Liberal Party of Canada VS conservative
Everything about the politicial parties of Canada
Canada is a highly political country, and our partisan system reflects this. With at least four national political parties and many more at the provincial level, it can sometimes be a bit of a headache to keep track of them all.
Political parties hold a great deal of power in the Canadian system of government. Indeed, the entire parliamentary system presumes the existence of parties and would not be able to function without them. The political party that can elect the most members to the House of Commons is said to “become the government” after an election. Its leaders become the prime minister and cabinet ministers. The second biggest party in parliament is called “the official opposition.” I have more about this in my House of Commons section.
Political parties in Canada are all organized the same fashion, which is to say very hierarchically. There’s always a single “leader” at the top, who is pretty much the sole boss of what his party does. The leader formulates the policy of the party, and all party members are expected to obey his agenda and support the pursuit of his political goals. In elections, party leaders are the defacto nominee for prime minister or premier.
Being a “member” of a party in Canada is a similarly formal affair, and the term refers to someone who holds an active, fee-paying membership in a political party, similar to how you might hold a membership in, I dunno, PETA or something. Party membership presumes loyalty and adherence to party values, and as such the leader can revoke it from people who misbehave. Only about 2% of Canadians actually hold membership in a political party. It’s mostly politicians, their organizers, and staff who are willing to go to the trouble.
History of the Parties
Organized political parties emerged in eastern Canada during the mid-19th Century, following the introduction of elected assemblies in the colonies of Upper and Lower Canada. At the time, the big issue of the day was British rule, which polarized segments of the population in different ways.
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