Politics can hard to understand for an ordinary person, many people don’t even know what is the difference between main political parties in Canada. There are numerous articles and videos on this topic, but here MapleDude.Ca will try to explain everything in simple words.
There are 15 officially registered federal political parties in Canada as of 2019 (source – elections.ca), this list even includes Marijuana Party, but two
major Canadian parties are: Liberal Party of Canada and Conservative Party of Canada.
Those two hold the most of the seats in local and federal government.
New Democratic Party, Bloc Québécois and Green Party of Canada are important parties as well, but in this article we going to cover only Liberals and Conservatives because Canadian political system is mostly a two-party system, same as in The United States and The United Kingdom. One confusing thing though, in The U.S. red color represents Republican Party, which has mostly conservative views, and the blue color represents Democratic Party with liberal views. Hard to say who got it backwards, but in Canada red associated with liberals and socialists, and blue is the color of the conservative party.
Where the parties stand on key issues?
Here is a picture which describes main differences between liberals and conservatives regarding some political questions and issues.
This is a simplified overview of a Canadian columnist and media commentator J.J. McCullough, but it gives a good overall picture.
Generally speaking views of Canadian Conservative party are close to American Republicans in many ways, and Canadian Liberals are similar to American Democrats, although there are some important differences. All Canadian parties are more left sided then parties with similar names in Europe and America. For instance in Canada both major parties support multiculturalism and immigration, both of them don’t want to change much current Canadian healthcare system.
It is important to note that any generalization is not 100% accurate, there are people in any party with different views and a party today is different from the same party 10, 20 and 50 years ago. Also there are people with farther right or farther left views in both parties and there are some party members with “flexible positions”.
Conservative Party Of Canada
Canadian conservatives (also knows as Tories) founded their organization not long ago in 2003, it is a merger of Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservatives. They don’t support high taxes and regulations for business and individuals, but because they oppose budget deficit and government debt, often they would cut expenses, which causes a negative reaction. As their American colleges they oppose climate change to support basic economic industries such as manufacturing and oil companies, although they wouldn’t deny it completely.
They are tough on crime and on Islamic radicalism, but it doesn’t mean they would behave like Trump with his bans and immigration restrictions.
Conservatives protect gun rights, however in Canada law is very different from The U.S. when it comes to gun control, it is already quite strict (which makes Canada much safer than the U.S.).
Conservatives respect Canadians history, but many of them count history from the time Europeans came to America, so events like the First and second World War and veterans are highly honored by them.
Usually their voters are from rural areas and small towns. They are more likely to be older than those who vote for liberals.
Conservatives either very poor, or very rich, middle class often chose liberals, but it is not always the case.
Historically immigrants weren’t their fans, but in recent years it changed due to many newcomers from countries like Poland, Ukraine, China, Iran, Syria where people have somewhat conservative mentality. It is even ironic, but these days many new immigrants vote for Conservatives because of their support of traditional values.
Liberal Party Of Canada
Some people might think that Liberals are just the opposite of Conservatives and when it comes to certain issues it is true.
Liberal views are close to socialists. They increase government spending and they are not afraid of a budget deficit. With Liberal government minimum wages go up, welfare is rising as well as the salaries of government and public workers. They claim to support those in need, especially when it comes to visible minorities.
Liberals see the climate change as a big and important issue, so they take a strong stand on the international and domestic on this topic.
They see current crime and punishment system as something which might need a reform, because they point out that many criminals are not becalming better in any way after a hard and long prison time, especially if they committed a minor violation.
Internationally Canadian liberals are very famous for their LGBT support and for the recent marijuana legalization. It was their government when Canada passed those laws which changed country a lot. Liberals believe in equality for all ethic and religious groups. Gender rights and the question of Native American people are important problems for them.
Their voters are usually young, well educated and from middle class. Also their policies attract minorities and immigrants, but as we mentioned before immigrants are not always vote for them, although it is the Liberals who make immigration to Canada easier and faster process.
Who should i vote for?
There is a fun website called isidewith.com, they have many political quizzes where you going to be asked a few questions online and after that you’ll see a recommended party which suits you.
Here is the quiz for Canadian politics for 2019, give it a try, it might surprise you. I thought of myself as a conservative, but after answering all questions i found out that i am actually for NDP:
That’s it for today.
MapleDude.Ca is not a professional political website, it is more like a college paper, that is why we covered everything very briefly and not very deeply. You can find a more detailed explanation of Canadian parties with their views in this guide by ottawacitizen.com. It would take a long time to review other Canadian political parties or to do a better overview of Liberals and Democrats, so we might do it some other time.