Dynasties and Interludes: Past and Present in Canadian Electoral Politics

Dynasties and Interludes: Past and Present in Canadian Electoral Politics

Lawrence LeDuc

Language: English

Pages: 496

ISBN: 1554887968

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Dynasties and Interludes provides a comprehensive and unique overview of elections and voting in Canada from Confederation to the recent spate of minority governments. Its principal argument is that the Canadian political landscape has consisted of long periods of hegemony of a single party and/or leader (dynasties), punctuated by short, sharp disruptions brought about by the sudden rise of new parties, leaders, or social movements (interludes).

Changes in the composition of the electorate and in the technology and professionalization of election campaigns are also examined in this book, both to provide a better understanding of key turning points in Canadian history and a deeper interpretation of present-day electoral politics.


















Absent Mandate: Canadian Electoral Politics in an Era of Restructuring. 58. See, for example, Patrick Boyer, The People’s Mandate: Referendums and a More Democratic Canada (Toronto: Dundurn Press, 1992). 59. On this theme, see Morris Fiorina, Retrospective Voting in American National Elections (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1981). 60. Peter Mair, “Myths of Electoral Change and the Survival of Traditional Parties,” European Journal of Political Research 24 (1993), 121–33. 61. Clarke et al. , Absent Mandate: Canadian Electoral Politics in an Era of Restructuring.

6 Martin’s two years in office can be thought of now primarily as an extension of the Chrétien dynasty, of which Martin was a key part until the onset of the “civil war” between these two camps within the Liberal Party (see Chapter 13). Sir Wilfrid Laurier campaigning in Exeter, Ontario, 1904 election. 26 9781554887965 . indb 26 03/09/10 12:52 PM CHAPTER 1 | CONTINUITY AND CHANGE IN FEDERAL ELECTIONS TABLE 1. 2 Five Elections That Established New Political Dynasties Macdonald Laurier King Trudeau Chrétien 1867 1896 1921 1968 1993 TESTING 1872 1900 1925 1972 1997 18741 ESTABLISHING  1878 CONFIRMING 1882 1904 1926 1974 2000 1887 1908 1930 1979 20044 1891 1935 1980 1940 1945 19535 19495 2 3 1.

95 An accompanying piece of legislation, the Military Voters Act, allowed servicemen to have their vote assigned by the party they voted for to any riding in the country. This service vote was counted and assigned a month after the election. “The Conservatives won at least 14 additional seats by redistributing the military vote to ridings where the opposition candidates had a slight lead. ”96 This use of the Military Voters Act had the potential of creating bad publicity for the Conservatives, however, once the occasion had passed.

The CCF, which had been founded in Regina in 1933 as a farmer-labour based socialist movement, forced the other parties to come to terms with the reality of social class relations. 10 Occurring at the same time as Labour’s accession to power under Clement Attlee in Britain, the 1945 election drew attention to important patterns of post-war social change that were occurring both in Europe and North America. In that same election in Canada, the strong showing of the Bloc populaire in Quebec (two seats with 12 percent of the Quebec vote) provided an early indication of the future growth of Quebec nationalism.

Faced with the ensuing scandal and the desertion of some members of his own caucus when these secret contributions were revealed, Macdonald resigned in 1873 and retreated to opposition. 10 64 9781554887965 . indb 64 03/09/10 12:52 PM CHAPTER 2 | THE MACDONALD AND LAURIER DYNASTIES The 1874 election solidified a two-party system in Canada, since elected Liberals had to support the government of Alexander Mackenzie, and those Conservatives elected were mainly the hard core of the party. Public morality was the central issue for the upright Scottish stonemason who led the Liberals.

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