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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

New Democratic Party
Nouveau Parti démocratique
Leader Jack Layton
President Peggy Nash
Founded June 17, 1961
Incorporated CCF and CLC
Headquarters 300 - 279 Laurier Avenue
Ottawa, Ontario
K1P 5J9
Ideology Social democracy
Democratic Socialism
International affiliation Socialist International
Seats in the House of Commons 37/308
Seats in the Senate 0/105
Politics of Canada
Political parties

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 leader of the federal NDP is Jack Layton. 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.

The New Democratic Party began as the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation, a democratic socialist movement.


Principles, policies and electoral achievement

The NDP grew from populist, agrarian and democratic socialist roots. While the party is secular and pluralistic, it has a longstanding relationship with the Christian left and the Social Gospel movement, particularly the United Church of Canada. However, the federal party has broadened to include concerns of the New Left, which advocates issues such as gay rights, peace, and environmental protection.

New Democrats today advocate, among other things

The NDP has never formed the federal government, but has at times wielded influence during federal minority governments, such as in the current 40th Parliament as well as the preceding 39th and (particularly) the 38th Parliaments of 2004-2008. The NDP also enjoyed considerable influence during the earlier minority Liberal governments of Lester B. Pearson and Pierre Trudeau, due to being a large enough group to decide outcomes when the others are split. Provincial New Democratic Parties, technically sections of the federal party, have governed in half the provinces and a territory. They currently govern the provinces of Manitoba and Nova Scotia, form the Official Opposition in British Columbia and Saskatchewan, and have sitting members in every provincial legislature except those of Quebec (where there is no provincial NDP), New Brunswick (although the New Brunswick NDP had an elected member until 2006) and Prince Edward Island. They have previously formed governments in the provinces of Ontario, Saskatchewan and British Columbia, and in the Yukon Territory. The NDP also formed the official opposition in Alberta during the 1980s.

The New Democrats are also active municipally, and have been elected mayors, councillors, and school and service board members — Toronto mayor David Miller is a leading example, although he did not renew his membership in 2007. Similarly, current Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson began his political career as the NDP MLA for Vancouver-Fairview. Most municipal office-holders in Canada are usually elected as independents or with autonomous municipal parties.


Provincial and territorial wings

Campaign sign for a federal NDP candidate in the riding of Kelowna—Lake Country, British Columbia

Unlike most other Canadian parties, the NDP is integrated with its provincial and territorial parties. Membership lists are maintained by the provinces and territories. Being a member of a provincial or territorial section of the NDP includes automatic membership in the federal party. This precludes a person from supporting different parties at the federal and provincial levels. A key example of this was Buzz Hargrove's expulsion by the Ontario New Democratic Party after he backed Liberal leader Paul Martin in the 2006 federal election.

There are three exceptions. In Nunavut and in the Northwest Territories, whose territorial legislatures have non-partisan consensus governments, the federal NDP is promoted by its riding associations, since each territory is composed of only one federal riding.

In Quebec, the New Democratic Party of Quebec and the federal NDP agreed in 1989 to sever their structural ties after the Quebec party adopted the sovereigntist platform. Since then, the federal NDP is not integrated with a provincial party in that province; instead, it has a section, the Nouveau Parti démocratique-Section Québec/New Democratic Party Quebec Section,[6] whose activities in the province are limited to the federal level, whereas on the provincial level its members are individually free to support or adhere to any party.

Provincial and territorial parties, current seats, and leaders
Party Seats/Total Leader
Alberta New Democratic Party 2/83 Brian Mason, MLA
New Democratic Party of British Columbia 35/85 Carole James, MLA, Leader of the Opposition
New Democratic Party of Manitoba 36/57 Hon. Greg Selinger, MLA, Premier of Manitoba
New Brunswick New Democratic Party 0/55 Roger Duguay
New Democratic Party of
Newfoundland and Labrador
1/48 Lorraine Michael, MHA
Nova Scotia New Democratic Party 32/52 Hon. Darrell Dexter, MLA, Premier of Nova Scotia
Ontario New Democratic Party 10/107 Andrea Horwath, MPP
Prince Edward Island New Democratic Party (P.E.I.) 0/27 James Rodd[7]
Saskatchewan New Democratic Party 20/58 Dwain Lingenfelter, MLA, Leader of the Opposition
Yukon New Democratic Party 2/18 Elizabeth Hanson

(Those current NDP government are in bold)

From 1963 to 1994, there was a New Democratic Party of Quebec.

Chart of the best showings for provincial parties, and the election that provided the results
Province/Territory Seats - Status Election years and party leaders at the time
Alberta 16 - Official Opposition 1986, Ray Martin; 1989, Ray Martin
British Columbia 51 - Government 1991, Michael Harcourt
Manitoba 36 - Government 2007, Gary Doer
New Brunswick 2 New Brunswick 1984 by-election, George Little
and Labrador
2 1987 by election Peter Fenwick ; 1999, 2003, Jack Harris
Nova Scotia 31 - Government 2009, Darrell Dexter
Ontario 74 - Government 1990, Bob Rae
Prince Edward Island 1 1996, Herb Dickieson
Quebec 1 1944, (CCF, David Côté)
Saskatchewan 55 - Government 1991, Roy Romanow
Yukon 11 - Government 1996, Piers McDonald

The most successful provincial section of the party has been the Saskatchewan New Democratic Party, which first came to power in 1944 as the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation under Tommy Douglas and has won most of the province's elections since then. In Canada, Tommy Douglas is often cited as the Father of Medicare since, as Saskatchewan Premier, he introduced Canada's first publicly funded, universal healthcare system there. Despite the continued success of the Saskatchewan branch of the party, the NDP was shut out of Saskatchewan in the 2004 federal election for the first time since the 1965 election. This is a trend that continued in the 2006 federal election, and yet again in the 2008 federal election. The New Democratic Party has also formed government in Manitoba, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Ontario and in Yukon.

Current members of Parliament

Ed Broadbent and Jack Layton at a 2008 election rally in Toronto

The election of October 14, 2008, gave the NDP 37 seats; Twelve of its MPs are women; after the general election this represented 32% of its seats (down from 41% in 2006 where it had the highest proportion of women that has ever existed in a Canadian parliamentary caucus with official party status.) For a list of NDP MPs and their critic portfolios, see New Democratic Party Shadow Cabinet.

Senator Lillian Dyck initially chose to associate herself with the NDP upon her appointment to the Senate in 2005. However the party did not allow her to be part of the parliamentary caucus, as the NDP favours the abolition of the Canadian Senate. Dyck sat in the Senate as an Independent New Democrat from March 24, 2005 until January 15, 2009, when she joined the Liberal Party caucus.

40th Parliament - Currently sitting members

Federal leaders

# Picture Leader Started Ended Birth Death Ridings while leader
1 TommyDouglas-c1971-crop.jpg Thomas Clement "Tommy" Douglas August 3, 1961 April 23, 1971 October 20, 1904 February 24, 1986 Burnaby—Coquitlam, Nanaimo—Cowichan—The Islands, BC
2 DavidLewis1944.jpg David Lewis April 24, 1971 July 6, 1975 June 23, 1909 May 23, 1981 York South, ON
3 John Edward "Ed" Broadbent, PC, CC (2508360823) - cropped.jpg John Edward "Ed" Broadbent July 7, 1975 December 4, 1989 March 21, 1936 - Oshawa—Whitby, Oshawa, ON
4 Replace this image female.svg Audrey Marlene McLaughlin December 5, 1989 October 13, 1995 November 7, 1936 - Yukon, YK
5 Mcdonoughalexa.jpg Alexa Ann McDonough October 14, 1995 January 24, 2003 August 11, 1944 - Halifax, NS
6 Jack Layton-cr bl.jpg John Gilbert "Jack" Layton January 25, 2003 Incumbent Leader July 18, 1950 - Toronto—Danforth, ON

Federal election results 1962–2008

Highest values are bolded

Election Leader # of candidates # of seats won # of total votes  % of popular vote
1962 Tommy Douglas 217 19 1,044,754 13.57%
1963 Tommy Douglas 232 17 1,044,701 13.24%
1965 Tommy Douglas 255 21 1,381,658 17.91%
1968 Tommy Douglas 263 22 1,378,263 16.96%
1972 David Lewis 252 31 1,725,719 17.83%
1974 David Lewis 262 16 1,467,748 15.44%
1979 Ed Broadbent 282 26 2,048,988 17.88%
1980 Ed Broadbent 280 32 2,150,368 19.67%
1984 Ed Broadbent 282 30 2,359,915 18.81%
1988 Ed Broadbent 295 43 2,685,263 20.38%
1993 Audrey McLaughlin 294 9 933,688 6.88%
1997 Alexa McDonough 301 21 1,434,509 11.05%
2000 Alexa McDonough 298 13 1,093,748 8.51%
2004 Jack Layton 308 19 2,116,536 15.68%
2006 Jack Layton 308 29 2,589,597 17.48%
2008 Jack Layton 308 37 2,517,075 18.13%

See also


  1. ^ Penniman, Howard (1988). Canada at the polls, 1984: a study of the federal general elections. Duke University Press. pp. 218. ISBN 9780822308218. 
  2. ^ NDP platform pledges billions for child care, Globe and Mail, 28 September 2008
  3. ^ NDP | Jack Layton's speech on Canada's role in the world
  4. ^ Layton calls for referendum on abolishing Senate,, 5 November 2007
  5. ^ eNDProhibition - NDP Against the Drug War
  6. ^ Nouveau Parti Démocratique | Nouveau Parti Démocratique Section Québec
  7. ^ New Democratic Party of Prince Edward Island

External links


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



Wikipedia has an article on:


Proper noun

New Democratic Party


New Democratic Party

  1. (Canadian, politics) A Canadian political party which fields candidates in both provincial and federal elections, founded in 1961


  • (abbreviation): NDP

Derived terms

Related terms


  • French: Nouveau Parti démocratique

Simple English

The New Democratic Party (french: Nouveau Parti Démocratique) (commonly known as the NDP for short) is a political party in Canada. The party is considered to be on the left. The party has never been in power at the federal level.

The current party leader is Jack Layton.

Official website

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