World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Article Id: WHEBN0000480632
Reproduction Date:

Title: Liberal-Progressive  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: 16th Canadian Parliament, Canadian federal election, 1925, 18th Canadian Parliament, Robert Forke, By-elections to the 16th Canadian Parliament
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Liberal-Progressive was a label used by a number of candidates in Canadian elections between 1926 and 1953. In federal and Ontario politics, there was no formal Liberal-Progressive party, but it was an alliance between two separate parties. In Manitoba, a party did exist with this name.


  • Federal politics 1
  • Alberta 2
  • Ontario 3
  • Manitoba 4
  • See also 5
  • External links 6

Federal politics

With the Progressive Party of Canada's 1921 electoral breakthrough, Canadian federal politics operated under a "three party system" for the first time. The Liberal Party of Canada under William Lyon Mackenzie King tried to deal with this situation by co-opting the Progressives, offering to form a coalition with them. The Progressive Party itself refused. But by 1926, the party had split and some Progressives decided to support the Liberals, running as Liberal Progressive or Liberal-Labour-Progressive candidates or similar variations. This phenomenon occurred particularly in the 1925 election and the 1926 election. A number of Liberal Progressive Members of Parliament became full-fledged Liberals in the 1930s.

In the 1925 election, only one candidate ran under the Liberal Progressive banner. He was unsuccessful.

In the 1926 election, a total of 11 candidates ran as Liberal Progressive: eight in Manitoba (the entire Progressive contingent who had decided to nominate joint candidates with the Liberals), all of whom were elected, and three unsuccessful candidates in Ontario. A ninth Manitoba Liberal-Progressive, Robert Forke who was the group's leader, was acclaimed in a by-election later in the year and was appointed to the Cabinet. These candidates were not opposed by the Liberal Party in the election and ran with the understanding that they would sit with and support the Liberals in the Parliament and attend Liberal caucus meetings. Mackenzie King's Liberals alone did not have a majority of seats in the House of Commons after the 1926 election, but were able to form a minority government (that was for all intents and purposes a majority government) with the support of the Liberal-Progressives in the house. This government lasted for four years. The Liberal-Progressives also had their own caucus meetings (in addition to attending Liberal meetings) and developed their own politics on certain issues, particularly in relation to agriculture. For example, they were critical of the 1927 federal budget for not reducing tariffs, a long time Progressive demand.

In the 1930 election, eight Liberal Progressives ran in Manitoba, but only two were elected. One defeated candidate lost to a candidate running as a Liberal.

In the 1935 election, five Liberal Progressives ran in Manitoba, four of whom were elected. One of these was victorious over a Liberal candidate, while the defeated Liberal Progressive was defeated by a Liberal.

In the 1940 election, two Liberal Progressives ran in Manitoba, of whom one was elected. Two Liberal Progressives ran in Ontario. Both of these were elected.

"National Liberal Progressive" was a political label used by in the Canadian federal election of 1940, by W. Garfield Case, in Grey North electoral district in Ontario. Case, who listed ‘Insurance manager’ as his profession, unsuccessfully sought election. He won 2,434 votes, 15.5% of the popular vote. The election was won by the Liberal Party candidate, William P. Telford. When Telford resigned on 9 December 1944, to provide a vacancy for A.G.L. McNaughton, Case ran and won the 5 February 1945 by-election as the candidate of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada.

William Gilbert Weir was the longest lasting Liberal Progressive MP, winning his first election in the riding of Macdonald in Manitoba in 1930. He was re-elected as a Liberal Progressive in 1935 and 1940. In 1945, 1949 and 1953, he was elected as a Liberal Progressive for the riding of Portage-Neepawa, and was the sole candidate to run as under the Liberal Progressive label in those elections. Weir served as Chief Government Whip from 1945 to 1953 and parliamentary assistant to Prime Minister Louis St. Laurent from 1953 to 1957. He was defeated in the 1957 election, the first in which he ran as a Liberal.

Five MPs in all sat as Liberal-Progressives: William Gilbert Weir. Forke and Glen both ultimately became ministers in Liberal cabinets (Glen also served as Speaker of the Canadian House of Commons) while Weir served as government whip for a number of years.

Forke was elevated to the Canadian Senate in 1929 and was the sole Liberal-Progressive to ever sit in that body.


In Alberta, one candidate ran under the Liberal Progressive banner during the 1926 Alberta general election. Mr A.D. Campbell achieved 252 votes, in the Camrose district coming in fourth place.


In Ontario, an electoral coalition was formed in 1934 between the provincial Liberals under Mitchell Hepburn, and the Progressive bloc of Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) under Harry Nixon. Nixon had originally been elected with the United Farmers of Ontario. In this coalition, the Progressive group ran as Liberal-Progressives. They were eventually absorbed into the Ontario Liberal Party. Even before 1934, several candidates ran and were elected under the Liberal-Progressive banner (Frederick Sandy of Victoria South was first elected as a UFO MLA in 1919, was defeated in 1923 and returned to serve as a Liberal-Progressive from 1926-1929; Merton Elvin Scott of Oxford South served as a Liberal-Progressive MLA from 1926 to 1929 and UFO MLA David Munroe Ross of Oxford North was re-elected as a Liberal-Progressive in 1926 and 1929), however it was only in the 1934 election that a formal alliance between the Progressives and Liberals began, returning four Liberal-Progressive MLAs (Nixon, Douglas Campbell of Kent East, Roland Patterson of Grey North and James Francis Kelly of Muskoka). Liberal-Progressive leader Harry Nixon was provincial secretary in Liberal Premier Mitchell Hepburn's cabinet from its inception. He and Kelly ran for re-election as straight Liberals in the 1937 provincial election and were re-elected. Two remaining Liberal-Progressive MLAs were returned in that election, Campbell and Patterson. Campbell was not returned in the 1943 election while Patterson was re-elected as a straight Liberal.


In Manitoba, the Progressives and Liberals merged in 1932 under Premier John Bracken and ran as Liberal-Progressives. Bracken continued as Premier until 1943, when he was replaced by Stuart Garson. In 1948, Garson was replaced by Douglas Campbell.

Although the party was dominated by its "Progressive" wing, it had become popularly known as the Liberal Party by the 1940s. (The national Progressive Party had vanished by this time.) It formally changed its name to the Manitoba Liberal Party in 1961, against only scattered objections from diehard Progressives.

See also

External links

  • Parliament of Canada History of the Federal Electoral Ridings since 1867
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.