New Democratic Party of Quebec

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New Democratic Party of Quebec
Nouveau parti démocratique du Quebec
Leader Pierre Ducasse
Founded 2014 (2014)
Preceded by NPDQ 1963-1994, Parti social démocratique du Québec (Quebec chapter of the CCF)
Ideology Social democratic
Quebec nationalist
Democratic socialism
Trade unionist
Political position Left-Wing
National affiliation New Democratic Party of Canada
International affiliation Socialist International and Progressive Alliance
Colours Orange

The New Democratic Party of Quebec (in French: Nouveau Parti démocratique du Québec) (NPD-Québec or NPDQ) is a federalist and social-democratic political party in Quebec, Canada. The current party is a reboot of an older party that no longer exists.

The original party emerged from the Quebec Chapter of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation, and aside from temporarily holding a single seat in the National Assembly (David Côté) it only played a minor role in Quebec provincial politics. During the late 1980s it came under the leadership of radical sovereigntists, prompting a rupture from the federal NDP. It voted to disaffiliate from the federal party in 1989 and changed its name to the Parti de la democratie socialiste or "Party of Democratic Socialism" in 1994.

The PDS would later become a founding member of Quebec Solidaire, a left of centre sovereingntist party. For the following two decades the NDP remained moribund in Quebec; however, gains by the federal party, at first modest with the 2007 election of Tom Mulcair in Outremont and then dramatic with the "Orange Surge" of the 2011 Canadian federal election led to renewed calls for a provincial NDP in Quebec as an alternative to the right-leaning, federalist Quebec Liberal Party and the typically left-leaning but sovereigntist Parti Quebecois. The federal NDP restarted the Quebec party before the 2014 general election; the modern party was registered on January 30, 2014, as 'Nouveau Parti démocratique du Québec.' [1]

The party has announced plans to contest the coming provincial election under its first leader, long time Quebec NDP organiser and 2003 federal leadership candidate, Pierre Ducasse.[2]


The NPDQ was created in 1963 following the concerted efforts of the Quebec Federation of Labour (Fédération des travailleurs du Québec) (FTQ) and of the Quebec section of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF), which had been known as the Parti social démocratique du Québec (PSD) since 1955.

On the federal level, in its role as the Quebec section of the New Democratic Party, the NPDQ contested the Canadian federal elections between 1962 and 1988.

Until the end of the 1960s, in conformity with the division of roles that had been decided in 1963, the NPDQ was active exclusively on the federal political level in Quebec. This left the provincial political level to the Socialist Party of Quebec (Parti socialiste du Québec, PSQ). After the disappearance of the PSQ around 1968, the NPDQ continued to concentrate most of its attention on the federal level during the 1970s and the early 1980s. It made a few incursions on the provincial level, running a few candidates, first in the Quebec general election of 1970, and later in the general election of 1976, the second time as part of a coalition with the Regroupement des militants syndicaux (RMS).

The provincial party became defunct following leader Henri-François Gautrin's resignation in 1979.

In the mid-1980s, the federal NDP's Quebec section determined that there was a new political vacuum in Quebec politics and that, in addition to its role in federal politics, the time had come for the NPDQ to return to the provincial scene. The NPDQ registered as a political party in Quebec in 1985 and selected Jean-Paul Harney as leader. It ran in the general elections in 1985, 1989 and 1994.

In 1989, the NPDQ voted to disaffiliate from the federal NDP as a result of policy differences, such as the provincial party's opposition to the Meech Lake Accord; its support for Quebec's language policy; differences with the federal party over the Canada – United States Free Trade Agreement; and its more favourable position towards Quebec nationalism.[3][4] As a result, the NPDQ concentrated its activities on the Quebec provincial political level, and its members became free to adhere to any federal political party. Similarly, the federal NDP directed its activities in Quebec exclusively on the federal political level, through its Quebec branch renamed the New Democratic Party of Canada (Quebec Section), which runs candidates only in federal elections and whose members became free to adhere to any provincial political party in Quebec. Practically, this brought the situation back to what it had been between 1963 and 1968, but with the difference that the NPDQ, which after the first division of 1963 had ended up being an organization centred on federal politics, now ended up being an organization centred on provincial politics after the second division of 1989.

Tensions between the provincial and federal parties mounted in 1990 when the NPDQ announced its support for Gilles Duceppe's candidacy as a Bloc Québécois candidate in a federal by-election and urged federal NDP candidate Louise O'Neill to withdraw from the contest so as not to split the vote.[5] As a result, the federal party voted to sever its "fraternal ties" to its former provincial wing and the provincial party was encouraged to change its name.[6] The federal NDP denounced the provincial party when it nominated former Front de libération du Québec member Paul Rose as a candidate in a provincial by-election. Rose had been convicted for his role in the murder of Pierre Laporte during the 1970 October Crisis. The federal NDP announced that they were seeking legal means to force the NPDQ to stop calling using the name "New Democratic".[7][8]

After the general election of 1994, the NPDQ decided to change its name to Parti de la Democratie Socialiste (PDS). Under this new name, the PDS contested the general election of 1998. The PDS subsequently merged into the Union des forces progressistes (UFP), which in turn merged into Québec solidaire. QS contested its first general election in 2007 and won its first seat in the National Assembly in 2008.

Electoral results (Quebec general elections)[edit]

General election Name of party # of candidates # of elected candidates  % of popular vote
1966 NPDQ The party did not run candidates in this election.
1970 13 0 0.15%
1973 The party did not run candidates in this election.
1976 NPDQ-RMS coalition 21 0 0.05%
1981 NPDQ The party did not run candidates in this election.
1985 90 0 2.42%
1989 55 0 1.22%
1994 41 0 0.85%
1998 PDS 97 0 0.59%


During the 2006 Convention of the federal NDP, held in Quebec City, the idea of recreating the NPDQ was brought up. However, the idea failed to win support at the New Democratic Party-Quebec Section's convention in November 2006 in Saint-Jérôme.

Following the 2011 federal election, during which the NDP achieved a historic breakthrough in Quebec, federal NDP leader and former Quebec cabinet minister Thomas Mulcair announced the party intended to run candidates in time for the next general election, then scheduled for 2016.[9]

Federal NDP riding associations in Quebec asked their executive members to step down from their positions if they intended to run as candidates in the September 4, 2012 Quebec provincial election.

On January 30, 2014 the Directeur général des élections du Québec registered the New Democratic Party of Quebec as a provincial political party.[10] Former federal NDP leadership candidate and federal and Gatineau municipal election candidate Pierre Ducasse was listed as the party leader.[11]

Leaders of the NPD-Québec/Parti de la Democratie Socialiste[edit]

Original NPDQ

PDS (not affiliated with NDP)


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Nouveau Parti démocratique du Québec". DGE. Retrieved March 5, 2014. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Picard, Andre, "Quebec NDP opts for autonomy," Globe and Mail, May 1, 1989
  4. ^ Canadian Press, "Federal NDP breaks with Quebec wing," Kitchener-Waterloo Record, March 13, 1991
  5. ^ Morin, Eloise, "NDP candidate urged to quit", Toronto Star, July 26, 1990
  6. ^ York, Geoffrey, "NDP breaks link to Quebec wing Alignment with Bloc Quebecois brings split with federal party," Globe and Mail, March 12, 1991
  7. ^ Harper, Tim, "Quebec NDP outrages McLaughlin," Toronto Star, December 12, 1991
  8. ^ Canadian Press, "McLaughlin distances party from ex-terrorist," Hamilton Spectator, December 12, 1991
  9. ^ NDP coming to Quebec for next election The Globe and Mail, August 17, 2012
  10. ^ Deschamps, Richard, There's now a Quebec version of the NDP, CJAD 800 AM, February 4, 2014
  11. ^ RAPEQ - Nouveau Parti démocratique du Québec, Directeur général des élections du Québec (last visited 6 February 2014).

External links[edit]