Crisis, Challenge and Change

Crisis, Challenge and Change: Party and Class in Canada Revisited

Janine Brodie
Jane Jenson
Copyright Date: 1988
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  • Book Info
    Crisis, Challenge and Change
    Book Description:

    Party and class in Canada, revisited.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-8111-1
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgements for the Revised Edition
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Chapter 1 Party and Class in Canada: An Introduction
    (pp. 1-19)

    Since the beginning of the twentieth century, politics in Canada has appeared as an exception to a more general rule. In other advanced industrial societies party politics often could be described as the “democratic translation of the class struggle.” Workers seeking redress from the inequities of capitalism formed their own political parties—whether social democratic or communist—to gain access to and influence over the political process in order to implement a project of societal reform and transformation. Yet in Canada federal elections seldom took this familiar form. Class differences were never a strong line of cleavage among the three...

  5. Chapter 2 1867-1905—The Emergence of a Two-party System
    (pp. 20-52)

    The history of the Canadian party system displays crucial divergences in the timing of political developments in several regions. More specifically, the eastern half of the country had a relatively stable system of partisan relationships before the western party system itself took shape. These divergences arise from the time of acquisition of provincial status, patterns of settlement in the new provinces and the effect of different franchise regulations. More fundamentally, however, they stem from the way in which the developing Canadian economy was fitted into the pattern of commercial and industrial relations in North America and in the international economy....

  6. Chapter 3 1905-1917—Exporting the Party System Westward
    (pp. 53-86)

    In the years from 1905 until the outbreak of the First World War, Canadians saw, at one and the same time, fruition of the national economic strategy begun by the Fathers of Confederation and a mounting tide of protest against it. It was a period of fundamental change which was rich in controversy. By 1905, the National Policy of railroad-building, increased immigration and industrial development behind protective tariffs began to realize its intended effect. The next decade was to see its culmination with almost explosive success. Wheat production for export reached unprecedented levels. Grown by the thousands of immigrants to...

  7. Chapter 4 1917-1921—Two Parties in Crisis
    (pp. 87-118)

    The events of the First World War and the immediate post-war years form a unity in the history of partisan relations in Canada. There is an intimate connection between the two elections because the fundamental change resulting from the 1921 election was prepared and set in motion by the conditions of the 1917 campaign. The 1921 election represents an outbreak of protest by a subordinate class demanding to be heard electorally. However, this incursion into the bourgeois parties’ guarded domain was not guided by the workers’ organizations nor did it include a viable coalition between the two subordinate classes whose...

  8. Chapter 5 The 1920s—The Pursuit of “Normal Politics”
    (pp. 119-155)

    This decade was caught between two great events which struck at the very heart of western capitalism—the First World War and the Depression. In contrast to these shattering international events, the twenties appear to be marked by economic recovery and political calm. Although the decade began in recession, the economy recovered, only to collapse along with international capitalism at the decade’s end. In these years of recovery and calm there were fundamental changes in the economy and class structure which represent the culmination of forces which have been described in previous chapters. These changes were essential components of the...

  9. Chapter 6 The 1930s—The Depression Election
    (pp. 156-186)

    Unlike the previous decade, which masked the major currents of economic and social change with seeming continuity and which attempted to avoid readjustment by returning to “normal politics,” the 1930s brought yet another challenge to the dominant definition of federal politics in Canada. These were years of crisis, disaster, realignment and reform. During the “depression years” old assumptions were questioned, and new strategies came to the fore to reflect the developments in the economy and polity of the previous three decades. The collapse of the international economic order forced Canada to accept a new place in the world economy and...

  10. Chapter 7 1936-1945—The Contest for Labour
    (pp. 187-216)

    These were years of great growth and change in the Canadian economy and polity. They mark Canada’s transition to a fully industrialized nation, with a concomitant evolution in the social structure, such as was experienced in all advanced industrial societies. These years also mark a major shift in policy direction, toward the “welfare state” as a mechanism for the management of capitalism. As industrial societies evolved, so did traditional state activities. To the encouragement of investment and subsidization of infrastructure were added major responsibilities for coordination of steady economic growth, high levels of employment, effective demand and new levels of...

  11. Chapter 8 1945-1965—Social Democracy for an Affluent Society
    (pp. 217-261)

    Canada’s economy and social structure settled into its modern form during these two decades. The industrialization stimulated by the demands of wartime production was consolidated in a prospering peacetime economy with the aid of American direct investment. Canada’s economic activity was increasingly shaped to respond to the demands of the American market and its giant multinational corporations. These changes in Canada’s postwar economy were reflected in the class structure and relations between its organizations. The bourgeoisie developed more tangible links with its American counterparts and increasingly pursued a continental development strategy. The subordinate classes changed in composition as the independent...

  12. Chapter 9 The Lull Before the Storm: 1965-1974
    (pp. 262-292)

    The Liberal Party gained a distinct partisan advantage because of its quick wartime recognition that Keynesian demand-management techniques and specific social programmes would increase consumption and stabilize capital accumulation, thereby avoiding a recurrence of the 1930s Depression. From the end of the war until the early 1970s the new economics seemed to work. The economy grew while unemployment and inflation rates remained low. There were, however, a few disturbing signs on the horizon which would soon become chronic problems. Relative productivity rates were slowing; exports formed a larger proportion of the Gross National Product than elsewhere; and unemployment rates were...

  13. Chapter 10 Into the 1980s: The Politics of Uncertainty
    (pp. 293-329)

    In the three decades following the Second World War, the Liberal government tried to stabilize the economy with Keynesian demand-management techniques and social welfare policies, while at the same time, tightly linking Canada’s economic development to that of the United States. It dominated both the electoral terrain and the political agenda with ongoing appeals to national unity and a national identity. By the early 1970s, however, this strategy began to unravel. While worrisome economic trends occupied economic policy-makers from the late 1960s, “Nixonomics” gave a clear and distressing signal to Canada that it could no longer take the old order...

  14. Appendix A Methodological Appendix
    (pp. 330-334)
  15. Appendix B Zero-order Correlations of Party Vote 1949-1974 by Region
    (pp. 335-337)
  16. Index
    (pp. 338-342)