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Canadian Alliance

Canadian Alliance, former Canadian political party that had its origins in the Reform party of Canada, which was founded in 1987 in Winnipeg, Man., as a W Canada–based conservative alternative to the Progressive Conservative party. Fiscally conservative and strongly in favor of tax cuts, the Alliance was also strongly federalist. The Reform party's formation was spurred in part by reaction against Prime Minister Brian Mulroney's attempts to negotiate a special status for Quebec within the Canadian confederation (see also Meech Lake Accord). Led by Preston Manning, the party campaigned strongly against the Charlottetown Accord (see Canada) in 1992, and in the 1993 elections it won 52 parliamentary seats, siphoning many votes from the Progressive Conservatives. In 1997, Reform won 60 seats, becoming the largest opposition party. The party re-formed as the Canadian Alliance in 2000 in an attempt to create a broad national conservative coalition to oppose the Liberal party; in July, Stockwell Day defeated Manning in a campaign for the leadership of the Alliance. Although the Alliance was the largest opposition party by far in the 2000 elections, a conservative coalition failed to coalesce, limiting the number of seats the Alliance won to 66. The Alliance remained a largely western party. Stephen Harper replaced Day as party leader in 2002, and in 2003 the party and the Progressive Conservative party agreed to merge as the Conservative party of Canada. Harper became the leader of the new party in 2004.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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See more Encyclopedia articles on: Canadian History

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