A political party founded in Alberta in 1987 by Preston Manning, who became its first leader. It was designed to give a voice to its particular constituency in the west of Canada, in favour of unrestricted capitalism and against special rights for the province of Quebec. In response to the failure of the Meech Lake Accord in 1990, and to growing demands for separation or special rights in Quebec, it benefited from the weakness of the Conservative Party and gained 52 seats in the 1993 general elections. In an effort to go beyond its political base in the western provinces, it reconstituted itself in 2000 to join the Canadian Alliance, which merged with the Progressive Conservative Party in 2003 to create the Conservative Party.
Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).