Political party is a term you may have come across online, on television, or on the radio. But what exactly is a political party? Is it a string of secret underground parties where politicians dance the night away? Sadly, it isn't one great party. It is a significant system that not only affects our communities, but our entire country. In the Canadian Parliament, there are hundreds of MPs (Members of Parliament) that are grouped together by their shared ideas, goals, and concerns for the country.
These groups are defined as political parties. Currently, in Canada, we have numerous political parties such as: The Conservative Party of Canada, The Liberal Party, and The New Democratic Party (NDP). The largest political party is the one that holds the most power and has the most MPs. Currently, the Prime Minister, Stephen Harper’s party (The Conservative Party of Canada), has the majority of seats which makes him the Prime Minister. This results in what is referred to as a majority government. This is a beneficial position that most parties want to be in because of the power it gives you. Basically, it’s like if you were trying to be elected to your school’s student council, you would be more confident and likely to be elected if you have more friends than your opponent. As long as the MPs keep agreeing on ideas, social issues, and possible changes they want to focus on, their concerns can always be at the top of the list. In an election, the leader of the political party who gets the most votes will become the Prime Minister. If they also have the most MPs elected, the power is very much in their favour. Someone trying to be elected as an MP is usually already in a political party, so people voting for them would easily know their views.
To learn more about Political Parties and read James' interview with Cabinet Minister Tony Clement pick up our current issue of Voice K magazine.