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235 seats in the House of Commons
118 seats needed for a majority
The 1921 Canadian federal election was held on December 6, 1921, to elect members of the House of Commons of Canada of the 14th Parliament of Canada. The Union government that had governed Canada through the First World War was defeated, and replaced by a Liberal government under the young leader William Lyon Mackenzie King. A new third party, the Progressive Party, won the second most seats in the election.
Since the 1911 election, the country had been governed by the Conservatives, first under the leadership of Prime Minister Robert Borden and then under Prime Minister Arthur Meighen. During the war, the Conservatives had united with the pro-conscription Liberal-Unionists and formed a Union government. A number of Members of Parliament (MPs), mostly Quebecers, stayed loyal to Sir Wilfrid Laurier, however, and they maintained their independence. When Laurier died, he was replaced as leader by the Ontarian Mackenzie King. After the 1919 federal budget, a number of western unionist MPs, who were former Liberals, left the Union government in protest against high tariffs on farm products imposed by the budget. Led by Thomas Alexander Crerar, the group became known as the Progressive Party. Also running were a number of Labour advocates, foremost amongst them J. S. Woodsworth of Winnipeg, who had organized their political movement after the Winnipeg general strike of 1919. Meighen had played a key role in violently suppressing the strikers and this earned him the animosity of organized labour.
Meighen attempted to make the "Unionist" party a permanent alliance of Tories and Liberals by renaming it the National Liberal and Conservative Party, but the name change failed, and most Unionist Liberals either returned to the Liberal fold or joined the new Progressive Party. Besides the labour strife and farm tariffs in the Prairie provinces, the Conscription Crisis of 1917 had a lasting effect on Tory fortunes by making the party virtually unelectable in Quebec.
The election was the first in which the majority of Canadian women were allowed to vote, thanks to reforms passed by the Conservatives. Five women also ran for office. Agnes Macphail of the Progressive Party was elected as the first woman MP in Canada.
Parliament was split three ways by this election. King's Liberals won a majority government of just one seat but won all of Quebec, much of the Maritime Provinces, and a good portion of Ontario.
The Progressive Party, including the United Farmers of Alberta (UFA), won the second largest number of seats, dominating the West, and winning almost a third of the seats in Ontario. Liberal and Conservative candidates were shut out in Alberta, with 10 UFA and two Labour candidates taking the province's 12 federal seats. The party won only one seat east of Ontario, however. Despite winning the second most seats, it declined to form the official opposition. It would be the only Canadian federal election before 1993 in which a party other than the Liberals or the (Progressive) Conservatives won the second most seats.
The Conservatives lost the most seats up to that time of any governing party at the federal level. They won fewer seats than the Progressives (despite having more popular votes) but wound up forming the official opposition. The Conservatives won much of Ontario and had some support in the Maritimes and British Columbia but won no seats in the Prairies or in Quebec.
Three Independent Labour MPs were elected: J. S. Woodsworth won his seat largely from his role in the 1919 Winnipeg general strike, and William Irvine and Joseph Tweed Shaw were elected in Calgary.
The government that King formed in the parliament resulting from this election was a minority government. Although King's party won a slim majority of seats at the election, resignations changed the parliament from a small majority to minority.
The Liberal Party lost two by-elections to Conservative candidates, but had gained two seats from Progressives who crossed the floor, so its majority was not affected by these losses. From November 25, 1924, to the dissolution of parliament, it held a two-seat majority because of its victory in a by-election in a seat that had been held by the Conservatives.
The Progressive caucus was less united than the Liberals or Conservatives, due to the formation of the Ginger Group and the semi-autonomous United Farmers of Alberta group. The Farmer MPs had promised among other things that they would reject the traditional Parliamentary traditions such as that of bending to the will of the party leader and whip. Many Progressives argued that an MP should be able to vote against the party line so long as the vote was in accordance to his constituents' wishes. As a result, King always found enough Progressive MPs who were willing to back him on crucial votes and generally had a working majority, until after four years his government was brought down by an adverse vote due to a moment of confusion.
|Party||Party leader||# of |
|1917||Elected||% Change||#||%||pp Change|
|Liberal||W. L. Mackenzie King||204||82||118||+43.9%||1,285,998||41.15%||+2.34|
|Progressive||T. A. Crerar||137||*||58||*||658,976||21.09%||*|
|Labour||J. S. Woodsworth||28||-||3||85,388||2.73%||+0.90|
|United Farmers of Alberta||2||*||2||*||22,251||0.71%||*|
|United Farmers of Ontario||1||*||1||*||3,919||0.13%||*|
|Sources: http://www.elections.ca -- History of Federal Ridings since 1867|
* not applicable - the party was not recognized in the previous election
|Popular vote (%):||29.8||15.8||18.7||18.9||30.1||70.2||50.2||52.4||45.7||47.6||41.2|
|United Farmers of Alberta||Seats:||2||2|
|United Farmers of Ontario||Seats:||1||1|
|Parties that won no seats:|
|Independent Liberal||Vote (%):||0.2||0.1|
A by-election, also spelled bye-election, is an election used to fill an office that has become vacant between general elections.
The Progressive Party of Canada was a federal-level political party in Canada in the 1920s until 1930. It was linked with the provincial United Farmers parties in several provinces, and it spawned the Progressive Party of Saskatchewan, and the Progressive Party of Manitoba, which formed the government of that province. The Progressive Party was part of the farmers' political movement that included federal and provincial Progressive and United Farmers' parties.
The 1984 Canadian federal election was held on September 4 of that year to elect members of the House of Commons of Canada of the 33rd Parliament of Canada. The Progressive Conservative Party, led by Brian Mulroney, won the largest landslide majority government in Canadian history, while the Liberals suffered what at that time was the worst defeat for a governing party at the federal level. Only the Progressive Conservatives faced a larger defeat, when cut to two seats in 1993.
There have been various groups in Canada that have nominated candidates under the label Labour Party or Independent Labour Party or other variations from the 1870s until the 1960s. These were usually local or provincial groups using the Labour Party or Independent Labour Party name, backed by local labour councils or individual trade unions. There was an attempt to create a national Canadian Labour Party in the late 1910s and in the 1920s, but these were partly successful. The Communist Party of Canada, formed in 1921/22, fulfilled some of labour's political yearnings from coast to coast, and then the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation - Worker Farmer Socialist" was formed in 1932. With organic ties to the organized labour movement, this was a labour party by definition.
The Unionist Party was a centre-right historical political party in Canada, composed primarily of former members of the Conservative party with some individual Liberal Members of Parliament. It was formed in 1917 by MPs who supported the "Union government" formed by Sir Robert Borden during the First World War, formed the government through the final years of the war, and was a proponent of conscription. It was opposed by the remaining Liberal MPs, who sat as the official opposition.
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The United Farmers of Alberta (UFA) is an association of Alberta farmers that has served different roles in its 100-year history – as a lobby group, a successful political party, and as a farm-supply retail chain. As a political party, it formed the government of Alberta from 1921 to 1935.
The 1945 Canadian federal election was the 20th general election in Canadian history. It was held June 11, 1945 to elect members of the House of Commons of Canada of the 20th Parliament of Canada. Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King's Liberal government was re-elected to its third consecutive government, although this time with a minority government as the Liberals fell five seats short of a majority.
During the history of Canadian politics, twelve minority governments have been elected at the federal level. There have also been two minority governments resulting from governments being replaced between elections, for a total of fourteen federal minority governments in twelve separate minority parliaments. There have been historical cases where the governing party had fewer than half of the seats but had the support of independents who called themselves members of the party; these cases are not included, as there was never any serious chance of the government falling.
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In Canada, a third party has two distinct meanings in the political process. For legal and official purposes, a "third party" refers to agents other than candidates and voters who participate in elections. For example, campaign advertisements funded by groups other than the parties and candidates running may be called "third party advertising". During a campaign period, registered third parties must declare their sources of funding and are restricted in the amounts they can spend in advocating for or against a party or candidate. See Harper v. Canada for the Supreme Court decision upholding the constitutionality of these restrictions in the Canada Elections Act.
Robert Forke, was a Canadian politician. He was elected as Member of Parliament for Brandon in 1921. In 1922, he replaced Thomas Crerar as leader of the Progressive Party of Canada. Forke served as a cabinet minister in the government of William Lyon Mackenzie King.
Arthur Meighen was a Canadian lawyer and politician who served as the ninth prime minister of Canada, in office from July 1920 to December 1921 and again from June to September 1926. He led the Conservative Party from 1920 to 1926 and from 1941 to 1942.
This article covers the history of the Liberal Party of Canada.
This article covers the history of the New Democratic Party of Canada.
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