Tories and Grits

Adam   Thu Jun 28, 2007 2:08 am GMT
Those of you from other English speaking countries (US excluded), how do you use these titles in terms of political parties. In Canada Tories are conservatives and Grits are liberals. Just wondering if these terms have changed meanings in the different parts of the world they are used.
Jim   Thu Jun 28, 2007 4:08 am GMT
Such terms are unused in Australia.
Damian in Edinburgh   Thu Jun 28, 2007 8:26 am GMT
I thought grits were something Americans eat? ...whatever they are...sound a wee bit dreich to me.

With regard to British politics - I don't think too many people refer to the Conservatives as Tories.....maybe they did at one time. But mind you - it makes no difference up here in Scotland what they call themselves - they're far too thin on the ground up here to bother one way or the other. The very names Tory or Conservative immediately brings to mind the word "England"! :-)
English Bunny   Thu Jun 28, 2007 10:59 am GMT
Unlike Damian in Edinburgh, I used to follow British politics, my party being the Tory party i.e. conservative, doesn't have much power in the north though (N. England or Scotland), although I don't care anymore since Blair Mark II.

Liberals (Liberal Democrats) over here are a joke, nobody would vote for them to run the country, more of a protest vote, although plenty of people vote for them for regional government.

Labour currently in power, can't be bothered to talk about them.

If you go to Wikipedia you'll be able to find out about these groups politicans.

Disgusted of Tunbridge We   Thu Jun 28, 2007 7:00 pm GMT
Liberals used to be called Whigs (a long time ago). I've never heard them called Grits.

I live in the "True Blue" heartland (S.E England). It doesn't really matter what party you vote for round here, you'll end up with a Conservative/Tory member of Parliament.

Just as a matter of interest, do Canadians use the 'first past the post' voting system or proportional representation?.
Adam   Thu Jun 28, 2007 7:28 pm GMT
"With regard to British politics - I don't think too many people refer to the Conservatives as Tories.....maybe they did at one time."

Many people in England still call them Tories.

And in the last general Election, in 2005, the Tories won more seats in Parliament than Labour. Labout only got into power because of their votes in Scotland and Wales.
Adam   Thu Jun 28, 2007 7:31 pm GMT
That should be -

"And in the last general Election, in 2005, the Tories in England won more seats in Parliament than Labour. Labout only got into power because of their votes in Scotland and Wales."
Adam   Thu Jun 28, 2007 7:40 pm GMT
Britain has three main political parties - the Tories, Labour and the Liberal Democrats. Up until 1988, the three main parties were the Tories, Labour and the Liberal Party.

The Liberal Democrats are descendants of the Liberal Party which itself was formed by a merger of the Whigs, Peelite Torite and Radicals -

The Whigs, or the Whig Party, (along with the Tories) are often described as one of two political parties in England and later the United Kingdom from the late 17th to the mid 19th centuries. It is more accurate to describe the original two ideas as loose groupings, or more precisely, tendencies. While the Whigs' origin lay in constitutional monarchism and opposition to absolute rule, both might be termed conservative by modern parameters. Party politics did not begin to coalesce until at least 1784, with the ascension of Charles James Fox as the leader of a reconstituted "Whig" party, ranged against the governing party of the new "Tories" under William Pitt the Younger.

The Liberal Party arose from a coalition of Whigs, free trade Tory followers of Robert Peel, and free trade Radicals, first created, tenuously under the Peelite Lord Aberdeen in 1852, and put together more permanently under the former Canningite Tory Lord Palmerston in 1859.

In 1988 merged with the Social Democratic Party (the SDP) to form a new party which would become known as the Liberal Democrats.

The term "Whig" originated during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms when it was used to refer derisively to a radical faction of the Scottish Covenanters who called themselves the "Kirk Party". It entered English political discourse during the Exclusion Bill crisis of 1678-1681. The Whigs (or Petitioners) opposed the hereditary ascendance of the Catholic Duke of York to the thrones of England, Ireland and Scotland (see Exclusion Crisis). The Tories (or Abhorrers) supported James II. Both names were originally negative terms: whiggamor is a Scottish Gaelic word for a cattle or horse driver, while tory is an Irish word for an outlaw

A "Tory" was originally used in Britain to describe a member of ANY parter that was in Opposition to the Whuigs. Nowadays it just referes to the Conservatives. "Tory" comes from an Irish gaelic word.

Historically, the term has been applied in various ways to supporters of the British monarchy. It entered English politics during the Exclusion Bill crisis of 1678–1681. The Whigs (initially an insult — 'whiggamore,' a cattle driver) were those who supported the exclusion of James VII & II from the thrones of Scotland and England & Ireland (the 'Petitioners'), and the Tories (from the Middle Irish word tóraidhe, modern Irish tóraí — outlaw, robber) were those who opposed it (the Abhorrers). The root of tóraidhe is the Irish word tóir, meaning 'pursuit', since outlaws were "pursued men".