One of the two major Canadian political parties. It originated in two reformist opposition groups, Rouges and Clear Grits, that emerged in the mid-19th century in what are now the provinces of Quebec and Ontario, respectively. The first Liberal government was headed by Alexander Mackenzie (1873–78). The party regained power under Wilfred Laurier (1896–1911) and was the ruling party for much of the 20th century under such prime ministers as W.L. Mackenzie King, Louis Saint Laurent, Lester Pearson, Pierre Trudeau, and Jean Chrétien. Like the Conservative Party (later the Progressive Conservative Party), the Liberal Party comprises diverse regional, ethnic, religious, and class interests.
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