List of federal political parties in Canada

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In contrast with the political party systems of many nations, Canadian political parties at the federal level are often only loosely connected with parties at the provincial level, despite having similar names and policy positions.[1] One exception is the New Democratic Party, which is organizationally integrated with most of its provincial counterparts including a shared membership.

Current parties[edit]

House of Commons[edit]

Represented parties[edit]

Name Founded Ideology Leader MPs as of 2021 Largest MP caucus Political position
  Liberal Party of Canada
Parti libéral du Canada
1867 Liberalism, social liberalism Justin Trudeau
159 / 338
 
179 / 245
(1940)[a]
Centre to centre-left
  Conservative Party of Canada 
Parti conservateur du Canada
2003 Conservatism, economic liberalism Pierre Poilievre
119 / 338
 
166 / 308
(2011)
Centre-right to right-wing
  Bloc Québécois 1991 Quebec sovereignty, social democracy, regionalism Yves-François Blanchet
32 / 338
 
54 / 295
(1993)[b]
Centre-left
  New Democratic Party
Nouveau Parti démocratique
1961 Social democracy Jagmeet Singh
25 / 338
 
103 / 308
(2011)
Centre-left to left-wing
  Green Party of Canada
Le Parti Vert du Canada
1983 Green politics Amita Kuttner (interim)
2 / 338
 
3 / 338
(2019)

Registered parties[edit]

The following political parties are registered with Elections Canada and eligible to run candidates in future federal elections, but are not currently represented in the House of Commons.[2]

Name Founded Ideology Leader Largest MP caucus Political position
  Animal Protection Party of Canada
Le Parti pour la Protection des Animaux du Canada
2005 Animal rights, environmentalism Liz White 0 Single issue
  Centrist Party of Canada 2020 Centrism A. Q. Rana Centre
  Christian Heritage Party of Canada
Parti de l'Héritage Chrétien du Canada
1986 Social conservatism, Christian right Rodney L. Taylor 0 Right-wing
  Communist Party of Canada
Parti communiste du Canada
1921 Communism, Marxism–Leninism Elizabeth Rowley
2 / 245
(1943)[3]
Far-left
  Direct Democracy Party of Canada
Parti de la démocratie directe du Canada
2019 Direct democracy Partap Dua 0
  Free Party Canada
Parti Libre Canada
2019 Vaccine hesitancy Michel Leclerc 0
  Libertarian Party of Canada
Parti Libertarien du Canada
1973 Libertarianism, laissez-faire Jacques Y. Boudreau 0
  Marijuana Party
Parti Marijuana
2000 Cannabis law reforms Blair T. Longley 0 Single issue
  Marxist–Leninist Party of Canada
Parti Marxiste–Léniniste du Canada
1970 Communism, Marxism–Leninism Anna Di Carlo 0 Far-left
  Maverick Party 2020 Western separatism, conservatism, right-wing populism Colin R. Krieger Right-wing
  National Citizens Alliance of Canada
Alliance Nationale des Citoyens du Canada
2014 White nationalism Stephen J. Garvey 0 Far-right
  Parti pour l'Indépendance du Québec 2019 Quebec nationalism, Quebec sovereigntism vacant 0
  People's Party of Canada
Parti populaire du Canada
2018 Conservatism, right-wing populism, classical liberalism, libertarianism Maxime Bernier
1 / 338
(2018)
Right-wing to far-right
  Rhinoceros Party (II)
Parti Rhinocéros
2006 Satirical party Sébastien CoRhino 0
  Veterans Coalition Party of Canada
Parti de la coalition des anciens combattants du Canada
2019 Randy David Joy 0 Single issue

Eligible parties[edit]

Eligible parties have applied to Elections Canada and met all of the legal requirements to be registered, other than running a candidate in a general election or by-election.[4] Such parties are eligible to run candidates in federal elections but will not be considered "registered" by Elections Canada until they have registered a candidate in an election or by-election.[4][5] As of August 2022, the following are eligible parties:[2]

Name Founded Ideology Leader Political position
True North Party of Canada 2022 Conservatism, right-wing populism Derek Sloan Right-wing to far-right

Non-party parliamentary groups[edit]

At various points both the House of Commons and Senate have included non-party parliamentary groups, also called caucuses. These groups are unaffiliated with registered political parties, are not registered with Elections Canada, and do not run candidates in Canadian federal elections. Essentially, these parliamentary groups are equivalent to political parties in the legislative context, but do not exist in an electoral capacity.

Parliamentary groups in the House of Commons of Canada are typically made up of MPs that separate from a party over leadership conflicts. Notable past parliamentary groups in the House of Commons include the Ginger Group (1924–1932; split from Progressive Party), Democratic Representative Caucus (2001–2002; split from Canadian Alliance), and Québec debout (2018; split from Bloc Québécois).

Senate[edit]

The Senate of Canada currently has three non-party parliamentary groups: the Independent Senators Group (ISG), the Canadian Senators Group (CSG), and the Progressive Senate Group (PSG). These three groups do not share a formal ideology, platform, or membership in any one political party; the caucuses primarily serve to provide organizational support and better leverage parliamentary resources. Conservative senators remain formally affiliated with the Conservative Party of Canada.[6][7]

Name Founded Ideology Facilitator/Leader Senators as of 2022 Most senators
  Independent Senators Group
Groupe des sénateurs indépendants
2016 Non-partisan technical group Yuen Pau Woo
39 / 105
 
59 / 105
(2019)
  Conservative Party of Canada 
Parti conservateur du Canada
2003 Conservatism, economic liberalism Candice Bergen (interim)
15 / 105
 
65 / 105
(2013)
  Progressive Senate Group
Groupe progressiste du sénat
2019 Non-partisan technical group Jane Cordy
14 / 105
 
14 / 105
(2021)
  Canadian Senators Group
Groupe des sénateurs Canadiens
2019 Non-partisan technical group Scott Tannas (interim)
13 / 105
 
13 / 105
(2019)

Historical parties[edit]

These are political parties which were once registered with Elections Canada, but have become de-registered or ceased to exist due to dissolution,[2] or which ceased to exist before Elections Canada was formed.

Name Founded Dissolved Ideology Largest MP caucus Most ridings contested
  Abolitionist Party of Canada 1993 1996 Social credit, monetary reform, social liberalism 0
80 / 295
(1993)
  Anti-Confederation Party 1867 1867 Opposition to Confederation (membership in Canada), Nova Scotia separatism
18 / 181
(1867)
20 / 181
(1867)
  Bloc populaire 1943 1949 Anti-conscription, Canadian nationalism, isolationism, French Canadian rights
4 / 245
(1943)
35 / 245
(1945)
  Canada Party (I) 1993 1996 0
56 / 295
(1993)
  Canadian Action Party
Parti action canadienne
1997 2017[8] Canadian nationalism, anti-globalization 0
70 / 301
(2000)
  Canadian Nationalist Party
Parti nationaliste canadien
2017 2022 White nationalism 0
3 / 338
(2019)
  Canadian Reform Conservative Alliance
Alliance réformiste-conservatrice canadienne
2000 2003 Conservatism, right-wing populism, social conservatism[9][10][11]
66 / 301
(2001)
298 / 301
(2000)
  Co-operative Commonwealth Federation
Parti social démocratique du Canada
1932 1961 Social democracy, democratic socialism, agrarianism[12]
31 / 245
(1948)
205 / 245
(1945)
  Confederation of Regions Party of Canada 1984 1988 Regionalism, conservatism 0
55 / 282
(1984)
  Conservative Party of Canada (1867–1942) / Progressive Conservative Party of Canada (1942–2003) 1854 2003 Canadian conservatism, British loyalism, Canadian nationalism (particularly under John Diefenbaker), Red Toryism, economic liberalism (under Brian Mulroney), moderation, occasional populism
209 / 265
(1958)[c]
301 / 301
(1997)
  Democratic 1945 1945 0
5 / 245
(1945)
  Equal Rights 1890 1891 0
2 / 215
(1891)
  First Peoples National Party of Canada 2005 2013[8] Aboriginal rights advocacy 0
6 / 308
(2008)
  Labour Party of Canada 1926 1968 Trade unionism, socialism
4 / 245
(1926)
28 / 235
(1921)
  Labor-Progressive Party
Parti ouvrier-progressiste
1943 1959 Communism, socialism, legal front of the banned Communist Party of Canada
2 / 245
(1943-1945)
100 / 245
(1953)
  Liberal-Progressive 1925 1955 Nominated jointly by or aligned with both the Liberal Party and Progressive Party
8 / 245
(1926)
12 / 245
(1926)
  Liberal Protectionist 1925 1930 Anti-free trade, protectionism 0
2 / 245
(1925)
  McCarthyite 1896 1898 Anti-Catholic, anti-French, British imperialism
1 / 213
(1896)[d]
11 / 213
(1896)
  National Party of Canada (II) 1991 1994 Canadian nationalism, protectionism, progressivism 0
170 / 295
(1993)
  Nationalist (I) 1873 1910 Socialism, nationalization of industries
2 / 215
(1889)
6 / 215
(1887)
  Nationalist Conservative 1878 1911 Used by Quebec Members in order to distinguish themselves from what has been referred by the party as the "British imperialist" reputation of the Conservative Party.
2 / 215
(1887)
2 / 215
(1887)
  Natural Law Party of Canada
Parti de la loi naturelle du Canada
1992 2004[8] New age 0
231 / 295
(1993)
  Newfoundland and Labrador First Party 2007 2011[8] Newfoundland and Labrador advocacy 0
3 / 308
(2008)
  Non-Partisan League 1917 1917 Agrarianism 0
3 / 235
(1917)
  Parti de la Démocratisation Économique 1968 1968 0
5 / 264
(1968)
  Parti Nationaliste du Quebec 1983 1987 Quebec independence 0
74 / 282
(1984)
  Party for the Commonwealth of Canada 1984 1993 LaRouchite 0
66 / 282
(1984)
  Parti Patriote 2019 2022 Quebec nationalism, Quebec sovereignty, right-wing populism 0
2 / 338
(2021)
  Patrons of Industry 1890 1900 Pro-labour
2 / 213
(1896)
31 / 213
(1896)
  People's Political Power Party of Canada
Pouvoir Politique du Peuple du Canada
2006 2011[8] Feminist, centrist, populist 0
2 / 308
(2008)
  Pirate Party of Canada
Parti Pirate du Canada
2010 2017 Pirate politics 0
10 / 308
(2011)
  Progressive Canadian Party
Parti Progressiste Canadien
2004 2019 Red Toryism 0
25 / 308
(2006)
  Progressive Party of Canada
Parti progressiste du Canada
1921 1948 Agrarian, free trade, progressivism
58 / 235
(1921)
137 / 235
(1921)
  Progressive-Conservative 1925 1935
1 / 245
(1930)
2 / 245
(1926)
  Protestant Protective Association 1892 1898 Anti-Catholic 0
5 / 213
(1896)
  Radical chrétien 1958 1967 0
3 / 265
(1967 by-elections)
  Ralliement créditiste / Union des électeurs 1963 1971 Split from the Social Credit Party; see Social Credit Party of Canada split, 1963.
14 / 264
(1968)
77 / 265
(1965)
  Reconstruction Party of Canada 1935 1938 Keynesianism, national conservatism, isolationism
1 / 245
(1935)
172 / 245
(1935)
  Reform Party of Canada
Parti réformiste du Canada
1987 2000 Fiscal conservatism, regionalism, social conservatism, democratic reform
60 / 301
(1997)
277 / 301
(1997)
  Republican Party (I) 1967 1968 0
2 / 264
(1968)
  Republican Party (II)
Parti republicain
1971 1971 0
2 / 264
(1971 by-elections)
  Rhinoceros Party (I)
Parti Rhinocéros
1968 1993 Satirical 0
121 / 282
(1980)
  Social Credit Party of Canada
Parti Crédit social du Canada
1935 1993 Canadian social credit, Canadian conservatism, right-wing populism, social conservatism
30 / 265
(1962)
230 / 265
(1962)
  Socialist Labour Party 1945 1968 Socialism 0
  Socialist Party of Canada (I) 1904 1925 Socialism 0
  Socialist Party of Canada (II) 1931 1961 0
  Stop Climate Change 2019 2021 Environmentalism 0
  Strength in Democracy
Forces et Démocratie
2014 2016[8] Social democracy, regionalism
2 / 338
(2015)
  Union Populaire 1979 1981 Quebecois independence (precursor of Bloc Québécois) 0
  United Party of Canada (II)
Parti Uni du Canada
2009 2016[8] Centrism 0
  United Party of Canada (III)
Parti Uni du Canada
2018 2020 Centre-left 0
  United Reform 1939 1940 Left-wing populism, reformism
1 / 245
(1939)
  Western Block Party 2005 2014[13] Western separatism, paleoconservatism, libertarian conservativism 0

Historical parliamentary groups[edit]

House of Commons[edit]

Name Founded Dissolved Ideology Largest caucus
  Democratic Representative Caucus 2001 2002 Formed when several MPs left the Canadian Alliance due to the leadership of Stockwell Day. The group was dissolved after Day lost the party leadership to Stephen Harper.
13 / 301
(2002)
  Ginger Group 1924 1932 Progressivism, socialism
15 / 245
(1926)
  Liberal–Unionist 1917 1921 Members of the Liberal Party who supported Robert Borden's coalition government.
11 / 235
(1917)
  Nationalist Liberal (I) 1867 1921
1 / 215
(1891)
  Parti canadien 1942 1944 Anti-conscription
1 / 245
(1942)
  Québec debout 2018 2018 Formed when several MPs left the Bloc Québécois due to the leadership of Martine Ouellet. The group was dissolved after Ouellet lost a leadership review vote and resigned.
7 / 338
(2018)

Senate[edit]

Name Founded Dissolved Ideology Largest caucus
  Liberal–Unionist 1917 1921 Members of the Liberal Party who supported Robert Borden's coalition government.
4 / 96
(1919)
  Nationalist Liberal (I) 1867 1921
2 / 72
(1867)
  Senate Liberal Caucus
Caucus libéral du Sénat
2014 2019 Members of the Liberal Party who formed their own caucus after Justin Trudeau removed all senators from the Liberal Party's parliamentary caucus.
32 / 105
(2014)
  Senate Progressive Conservative Caucus
Caucus progressiste-conservateur du Sénat
2003 2016 Members of the former Progressive Conservative Party who retained the caucus name after the party itself dissolved in 2003.
5 / 105
(2005)

Historical designations used by single candidates[edit]

  • Nationalist Liberal (II) (Fleming Blanchard McCurdy), 1920 – McCurdy won a by-election under the Nationalist Liberal designation, but sat with the National Liberal and Conservative Party caucus
  • Protectionist (Joseph-Édouard Moranville), 1926
  • Franc Lib (I) (Alfred Edward Watts), 1930
  • Prohibition Party (Edwin Clarke Appleby), 1930
  • Parti national social chrétien (Robert Rae Manville), 1934–1940
  • Anti-Communist (I) (Jean Tissot), 1935
  • Verdun (Hervé Ferland), 1935
  • Veterans Party (Alloys Reginald Sprenger), 1935
  • Technocrat (Joseph McCrae Newman), 1935
  • Anti-Conscriptionist (Louis-Gérard Gosselin), 1940
  • Social Credit-National Unity (Harry Watson Arnold), 1940
  • National-Unity (Robert Rae Manville), 1940
  • Trades Union (Nigel Morgan), 1945
  • Autonomist candidate (Paul Massé), 1947
  • Nationalist (II) (Adrien Arcand), 1949, 1953
  • Christian Liberal (Howard A. Prentice), 1953
  • Anti-Communist (II) (Patrick Walsh), 1953
  • Canadian Democrat (Gerry Goeujon), 1957
  • National Credit Control (John Bernard Ball), 1957
  • Capital familial (Henri-Georges Grenier), 1957–1962
  • Liberal Conservative Coalition (George Rolland), 1957
  • Parti ouvrier canadien (Jean-Jacques Rouleau), 1958
  • League for Socialist Action, 1961–1977
  • Co-operative Builders of Canada (Edgar-Bernard Charron), 1962
  • All Canadian Party (John Darby Naismith), 1962–1962
  • Parti humain familial (Henri-Georges Grenier), 1964
  • Droit vital personnel (Henri-Georges Grenier), 1965
  • Progressive Workers Movement (Jerry Le Bourdais), 1965
  • Esprit Social (Henri-Georges Grenier), 1967–1971
  • Franc Lib (II) (Jean-Roger Marcotte), 1968
  • National Socialist (Martin K. Weiche), 1968
  • New Canada Party (Fred Reiner), 1968
  • Nationalist Party of Canada (Bob Smith), founded 1977
  • Christian Democrat Party of Canada (Sydney Thompson), 1981
  • Work Less Party (Betty Krawczyk), 2007–2010
  • Party for Accountability, Competency and Transparency (formerly Online Party) (Michael Nicula), 2012–2016[14]
  • Alliance of the North (François Bélanger), 2013–2019
  • The Bridge Party of Canada (David Berlin), 2015–2017[8]
  • Seniors Party of Canada (Margaret Leigh Fairbairn), 2014–2016[8]
  • Canada Party (II) (Jim Pankiw) 2015–2016[8]

Unofficial designations and parties who never ran candidates[edit]

The following parties do not appear on the federal election archive.[15] They either did not run candidates in any election or ran candidates as independents.

Pre-confederation political parties[edit]

Name changes[edit]

Communist Party

The Communist Party of Canada changed its name multiple times in its history. It was founded as the Communist Party of Canada in 1921. It was underground until 1924, and founded a public face, Workers' Party of Canada, from 1922 until 1924 when the Communist Party was legalized. From 1938 until 1943 its candidates ran under the banner Unity or United Progressive, and won one seat. The Communist Party was again banned in 1940, but from 1943 operated under the name Labor-Progressive Party. It won one seat under this name in a 1943 by-election, which it retained in 1945. In 1959 it reverted to the name Communist Party of Canada and has kept that name to the present.

The Marxist–Leninist Party of Canada unofficially uses the name "Communist Party of Canada (Marxist–Leninist)", but Elections Canada does not allow it to be registered by that name because of potential confusion with the Communist Party of Canada.

Labour Party

Labour Party candidates ran under numerous different designations:

  • Conservative-Labour (1872–1875)
  • Farmer Labour
  • Farmer-United Labour
  • Labour-Farmer
  • Liberal-Labour (1926–1968)
  • National Labour (1940)
  • United Farmers-Labour (1920)
  • United Farmers of Ontario-Labour (1919–1940)
Liberal Party

During Robert Borden's coalition government of 1917–1920, the Liberal Party of Canada split into two groups: the Liberal–Unionist who supported the coalition and the Laurier Liberals who opposed it.

Liberal-Progressive

Some Liberal-Progressive candidates used the designations:

  • Liberal-Labour-Progressive or
  • National Liberal Progressive.
New Democratic Party

The Co-operative Commonwealth Federation used the name New Party from 1958 to 1961 while it was transitioning to become the New Democratic Party. In French, the party used a literal translation of its name, Fédération du Commonwealth Coopératif, from until 1955.

Conservative Party

The first Conservative Party used several different names during its existence:

The second (and current) Conservative Party of Canada was a merger of the Canadian Alliance and the Progressive Conservative Party.

Progressive Party and United Farmers

Some candidates for the Progressive Party of Canada used United Farmer designations:

Rhinoceros Party

The first Rhinoceros Party disbanded in 1993. When it was revived in 2006 it used the name "neorhino.ca". The party changed its name to Rhinoceros Party in 2010.

Social Credit Party and Ralliement créditiste

Some Ralliement créditiste used the name Ralliement des créditistes from 1963 to 1967. One candidate used the designation Candidats des électeurs in 1957 and 1958. Others used the name Union des électeurs, although this was never formally registered.

In the 1940 election, 17 candidates ran jointly with the Social Credit Party under the name New Democracy.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ In 2015, the Liberal Party held 184 seats; the most in its history. However, at that time there were 338 seats total, so the proportion of seats held by the party was smaller than it was in 1940.
  2. ^ The Bloc Québécois also won 54 seats in the 2004 election, but at the time there were 308 seats total, so the proportion of seats held by the party was smaller than it was in 1993.
  3. ^ In 1984 the Progressive Conservative Party held 211 seats; the most in its history. However, at that time there were 282 seats total, so the proportion of seats held by the party was smaller than it was in 1958.
  4. ^ Dalton McCarthy won in two ridings, but could only accept one.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Christian, William; Jansen, Harold (December 11, 2015). "Party System". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Historica Canada. Retrieved November 7, 2018. Although there are often provincial parties with similar names or aims as national political parties, Canadian parties are not generally well-integrated ... Despite the general lack of formal ties, however, there is often significant overlap between supporters of provincial and national parties of the same name.
  2. ^ a b c Elections Canada (January 11, 2021). "Registered Political Parties and Parties Eligible for Registration". Elections Canada. Retrieved May 21, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ Members used the temporary party name Labor-Progressive Party.
  4. ^ a b Elections Canada (March 10, 2020). "Registration of Federal Political Parties". Elections Canada. Retrieved April 6, 2020.
  5. ^ MacVicar, Adam (March 10, 2020). "Wexit political party can now run candidates in Canadian federal elections". Global News. Retrieved April 6, 2020.
  6. ^ Jesse Snyder; Brian Platt (November 4, 2019). "New Senate bloc looking to protect 'regional interests' could hamper Trudeau's efforts to pass legislation". National Post. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  7. ^ Tasker, John Paul (November 14, 2019). "There's another new faction in the Senate: the Progressive Senate Group". CBC News. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Canada, Elections. "Registered Political Parties and Parties Eligible for Registration". www.elections.ca.
  9. ^ Howard A. Leeson (2001). Saskatchewan Politics: Into the Twenty-first Century. University of Regina Press. p. 161. ISBN 978-0-88977-131-4.
  10. ^ Janet Miron (2009). A History of Human Rights in Canada: Essential Issues. Canadian Scholars’ Press. p. 208. ISBN 978-1-55130-356-7.
  11. ^ Carol Gould; Pasquale Paquino (January 1, 2001). Cultural Identity and the Nation-state. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 39. ISBN 978-0-8476-9677-2.
  12. ^ Seymour Martin Lipset (1971). Agrarian Socialism: The Cooperative Commonwealth Federation in Saskatchewan : a Study in Political Sociology. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-02056-6. Retrieved August 20, 2012.
  13. ^ "Deregistration of Western Block Party". Elections Canada. January 28, 2014. Retrieved July 17, 2014.
  14. ^ "Deregistration of Western Block Party". Elections Canada.
  15. ^ "Elections and Candidates". lop.parl.ca.

External links[edit]