- Nova Scotia Liberal Party
Nova Scotia Liberal Party
Active provincial party
Leader Stephen McNeil President John Gillis Founded 1883 Headquarters Suite 304
1660 Hollis Street
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Ideology Liberalism Official colours Red Seats in House of Assembly Website Official website Politics of Nova Scotia
The party is descended from the pre-Confederation Reformers in Nova Scotia who coalesced around Joseph Howe demanding the institution of responsible government. The Liberals (Reformers) formed several governments in the colony between 1848 and 1867.
The party split during the debate on Confederation, with Howe and most other Liberals forming an Anti-Confederation Party, while supporters of confederation joined Tory Charles Tupper's Confederation Party. Howe, himself, initially opposed Confederation, but accepted it as a reality after initial attempts to scuttle it failed.
In 1868, Howe joined the pro-Confederation forces, serving for a time in the federal Cabinet of Sir John A. Macdonald.
The Anti-Confederation Party took most of Nova Scotia's seats in the Canadian House of Commons in 1867, as well as forming the government of the new province under William Annand. The new, post-1867 Liberal Party was organised by Annand and his anti-Confederate forces, while the Conservative Party was organised by Tupper and supporters of Sir John A. Macdonald's coalition in the province.
Prior to 1956, the Nova Scotia Liberal Party had ruled the province for 76 of its 89 years, most of that time with fewer than 5 opposition members. It had also ruled prior to confederation, and was responsible for bringing the first responsible government to North America.
The party in recent years
From 1956 the Tories gained significant ground with Robert Stanfield's reformation of the "Progressive Conservatives", and have successfully challenged the Liberals for control of the government. Recently, the Liberals have faltered in the province, and are currently the second-largest party in the Assembly with 12 seats to 31 for the New Democrats and 8 for the Progressive Conservatives. After the Nova Scotia Liberal Party's dismal performance in the 2006 election (and failing to win his own seat), leader Francis MacKenzie announced his resignation. He was succeeded by Stephen McNeil. In the 2009 election, the Liberals moved out of third-party status and formed the official opposition once again.
The Nova Scotia Liberals are the provincial section of the federal Liberal Party of Canada. The two parties have a shared membership, and Liberal Members of Parliament often become Liberal Members of the Legislative Assembly, and vice versa. Gerald Regan, for instance, became leader of the provincial party after serving as a Liberal MP. He joined the federal Liberal government after serving as premier of Nova Scotia. Angus L. Macdonald, the province's most storied Liberal premier, split his term into two by spending five years as a federal Liberal cabinet minister in the wartime government of William Lyon Mackenzie King.
Current elected members
Name Riding Year elected Stephen McNeil Annapolis 2003 Karen Casey Colchester North 2006 Zach Churchill Yarmouth 2010 Keith Colwell Preston 2003 Wayne Gaudet Clare 1993 Leo Glavine Kings West 2003 Manning MacDonald Cape Breton South 1993 Geoff MacLellan Glace Bay 2010 Kelly Regan Bedford-Birch Cove 2009 Michel Samson Richmond 1998 Harold Theriault Jr. Digby-Annapolis 2003 Diana Whalen Halifax Clayton Park 2003 Andrew Younger Dartmouth East 2009
- List of Nova Scotia political parties
- List of Nova Scotia premiers
- Nova Scotia Liberal Party leadership election, 2007
- Nova Scotia Liberal Party leadership elections
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