Red Book (Liberal Party of Canada)

Red Book (Liberal Party Of Canada)

Red Book (Liberal Party of Canada)

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The Red Book, officially titled Creating Opportunity: The Liberal Plan for Canada was the platform of the Liberal Party of Canada in the 1993 federal election. It earned its name from its bright red cover, red being the official colour of the Liberals. It was a 112 page booklet; many thousands of copies of it were printed, and it was widely distributed. There was even talk of trying to mail a copy to each Canadian household, but it was decided this would be too expensive.


It was exceptional in how specific it was; while platforms before and since have contained a few substantive promises and many vague statements of principle, the Red Book laid out a long list of changes that the Liberals would make if brought to power.

It was also rare in Canada to have an entire platform released at once. Generally, a party would release a policy idea, wait for it to gather as much media attention as possible, and then release another. Those ideas had also been released during speeches by the party leader, not printed in unbending prose.

Perhaps most central was that the Liberal Red Book gave costs for each of their promises and summed them. Never before had a party attempted to clearly prove that its promises were fiscally responsible and practical.

It was one of the first "contract with the public" type platforms, an idea used by the United States Republican Party in its 1994 Contract with America and Mike Harris's 1995 Common Sense Revolution in Ontario.


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