in canada there are political parties much like in australia. we owe much to the british for the general construction of the political process, and on the surface it appears that we owe them much for the general spirit as well. but this was before the eighties, when we were finally granted the right to vote. until that time the red coats reserved that right for themselves. for many years people had been arguing it was wrong to let some old chap in worchestershire decide what would be happening in saskatchewan, but it wasnt until the end of hard rock and the arrival of bryan adams that canadians decided upon the reckless step of self governement they have been rueing ever since.
the liberals (variously now as liberals, whigs, and something else that slips the mind)
usually make up a very slight majority government not because the country loves them, but more because it often appears that the other parties cant tie their own shoes (to use the vernacular of the people.) the common canadian is dying to see another party in power.
continue to make up the government (with the present term excepted) on the strength of the population of ontario. outside of ontario the average canuck deeply despises the liberals because they are, as the name suggests, quite liberal.
the conservatives (known sometimes as tories, or right wing crazies)
havent been very popular with the average man (though they make up the present minority government) since the eighties of this century when they pushed through the north american free trade agreement despite the fact every single canadian threatened to be angry if they did. also unpopular in central canada (ontario especially) because they can be seen as a religious - evangelical Christian - party, mainly representative of western style (saskatchewan, alberta, british columbia)hillbillies. the eastern and central canadian hillbilly is decidedly secular.
the ndp or new democrats (socialists)
always win a few seats on the strength of their popularity amongst the students, the ageing hippies, and the working poor
the bloc quebecois
stand mainly for whats best for quebec (which is sometimes portrayed as canada ceasing to exist.) quite popular in quebec. less popular outside of quebec where they do not run candidates. they have even been known to form the official opposition in parliament, much the chagrin of english speaking canadians.