The Four Political Parties Of Canada Essay — страница 3

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relatively little criticism until recently. One of Chretien’s campaign promises in 1993 was to scrap the Goods and Services Tax (GST) if the Liberals were to form a government. To complement that promise by Chretien, Sheila Copps, another prominent Liberal from Hamilton, Ontario, vowed to resign if the GST was not scrapped under a Liberal mandate. Three years into the Liberal mandate, controversy began to rise over Chretien’s and Copps’ promises regarding the GST. Copps eventually resigned after much criticism, and won back her seat in her Hamilton riding in a by-election several weeks later. Chretien was subjected to large amounts of public criticism, especially during one of CBC TV’s electronic “town hall” meetings. Chretien argued the fact that the Liberals never

said that they were going to scrap the GST, and that people should read their policy guide, the “Red Book,” to find out where exactly the Liberals stood on the issue of the GST. Chretien argued during this debate that the Liberals wanted to replace the GST instead of scrapping it. Earlier clips taken from the parliamentary channel and radio interviews seemed to contradict his claim that the Liberals wanted to replace the GST. “We hate it and we will kill it!” (the GST) were the exact words that came out of Jean Chretien’s mouth during a debate in the House of Commons over the GST, before the Liberals took power in 1993. Since the federal election has not been called yet, it has yet to be seen whether or not the Canadian public has lost any faith in the current Prime

Minister. The Liberals have made the economic revival of Canada one of their top policy platforms, so much so that in the online edition of the Red Book, economic policy is chapter one. The Liberals explain their approach to economic policy by saying that they will focus on the five major problems facing the current Canadian economy: “lack of growth, high unemployment, high long-term real interest rates, too high levels of foreign indebtedness, and excessive government debt and deficits.” (chapter1.html, 1997) In the online edition of the Red Book, the Liberals also state that the “better co-ordination of federal and provincial tax and economic policies must be achieved in the interests of all Canadians….we will work with the provinces to redesign the current social

assistance programs, to help people on social assistance who are able to work to move from dependence to full participation in the economic and social life of this country….and that Canadians are entitled to trade rules that are fair that secure access to new markets, and that do not undermine Canadian commitments to labour and environmental standards.” (chapter1.html, 1997) There is also a brief section about the Liberals’ plan to create many more jobs for Canadians, which was one of their large campaign platforms during the 1993 election. (chapter1.html, 1997) Right of centre on the political scale, the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada can be found. The Progressive Conservatives (PCs) were, in their fledgling years, known as the Conservative Party (and before

that, the Liberal-Conservatives), and was founded before the Liberal Party of Canada, making it the oldest political party in Canada. “While it is difficult to pin- point a precise date of origin of the Conservative Party there is nevertheless good reason for regarding 1854 as the inaugural year for the political group which has continued to this day as the conservative element in Canadian politics.” (Macquarrie, pg.3, 1965) In 1854, John A. MacDonald, who was to become Canada’s first Prime Minister ever, led the Conservative Party to office and “began the process which established a nation in the northern part of this continent and set the pattern for that nation’s political institutions.” (Macquarrie, pg.4, 1965) Since Confederation, many events in Canadian politics

have held vast significance in Canada’s history. For example: Confederation (1867), Hudson Bay territories joining the dominion (1870), Arctic Islands added to the dominion (1880), the defeat of reciprocity (1911), the enfranchisement of women (1918), the providing of universal suffrage under the Dominion Elections Act (1920), the Statute of Westminster (1931), and finally, the addition of Newfoundland to the Dominion (1949). It is interesting to note that all of these significant political occurrences were made under Conservative Party mandates. (Macquarrie, pg.2, 1965) “It has been said that if Canada had an Independence Day it would be December 11, 1931, the date of the proclamation of the Statute of Westminster under the regime of Prime Minister R.B. Bennett.”