Canadian Federally Registered Political Parties
Canada's political system is varied and exciting. Canada is a constitutional monarchy that utilizes a federal system of parliamentary government modeled on the United Kingdom's Westminster parliament with some homegrown variations of course.
In Canada citizens of the age of 18 and older can vote in federal elections once registered as a voter. At present there are only two people in Canada who cannot vote and they are the Chief Electoral Officer, and the Deputy Chief Electoral Officer.
Canadian elections and political parties are overseen by Elections Canada. Elections Canada is an independent agency that reports directly to the Canadian Parliament.
According to the Canada Elections Act a political party is defined as, "an organization one of whose fundamental purposes is to participate in public affairs by endorsing one or more of its members as candidates and supporting their election."
To qualify as a federally registered political party in Canada, the political party must adhere to Elections Canada guidelines as stipulated under the Canada Elections Act. Under the Elections Act, to be considered a federally registered political party, the eligible party must have meet all legal requirements including the signed membership declarations of 250 members and it must have endorsed one or more confirmed candidates for a general election or by-election.
Below you will find information on every federally registered political party in Canada whether they currently hold seats in the House of Commons or not.
The Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party of Canada was founded in 2005 and the current leader is Liz White. Their headquarters are in Toronto Ontario and currently hold no seats, nor historically have they ever won a seat in the House of Commons. "Animal Alliance of Canada is committed to the protection of all animals and the promotion of a harmonious relationship among people, animals and the environment." View their official website at - www.animalalliance.ca
The Bloc Quebecois are a centre-left party that is devoted to the goal of sovereignty for Quebec. It only runs candidates in Quebec and does currently have seats in Parliament. Founded in 1991 the current party leader is Daniel Paille who replaced Gilles Duceppe. The party headquarters are in Montreal Quebec. Visit their official website at www.blocquebecois.org.
Canadian Action Party
Former federal defence minister Paul Hellyer founded the Canadian Action Party in 1997. The current party leader is Christopher Porter, and they have their headquarters in St. Croix, Nova Scotia. CAP currently does not have any members of Parliament, nor have they had any elected in the past. The Canadian Action Party is a nationalist party and their website can be found at www.canadianactionparty.ca
Christian Heritage Party
Looking for Canada to be governed according to biblical teachings, the Christian Heritage Party of Canada was founded in 1987. The current leader of the party is Jim Hnatiuk, and the headquarters for the party is located in Ottawa Ontario. The CHP has not won any seats in Parliament in its history. Visit the CHP website at www.chp.ca
Communist Party of Canada
Even though the Communist Party of Canada has no seats in the federal Parliament, it has been able to influence through the courts Canada's electoral laws, making them more democratic and inclusive. The Communist Party of Canada's leader is Miguel Figueroa, and the party was founded in May 1921. Party headquarters are in Toronto Ontario and the official website can be found at www.communist-party.ca
Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada as it is known for official election purposes, prefers the party be called CPC-ML - Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist). Founded in 1970, the party has no seats in the Canadian House of Commons and is headquartered in Montreal Quebec. Visit the official site at www.mlpc.ca
Conservative Party of Canada
The Conservative Party of Canada is a creation of the merger of both the Canadian Alliance and the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada. The merger of the parties took place in December 2003 after the Conservative Party Agreement-in-Principle between the current Prime Minister Stephen Harper (then leader of the CA), and Peter MacKay (then leader of the Progressive Conservative Party). The party currently forms the government of Canada in a majority position. Party headquarters are in Ottawa Ontario, and the party's official website is www.conservative.ca.
First Peoples National Party
Advancing the issues of the Aboriginal peoples in Canada, the First Peoples National Party of Canada, or FPNPC, was founded in 2005. The party nominates candidates in ridings with large Aboriginal populations, but have yet to win a seat in the House of Commons. The party headquarters are in Sault Ste. Marie Ontario. Visit the official website at www.fpnpoc.ca
Green Party of Canada
The largest of the federally registered political parties without seats in the House of Commons, the Green Party of Canada was founded in 1983 around a green platform. The current party leader is Elizabeth May, and the party headquarters are in Ottawa Ontario. The Greens try to run candidates in every riding during the federal elections. In 2008 the Green Party received 940,747 total votes but won no seats. In 2011 the Green Party won its very first seat when Elizabeth May won the riding of Saanich-Gulf Islands. The official site for the Green Party can be found at www.greenparty.ca
Liberal Party of Canada
Canada's oldest continuously running federal political party is the Liberal Party of Canada. Founded July 1, 1867, the Liberal Party has often been the party to lead Canada. This centre-left party has its headquarters in Ottawa Ontario, and is currently the Official Opposition in the Canadian Parliament. The interim Leader of the Liberal Party is Bob Rae, who replaced Michael Ignatieff after the 2011 federal election. The official website can be found at www.liberal.ca
The Libertarian Party of Canada was founded in 1975 and is headquartered in Embrun Ontario. Adhering to libertarian tenets the party has yet to win any seats in the House of Commons. The party leader is Jean-Serge Brisson and the official website is www.libertarian.ca
With a goal to end the prohibition of cannabis, Marc-Boris St-Maurice founded the Marijuana Party of Canada in 2000. The current party leader is Blair T. Longley, and the party headquarters are in Osoyoos British Columbia. The Marijuana Party does not have seats in the House of Commons but has been instrumental in changing Canada's electoral laws. The party website is www.marijuanaparty.ca
New Democratic Party
The New Democratic Party, which was founded on June 17, 1961, currently holds seats in the House of Commons and forms the governments of Manitoba and Saskatchewan. The federal NDP are a centre-left party lead by Thomas Mulcair who won the leadership campaign after the death of their former leader Jack Layton. The party headquarters are in Ottawa Ontario. Visit the federal NDP website at www.ndp.ca
Progressive Canadian Party
Members of the former Progressive Conservative Party of Canada who opposed the party merger with the Canadian Alliance founded the Progressive Canadian Party in March 2004. The Progressive Conservative Party of Canada, or PC Party, currently has no seats in Parliament and is lead by Sinclair Stevens. The party headquarters are in Toronto Ontario. The PC Party official website is www.progressivecanadian.org