Progressive Conservative Party of Canada

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The Progressive Conservative Party of Canada (PC) (French: Parti progressiste-conservateur du Canada) (1942–2003) was a Canadian political party with a centre-right stance on economic issues and, after the 1970s, a centrist stance on social issues.

The party began as the Conservative Party in 1867, became Canada's first governing party under Sir John A. Macdonald, and for years was either the governing party or the largest opposition party. The party changed its name to the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada in late 1942. In 2003, the party membership voted to dissolve the party and join the new Conservative Party of Canada being formed with the members of the Canadian Alliance.

Two members of the Senate of Canada who opposed the merger continue to sit as members of a "Progressive Conservative" caucus, and the conservative parties in most Canadian provinces still use the Progressive Conservative name. Some PC Party members formed the new Progressive Canadian Party, which has attracted only marginal support.

Contents

History

Canada's first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald, was originally a member of the Conservative Party. But in advance of confederation in 1867, the Conservative Party took in a large number of members who defected from the Liberal Party who supported the establishment of a Canadian confederation.

Thereafter, the Conservative Party was the "Liberal-Conservative" (in French, "Libéral-Conservateur") Party until the turn of the twentieth century.

The federal Tories governed Canada for over forty of the country's first seventy years of existence. However, the party spent the majority of its history in opposition as the nation's number two federal party, behind the Liberals. From 1896 to 1993, the Tories only formed government five times—from 1911 to 1921, from 1930 to 1935, from 1957 to 1963, from 1979 to 1980 and from 1984 to 1993. The party did, however, have the distinction of being the only Canadian party to win more than 200 seats in an election—a feat it accomplished twice, in 1958 and 1984.

The party suffered a decade-long decline following the 1993 federal election, and was formally dissolved on December 7, 2003, when it merged with the Canadian Alliance to form the new Conservative Party. The Progressive Conservative caucus last officially met in early 2004.

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