The Four Political Parties Of Canada Essay — страница 2

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Co-operative Commonwealth.” (Morton, p.12, 1986). The CCF tried to garner more popular support later down the road, and after calling itself the New Party in 1960, it changed its name officially to the New Democratic Party (NDP) in 1962. Over the years, the NDP has become a large force in Canadian politics, becoming an alternative to the Conservatives and Liberals. (Morton, pgs.12-27, 1986) Even to the casual Canadian political observer, the NDP is generally regarded as the party at the bottom of the political barrel at the federal level. In the last Canadian federal election in 1993 under the leadership of Audrey McLoughlin, the NDP went from holding 43 seats in the House of Commons to only 9. McLoughlin resigned, paving the way for the election of the former leader of the

Nova Scotia NDP to the federal post, Alexa McDonough in 1994. On the provincial level, however, the NDP has experienced some success of late. Ontario, British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan have had (or currently have) an NDP provincial mandate. (Guy, p.384, 1995) On the policy front, the NDP seem to be most concerned with a plan for “fair taxes now.” (fairtaxnow.html, 1997) According to the NDP, “it’s time banks and big corporations paid their fair share — so we can better afford health care, education and other services for middle class and working families.” (fairtaxnow.html, 1997) Some of the key points of the NDP’s “fair taxes now” campaign include “a minimum corporate tax, a minimum wealth tax, an end to tax breaks for profitable corporations that

lay people off, an end to corporate deductions for meals and entertainment, and increased federal auditing and enforcement of existing corporate taxes,” (fairtaxnow.html, 1997) to name a few. Of course, these recommendations for taxation reform reflect the typical left-wing, socialistic standpoints that the NDP has stood for ever since its inception. Moving further towards the centre of the political scale, the current federal governing party in Canada, the Liberal Party of Canada, is found. Liberals in an independent form started to be elected to the various legislatures around the country in the middle of the 1800s, with a formal party being created in the late 1800s. The purpose of forming a formal party was a response to the increasing popularity of the Conservatives in

Canada; “…the rural Clear Grits of Upper Canada, the anti-clerical rouges, and the reform element in the Maritimes came together gradually as the Liberal Party.” (McMenemy, pg.10, 1976) In its early years, the Liberal Party reflected the various demographics of religion and geography among the voting public in Canada. With widespread support in Canada’s rural areas several years after Confederation, “the Liberal Party opposed protectionism and supported commercial reciprocity with the United States. It also opposed MacDonald’s program of railway construction. Led by Sir Wilfred Laurier, the Liberals supported unrestricted reciprocity and suffered for it in the election of 1891.” (McMenemy, pg.12, 1976) The Liberals’ policy on trade annoyed industrialists, who were

intimidated by the prospect of unlimited trade. British Loyalists regarded the trade reciprocity as being anti-British. In the latter part of the 1890s, however, Laurier adjusted the party’s policy on trade reciprocity. “In the budget of 1897, the Liberals neatly undercut the Conservatives by introducing the principle of a minimum and a maximum tariff. A chief result of this Liberal protectionism was to give British goods a preference in Canada.” (McMenemy, pg.12, 1976) Another significant move made by the Liberals was in 1903, when Prime Minister Laurier announced the construction of a second transcontinental railroad. Laurier’s minister of railways dissented on the idea and in turn was sacked by the Prime Minister. “By the election of 1904, the Liberals had acquired

MacDonald’s railway and tariff policy and could therefore wear the previously Conservative mantle of ?party of national development.’”(McMenemy, pg.12, 1976) The Liberal Party of Canada currently forms the federal government of Canada. Their current leader, Jean Chretien, was elected to succeed John Turner in 1990. Around the time Chretien was elected leader, questions within and outside the party were raised regarding the political “baggage” that Chretien carried from previous Liberal governments. Despite the controversy, Chretien won his party’s leadership quite comfortably, and returned his party to prominence once again in 1993 by forming a federal government with a large majority in the House of Commons. Looking back, this current Liberal mandate has weathered