In contrast with the political party systems of many nations, Canadian parties at the federal level are often only loosely connected with parties at the provincial level, despite having similar names. One exception is the New Democratic Party, which is organizationally integrated with most of its provincial counterparts including a shared membership.
From approximately 1897 to 1905, political parties were active; however, legislative government was eliminated when the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan were created out of the heavily populated area of NWT. Elected legislative government was re-established in 1951. Like Nunavut, NWT elects independent candidates and operates by consensus. Some candidates in recent years have asserted that they were running on behalf of a party, but territorial law does not recognize parties.