Courtesy Reuters

Political Ferment in Canada

UNTIL quite recently, Canada presented to American eyes a pleasing, if specious, appearance of simplicity. Like honest little Finland who always paid her debts, friendly little Canada had her place in the album of American folklore -- the northern home-from-home, the foreign country that was indistinguishable from a 49th state. Even her political parties seemed directly and precisely comparable to those in the United States. There were the Conservatives, counterparts as their name implies of Hoover Republicans. There were the Liberals, just like Democrats without That Man in the White House. Liberals even had their Solid South, represented by the French-Canadian Province of Quebec; but they were refreshingly devoid of anything resembling a New Deal.

This simple, two-tone picture, if it still exists in the American mind, is soon to be shattered. Canada today is in a political ferment which has no exact precedent in her 77-year history as a nation. Talk about "revolt in Canada" is nonsense -- nothing has happened or is likely to happen to justify such a phrase. But far-reaching political changes are in progress, changes which in the course of years may come to warrant the milder sense of the word "revolutionary."

At the moment, with a national election due as soon as hostilities end in Europe, two salient facts are discernible. One is a surge to the Left, strongest and most general that Canada has yet experienced, even stronger than the agrarian Progressive movement which sprang up after the last war and which captured 65 of the 200-odd seats in the federal Parliament. The other is the fragmentation of Canada's old party structure. Her two-party system has cracked irrevocably. There is strong possibility that the next Canadian Parliament may comprise three major and several minor parties, with none commanding an over-all majority.

Of the Leftward surge there can be no doubt, and it will make itself felt no matter what party or coalition of parties may emerge as the next Canadian Government. Last year, to the

Loading, please wait...

Related Articles

This site uses cookies to improve your user experience. Click here to learn more.