Portal:Canadian politics

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The Politics of Canada Portal

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The politics of Canada function within a framework of parliamentary democracy and a federal system of parliamentary government with strong democratic traditions. Canada is a constitutional monarchy, in which the monarch is head of state. In practice, the executive powers is directed by the Cabinet, a committee of ministers of the Crown responsible to the elected House of Commons of Canada and chosen and headed by the Prime Minister of Canada.

Canada is described as a "full democracy", with a tradition of liberalism, and a moderate, centrist political ideology. Far-right and far-left politics have never been a prominent force in Canadian society. Peace, order, and good government are stated goals of the Canadian government. An emphasis on social justice has been a distinguishing element of Canada's political culture. Canada has placed emphasis on equality and inclusiveness for all its people.

The country has a multi-party system in which many of its legislative practices derive from the unwritten conventions of and precedents set by the Westminster parliament of the United Kingdom. The two dominant political parties in Canada have historically been the Liberal Party of Canada and the Conservative Party of Canada (or its predecessors) however, the social democratic New Democratic Party (NDP) has risen to prominence and even threatened to upset the two other established parties during the 2011 federal election. Smaller parties like the Quebec nationalist Bloc Québécois and the Green Party of Canada have also been able to exert their own influence over the political process.

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John A Macdonald election poster 1891.jpg
The following article provides a summary of results for the general (all seats contested) elections to the House of Commons, the elected lower half of Canada's federal bicameral legislative body, the Parliament of Canada. The number of seats has increased steadily over time, from 180 for the first election to the current total of 308. The current federal government structure was established in 1867 by the Constitution Act.

For federal by-elections (for one or a few seats as a result of retirement, etc.) see List of federal by-elections in Canada. For the eight general elections of the Province of Canada held in 1843 to 1864 before confederation in 1867, see List of elections in the Province of Canada. There were also earlier elections in Canada, such as for the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada (held in 1792–1836, now part of Ontario) and the Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada (held in 1792–1834, now part of Quebec).

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Tommy Douglas, NDP leader 1961-1971
The New Democratic Party (French: Nouveau Parti démocratique), commonly referred to as the NDP, is a social democratic political party in Canada. The party is regarded as falling on the left in the Canadian political spectrum.[1] The provincial NDP parties in Manitoba and Nova Scotia currently form the government in those provinces, and provincial parties have previously formed governments in British Columbia, Ontario, Saskatchewan and in the Yukon.

In 1956, after the birth of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) by a merger of two previous labour congresses, negotiations began between the CLC and the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) to bring about an alliance between organized labour and the political left in Canada. In 1958 a joint CCF-CLC committee, the National Committee for the New Party (NCNP), was formed to create a "new" social democratic political party, with ten members from each group. The NCNP spent the next three years laying down the foundations of the New Party. During this process, a large number of New Party Clubs were established to allow like-minded Canadians to join in its founding, and six representatives from New Party Clubs were added to the National Committee. In 1961, at the end of a five-day long Founding Convention which established its principles, policies and structures, the New Democratic Party was born and Tommy Douglas, the long-time CCF Premier of Saskatchewan, was elected its first leader. In 1960, before the NDP was founded, one candidate, Walter Pitman, won a by-election under the New Party banner.

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Prime Ministers of Canada to 1963.jpg
"Canada's Prime Ministers from 1867 to 1967

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Agnes Macphail - PA-165870.jpg
Agnes Campbell Macphail (March 24, 1890 – February 13, 1954) was the first woman to be elected to the Canadian House of Commons, and one of the first two women elected to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. Active throughout her life in progressive Canadian politics, Macphail worked for two separate parties and promoted her ideas through column-writing, activist organizing, and legislation.

As a radical member of the Progressive Party, Macphail joined the socialist Ginger Group, faction of the Progressive Party that later led to the formation of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF). She became the first president of the Ontario CCF in 1932. However, she left the CCF in 1934 when the United Farmers of Ontario pulled out due to fears of Communist influence in the Ontario CCF. While Macphail was no longer formally a CCF member, she remained close to the CCF MPs and often participated in caucus meetings. The CCF did not run candidates against Macphail in her three subsequent federal campaigns. Out of office, she wrote agricultural columns for the Globe and Mail newspaper in Toronto. Following a family tragedy in her home town, Macphail moved to the Toronto suburb of East York, Ontario and rejoined the Ontario CCF in 1942 becoming its farm organizer.

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Canadian politics category

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The Canadian federal election of 1911 was held on September 21 to elect members of the Canadian House of Commons of the 12th Parliament of Canada. It brought an end to fifteen years of government by the Liberal Party of Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier. The election was fought over the issues of free trade with the United States, and the creation of a Canadian navy. The Conservatives formed a majority government under Robert Borden.

The Liberal government was caught up in a debate over the naval arms race between the British Empire and Germany. Laurier attempted a compromise by starting up the Canadian Navy, but this failed to appease either the French and English Canadians; the former who refused giving any aid, while the latter suggested sending money directly to Britain. After the election, the Conservatives drew up a bill for naval contributions to the British, but it was held up by a lengthy Liberal filibuster before being passed by invoking closure, then it was struck down by the Liberal-controlled Senate.

Many English-Canadians in Alberta, and the Maritimes felt that Laurier was abandoning Canada's traditional links to the United Kingdom. On the other side, Quebec nationalist Henri Bourassa, having earlier quit the Liberal Party over what he considered the government's pro-British policies, campaigned against Laurier in that province. Ironically, Bourassa's attacks on Laurier in Quebec aided in the election of the Conservatives, who held more staunchly Imperialist policies than the Liberals.
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  1. ^ Penniman, Howard (1988). Canada at the polls, 1984: a study of the federal general elections. Duke University Press. p. 218. ISBN 9780822308218.