Clear Grits were reformers in the Canada West district of the Province of United Canada, a British colony that is now the Province of Ontario, Canada. Their name is said to have been given by David Christie, who said that only those were wanted in the party who were "all sand and no dirt, clear grit all the way through".
The "Clear Grits" were one of a long series of farmer-based radical reform movements. Later examples were the United Farmers and the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation, the direct ancestor of the modern New Democratic Party. The word "Grit" is used as a neutral reference to members of the Liberal Party in English Canada. It is currently used far more frequently in print than spoken. "Grit" also has a conveniently small number of letters, for use in headlines.