Yukon Party

Infobox_Canada_Political_Party
party_name = Yukon Party
status = active
class = territorial
party_wikicolourid = Yukon Party
party_| leader = Dennis Fentie
president = Dan Macdonald
foundation = 1979
dissolution =
ideology = Conservatism
headquarters = Box 31113, Whitehorse, YT Y1A 5P7
int_alignment=
colours = Blue
seats_house = 10
website = [http://www.yukonparty.ca/ http://www.yukonparty.ca/]
The Yukon Party is a conservative political party in the Yukon Territory of Canada. It was previously known as the Yukon Progressive Conservative Party. In French (an official language in the territory), it is known as the "Parti du Yukon".

Origins and early years

The Progressive Conservative Party was founded in 1978 with Hilda Watson as its first leader. Watson had been a member of the territorial Legislative Council since 1970, and became the first woman in Canadian history to lead a political party into a general election. However, she was unable to win a seat in the 1978 election, and consequently resigned and Chris Pearson became leader of the party as well as the government.

Declining fortunes

The Progressive Conservatives were defeated in the 1985 election by the Yukon New Democratic Party (NDP) led by Tony Penikett. With Brian Mulroney's federal Progressive Conservative government's increasing unpopularity, the Yukon Progressive Conservatives decided to sever their relations with the federal Tory party, and renamed themselves the "Yukon Party" prior to the 1992 election.

However, two Progressive Conservative MLAs, Bea Firth and Alan Nordling, quit the party in protest and subsequently sat as independent MLAs until 1996. Nordling later returned to the fold, being defeated as a Yukon Party candidate in the 1996 election, while Firth retired from politics.

After seven years in power, the NDP was defeated in 1992 and the Yukon Party's John Ostashek became Premier of Yukon. His government became very unpopular by increasing taxes and cutting services. Ostashek was voted out of office in 1996 after only one term. The Yukon Party won only three seats, falling to third place for the first time behind the Yukon Liberal Party.

Recent history

The party's fortunes continued to decline at the 2000 general election. The Yukon Party was reduced to a single seat in the legislature as the right wing vote moved to the Yukon Liberal Party, putting it in power for the first time in the territory's history.

Liberal Premier Pat Duncan's government was plagued with internal dissent, however, and despite having won an outright majority of seats in the general election, defections and resignations reduced the Liberals to a minority government within two years. Premier Duncan called a snap election for November 4, 2002, in an effort to regain her majority, but the early election call backfired badly.

The Yukon Party had elected Dennis Fentie, a rural Member of the Yukon Legislative Assembly (MLA), who had defected from the NDP, as its new leader in June 2002. Despite being caught by surprise by the election call, the party was able to win a majority government with 12 seats compared to 5 for the NDP. The Liberals were reduced to a single seat. Fentie became the second Yukon Premier from a rural riding.

On Oct 10, 2006, the Yukon Party was re-elected, holding 10 seats in the Yukon Legislative Assembly. The Yukon Liberals won 5 seats and the Yukon New Democrats won 3.

Election results

Leaders

Progressive Conservatives

*Hilda Watson 1978
*Chris Pearson 1978-1985
*Willard Phelps 1985-1991

Yukon Party

*Chris Young 1991
*John Ostashek 1991-2000
*Peter Jenkins 2000-2002
*Dennis Fentie 2002-

ee also

*List of Premiers of Yukon
*List of Yukon Leaders of Opposition

External links

* [http://www.yukonparty.ca Yukon Party]


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