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Liberal-Labour (Canada)


Liberal-Labour (Canada)

See Lib-Lab for the British grouping.

The Liberal-Labour banner has also been used several times by candidates in Canadian elections:

In the early twentieth century when the idea of Labour Party, an MP elected on a Labour ticket would often support, or join, the Liberal Party of Canada and would often be described as "Liberal-Labour"

At other times, the Liberal Party, particularly under William Lyon Mackenzie King would try to co-opt the trade union vote by running Liberal supporters as Labour or Liberal-Labour candidates. These would be official or unofficial "fusion" candidates who would run in the absence of a straight Liberal candidate.

  • Humphrey Mitchell was elected as a Labour MP in a 1931 by-election in Hamilton East. He was unopposed by the Mackenzie King Liberals and generally voted with the Liberal caucus while having a poor relationship with other Labour MPs in parliament. He refused to join the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation when it was formed the next year and, in the 1935 federal election ran for re-election as a Labour MP. The Liberals supported Mitchell unofficially and did not run a candidate against him. The CCF, however, did stand a candidate in Hamilton East resulting in the labour vote being split and Mitchell's defeat at the hands of a Conservative in a year where the Conservatives lost dozens of seats. Mitchell returned to parliament during World War II as a Liberal MP and cabinet minister.

Benidickson was succeeded in that riding by John Mercer Reid, who was elected as a "Liberal" in 1966 but then sat as a "Liberal-Labour" MP from the 1968 federal election until the 1972 federal election, when he changed his desigation back to "Liberal". In the 1988 federal election, Liberal candidate Bob Nault identified himself as "Liberal-Labour" on some of his literature (particularly those distributed at plant gates) in his successful attempt to defeat NDP incumbent John Parry who had defeated Reid in 1984. Nault was officially listed as a straight Liberal on the ballot and in his official designation when he became an MP.

  • In the 1935 federal election, three candidates ran in Quebec ridings, placing last in each case, and drawing no more than 1.5% of the vote in each case. In all three ridings, at least one other candidate ran as a "Liberal".
  • In the 1945 federal election, one candidate ran as a "Liberal Labour" candidate in the Quebec riding of Mercier, placing last in a field of seven, with 345 votes, 1.0% of the total.
  • In the 1949 federal election, one candidate ran as a "Liberal Labour" candidate in the Quebec riding of Stanstead, placing last in a field of four, with 433 votes, 2.6% of the total.

Liberal Labour Party

The Liberal Labour Party name has been used twice in Canadian elections, though it may have been just a convenient label for those two candidates rather than an organized political party.

In the 1926 federal election, Alexander Jarvis McComber, a barrister, placed second in a field of three candidates in the north-western Ontario riding of Port Arthur – Thunder Bay, winning 2,990 votes, 26% of the total. No candidate ran as a "Liberal", but the third place candidate ran as a "Labour" candidate.

In a 22 March 1954 by-election in Verdun, Quebec, Hervé Ferland, an advertising agent, placed fifth in a field of seven candidates, which included one "Liberal" and two "Independent Liberals". He won 2,180 votes, 8.7% of the total.

Liberal Labour Progressive

In the 1926 federal election, the only opponent of the victorious Conservative candidate in the Algoma West riding in northern Ontario ran as a Liberal Labour Progressive candidate. Albert Ernest Whytall won 4,187 votes, or 37% of the total.

Ontario legislature

In the 1945 Ontario provincial election, the Communist Party of Canada (running as the Labour-Progressive Party) decided to run several candidates jointly with the Liberal Party of Ontario under Mitchell Hepburn. This was an attempt to marginalise the Ontario Co-operative Commonwealth Federation in elections to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.

The United Auto Workers participated in the effort and ran three Liberal-Labour candidates against CCF incumbents in Windsor including Alexander A. Parent, a Communist and president of UAW Local 195 and Arthur Reaume mayor of Winsor and formerly a Conservative who broke with his party to support UAW workers at Ford in their fight for the Rand Formula. Parent was elected in Essex North but Burt and Reaume were both defeated though vote-splitting also resulted in the defeat of two CCF incumbents.[1]

The other two Liberal-Labour MPPs elected were John Henry Cook, respectively. Of the three, only Newman would be re-elected in the 1948 provincial election.

The decision by the Liberals, UAW members and Communists to collaborate was ironic given Hepburn's vociferous opposition to both Communism and the Congress of Industrial Organizations during his term as Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario in 1943 provincial election. Reaume ran again as "Liberal-Labour" in the 1948 provincial election, without success, and was finally elected in the [[Ontario general

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