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Old 05-07-2015, 08:08 AM
 
Location: northern Vermont - previously NM, WA, & MA
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I've been reading about the NDP election victory in Alberta, and my takeaway from that is essentially voters in Alberta broke up the establishment stronghold that conservatives and career politicians held in the province for some 40+ years. From an American point of view, it's hard for me to grasp what all the parties involved in provincial and federal politics in Canada are, considering we only have the two party establishment of Republicans and Democrats and any 3rd party is usually considered a fringe or a tiny minority. The ones I'm aware of in Canada are...

NDP
PC (Conservatives?)
Liberal
Parti Quebecois
Wildrose party

What is the primary difference between the NDP and the Liberals? What kind of impact does the Wildrose party have? Is it just internally within Alberta or do they have a presence in Ottawa as well? I know about the Parti Quebecois and understand that Quebec is large enough to have political clout on its own, is the Wildrose party considered a fringe party sort of like the PQ but on a smaller scale? Do the conservatives only have one party for representation or is there another party within that persuasion that is more extreme or moderate?

I'm a bit confused with how political parties are represented up there, and where these particular parties (did I miss any?) are most strongly represented. I'm also a bit envious that there are more than two primary political parties there, given our two party system in the US is dysfunctional and polarizing. Do multiple political parties cause more gridlock up there or just better overall representation?

Last edited by Desert_SW_77; 05-07-2015 at 08:29 AM..
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Old 05-07-2015, 08:22 AM
 
34,368 posts, read 41,455,107 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert_SW_77 View Post

What is the primary difference between the NDP and the Liberals?
Some interesting commentary on the differences=
What are the main differences between the NDP and the Liberal Party? : canada
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Old 05-07-2015, 08:24 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert_SW_77 View Post

What is the primary difference between the NDP and the Liberals? ?
I've heard the NDP referred to jokingly as simply ''impatient Liberals''.

The NDP are a social-democratic party and are members of Socialism International (L'Internationale socialiste) but they aren't hard-core socialists.

They aren't really inspired by them but they'd be more like the Socialist Party in France or Social-Democratic parties in much of continental Europe.

IMO they are to the left of the Labour party in the UK. (Canadian Liberals are more like the contemporary UK Labour I'd say.)

Hard to make exact comparisons but that's the best I can do.
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Old 05-07-2015, 08:26 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, Québec
21,938 posts, read 27,338,144 times
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I'd also add that many people are predicting an NDP-Liberal merger eventually if the Conservatives keep getting majorities because of the split of the left and centre-left vote.

The right in Canada was handicapped by a split of its own a decade or two ago and eventually merged and this broke the Liberals' stranglehold on power...

Now it's the other side of the spectrum that is split. The NDP was always there but never took enough votes and MPs away from the Liberals to keep them from winning. But now the NDP has grown stronger and you have a big split effect.
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Old 05-07-2015, 11:33 AM
 
Location: Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert_SW_77 View Post
I've been reading about the NDP election victory in Alberta, and my takeaway from that is essentially voters in Alberta broke up the establishment stronghold that conservatives and career politicians held in the province for some 40+ years. From an American point of view, it's hard for me to grasp what all the parties involved in provincial and federal politics in Canada are, considering we only have the two party establishment of Republicans and Democrats and any 3rd party is usually considered a fringe or a tiny minority. The ones I'm aware of in Canada are...

NDP
PC (Conservatives?)
Liberal
Parti Quebecois
Wildrose party

What is the primary difference between the NDP and the Liberals? What kind of impact does the Wildrose party have? Is it just internally within Alberta or do they have a presence in Ottawa as well? I know about the Parti Quebecois and understand that Quebec is large enough to have political clout on its own, is the Wildrose party considered a fringe party sort of like the PQ but on a smaller scale? Do the conservatives only have one party for representation or is there another party within that persuasion that is more extreme or moderate?

I'm a bit confused with how political parties are represented up there, and where these particular parties (did I miss any?) are most strongly represented. I'm also a bit envious that there are more than two primary political parties there, given our two party system in the US is dysfunctional and polarizing. Do multiple political parties cause more gridlock up there or just better overall representation?
In the United States, your state parties mirror your federal parties. This isn't necessarily the case in Canada! There are parties at the federal level with no provincial equivalents, and provincial parties with no Federal equivalents. Provincial parties that share a name with federal parties are sometimes only loosely associated with Federal Parties, and can differ with them significantly, especially over local provincial interests. The BC Liberal party, for example, is in a basically two party ecosystem with the BC NDP, and so a sort of natural left-right spectrum has developed between them with the Liberals on the centre-right, while the federal party is thought of as centre-left. Sometimes parties die at the Federal level, but their provincial parties continue to live on at provincial levels (like the defunct Progressive Conservative Party of Canada, there are still plenty of Provincial PC parties, even though the Federal one no longer exists). That's another difference, in Canada new parties are born and die fairly regularly. So, here's a breakdown.

In Alberta, this election, here were the players.

The Alberta Progressive Conservative Party, a centre-right party in the Red Tory tradition. They're the one that was a dynasty
The Wildrose Party, which has no federal equivalent and is a unique provincial party. They're a right wing party, only their second election, made up of disaffected PCs, they've formed the Official Opposition.
The Alberta NDP, a social democratic party, but more centrist then in other provinces and federally. They formed a majority government.
The Alberta Party - Centrist, but I'm not really sure what differentiates them from the Liberals. They won one seat.
The Alberta Liberals - decidedly centrist, they also won one seat, were a larger force in previous elections.

Federally here are the parties.

The Conservative Party of Canada, a big tent conservative party formed in 2000 by a merger of the federal Progressive Conservative Party, and the Reform and Alliance parties which were federal only political parties. They currently have a majority government.
Canada's NDP, the current official opposition. They won big last election but have historically been a third party. They're third again in the polls right now to a resurgent Liberals, but only by about 7 points, they could make a comeback. Social Democrats.
The Liberal Party of Canada, they're a centre-left, and the oldest surviving party. They're the third party right now but have formed government the most often.
The Bloc Quebecois - This party is a federal only party made up of Quebec separatists with the goal of furthering Quebec sovereignty through actions at the federal level, and with the goal of lobbying for Quebec's interests at the federal level. They aren't officially an arm of the most powerful of the provincial separatist parties, the Parti Quebecois. They were nearly wiped out by the NDP in Quebec last election which was a real upset, they went from I think 47 seats to 4, and the NDP went from one 1 seat in the province to 58.
The Green Party of Canada, a centrist, in the early days actually centre right but now probably more centre left, environmentalist party. They currently have 2 seats.
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Old 05-07-2015, 11:42 AM
 
Location: Vernon, British Columbia
3,019 posts, read 2,694,205 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert_SW_77 View Post
I've been reading about the NDP election victory in Alberta, and my takeaway from that is essentially voters in Alberta broke up the establishment stronghold that conservatives and career politicians held in the province for some 40+ years. From an American point of view, it's hard for me to grasp what all the parties involved in provincial and federal politics in Canada are, considering we only have the two party establishment of Republicans and Democrats and any 3rd party is usually considered a fringe or a tiny minority. The ones I'm aware of in Canada are...

NDP
PC (Conservatives?)
Liberal
Parti Quebecois
Wildrose party

What is the primary difference between the NDP and the Liberals? What kind of impact does the Wildrose party have? Is it just internally within Alberta or do they have a presence in Ottawa as well? I know about the Parti Quebecois and understand that Quebec is large enough to have political clout on its own, is the Wildrose party considered a fringe party sort of like the PQ but on a smaller scale? Do the conservatives only have one party for representation or is there another party within that persuasion that is more extreme or moderate?

I'm a bit confused with how political parties are represented up there, and where these particular parties (did I miss any?) are most strongly represented. I'm also a bit envious that there are more than two primary political parties there, given our two party system in the US is dysfunctional and polarizing. Do multiple political parties cause more gridlock up there or just better overall representation?
If you look at American history you will see that there have not always been the two main parties we see now.

To start with the basics, we do not elect the executive branch of the government. Instead we elect the legislative members, and the leader of the party with the most members becomes the Premier of the province (or Prime Minister federally). When the largest party doesn't have a majority of the seats, the other parties can technically for a coalition and the government, but I'm not sure if that has ever happened in Canada.

In Canada there were traditionally two main parties (Liberals and Conservatives (then Progressive Conservatives, then Conservatives again federally)), but you must understand that federal and province (regional) politics are quite different. For example, we have the separatists in Quebec who have managed to take most of the Quebec seats federally a number of times. This is quite significant since Quebec makes up almost a quarter of Canada's population.

Another regional party that rose on the scene was the CCF (Co-operative Commonwealth Federation) that started in Saskatchewan in the Great Depression under Tommy Douglas. This party later became the New Democratic Party (NDP), and have always been at least third fiddle in Canadian politics until last election where they became the "official opposition" (the party with the second most seats in Parliament).

Provincially, the NDP (or CCF) has been able to form government in most provinces from time to time, but never in Alberta, BUT that's not entirely true because it was 80 years ago that the socialists were thrown out of power in Alberta when the socialist leaning United Farmer's party was defeated by a new upstart conservative party called Social Credit. Social credit was later replaced by another conservative party 36 years later, the Progressive Conservatives.

Social Credit is another interesting political dynasty in provincial politics that has gone into the dustbin of history. They started in Alberta, but moved into other provinces as well. In my province, BC, they came into power in the 1980s. Social Credit was very much a socially conservative movement, and I remember back around 1990 when abortion was a huge political issue. The Social Credit premier of BC, Bill Vander Zalm (or Bill Vander Scam as I call him) destroyed the party by both going hard on social issues (being a conservative Catholic) and by getting caught in a conflict of interest over selling Fantasy Gardens.

The NDP annihilated Social Credit in the next election, and to make a long story short all the Social Credit party members eventually jumped ship, and took over the Liberal Party. This forced left leaning liberals to leave the liberal party as they were overwhelmed by the new conservative members of the party. The BC Liberals are a coalition of federal Conservatives and federal liberals on the right flank of the party.

This highlights one major difference between Liberals and NDPers. While the left flank of the Liberal party is more aligned with NDP, the right flank of the Liberal party is much closer aligned with the Conservatives than the NDP. This is why many Liberal supporters would rather vote Conservative than NDP.

Onto Alberta politics again. Any party of any stripe that is in power for 40 years will start to feel entitled and will allow corruption to take place. Voters will start to get tired of this. Enter the Wildrose party. Since Alberta is conservative, the conservative minded voters fed up with a tired old conservative party are not going to look left for an alternative. Wildrose came out of nowhere to be that alternative.

In the last provincial election Wildrose was leading in the polls, but their support collapsed at the end giving the PCs yet another majority government. Then most of the Wildrose elected members defected including the leader, Danielle Smith. Had she not defect, she would probably have been the Premier today.

Voters were even more furious this time around with the governing PCs than last time, but they were feeling quite bitter about those Wildrose defections, and thus many went to the NDP as a last resort. Even still the PC + Wildrose votes were much higher than the NDP's vote totals.

Last edited by Glacierx; 05-07-2015 at 11:58 AM..
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Old 05-07-2015, 11:55 AM
 
1,691 posts, read 1,656,418 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIMBAM View Post
Federally here are the parties.

The Conservative Party of Canada, a big tent conservative party formed in 2000 by a merger of the federal Progressive Conservative Party, and the Reform and Alliance parties which were federal only political parties. They currently have a majority government.
Canada's NDP, the current official opposition. They won big last election but have historically been a third party. They're third again in the polls right now to a resurgent Liberals, but only by about 7 points, they could make a comeback. Social Democrats.
The Liberal Party of Canada, they're a centre-left, and the oldest surviving party. They're the third party right now but have formed government the most often.
The Bloc Quebecois - This party is a federal only party made up of Quebec separatists with the goal of furthering Quebec sovereignty through actions at the federal level, and with the goal of lobbying for Quebec's interests at the federal level. They aren't officially an arm of the most powerful of the provincial separatist parties, the Parti Quebecois. They were nearly wiped out by the NDP in Quebec last election which was a real upset, they went from I think 47 seats to 4, and the NDP went from one 1 seat in the province to 58.
The Green Party of Canada, a centrist, in the early days actually centre right but now probably more centre left, environmentalist party. They currently have 2 seats.
Perfect summary. There are also scads of smaller parties that receive minuscule numbers of votes: The Maxist-Leninist, Communist, Marijuana, Natural Law (don't know if they still exist), and so on. The big 4, the NDP, Conservatives, Liberals and Greens tend to run candidates in almost every riding (district) while those small parties run wherever they can find candidates foolhardy enough to do so. If I had to guess at hardcore bases of support, I would put it at:

Conservatives: 35-40%
Liberal/NDP: 45-50%
Green: 3-7%
BQ: 6-8%

It's hard to separate the Liberal and NDP because they've been cannibalizing each other for several elections now, allowing the Conservatives to win. The Greens have tended to peel of Liberal/NDP votes too - that's certainly the case with me.
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Old 05-07-2015, 12:12 PM
 
Location: Vernon, British Columbia
3,019 posts, read 2,694,205 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by db108108 View Post
It's hard to separate the Liberal and NDP because they've been cannibalizing each other for several elections now, allowing the Conservatives to win. The Greens have tended to peel of Liberal/NDP votes too - that's certainly the case with me.
That's not true. Vote splitting is a sorry ass loser excuse for losing. There's a liberal website that crunches the numbers that shows because many Liberal and even some NDP supporters have the Conservatives as their second choice, a merger would give the Conservatives an even stronger majority. I'll dig it up later when I have the time. For now, his an NDPer writing about what a lame excuse vote splitting is for losing...


Quote:
Terry Glavin [an NDP supporter]: Some fresh voices in the B.C. Legislature would be a good thing

May 7, 2013. 2:37 pm

It seems like only yesterday that the smart money was on a slam-dunk win for Adrian Dix’s New Democrats at the May 14 polls. Now, with every passing day, it looks like it’s going to be a horse race with Christy Clark’s Liberals. With so many electable Greens and Independents in the running, New Democrats are starting to go all hoarse-voiced about the spectre of a vote-splitting debacle that lets the Liberals to slip back into office.

There are a couple of things to keep in mind here. For one, we’ve heard these scare stories before. For another, what would be so bad about waking up May 15 to find that we’ve elected a few high-calibre MLAs not beholden to either Dix or Clark? We’re not electing an emir or a khan here. We’re electing a legislature.

The last time a vote-splitting bogeyman stampeded voters in B.C. was in last November’s Victoria byelection to replace popular NDP MP Denise Savoie. The decent but hapless Conservative candidate Dale Gann loped along in the low teens from the campaign’s start to its finish. But that didn’t stop NDP campaigners from browbeating Green voters about how they were foolishly guarantying a Conservative victory....
Terry Glavin: Some fresh voices in the B.C. Legislature would be a good thing | The Province

Here is another link: http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.c...doesnt-add-up/

EDIT: here is the link I was looking for: http://thecanadianpoliticalscene.blo...saster-in.html

Quote:
Getting down to the nitty-gritty, an Environics post-election survey suggests that only 21% of Liberal voters supported the idea of a Liberal-NDP merger. Not to mention that other polls have suggested that the bulk of both the Liberal and NDP voters listed Conservative as their second choice on the ballot.

Last edited by Glacierx; 05-07-2015 at 12:30 PM..
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Old 05-07-2015, 12:48 PM
 
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
2,540 posts, read 3,270,013 times
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To the original poster.

As you can see so far, Canadian politics is way more flexible than the US model is.....

A further marked difference is the number of female leaders in both Provincial and Federal parties, past and present. If I remember correctly, at one time in the recent past, five out of the 10 Provincial Premiers were women, and the current Ontario Premier, Kathleen Wynn is a self described lesbian, who won a majority in the last election.

Canadians have a long history of "voting parties out of power " as opposed to "voting a party into power ".

With 330 seats in the recently re-organised Federal Parliament, the individual electoral districts can be huge, as each one is supposed to have "about 135,000 people in it ". In northern Ontario, one electoral district is about the same size in square mile area as Florida. Our smallest Province, Prince Edward Island , has a total population of only 145,000 people in it, but it has 4 seats in Parliament. Ontario and Quebec have the largest number of seats, which relates to the population of them.


About a Federal coalition Government. This has happened in the past.. where a general election was held and no one Federal party won a clear majority of the seats in Parliament. The solution is for the two parties with the most elected Members of Parliament to form a co-operative Government, with Cabinet Ministers from both parties, and select a Prime Minister, to lead the coalition. Not surprisingly, a coalition Government can work, as long as both parties are willing to "give and take " equally in how they draft and move legislation in The House.

Don't fall into the trap of trying to assign "American ideology " to Canadian politics. Its a different system, and it works for us. The key in my own opinion, is to remember HOW Canada became a nation..........Not by a bloody war of rebellion but by an Act Of Parliament , in July of 1867. No civil war, no murders of political leaders, no race riots, no lynching.

Jim B.
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Old 05-07-2015, 03:37 PM
 
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The Wildrose Party allowed for a split in the conservative vote which allowed the NDP to do much better than they should have. As I posted elsewhere, the NDP only received more votes than the PCs and WRP combined in 26 ridings, in one case only by one vote. The majority of these ridings were in Edmonton. Overall the NDP did best in urban areas, where the population tends more non-Albertan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert_SW_77 View Post
I've been reading about the NDP election victory in Alberta, and my takeaway from that is essentially voters in Alberta broke up the establishment stronghold that conservatives and career politicians held in the province for some 40+ years. From an American point of view, it's hard for me to grasp what all the parties involved in provincial and federal politics in Canada are, considering we only have the two party establishment of Republicans and Democrats and any 3rd party is usually considered a fringe or a tiny minority. The ones I'm aware of in Canada are...

NDP
PC (Conservatives?)
Liberal
Parti Quebecois
Wildrose party

What is the primary difference between the NDP and the Liberals? What kind of impact does the Wildrose party have? Is it just internally within Alberta or do they have a presence in Ottawa as well? I know about the Parti Quebecois and understand that Quebec is large enough to have political clout on its own, is the Wildrose party considered a fringe party sort of like the PQ but on a smaller scale? Do the conservatives only have one party for representation or is there another party within that persuasion that is more extreme or moderate?

I'm a bit confused with how political parties are represented up there, and where these particular parties (did I miss any?) are most strongly represented. I'm also a bit envious that there are more than two primary political parties there, given our two party system in the US is dysfunctional and polarizing. Do multiple political parties cause more gridlock up there or just better overall representation?
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