New Democratic party
Under the leadership of Thomas C. Douglas (1961–71), David Lewis (1971–75), Edward Broadbent (1977–89), and Audrey McLaughlin (1989–95, the first woman to head a Canadian national political party), the party improved its showing in E Canada, but its main strength remained in the west, where, since the 1970s, it has formed provincial governments at various times in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, and (in the 21st cent.) Alberta. Since the 1980s the NDP also has held power at times in Ontario, Nova Scotia, and Yukon. Alexa McDonough became party leader in 1995; Jack Layton succeeded her in 2003. The elections of 1993, 1997, and 2000 saw the NDP's representation in Ottawa severely reduced, but those of 2004, 2006, and 2008 reversed that trend, and in 2011 the NDP won 103 seats—the second largest bloc—to become the official opposition. Seriously ill, Layton took a health leave from the leadership in mid-2011; after his death, Thomas Mulcair was elected (2012) to succeed him. The NDP suffered significant losses and placed third in the 2015 elections, and Mulcair lost the party leadership in 2016. Jagmeet Singh was elected party leader in 2017; Singh became the first member of an ethnic minority to head a Canadian national political party. In 2019 the NDP suffered further significant losses, and placed fourth in terms of seats.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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