Progressive Democratic Alliance

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The Progressive Democratic Alliance (PDA) was a centrist political party in British Columbia, Canada founded by Gordon Wilson, Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) for Powell River—Sunshine Coast.

Wilson, previously the leader of the British Columbia Liberal Party, led that party through a breakthrough in the provincial election of 1991, in which they rose from no parliamentary representation to official opposition status. He was unable to hold his caucus together, however, and was forced to call a leadership convention following revelations about his personal relationship with another member of the small Liberal caucus, Judi Tyabji, MLA for Okanagan East. Tyabji and Wilson were both married to others at the time; they subsequently divorced and married each other. Many in the Liberal Party believed that their relationship created at least the potential for a serious conflict of interest.

After losing the leadership challenge to Gordon Campbell, who in turn led the party to victory in the 2001 provincial election, Wilson and Tyabji left the party to establish the Progressive Democratic Alliance on December 5, 1993.

In the subsequent June 26, 1996 general election, Wilson retained his seat, while all 65 other PDA candidates, including Tyabji, were defeated. The party won a total of 90,797 votes, or 5.74% of the popular vote.

The PDA was disbanded by Wilson in 1997 when he joined the ruling New Democratic Party of British Columbia to become a member of Cabinet. He later ran for the provincial NDP leadership, but dropped out a few days before the vote when it was obvious that he could not win. He lost his legislative seat in the 2001 provincial election.

In 2004, former party activists attempted to resuscitate the PDA. Finding financial obstacles, they instead formed the British Columbia Democratic Alliance, billing it as a successor organization.

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Further reading[edit]

  • R. Kenneth Carty (1996). Politics, Policy, and Government in British Columbia. UBC Press. p. 355. ISBN 9780774805834. 
  • Susan B. Boyd (1997). Challenging the Public/private Divide. University of Toronto Press. p. 253. ISBN 9780802076526. 
  • Daniel Francis (2000). "Progressive Democratic Alliance". Encyclopedia of British Columbia. Harbour Publishing. p. 579. ISBN 9781550172003. 

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