Lesson Plan: Ontario's Political Parties
Ontario has been marked by considerable political change and upheaval since 1985, when the province's long Conservative dynasty was toppled after over three decades in power. Since then, Ontario has experimented with each of the three main political parties, giving the Liberals and NDP majority governments before returning to the Conservatives. Once viewed as the dullest provincial legislature in the country, Queen's Park in Toronto has been the scene of major political and social conflicts. Ontario is one of the few provinces where a truly competitive three-party political system exists, with the Conservatives, Liberals, and NDP all recent contenders for power. As well, other parties, such as the Green Party and the Libertarian Party, are active in the province, taking on the role of bringing important issues to the forefront of Ontario politics.
Students will select a current political issue of importance to them, such as education, the environment, job creation, and so on. Students will research where five political parties in Ontario stand on their selected issue and write a two- to four-page (depending on the grade level) summary on the parties' platforms.
Students will then select the party that best represents their own views on the issue and create a political campaign flyer to convince their contemporaries to vote for their chosen party.
Students will begin by selecting an issue of importance to them. Students can begin their research on their issue at the topic Ontario Elections: 25 Tumultuous Years on the CBC Digital Archives website. To learn more about the platforms of various Ontario parties (the three major parties, as well as two others of their choice), students can search the parties' websites and phone party headquarters.
Students will summarize the platform of all five parties and select the political party that best represents their views on the issue. The students' campaign flyers on the issue should be both educational and convincing.
Have students distribute their flyers to their classmates. Hold a class discussion on the effectiveness of the flyers and whether they are persuasive enough to change how someone would vote.
- drawing materials
Resources for this topic
John. Loyal No More: Ontario's Struggle for a Separate Destiny. Toronto:
MacDonald, Donald C., ed. Government and Politics of Ontario. Toronto: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1980.
Noel, Sid, ed. Revolution at Queen's Park: Essays on Governing Ontario. Toronto: James Lorimer, 1997.
Speirs, Rosemary. Out of the Blue: The Fall of the Tory Dynasty in Ontario. Toronto: MacMillan, 1986.
White, Graham, ed. The Government and Politics of Ontario.Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1997.
White, Randall. Ontario Since 1985. Toronto: Eastend Books, 1998.