Canada: Political Parties Material

Scope and Content

Manifestos, speeches, pamphlets, leaflets, letters, newsletters, journals, posters and miscellaneous election material at federal, state and youth levels issued by the Alberta Social Credit League, the Bloc Québécois, the British Columbia Social Credit Party, the Canadian Communist League (Marxist-Leninist), the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist), the Communist Party of Canada, the Communist Party of Canada (Ontario), the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation, the Feminist Party of Canada, the Green Party of Canada, the Groupe marxiste révolutionnaire, the Liberal Party of Canada, the Liberal Party of Canada (Ontario), the Libertarian Party of Canada, the Labor-Progressive Party (Canada), the League for Socialist Action/Ligue socialiste ouvrière (Canada), the Mouvement national des Québécois, the Mouvement socialiste, the National Progressive Conservative Women's Federation, the New Democratic Party, the New Democratic Party of Alberta, the New Democratic Party of British Columbia, the New Democratic Party of Manitoba, the New Democratic Party of Ontario, the National Liberal Federation of Canada, the Parti nouveau démocratique du Québec, the Nova Scotia Liberal Association, the Ontario Progressive Conservative Youth Association, the Parti acadien, the Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta, the Progressive Conservative Association of Canada, the Progressive Conservative Association of Ontario, the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada, the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta, the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario, the Progressive Conservative Student Federation, the Progressive Conservative Youth Federation, the Parti libéral du Québec, the Parti québécois, the Parti Rhinocéros, the Parti des Travailleurs du Québec, the Rassemblement pour l'Indépendance Nationale, the Reform Party of Canada, the Revolutionary Workers League, the Social Credit Association of Canada, the Social Credit Party of Canada, the Social Credit Rally, the Socialist Labor Party of Canada, the Voice of Women, the Western Canada Concept, the Western Canada Party, the Workers Communist Party (Canada), the Young Communist League, the Young Progressive Conservative Association of Canada, and the Young Socialists.

Administrative / Biographical History

Canada emerged from World War Two with the power and jurisdiction of its federal government greatly enhanced by the necessity of wartime controls and centralization, and the post-war period has borne witness to a complex debate between the provinces and Ottawa as to the extent to which this power should be limited or even relinquished. Complicating the issue has been the presence within the confederation of predominantly francophone Quebec, where the desire for special status or even independence has in turn impacted upon the demands made by the other provinces and territories. This has also had an effect on the political party system, with perhaps only the Liberals (and until recently the Progressive Conservatives) consistently being able to lay claim to being a truly national party whilst other essentially regionalist parties (Social Credit, Bloc Quebecois, the Reform Party and arguably the New Democratic Party) sent representatives to the national parliament. External relations have also been a focus for debate, with concern centring on the United States and its economic and cultural influence, as well as the consequences for Canadian foreign policy of following the lead of its powerful neighbour. These issues and others are raised, referred to and discussed within the materials held here.


Alphabetically by party, and then in rough chronological order.

Access Information

Open to all for research purposes; access is free for anyone in higher education.

Acquisition Information

Institute of Commonwealth Studies


The Political Archives Project was a 2.5 year project to catalogue political archive material held in the libraries of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies and the Institute for the Study of the Americas to the University and present it as a cohesive virtual collection. The project was successfully completed in July 2005. Descriptions of all the documents may be found by searching the library catalogue at, or via the Political Archives website:

Other Finding Aids

Records at item level on library catalogue (SASCAT)

Archivist's Note

Description compiled by Daniel Millum, Political Archives Project Officer at the Institutes of Commonwealth and Latin American Studies.

Conditions Governing Use

Copies can usually be obtained - apply to library staff.

Custodial History

The ICS political parties collection was begun in 1960-1961, with special emphasis being placed on primary material such as party constitutions, policy statements, convention reports and election manifestos. Since then, the main method of gathering material has been to appeal directly to political parties throughout the Commonwealth, though contributions from Institute members and staff following visits to relevant countries have been significant. More recently material has been collected by means of downloading documents from the websites of the major parties.


Further accruals are expected, some in electronic form.

Related Material

See also Canada: Trades Unions Material (TU.CN) and Canada: Pressure Groups Material (PG.CN), as well as Political Party, Trades Unions and Pressure Group Materials for other Commonwealth countries and related material in the library's main classified sequence, all held at the ICS.

Corporate Names