Political Paper from 1930-1939.

There were two federal elections held in the 1930’s and there was a change in government in each election. (Linteau 93).

The 1930 election between Prime Minister Mackenzie King’s liberal government and R.B. Bennett, the new conservative leader (Linteau 90) was the precursor to change that was rapidly approaching Quebec. There were very different platforms from each candidate. Bennett based his campaign on finding ways to fight the depression. Bennett promised to bring relief to the unemployed and increase exports (Linteau 1991) leading Bennett’s Conservative victory. King’s Liberal party showed no preparation or awareness of how serious the upcoming election was, appearing “ill prepared to deal with more increasingly difficult circumstances” (Linteau 1991). The victory was short lived however, as the immense scope of the economic problems of the Depression were more than his government seems equipped to handle. His failure to bring about the solutions he had promised made him an unpopular scapegoat. In 1932 he formed the Relief Act which was meant to help people who were unemployed by providing grants for municipal works projects.

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During the 1930’s there were a number of new parties formed. The older more established parties, such as the Liberals who had been in power since 1897 appeared to be old and stagnant. 1932 brought the formation of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) a democratic socialist party. It gained supporters nationwide, but Quebec did not seem to favor the party (Linteau 1991). Another party that fared better in Quebec was the ALN, or Action Liberale Nationale. It grew out of the younger activists of the liberal party. Their program was supported by pressure groups and youth movements toward the social doctrine of the church (Linteau 1991).

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