Agrarian, free trade, progressivism||26% (1921)|
|Progressive-Conservative||1925||1935||1 (1930)||<1% (1930)|
|Protestant Protective Association||1896||????||Anti-Catholic||0||0|
|Ralliement créditiste||1963||1971||Split from the Social Credit Party; see Social Credit Party of Canada split, 1963.||5% (1968)|
|Reconstruction Party of Canada||1935||1938||Keynesianism, National Conservatism, Isolationism||1 (1935)||<1% (1935)|
|Reform Party of Canada
Parti réformiste du Canada
|1987||2000||Fiscal conservatism, regionalism, social conservatism, democratic reform||20% (1997)|
|Rhinoceros Party (I)
|Social Credit Party of Canada
Parti Crédit social du Canada
|1935||1993||Canadian Social credit, Canadian Conservatism, Right-wing populism, Social conservatism||11% (1962)|
|Socialist Labour Party||1945||1968||Socialism||0||0|
|Socialist Party of Canada (I)||1904||1925||Socialism||0||0|
|Socialist Party of Canada (II)||1931||1961||0||0|
|Strength in Democracy
Forces et Démocratie
|2014||30 September 2016||Social democracy, regionalism||2 (2015)||1% (2015)|
|Union Populaire||1979||1981||independentist (precursor of Bloc Québécois)||0||0|
|United Party of Canada
Parti Uni du Canada
|2009||31 August 2016||Centrism||0||0|
|United Reform||1939||1940||Far left||1 (1939)||<1% (1939)|
|Western Block Party||2005||31 January 2014||western separatist and paleoconservative/libertarian conservative||0||0|
Historical parliamentary groups
|Name||Founded||Dissolved||Ideology||Most MPs (numerically)||Most MPs (proportionally)||Most senators|
|Democratic Representative Caucus||2001||2002||Formed when several MPs left the Canadian Alliance due to the leadership of Stockwell Day, rejoined after Day lost leadership to Stephen Harper||13 (2002)||4% (2002)||0|
|Ginger Group||1924||1932||progressivism, socialism||15 (1926)||6% (1926)||0|
|Liberal (Unionist)||1917||1921||Members of the Liberal Party who supported Robert Borden's coalition government.||11 (1917)||5% (1917)||4 (1919)|
|Parti canadien||1942||????||anti-conscription||1 (1942)||<1% (1942)||0|
|Québec debout/Groupe parliamentaire québécois||2018||2018||Formed when several MPs left the Bloc Québécois due to the leadership of Martine Ouellet. Rejoined after she lost a leadership review vote and resigned.||7 (2018)||2% (2018)||0|
|Senate Liberal Caucus
Caucus libéral du Sénat
Historical designations used by single candidates
- Nationalist Liberal (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
- Christian Liberal (Howard A. Prentice), 1953
- Locataire (Louis Seigneur), 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
- Work Less Party (Betty Krawczyk), 2007–2010
- Franc Lib (II) (Jean-Roger Marcotte), 1968
- Party for Accountability, Competency and Transparency (formerly Online Party) (Michael Nicula), 2012–2016
- 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
- The Bridge Party of Canada (David Berlin), 2015–2017
- Canada Party (II) (Jim Pankiw) 2015–2016
- Seniors Party of Canada (Margaret Leigh Fairbairn), 2014-2016
Unofficial designations and parties who never ran candidates
The following parties do not appear on the federal election archive. They either did not run candidates in any election or ran candidates as independents.
- Aboriginal Peoples Party of Canada (founded in 2005)
- Absolutely Absurd Party (founded in 2003)
- United Canadian Socialist Party (being launched in 2016)
- Action Canada (founded in 1971)
- Canadian Clean Start Party (founded in 2000)
- Canadian Democratic Movement (founded in 2000)
- Canadian Labour Party, 1917-1929
- Canadian Party for Renewal, 1993
- Canadian Union of Fascists, 1930s
- Candidat libéral des électeurs, 1962–1963
- Christian Credit Party, 1982-1983
- Christian Freedom Party of Canada, c. 1988-c. 1996 (an extension of the Social Credit Party)
- Freedom Party of Canada, founded 2001
- Forward Canada Party, 1997
- Movement for an Independent Socialist Canada, 1974
- National Alternative Party (founded in 2002)
- National Party of Canada (I), 1979-1980s
- New Capitalist Party, 1965
- New Constitution Party of Canada (an unregistered party founded in 2015)
- North American Labour Party, 1970s
- National Unity Party, 1938-1949
- Parti Populaire des Putes (founded in 2000)
- People's Co-operative Commonwealth Federation 1945
- Ontario Party of Canada (founded in 2002)
- Option Canada (founded in 1991)
- Rest of Canada Party (founded in 2002)
- Revolutionary Workers League, 1977-1989
- Revolutionary Workers Party, 1945-1953
- Unity Party of Canada (founded in 2001)
- Workers' Communist Party of Canada, 1972-1980
Pre-confederation political parties
- Reform Party (pre-Confederation)
- 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. From 1938 until 1943 its candidates ran under the banner Unity or United Progressive. In 1943 it adopted the name Labor-Progressive Party. It won one seat under this name 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:
- Conservative-Labour (1872-1875)
- Farmer Labour
- Farmer-United Labour
- Liberal-Labour (1926-1968)
- National Labour (1940)
- United Farmers-Labour (1920)
- United Farmers of Ontario-Labour (1919-1940)
- Liberal Party
Some Liberal-Progressive candidates used the designations:
- Liberal-Labour-Progressive or
- National Liberal Progressive.
- New Democratic Party
The Co-operative Commonwealth Federation used the name New Party from 1958-1961 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.
- Progressive Conservative Party
The first Conservative Party used several different names during its existence:
- Liberal-Conservative Party (some MPs until 1911),
- Unionist Party (1917-1921),
- National Liberal and Conservative Party (1920-1921),
- National Government (1940),
- Progressive Conservative Party (1942-2003)
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:
- Farmer (1925 & 1930),
- United Farmers of Canada,
- United Farmers of Alberta, or
- United Farmers of Ontario.
- 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.
- Christian, William; Jansen, Harold (December 11, 2015). "Party System". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Historica Canada. Retrieved November 7, 2018.
Although there are often provincial parties with similar names or aims as national political parties, Canadian parties are not generally well-integrated... Despite the general lack of formal ties, however, there is often significant overlap between supporters of provincial and national parties of the same name.
- Includes members using temporary party names Unity and Labor-Progressive Party.
- Jesse Snyder; Brian Platt (4 November 2019). "New Senate bloc looking to protect 'regional interests' could hamper Trudeau's efforts to pass legislation". National Post. Retrieved 5 November 2019.
- "Senators List". Senate of Canada. Retrieved 5 November 2019.
- Tasker, John Paul (J.P.) (14 November 2019). "There's another new faction in the Senate: the Progressive Senate Group". CBC News Online. Retrieved 14 November 2019.
- Tasker, John Paul (18 November 2019). "Two more senators defect to upstart group, one citing Scheer's leadership". CBC News. Retrieved 18 November 2019.
- Cordy, Jane (12 December 2019). "Thank you to @SenDayNB for his strong leadership during a time of change in the Senate. I wish him well in retirement. I am honoured that my colleagues in the Progressive Senate Group have elected me to represent them as their leader". Twitter. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
- Cordy, Jane (12 December 2019). "I am very pleased to be working with our new Deputy Leader @dennis_dawson and our Whip/Caucus Chair @SenTMM. We look forward to working collaboratively with all senators to promote progressive policies for all Canadians". Twitter. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
- "The Prime Minister announces new Government Representative in the Senate". Office of the Prime Minister of Canada. 24 January 2020. Retrieved 25 January 2020.
- Howard A. Leeson (2001). Saskatchewan Politics: Into the Twenty-first Century. University of Regina Press. p. 161. ISBN 978-0-88977-131-4.
- Janet Miron (2009). A History of Human Rights in Canada: Essential Issues. Canadian Scholars’ Press. p. 208. ISBN 978-1-55130-356-7.
- Carol Gould; Pasquale Paquino (1 January 2001). Cultural Identity and the Nation-state. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 39. ISBN 978-0-8476-9677-2.
- Seymour Martin Lipset (1971). Agrarian Socialism: The Cooperative Commonwealth Federation in Saskatchewan : a Study in Political Sociology. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-02056-6. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
- "Deregistration of Western Block Party". Elections Canada. January 28, 2014. Retrieved July 17, 2014.
- "Deregistration of Western Block Party". Elections Canada.
- "Deregistration of Western Block Party". Elections Canada.