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Democracy and the Canadian political system : an analysis of the responsiveness of the political system… Lyon, Kenneth Redmond Vaughan 1974

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DEMOCRACY AND THE CANADIAN POLITICAL SYSTEM: An analysis of the responsiveness of the p o l i t i c a l system to pressures to increase c i t i z e n p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n policy-making. by KENNETH REDMOND VAUGHAN LYON B.A., U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1952 A DISSERTATION SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY i n the Department of P o l i t i c a l Science We accept t h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n as conforming t o fche r i q u i r e d stJkqMd THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA December, 1974-In presenting th i s thesis in pa r t i a l fu l f i lment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the Univers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the L ibrary shal l make it f ree ly ava i l ab le for reference and study. I fur ther agree that permission for extensive copying of th i s thesis for scho lar ly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representat ives. It is understood that copying or pub l i ca t ion of th is thes is for f inanc ia l gain sha l l not be allowed without my written permission. Department of The Univers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver 8, Canada ABSTRACT DEMOCRACY AND THE CANADIAN POLITICAL SYSTEM: An a n a l y s i s of the responsiveness of the p o l i t i c a l system to pressures to increase c i t i z e n p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n making p u b l i c p o l i c y . by K. R. Vaughan Lyon The c e n t r a l value of democracy i s c i t i z e n p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the p o l i t i c a l process. Canadian democracy i s characterized by a high l e v e l of p o l i t i c a l apathy. This study analyses the l i k e l i h o o d of a p o l i t i c a l party i n s t i t u t i n g p o l i c i e s to r a i s e the l e v e l of c i t i z e n p o l i t i c a l activism. A p a r t i a l answer i s sought to the question of whether the e x i s t i n g p o l i t i c a l system possesses a.jdynamic q u a l i t y which w i l l cause i t s evolution toward a more complete form of democracy. The analysis i s based on the record of three p o l i t i c a l p a r t i e s whose stated purpose was to r a i s e l e v e l s of p o l i t i c a l p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t h e i r respective j u r i s d i c t i o n s where they formed governments. The United Farmers of Alb e r t a , i n o f f i c e from 1921 to 1935 > promised to i n s t i t u t e a wide range of democratic reforms to put control, of p u b l i c p o l i c y i n the hands of the people. The party advocated an extensive r e s t r u c t u r i n g of e x i s t i n g p o l i t i c a l i n s t i t u t i o n s to achieve i t s democratic goals. The CCF, which formed the government i n Saskatchewan from 1944 to 1964, also committed i t s e l f to g i v i n g the c i t i z e n s control over p u b l i c p o l i c y . Unlike the UFA, some of whose proposed reforms were intended to move the system toward d i r e c t democracy, the GCF proposed that c i t i z e n s should r u l e through a democratically structured mass p o l i t i c a l party. The L i b e r a l party took up the cause of p a r t i c i p a t o r y democracy i n the 1968-1970 period, and promised to make i t pos s i b l e f o r a wider range of groups and i n d i v i d u a l s to influence the formation of government p o l i c y by g i v i n g those i n t e r e s t e d i n p u b l i c questions greater access to the decision-makers i n the cabinet. An analysis of the records of the p a r t i e s revealed that the overriding goal of each was to gain power and that they had s t i l l other objectives which were more important to them than r a i s i n g the l e v e l of c i t i z e n p o l i t i c a l activism. Each of the p a r t i e s implemented i t s commitment to p a r t i c i p a t o r y values only to the extent that doing so furthered the paramount goals of the party. Once each party was securely i n o f f i c e , and able to at l e a s t t r y to implement the p a r t i c i p a t o r y programs i t had advocated, i t reneged i n part, or completely, on i t s commitment. There were two basic reasons why the p a r t i e s acted i n t h i s way. F i r s t , the p a r t i c i p a t o r y proposals which were h e l p f u l i n enabling the p a r t i e s to gain o f f i c e , or to consolidate t h e i r hold on i t , i f implemented, would have forced the l e g i s l a t i v e h i e r a r c h i e s of the p a r t i e s to share t h e i r authority with others. Sharing authority would have deprived the leaders of some of t h e i r power and the f u l l use of the p o l i t i c a l machinery of the state to achieve other o b j e c t i v e s — objectives which might not be shared by those with whom the party leaders would share power. The second major reason why the p a r t i e s d i d not implement p a r t i c i p a t o r y values was the constraints imposed on t h e i r doing so by the p o l i t i c a l system i n which the pa r t i e s operated. For example, success i n the competitive party struggle was incompatible with the values of i n t r a -party democracy. I t was also incompatible with developing a body of well-informed, p o l i t i c a l l y r a t i o n a l c i t i z e n s w i l l i n g to p a r t i c i p a t e i n the system. Further, the parliamentary system gave the p o l i t i c a l group whose power would be threat-ened by a program to increase p a r t i c i p a t i o n the power to veto i t . The study concludes that p a r t i c i p a t o r y values w i l l only be advocated and implemented by a p o l i t i c a l party when such action w i l l f u rther i t s aim of maximizing power. This aim w i l l be served by the implementation of p a r t i c i p a t o r y programs when the demand f o r increased p a r t i c i p a t i o n by i n d i v i d u a l s and groups on whom the party depends i s s u f f i c i e n t l y intense that the party w i l l share power with them i n order to secure t h e i r support. L>"3 CONTENTS Page ABSTRACT i i LIST OF TABLES v i i Chapter 1. INTRODUCTION 1 2. THE UNITED FARMERS OF ALBERTA-DEMOCRATIZATION THROUGH INSTITUTIONAL REFORM 18 Introduction 18 The UFA's C r i t i q u e of the E x i s t i n g Order and I t s Reform Proposals 50 The Record of Democratization 1921-1935- 38 Conclusion 95 3. THE CO-OPERATIVE COMMONWEALTH FEDERATION (SASKATCHEWAN SECTION)—DEMOCRATIZATION THROUGH THE PARTY 125 Introduction 125 The Democratic Ideology of the CCF (SS). 135 Structure of the CCF Organization 142 Relations of the Parliamentary and Extra-Parliamentary Wings of the Party 154 Analysis of the Decline i n Membership P a r t i c i p a t i o n 169 Conclusion 189 4. THE LIBERAL PARTY—DEMOCRATIZATION THROUGH COMMUNICATION - 216 Introduction 216 The P o l i t i c s of P a r t i c i p a t i o n and the Public-at-Large 227 The P o l i t i c s of P a r t i c i p a t i o n and the Party-at-Large 251 The P o l i t i c s of P a r t i c i p a t i o n and the Parliamentary Party 289 Conclusion 315 00 C*0 Chapter Page 5. THE IMPACT OP THE PARTY SYSTEM ON THE PARTIES * PROGRAMS TO INCREASE POLITICAL PARTICIPATION 358 In t r o d u c t i o n — t h e P a r t i e s and the P o l i t i c a l System 358 Delegation and the P a r t i c i p a t o r y Goals of .the P a r t i e s 367 Party ;r Competition and the P a r t i c i p a t o r y Goals of the Party 376 The Quality of P a r t i c i p a t i o n , Party Competition and the Level of P a r t i c i p a t i o n 389 Conclusion 398 6. THE IMPACT OF THE PARLIAMENTARY SYSTEM ON THE PARTIES 1 PROGRAMS TO INCREASE POLITICAL PARTICIPATION 408 The Parliamentary System 408 The UFA 420 The CCF 424 The L i b e r a l Party 429 Conclusion 432 7. CONCLUSION 437 BIBLIOGRAPHY 455 APPENDIX A: Selections from the UFA Platform and Declaration of Principles,-1923 .> ... 479 LIST OF TABLES Table Page 1. UFA Seats i n L e g i s l a t u r e i n Rel a t i o n to Popular Vote 50 2. Relationship of Popular Vote Totals to Seats i n the L e g i s l a t u r e f o r Selected E l e c t i o n s 363 C h a p t e r 1 INTRODUCTION The e s s e n t i a l f e a t u r e o f a d e m o c r a t i c p o l i t y i s i t s c o n c e r n f o r t h e p a r t i c i p a t i o n o f t h e member i n t h e p r o c e s s by w h i c h t h e community i s gov e r n e d . . . . I t g i v e s t o each c i t i z e n a p u b l i c o f f i c e , a p l a c e i n t h e s o v e r e i g n t r i b u n a l and, u n l e s s i t i s a sham, i t p l a c e s i t s d e s t i n y i n t h e hands o f t h a t t r i b u n a l . Many f a c t o r s d e t e r m i n e t h e e x t e n t t o w h i c h t h e d e m o c r a t i c i d e a l o f a p a r t i c i p a n t c i t i z e n r y w i l l be r e a l i z e d . One s u c h f a c t o r i s t h e s t r u c t u r e and f u n c t i o n i n g o f a p o l i t y ' s p o l i t i c a l i n s t i t u t i o n s . The o p p o r t u n i t i e s a v a i l a b l e f o r c i t i z e n p o l i t i c a l p a r t i c i p a t i o n c a n encourage him t o be a p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i s t o r t o be a p a t h e t i c . What Jo h n S t u a r t M i l l w r ote about " i n t e l l e c t u a l e x e r c i s e " i s e q u a l l y a p p l i c a b l e t o p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i s m w h i c h , i f i t i s o f a s e r i o u s c h a r a c t e r , i n c l u d e s an i n t e l l e c t u a l component. A p e r s o n must have a v e r y u n u s u a l t a s t e f o r i n t e l l e c t u a l e x e r c i s e i n and f o r i t s e l f who w i l l p u t h i m s e l f t o t h e t r o u b l e o f t h o u g h t when i t i s t o have no outward e f f e c t , o r q u a l i f y h i m s e l f f o r f u n c t i o n s w h i c h he has no chance o f b e i n g a l l o w e d t o e x e r c i s e . The o n l y s u f f i c i e n t i n c i t e m e n t t o m e n t a l e x e r t i o n , i n any but a few minds i n a g e n e r a t i o n , i s t h e p r o s p e c t o f some p r a c t i c a l use t o be made o f i t s r e s u l t s . The i m p a ct o f i n s t i t u t i o n s on l e v e l s o f a c t i v i s m can be i l l u s t r a t e d s i m p l y . By e x t e n d i n g t h e f r a n c h i s e , p o l i t i c a l l e a d e r s made i t p o s s i b l e f o r a d d i t i o n a l g roups o f c i t i z e n s t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n p o l i t i c a l l i f e , and t h e new 1 2 opportunity gave them increased incentive to do so. The -lurther elaboration of i n s t i t u t i o n a l arrangements to consult the c i t i z e n r y on matters of pu b l i c p o l i c y , such as the frequent use of referenda, would f a c i l i t a t e even more involvement. One may i l l u s t r a t e the point further by means of an example from outside the realm of p o l i t i c s , as that term i s narrowly construed. An i n d i v i d u a l employed by a company which i s dominated by an au t o c r a t i c management may be d o c i l e and passive. The management may make i t c l e a r that the employee's advice on the running of the business i s not welcome, and make no p r o v i s i o n f o r the i n d i v i d u a l to influence company management even i f he had the temerity to t r y . But place the same i n d i v i d u a l i n a d i f f e r e n t s e t t i n g , such as a u n i v e r s i t y characterized by a high degree of i n t e r n a l democracy, and the passive on-the-job behaviour often w i l l give way to active involvement. In the new s i t u a t i o n , the i n d i v i d u a l i s expected to p a r t i c i p a t e i n making p o l i c y f o r the i n s t i t u t i o n and f a c i l i t i e s to allow him to do so are provided.-. How may the impact of the major Canadian p o l i t i c a l i n s t i t u t i o n s - ~ t h e party and the parliamentary systems and the e l e c t o r a l system which supports both—be characterized from a p a r t i c i p a t o r y perspective? Is the p o l i t i c a l system one which encourages p a r t i c i p a t i o n - p r s n o t ? Leon Dion writes that Canadian i n s t i t u t i o n s , . . . have evolved i n a shape more or l e s s consciously designed to discourage,direct personal involvement i n the p o l i t i c a l process.^ 3 C a n a d i a n p o l i t i c a l i n s t i t u t i o n s have been t h o r o u g h l y s t u d i e d f r om some p e r s p e c t i v e s but t h e i r i m p a c t on l e v e l s o f c i t i z e n p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n s e t t i n g p u b l i c p o l i c y has been n e g l e c t e d . T h i s makes i t d i f f i c u l t t o know how much r e s p o n s i b i l i t y s h o u l d be a s s i g n e d t o i n s t i t u t i o n s f o r t h e low l e v e l o f p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i s m v i s - a - v i s o t h e r i n f l u e n c e s . I t i s w e l l documented t h a t t h e l e v e l o f c i t i z e n p a r t i c i p a t i o n . i n p o l i t i c s i n Canada i s l o w r e l a t i v e t o t h e d e m o c r a t i c i d e a l o f a p a r t i c i p a n t c i t i z e n r y , as i t i s i n o t h e r l i b e r a l d e m o c r a c i e s . Much o f t h e e m p i r i c a l r e s e a r c h on democracy s i n c e WW 11^ has been d e v o t e d t o q u a n t i f y i n g l e v e l s o f p a r t i c i p a t i o n . The t o n e o f t h e r e p o r t s based on t h i s r e s e a r c h h a s been one o f ^ s u r p r i s e t h a t t h e r e i s so l i t t l e p o l i t i c a l i n v o l v e m e n t by t h e p u b l i c a t l a r g e . I n Canada, t h e t y p i c a l p a t t e r n o f p o l i t i c a l i n v o l v e m e n t has been d e s c r i b e d as f o l l o w s : The r e p r e s e n t a t i v e f orm o f government, w h i c h i s t r a d i t i o n a l t o u s , may be seen as a p e r i o d i c p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t h e m a c h i n e r y o f g o v e r n m e n t — a p a r t i c i p a t i o n t h a t o c c u r s o n l y once e v e r y f o u r o r f i v e y e a r s . Long l a p s e s may f o l l o w e l e c t i o n -t i m e p a r t i c i p a t i o n and, w i t h t h e e x c e p t i o n o f wh a t e v e r r a p p o r t may e x i s t between Members o f P a r l i a m e n t and t h e i r c o n s t i t u e n t s , p a r t i c i p a t i o n i s n o t v e r y a c t i v e . O n l y a few v e r y c o n c e r n e d members o f t h e p u b l i c , some o f whom may be v i t a l l y a f f e c t e d by government d e c i s i o n s , m a i n t a i n any p r e t e n s e a t p a r t i c i p a t i o n between e l e c t i o n s . The i d e a l o f p a r t i c i p a t o r y democracy might be r e g a r d e d as a w i l l i n g n e s s t o i n t e n s i f y and b r o a d e n t h e 7 p a r t i c i p a t o r y p r a c t i c e s o f r e p r e s e n t a t i v e democracy. The m a jor purpose o f t h i s s t u d y i s t o d e t e r m i n e whether t h e 4 f u n c t i o n i n g o f C a n a d i a n p o l i t i c a l i n s t i t u t i o n s c o n t r i b u t e s Q t o t h e maintenance o f t h i s l o w l e v e l o f p a r t i c i p a t i o n . The l a r g e gap between t h e p a r t i c i p a t o r y i d e a l and r e a l i t y s h o u l d n o t be s u r p r i s i n g i n v i e w o f t h e enormous p r a c t i c a l d i f f i c u l t i e s i n v o l v e d i n even p a r t i a l l y o p e r a t i o n a l -i z i n g t h e p a r t i c i p a t o r y i d e a l , t h e r e l a t i v e l y s h o r t t i m e 9 t h a t i t has been w i d e l y a c c e p t e d , and t h e r e s i s t a n c e t o i t o f e l i t e s whose p o l i t i c a l c o n t r o l i t c h a l l e n g e s . W h i l e t h e e x i s t e n c e o f mass p o l i t i c a l a p a t h y i s n o t d e b a t e d , t h e r e i s d i s a g r e e m e n t o v e r whether i t s h o u l d be a m a t t e r o f c o n c e r n and, t h e r e f o r e , c o r r e c t e d i f possible."*"^ Most r e c e n t d e m o c r a t i c t h e o r i s t s have n o t p e r c e i v e d t h e h i g h l e v e l s o f a p a t h y as a c h a l l e n g e t o be overcome. R a t h e r , i n t h e p o s t WW I I e r a a t t e n t i o n has been d e v o t e d t o d e v e l o p -i n g and p r o m o t i n g a new c o n c e p t i o n o f democracy w h i c h a c c e p t s , o r even welcomes, a s u b s t a n t i a l element o f c i t i z e n a p a t h y . The new t h e o r y o f democracy has n o t been f o r m u l a t e d i n r e l a t i o n t o an a b s t r a c t g o a l . R a t h e r , i t has been d e r i v e d by d e s c r i b i n g how e x i s t i n g l i b e r a l d e m o c r a c i e s a c t u a l l y f u n c t i o n . I n t h e new t h e o r y , . . . 'democracy' r e f e r s t o a p o l i t i c a l method o r s e t o f i n s t i t u t i o n a l a r r a ngements a t n a t i o n a l l e v e l . The c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y d e m o c r a t i c element i n t h e method i s t h e c o m p e t i t i o n o f l e a d e r s ( e l i t e s ) f o r t h e v o t e s o f t h e p e o p l e a t p e r i o d i c , f r e e e l e c t i o n s . E l e c t i o n s a r e c r u c i a l t o t h e d e m o c r a t i c method f o r i t i s p r i m a r i l y t h r o u g h e l e c t i o n s t h a t t h e m a j o r i t y c a n e x e r c i s e c o n t r o l o v e r t h e i r l e a d e r s . R e s p o n s i v e n e s s o f l e a d e r s t o n o n - e l i t e demands, o r ' c o n t r o l ' o v e r l e a d e r s , i s e n s u r e d p r i m a r i l y t h r o u g h t h e s a n c t i o n o f l o s s o f o f f i c e a t e l e c t i o n s ; t h e 5 d e c i s i o n s o f l e a d e r s can a l s o be i n f l u e n c e d by a c t i v e g r o u p s b r i n g i n g p r e s s u r e t o b e a r d u r i n g i n t e r - e l e c t i o n p e r i o d s . " P o l i t i c a l e q u a l i t y " i n t h e t h e o r y r e f e r s t o u n i v e r s a l s u f f r a g e and t o t h e e x i s t e n c e o f e q u a l i t y o f o p p o r t u n i t y o f a c c e s s t o c h a n n e l s o f i n f l u e n c e o v e r l e a d e r s . F i n a l l y , ' p a r t i c i p a t i o n ' , so f a r as t h e m a j o r i t y i s c o n c e r n e d , i s p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t h e c h o i c e o f d e c i s i o n - m a k e r s . T h e r e f o r e , the f u n c t i o n o f p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t h e t h e o r y i s s o l e l y a p r o t e c t i v e one; t h e p r o t e c t i o n o f t h e i n d i v i d u a l f r om a r b i t r a r y d e c i s i o n s by e l e c t e d l e a d e r s and t h e p r o t e c t i o n o f h i s p r i v a t e i n t e r e s t s . I t i s i n i t s achievement o f t h i s a i m t h a t t h e j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r t h e d e m o c r a t i c method l i e s ^ H I t i s e s s e n t i a l t o u n d e r s t a n d how co n t e m p o r a r y l i b e r a l d e m o c r a c i e s a c t u a l l y f u n c t i o n . However, t h e r e i s a n o r m a t i v e d i m e n s i o n t o a d e s c r i p t i o n w h i c h a p p l i e s t h e t e r m "democracy" t o a system based on a c o n t i n u a t i o n o f w i d e s p r e a d p u b l i c 1 2 p o l i t i c a l a p a t h y . The c o n c e p t o f democracy i s a l t e r e d f u n d a m e n t a l l y when i t no l o n g e r i n v o l v e s c o n t i n u o u s w i d e s p r e a d c i t i z e n p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n p o l i t i c s and i s t i e d i n s t e a d t o an e x i s t i n g s e t o f p o l i t i c a l p r o c e d u r e s . I t i s i m p l i e d by t h e new d e f i n i t i o n t h a t t h e c l a s s i c a l v i e w o f democracy as a means o f i n d i v i d u a l f u l f i l m e n t i s e i t h e r u n d e s i r a b l e o r u n a t t a i n a b l e . The immediate o b j e c t i v e o f c l a s s i c a l democracy has a l w a y s been t o e x t e n d t h e o p p o r t u n i t y f o r i n d i v i d u a l s t o t a k e an e q u a l and an e f f e c t i v e p a r t i n t h e management o f p u b l i c a f f a i r s . T h r o u gh t h i s o p p o r t u n i t y , i t was b e l i e v e d , t h e h o r i z o n s o f t h e p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n d i v i d u a l would be widened, h i s knowledge e x t e n d e d , h i s s y m p a t h i e s made l e s s p a r o c h i a l , h i s p r a c t i c a l i n t e l l i g e n c e d e v e l o p e d . P a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t h e management o f p u b l i c a f f a i r s w ould s e r v e as a v i t a l means o f i n t e l l e c t u a l , e m o t i o n a l , and m o r a l e d u c a t i o n l e a d i n g t o w a r d t h e 6 f u l l development o f t h e c a p a c i t i e s o f i n d i v i d u a l human b e i n g s . P a r t i c i p a t i o n i n p o l i t i c s would p r o v i d e men w i t h o p p o r t u n i t i e s t o t a k e p a r t i n making s i g n i f i c a n t d e c i s i o n s and t o t r a n s c e n d t h e n a r r o w bounds o f t h e i r p r i v a t e a f f a i r s . I t w ould b u i l d and c o n s o l i d a t e a sense o f g e n u i n e community t h a t would s e r v e as a s o l i d f o u n d a t i o n f o r government. I t would p r o v i d e a s t r e n u o u s and r e w a r d i n g f i e l d o f endeavor by e x t e n d i n g o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r f r e e a c t i v i t y and s e l f - g o v e r n m e n t beyond t h e f r e q u e n t l y p e t t y sphere o f p r i v a t e l i f e i n t o t h e r e a l m o f t h e p u b l i c domain w h i c h had h i t h e r t o been l a r g e l y beyond t h e c o n t r o l , o r t h e hope o f c o n t r o l o f o r d i n a r y men.^5 I f t h e r e v i s e d c o n c e p t o f democracy i s a c c e p t e d , t h e i m p e t u s t o work t o w a r d a h i g h e r l e v e l o f c i t i z e n p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n p o l i t i c s i s b l u n t e d . The way i n w h i c h t h e l e v e l s o f a s p i r a t i o n o f t h o s e c a l l i n g t h e m s e l v e s democrats a r e r e d u c e d by a c c e p t i n g t h e "new" democracy i s i n d i c a t e d i n t h e summary o f e m p i r i c a l r e s e a r c h on p o l i t i c a l p a r t i c i p a t i o n c o m p i l e d by L e s t e r M i l b r a t h . a) Most c i t i z e n s i n any p o l i t i c a l s o c i e t y do not l i v e up t o t h e c l a s s i c a l d e m o c r a t i c p r e s c r i p t i o n t o be i n t e r e s t e d i n , i n f o r m e d a b o u t , and a c t i v e i n p o l i t i c s . b) Y e t , d e m o c r a t i c governments and s o c i e t i e s c o n t i n u e t o f u n c t i o n a d e q u a t e l y . c ) I t i s a f a c t t h a t h i g h p a r t i c i p a t i o n i s n o t r e q u i r e d f o r s u c c e s s f u l democracy.* M i l b r a t h n o t e s t h e i m p o r t a n c e o f p r e s e n t l e v e l s o f p a r t i c i -p a t i o n b e i n g m a i n t a i n e d and t h e p o s s i b l e t h r e a t t o s t a b i l i t y p o s ed by f u r t h e r p o l i t i c i z a t i o n . O v e r a l l , he c o n f i r m s t h a t 7 t h e e m p i r i c a l l i t e r a t u r e on t h e s u b j e c t o f p a r t i c i p a t i o n 15 s u p p o r t s t h e s t a t u s quo. y The c o n t r a s t between t h e p o s i t i o n t a k e n by t h e group o f s c h o l a r s whose work M i l b r a t h summarizes and t h e c l a s s i c a l i d e a l o f democracy i s s u b s t a n t i a l . As T. B. Bottomore o b s e r v e s : I t would n o t have o c c u r r e d t o most o f t h e d e m o c r a t i c p o l i t i c a l t h i n k e r s o f t h e n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y t o r e g a r d u n i v e r s a l s u f f r a g e , c o m p e t i t i o n between s e v e r a l p o l i t i c a l p a r t i e s , and r e p r e s e n t a t i v e government, however v a l u a b l e by c o n t r a s t w i t h t h e i n s t i t u t i o n s o f o t h e r p o l i t i c a l r e g i m e s , as t h e u l t i m a t e p o i n t o f d e m o c r a t i c p r o g r e s s beyond w h i c h i t was i m p o s s i b l e t o v e n t u r e . ' 6 The i s s u e o f whether a h i g h e r l e v e l o f p a r t i c i p a t i o n i s d e s i r a b l e o r a t t a i n a b l e , and t o what e x t e n t , w i l l be a m a t t e r o f c o n t i n u i n g d e b a t e . The c a s e f o r a h i g h e r l e v e l o f c i t i z e n i n v o l v e m e n t i n s e t t i n g p u b l i c p o l i c y w i l l n o t be a rgued i n t h i s s t u d y . I t i s o b v i o u s , however, t h a t an i n t e r e s t i n t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p o f e x i s t i n g i n s t i t u t i o n s t o l e v e l s o f p a r t i c i p a t i o n , w h i c h i s t h e c e n t r a l f o c u s o f t h i s work, i s l i k e l y t o be accompanied by a b e l i e f t h a t C a n a d i a n s o c i e t y w o u l d be h e a l t h i e r i f more c i t i z e n s were a c t i v e l y c o n c e r n e d t o promote t h e p u b l i c i n t e r e s t t h r o u g h p o l i t i c s . I t i s i m p o r t a n t t h a t t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p o f t h e p o l i t i c a l s ystem t o s o c i a l phenomena be u n d e r s t o o d i f p e o p l e a r e t o g a i n : g r e a t e r m a s t e r y o v e r t h e i r e n v i r o n m e n t . F o r example, t h e d i s t r i b u t i o n o f w e a l t h among s o c i a l c l a s s e s i s a s u b j e c t 8 o f major c o n c e r n i n a l l modern s t a t e s . But i n o r d e r t o f u l l y comprehend t h e p a t t e r n o f t h e d i s t r i b u t i o n o f w e a l t h , 1 7 t h e o p e r a t i o n o f t h e p o l i t i c a l system must be u n d e r s t o o d . W i t h t h i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g , c i t i z e n s w i l l be a b l e t o see what must be done i f t h e y choose t o a l t e r t h e d i s t r i b u t i o n o f economic b e n e f i t s i n t h e community. S i m i l a r l y , i f t h e r e were a d e s i r e t o r a i s e t h e l e v e l o f p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n p o l i t i c a l l i f e , i t would be v i t a l t o u n d e r s t a n d t h e i m p a ct o f t h e e x i s t i n g system o f p o l i t i c a l i n s t i t u t i o n s on c i t i z e n a c t i v i s m i n d r a w i n g up an a p p r o p r i a t e s t r a t e g y f o r b r i n g i n g about change. W i t h o u t such a g r a s p o f p o l i t i c a l r e a l i t i e s , g r e a t e f f o r t may be expended w i t h f r u s t r a t i o n and d i s i l l u s i o n -ment t h e o n l y r e s u l t . A number o f d i f f e r e n t a p p r o a c h e s c o u l d be a d o p t e d i n d e v e l o p i n g an a n a l y s i s o f t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p o f e x i s t i n g p o l i t i c a l i n s t i t u t i o n s and l e v e l s o f p o l i t i c a l p a r t i c i p a t i o n . The one a d o p t e d h e r e i s t o a n a l y s e t h e r e s p o n s e o f t h e s ystem t o demands f o r g r e a t e r p a r t i c i p a t i o n and f r o m t h i s r e s p o n s e t o draw g e n e r a l c o n c l u s i o n s about how t h e i n s t i t u -t i o n a l , system i n f l u e n c e s l e v e l s o f c i t i z e n s h i p . To s t u d y t h e r e s p o n s e o f t h e p o l i t i c a l - i n s t i t u t i o n s t o p r e s s u r e f o r more p a r t i c i p a t i o n t h e r e must, o f c o u r s e , be s uch demands, u n l e s s t h e i n v e s t i g a t i o n i s t o be h i g h l y s p e c u l a t i v e . There have been i n s t a n c e s where groups have s t a t e d a d e t e r m i n a t i o n t o r a i s e t h e l e v e l o f p u b l i c p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n p o l i t i c s . The most r e c e n t was t h e f e d e r a l L i b e r a l p a r t y . I t was t h e a c t i o n o f t h i s group i n 1 9 6 8 i n e n d o r s i n g and p r o m i s i n g 9 t o f a c i l i t a t e a h i g h e r l e v e l o f p o l i t i c a l p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n Canada w h i c h prompted t h i s s t u d y . A s i t u a t i o n i n w h i c h a p o l i t i c a l p a r t y a t t e m p t s t o i n t r o d u c e a h i g h e r l e v e l o f p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t o t h e p o l i t i c a l system p r o v i d e s a p a r t i c u l a r l y p r o m i s i n g o p p o r t u n i t y t o s t u d y t h e i n s t i t u t i o n / p a r t i c i p a t i o n r e l a t i o n s h i p . P o l i t i c a l i n s t i t u t i o n s a r e h i g h l y r e s i s t a n t t o change, as John Dewey has p o i n t e d o u t . . . . p o l i t i c a l f o r m s . . . once e s t a b l i s h e d , p e r s i s t o f t h e i r own momentum. The new p u b l i c w h i c h i s g e n e r a t e d r e m a i n s l o n g i n c h o a t e , u n o rgan-i z e d , because i t " c annot use i n h e r i t e d p o l i t i c a l a g e n c i e s . The l a t t e r , i f e l a b o r a t e and w e l l i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d , o b s t r u c t t h e o r g a n i z a t i o n o f th e new p u b l i c . . . . T o f o r m i t s e l f , t h e p u b l i c has t o b r e a k e x i s t i n g p o l i t i c a l f o r m s . T h i s i s h a r d t o do because t h e s e f o r m s a r e t h e m s e l v e s t h e r e g u l a r means o f i n s t i t u t i n g change. The p u b l i c w h i c h g e n e r a t e d p o l i t i c a l f o rms i s p a s s i n g away, b u t t h e power and l u s t o f p o s s e s s i o n r e m a i n s i n t h e hands o f t h e o f f i c e r s and a g e n c i e s w h i c h t h e d y i n g p u b l i c i n s t i t u t e d . T h i s i s why t h e change o f t h e f o r m o f s t a t e s i s so o f t e n e f f e c t e d by r e v o l u t i o n . The c r e a t i o n o f a d e q u a t e l y f l e x i b l e and r e s p o n s i b l e p o l i t i c a l and l e g a l m a c h i n e r y has so f a r been beyond t h e w i t o f man.^8 When t h e dynamic a c t i v a t i n g agent i n t h e p o l i t i c a l s y s t e m , t h e p o l i t i c a l p a r t y , p r o p o s e s changes i n t h e system r a t h e r t h a n a d o p t i n g a d e f e n s i v e p o s t u r e , t h i s i n v i t e s e x p l a n a t i o n . I s t h e system d e m o n s t r a t i n g t h a t f o r c e s w i t h i n i t w i l l f o r c e i t s f u r t h e r d e m o c r a t i z a t i o n , c o n f o u n d i n g Dewey t h e r e b y . 10 The p o l i t i c a l p a r t y , o r t h e system o f p a r t i e s , i s 1 9 t h e main l i n k between t h e p u b l i c and t h e government. J The e s s e n t i a l element o f t h e p a r t y i s n o t l e g a l p r o c e d u r e s but a body o f p e o p l e w i t h p u r p o s e s and a m b i t i o n s . I t s r o l e i s c r u c i a l i n s t r u c t u r i n g t h e o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r c i t i z e n s t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n p o l i t i c s . Membership i n t h e p a r t y p r o v i d e s t h e average c i t i z e n one o f t h e few o p p o r t u n i t i e s , o r p e r h a p s t h e o n l y one, he has t o become i n v o l v e d i n a s p e c i f i c a l l y p o l i t i c a l o r g a n i z a t i o n w i t h w i d e - r a n g i n g i n t e r e s t s . The p a r t i e s a c t as t h e system g a t e k e e p e r s c o n t r o l l i n g n o m i n a t i o n s t o p u b l i c o f f i c e and, i n l a r g e measure, d e t e r m i n i n g t h e i s s u e s t o be p u t b e f o r e t h e e l e c t o r a t e . The p a r t y - a s - g o v e r n m e n t has t h e power t o c o n t r o l t h e t erms on w h i c h b o t h members o f t h e p a r t y , and c i t i z e n s o u t s i d e i t s r a n k s , can p a r t i c i p a t e i n s e t t i n g p u b l i c p o l i c y . I f a p a r t y e n d o r s e s p a r t i c i p a t o r y v a l u e s , p r o m i s e s t o s t r e n g t h e n them by e n a c t i n g c e r t a i n r e f o r m s , and has t h e power as t h e government t o do s o , i t s r e c o r d s h o u l d show a g r e a t d e a l about t h e i n n e r dynamics o f t h e p o l i t i c a l system and how such dynamics i n f l u e n c e t h e g e n e r a l l e v e l o f p o l i t i c a l p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t h e c o u n t r y . The L i b e r a l case met t h e c r i t e r i a o f a p a r t y p u b l i c l y c o mmitted t o f u r t h e r i n g p a r t i c i p a t i o n and p o s s e s s i n g t h e power t o do so. The p a r t y a d o p t e d i t s program t o meet a p a r t i c u l a r s e t o f demands and a c t e d on i t i n r e l a t i o n t o a p a r t i c u l a r s e t o f c i r c u m s t a n c e s . However, I t would be 11 impossible to generalize broadly about the i n s t i t u t i o n / p a r t i c i p a t i o n r e l a t i o n s h i p on the basis of one party's experience. In Canadian h i s t o r y two other p a r t i e s also committed themselves to r a i s i n g l e v e l s of p a r t i c i p a t i o n and were i n a p o s i t i o n to use the power of the government to do something about t h e i r commitment. The United Farmers of A l b e r t a were elected to o f f i c e i n 1921 on a platform which included democratic reforms, the express i n t e n t i o n of which was to allow the people more c o n t r o l over p u b l i c p o l i c y . And i n 1944, the GGF i n Saskatchewan took o f f i c e committed to r a i s i n g the l e v e l of p o l i t i c a l p a r t i c i p a t i o n by providing the c i t i z e n r y with a democratic mass party through which i t could c o n t r o l governmental de c i s i o n s . The experience of the UFA and the GGF was accumulated under very d i f f e r e n t circumstances from that of the fed e r a l L i b e r a l s . The relevant a c t i v i t i e s of the three p a r t i e s occurred i n d i f f e r e n t time periods characterized by d i s t i n c t economic and s o c i a l problems. In ad d i t i o n , the nature of the j u r i s d i c t i o n s i n which the p a r t i e s operated was quite d i f f e r e n t . The L i b e r a l s faced a diverse n a t i o n a l constituency, while the UFA and CCF functioned i n provinces which had small populations h e a v i l y dependent on one industry, a g r i c u l t u r e . F i n a l l y , the position: of the three p a r t i e s i n r e l a t i o n to the p o l i t i c a l system d i f f e r e d . The L i b e r a l party was a well-established organization with parliamentary o r i g i n s . The UFA and CCF were both extra-parliamentary i n 12 o r i g i n . The CCF accepted the i n s t i t u t i o n a l framework that existed at the time of i t s o r i g i n ; the UFA re j e c t e d i t . The three p a r t i e s between them subjected the system of p o l i t i c a l i n s t i t u t i o n s to a v a r i e t y of stresses. C o l l e c t -i v e l y t h e i r record provides a body of data on which to base generalizations about the e f f e c t s of the p o l i t i c a l system on l e v e l s of p a r t i c i p a t i o n . In i n v e s t i g a t i n g the i n s t i t u t i o n / p a r t i c i p a t i o n r e l a t i o n s h i p , the records of the three p a r t i e s f i r s t w i l l be examined i n d i v i d u a l l y . Second, t h e i r c o l l e c t i v e experience w i l l be r e l a t e d to the i n s t i t u t i o n a l context i n which they functioned. Primary a t t e n t i o n w i l l be di r e c t e d to the i n s t i t u t i o n s of the party and parliamentary systems. But reference w i l l be made i n these two chapters to the t h i r d i n s t i t u t i o n a l member of the p o l i t i c a l system, the e l e c t o r a l system. The e l e c t o r a l system has an influence on the number of p a r t i e s i n the system, on t h e i r s t r a t e g i e s , and on the d i s t r i b u t i o n of power between them. The competitive party system conditions the a t t i t u d e s of -pro f e s s i o n a l p o l i t i c i a n s , party members, and c i t i z e n s to p o l i t i c s by l e g i t i m i z i n g the struggle f o r state power and i t s use by the v i c t o r i n the e l e c t o r a l contest. Each of the p a r t i e s governed, and the t r a d i t i o n s of parliamentary government suggest a p a r t i c u l a r d i s t r i b u t i o n of power and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y which 1 3 was y e t a n o t h e r f a c t o r i n f l u e n c i n g t h e p e r f o r m a n c e o f each. There i s an e s t a b l i s h e d body o f s c h o l a r l y r e s e a r c h on t h e UFA and t h e CCF on w h i c h much o f t h e two c h a p t e r s on t h e s e p a r t i e s i s ba s e d . However, t h i s s t u d y f o c u s s e s on q u e s t i o n s w h i c h d i f f e r f r o m t h o s e a s k e d by o t h e r a u t h o r s and t h e c o n c l u s i o n s r e a c h e d on t h e b a s i s o f t h i s r e s t u d y o f t h e UFA and GGF a r e , t h e r e f o r e , d i f f e r e n t . F u r t h e r , u n l i k e e a r l i e r r e s e a r c h , t h i s s t u d y a t t e m p t s t o compare and draw c o n c l u s i o n s b ased on t h e t h r e e p a r t i e s ' e x p e r i e n c e . The f o r a y o f t h e L i b e r a l p a r t y i n t o p a r t i c i p a t o r y p o l i t i c s h as been t o o r e c e n t f o r i t t o be t h e s u b j e c t o f o t h e r t h a n a few s c h o l a r l y a r t i c l e s ; t h e L i b e r a l c a s e s t u d y t h e r e f o r e , p r e s e n t s a more complete p i c t u r e o f t h e p a r t y ' s a p p r o a c h t o t h e p o l i t i c s o f p a r t i c i p a t i o n t h a n has been a v a i l a b l e t o t h i s t i m e . 14 NOTES: .Chapter 1 J o s e p h Tussman, O b l i g a t i o n and t h e Body P o l i t i c ( O x f o r d : O x f o r d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1 9 6 6 ) , p. 1 0 5 . 2 M a r s h a l l Cohen, ed., The P h i l o s o p h y o f John  S t u a r t M i l l (New- York:' Modern L i b r a r y , 1 9 6 1 ) , p. 403-F o r a s i m i l a r o b s e r v a t i o n see, J . R o l a n d Pennock, L i b e r a l  Democracy (New Y o r k : H o l t , R i n e h a r t , 1 9 5 0 ) , p. 106. -'Leon D i o n , " P a r t i c i p a t i n g i n t h e P o l i t i c a l P r o c e s s , " Queen's Q u a r t e r l y , LXXV, 3 ( 1 9 6 8 ) , 4 3 3 . 4 F o r a s t a t e m e n t o f t h i s i d e a l s e e , James ( V i s c o u n t ) B r y c e , Modern D e m o c r a c i e s I (London: M a c m i l l a n , 1 9 2 1 ) , 47-48. 5 •'Levels o f p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n w e s t e r n d e m o c r a c i e s ar e s u m m a r i l y d e s c r i b e d as f o l l o w s : "Data from l a r g e - s c a l e e m p i r i c a l i n v e s t i g a t i o n s i n t o p o l i t i c a l a t t i t u d e s and B e h a v i o u r , u n d e r t a k e n i n most W e s t e r n c o u n t r i e s o v e r t h e p a s t t w e n t y o r t h i r t y y e a r s , have r e v e a l e d t h a t t h e o u t -s t a n d i n g c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f most c i t i z e n s , more e s p e c i a l l y t h o s e i n t h e l o w e r s o c i o - e c o n o m i c s t a t u s (SES) g r o u p s , i s a g e n e r a l l a c k o f i n t e r e s t i n p o l i t i c s and p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i t y and f u r t h e r t h a t w i d e s p r e a d n o n - d e m o c r a t i c o r a u t h o r i t a r i a n a t t i t u d e s e x i s t , a g a i n p a r t i c u l a r l y among l o w e r s o c i o -economic s t a t u s g r o u p s . The c o n c l u s i o n drawn ( o f t e n by p o l i t i c a l s o c i o l o g i s t s w e a r i n g p o l i t i c a l t h e o r i s t s ' h a t s ) i s t h a t t h e ' c l a s s i c a l ' p i c t u r e o f d e m o c r a t i c man i s h o p e l e s s l y u n r e a l i s t i c , and moreover, t h a t i n v i e w o f t h e f a c t s about p o l i t i c a l a t t i t u d e s , an i n c r e a s e i n p o l i t i c a l p a r t i c i p a t i o n by p r e s e n t n o n - p a r t i c i p a n t s c o u l d u p s e t t h e s t a b i l i t y o f t h e d e m o c r a t i c system." C a r o l e Pateman, P a r t i c i p a t i o n and D e m o c r a t i c T h e o r y (Cambridge: Cambridge U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1 9 7 0 ) , p. 3~- A l s o s e e , G. Almond and S. V e r b a , The C i v i c C u l t u r e ( P r i n c e t o n : P r i n c e t o n U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1 9 6 3 ) . ^ F o r examples o f t h i s r e s e a r c h s e e : G. Almond and S. V e r b a , The C i v i c C u l t u r e ; A. Downs, An Economic T h e o r y  o f Democracy (New Y o r k : H a r p e r , 1 9 6 3 ) ; H a r r y E c k s t e i n , A T h e o r y o f S t a b l e Democracy ( P r i n c e t o n : C e n t e r o f I n t e r -n a t i o n a l S t u d i e s R e s e a r c h , Monograph No. 1 0 , 1 9 6 1 ) ; S. M. L i p s e t , P o l i t i c a l Man ( G a r d e n C i t y : D o ubleday, 1 9 6 3 ) ; L e s t e r W. M i l b r a t h , P o l i t i c a l P a r t i c i p a t i o n ( C h i c a g o : Rand M c N a l l y , 1 9 6 5 ) ; and G i o v a n n i S a r t o r i , D e m o c r a t i c T h e o r y 15 (New York: Praeger, 1965); and Joseph Schumpeter, Capitalisms Socialism and Democracy (3rd ed.; 1942; r p t . New York: Harper and Row, 1950). Although: not "postwar" t h e o r i z i n g , Schumpeter's study should be included here because of i t s influence on the democratic t h e o r i z i n g which followed i t s p u b l i c a t i o n . "^Report of the Task Force on Government Information, To Know and Be Known, I I (Ottawa: Queen's P r i n t e r , 1969), 18. For further d i s c u s s i o n of p a r t i c i p a t o r y norms i n Canada see Leon Dion, " P a r t i c i p a t i n g i n the P o l i t i c a l Process"; Robert Presthus, E l i t e Accommodation i n Canadian P o l i t i e s (Toronto: Macmillan, 1973)» PP» 20-63 and R. J . Van Loon, " P o l i t i c a l P a r t i c i p a t i o n i n Canada: The 1965 E l e c t i o n , " Canadian Journal of P o l i t i c a l Science, I I I , 3 (1970), 376-399. Q " P a r t i c i p a t i o n " i s a term used frequently i n t h i s study. M i l b r a t h defines p o l i t i c a l behaviour as " . . . behaviour which a f f e c t s or i s intended to a f f e c t the d e c i s i o n a l outcomes of government." However, i n the very broadest sense i t may be argued that a l l behaviour a f f e c t s the d e c i s i o n a l outcomes of government, i f only i n some remote way. In t h i s study, " p a r t i c i p a t i o n " w i l l be used i n only the ^ second way suggested by Milbrath, i . e . to mean conscious intent to a f f e c t the d e c i s i o n a l outcomes of government. Frequently the context w i l l i n d i c a t e that the term p a r t i c i p a t i o n i s being used to describe attempts to influence governmental decisions, i n other than narrowly self-seeking ways. When so used, p a r t i c i p a t i o n i s the. equivalent of " c i t i z e n s h i p " which L a s k i defined as ". . . the co n t r i b u t i o n of our i n s t r u c t e d judgement to the common good." Lester W. Milbrath, P o l i t i c a l P a r t i c i p a t i o n p. 1. The Las k i quotation i s c i t e d i n Robert Pranger, The . E c l i p s e of C i t i z e n s h i p (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1968), p. 7. For other d e f i n i t i o n s of democratic p a r t i c i p a t i o n see Pennock, L i b e r a l Democracy, p. 58 and Pranger", p. 17. 9 I t i s impossible to pinpoint a date when the dominant p o l i t i c a l ideology i n Canada became democratic but perhaps by the end of the F i r s t World War, with the extension of the franch i s e , i t could be argued that few Canadians would take umbrage at being c a l l e d democrats. I t i s worthwhile to note, however, that not many years p r i o r to t h i s time democratic ideas were regarded as a l i e n (American) by many members of the Canadian e l i t e and even now one i s uncertain about the depth of t h e i r commitment to democratic values. See S. M. L i p s e t , i e "Revolution and Counterrevolution: The United States and Canada," The Canadian P o l i t i c a l Process, ed. 0. Kruhlak et a l . (Toronto: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1970), p. 36. 10 . For an example of t h i s controversy in- academic c i r c l e s see, Jack L. Walker, "A C r i t i q u e of the E l i t i s t Theory of Democracy/' The American P o l i t i c a l Science Review, LX, 2 (1966), 285-295 and R. A. Dahl, "Further R e f l e c t i o n s on the E l i t i s t Theory of Democracy, *' American P o l i t i c a l Science Review. LX, 2 (1966), 296-305- For other essays on the same subject see, Charles A. McCoy and John Playford, eds., A p o l i t i c a l P o l i t i c s (New York: Crowell, .1967). 1 1Pateman, P a r t i c i p a t i o n and Democratic Theory, p. 14. 1 ? ~ -^As George Grant has written, " . . . man cannot help but imitate i n a c t i o n h i s v i s i o n of the nature of things." George Grant, Technology and Empire (Toronto: House of Anansi, 1969) P- 72. ^ D a v i d Lane, "The Cost of Realism," A p o l i t i c a l  P o l i t i c s , p. 189- Also see Peter Bachrach, The Theory of Democratic E l i t i s m (Boston: L i t t l e , Brown, 1967)» pp. 3-4. ' M i l b r a t h , P o l i t i c a l P a r t i c i p a t i o n , p. 153. 1 5 I b i d . 1 6T.B. Bottomore, "The I n s u f f i c i e n c y of E l i t e Competition," F r o n t i e r s of Democratic Theory, ed. Henry S. K a r i e l (New York: Random House, 1970), p. 131. 17 'For two examples of attempts to explain to Americans the p o l i t i c a l forces which determine how economic be n e f i t s are d i s t r i b u t e d i n the United States see T. J . Lowi, The End of L i b e r a l i s m (New York: W. W. Norton, 1969) and Grant McConnell Private" Power and American Democracy (New York: Knopf, 1966JI 1 8 J o h n Dewey, The Pub l i c and I t s Problems (1927; r p t . Denver: A l l a n Swallow, 1954), pp. 30-31• 17 "Party i s the great, all-important instrument which mediates between the government and the governed. I t s function i s to organize p u b l i c opinion so that the government s h a l l be c a r r i e d on i n accordance with the opinions of the c i t i z e n s and also that the c i t i z e n s s h a l l be kept informed what the issues of government are." Frank H. Underbill,- In Search of Q.anadian Liberalism (Toronto: Macmillan, 19600, p. 233-C h a p t e r 2 THE UNITED FARMERS OF ALBERTA— DEMOCRATIZATION THROUGH INSTITUTIONAL REFORM INTROPUCTION D u r i n g t h e f i r s t q u a r t e r o f t h i s c e n t u r y t h e U n i t e d F a r m e r s o f A l b e r t a were o f p a r t i c u l a r i n t e r e s t t o s t u d e n t s o f C a n a d i a n p o l i t i c s because i t s spokesmen r e j e c t e d t h e e x i s t i n g p o l i t i c a l system and c a l l e d f o r f u n d a m e n t a l r e f o r m s i n i t . I n t h i s c h a p t e r t h e c i r c u m s t a n c e s w h i c h p r o v o k e d t h e UFA's c r i t i q u e o f t h e system w i l l be b r i e f l y s t a t e d . The c r i t i q u e i t s e l f w i l l t h e n be o u t l i n e d , f o l l o w e d by t h e UFA l e a d e r s ' p r o p o s a l s f o r a new, more d e m o c r a t i c system o f p o l i t i c s . The r e c o r d o f t h e UFA i n i m p l e m e n t i n g i t s p r o p o s a l s i n A l b e r t a , and i t s r e c o r d i n Ottawa, w i l l be examined. From t h i s e x a m i n a t i o n t e n t a t i v e c o n c l u s i o n s can be drawn about t h e l i k e l i h o o d o f l e a d e r s o f p o l i t i c a l p a r t i e s i m p l e m e n t i n g r e f o r m s w h i c h would r a i s e t h e l e v e l o f d e m o c r a t i c p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n p o l i t i c s even when t h o s e l e a d e r s a r e committed t o such r e f o r m s and c o n t r o l t h e power o f t h e s t a t e . T h " t h e e a r l y y e a r s o f t h i s c e n t u r y t h e b u r g e o n i n g f a r m p o p u l a t i o n s o f W e s t e r n Canada f a c e d s e r i o u s economic d i f f i c u l t i e s . The s t r a i n s o f d e v e l o p i n g a f r o n t i e r a r e a , c o u p l e d w i t h t h e n o r m a l u n c e r t a i n t y o f a f a r m i n g v o c a t i o n , g e n e r a t e d s t r o n g p r e s s u r e w i t h i n t h e f a r m c o m m u n i t i e s f o r c o l l e c t i v e a c t i o n t o cope w i t h t h e i r common p r o b l e m s . 18 19 The y e a r s 1896 t o 1920 were g e n e r a l l y ones o f r i s i n g p r i c e s and p r o d u c t i o n i n t h e k e y wheat s e c t o r o f C a n a d i a n a g r i c u l t u r e . However, w i t h i n t h i s t i m e - s p a n t h e r e were wide market f l u c t u a t i o n s w h i c h k e p t t h e f a r m e r u n c e r t a i n about t h e a b i l i t y o f t h e w o r l d market t o a b s o r b t h e p cascade o f g r a i n coming from t h e p r a i r i e s . I n t h i s p e r i o d o f g e n e r a l p r o s p e r i t y t h e f a r m e r f o u n d t h a t r i s i n g g r a i n p r i c e s were n o t c o n t r i b u t i n g as much t o h i s w e l l b e i n g as raw f i g u r e s o f s a l e s and p r i c e s would s u g g e s t . N e a r l y a l l f a r m e r s were c o n v i n c e d t h a t t h e y were n o t g e t t i n g t h e i r f a i r s h a r e o f t h e n a t i o n a l income. The f a r m e r s f e l t v i c t i m i z e d . C o n s i d e r i n g t h e m s e l v e s t h e most i m p o r t a n t s o u r c e o f t h e n a t i o n ' s w e a l t h , t h e y n e v e r t h e l e s s had t o f i g h t t h e u n p r e d i c t a b l e n a t u r a l e l e m e n t s and p o w e r f u l economic f o r c e s as w e l l . The r a i l r o a d s , t h e g r a i n s p e c u l a t o r s , t h e a r b i t r a r y g r a i n i n s p e c t o r s , t h e m a c h i n a t i o n s o f t h e t e r m i n a l e l e v a t o r o p e r a t o r s and t h e b a n k e r s , a l l seemed p a r t o f a h o s t x l e c o n s p i r a c y . I n a d d i t i o n t o t h e s e g r i e v a n c e s , t h e f a r m e r s had one w h i c h was o f p a r t i c u l a r p o l i t i c a l s i g n i f i c a n c e . As p r o d u c e r s t h e y were f a c e d w i t h m a r k e t i n g p r o b l e m s ; as consumers, t h e y f o u n d t h a t t h e p r o t e c t i v e t a r i f f i n f l a t e d t h e p r i c e s o f t h e t h i n g s t h e y had t o buy. The government's c o m m e r c i a l p o l i c y was p a r t i c u l a r l y i r r i t a t i n g . I t was one t h i n g t o b a t t l e w i t h h o s t i l e f o r c e s i n t h e m a r k e t p l a c e , 20 but a n o t h e r t o b e l i e v e t h a t t h e i r government was i n t h e p o c k e t o f p r i v i l e g e d i n t e r e s t s . These economic p r o b l e m s , common t o t h e C a n a d i a n p r a i r i e s , were f e l t p a r t i c u l a r l y k e e n l y i n A l b e r t a because o f i t s r e moteness f r o m t h e c e n t e r s o f power. The economic d i s c o n t e n t o f t h e l a r g e r u r a l p o p u l a t i o n p r o v i d e d a s t r o n g base f o r a g r a r i a n o r g a n i z a t i o n s and i n t h e e a r l y y e a r s o f t h i s c e n t u r y f a r m e r s m o b i l i z e d f o r j o i n t a c t i o n a c r o s s t h e p r a i r i e s . The p r i m a r y .purpose o f t h e new o r g a n i z a t i o n s was t o e d u c a t e t h e i r members i n c o l l e c t i v e a c t i o n , a knowledge o f t h e i r l e g a l and p o l i t i c a l r i g h t s , and an a p p r e c i a t i o n o f t h e d i g n i t y o f t h e i r c a l l i n g . The o r g a n i z e d f a r m e r s began w i t h a deep c o n v i c t i o n t h a t t h e r o o t o f t h e f a r m e r ' s p l i g h t was h i s i n d i v i d u a l i s m , h i s i s o l a t i o n , and h i s i g n o r a n c e o f m a t t e r s o u t s i d e h i s n a r r o w p r a c t i c a l e x p e r i e n c e . They sought t o a r o u s e c l a s s - c o n s c i o u s n e s s i n t h e f a r m e r , n o t because t h e y w i s h e d t o c r e a t e an army f o r c l a s s war, b u t because t h e y saw i n c l a s s -c o n s c i o u s n e s s t h e b e g i n n i n g o f w e l l - b e i n g and s e l f - r e s p e c t . T h i s e d u c a t i o n a l work o f i n d o c t r i n -a t i o n and t h e d i s s e m i n a t i o n o f i n f o r m a t i o n was c a r r i e d on i n t h e l o c a l a s s o c i a t i o n s , i n t h e a n n u a l c o n v e n t i o n s o f d e l e g a t e s o f t h e t e r r i t o r i a l and p r o v i n c i a l l o c a l s and, a f t e r 1 909 , i n t h e columns o f t h e o f f i c i a l o r g a n o f t h e f a r m e r s , t h e G r a i n G rowers' G u i d e . 6 I n 1909 , t h e two m a j o r f a r m o r g a n i z a t i o n s i n A l b e r t a , t h e T e r r i t o r i a l G r a i n Growers' A s s o c i a t i o n and t h e A l b e r t a S o c i e t y o f E q u i t y , merged and became t h e U n i t e d F a r m e r s o f A l b e r t a . The T e r r i t o r i a l G r a i n Growers was an i n d i g e n o u s 21 C a n a d i a n o r g a n i z a t i o n , b u t t h e S o c i e t y o f E q u i t y was an o f f s h o o t o f an o r g a n i z a t i o n founded i n t h e N o r t h West U n i t e d S t a t e s . The e x i s t e n c e o f t h e l a t t e r i n A l b e r t a , and t h e l a t e r s h o r t - l i v e d s u c c e s s t h e r e o f t h e US based N o n - P a r t i s a n League, were an i n d i c a t i o n o f t h e heavy 7 o u t s i d e i n f l u e n c e i n t h e p o p u l a t i o n o f A l b e r t a . As a r e s u l t o f t h i s o u t s i d e i n f l u e n c e , what W. L. M o r t o n r e f e r s t o as,.the " B r i t i s h - O n t a r i o " p o l i t i c a l t r a d i t i o n , . d i d n o t become as f i r m l y e s t a b l i s h e d i n A l b e r t a as i t d i d i n 8 Saskatchewan and, p a r t i c u l a r l y , i n M a n i t o b a . A l b e r t a . . . was t o shape i t s own p o l i t i c a l t r a d i t i o n s and t o make i t s own p a r t i e s . I t s s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l l i f e was h y b r i d i n c h a r a c t e r , and p o s s e s s e d a l l t h e o r g a n i c p o s s i b i l i t i e s o f a s p o r t , by r e a s o n o f t h e l a c k o f a dominant n a t i v e t r a d i t i o n and f r o m t h e v i g o u r o f t h e two main i m m i g r a n t g r o u p s , B r i t i s h and American.° The o u t s t a n d i n g f i g u r e i n t h e UFA o r g a n i z a t i o n was t h e M i s s o u r i - b o r n and r a i s e d , Henry Wise Wood. He came t o Canada as a mature man w i t h many f i x e d i d e a s b a s e d on h i s A m e r i c a n e x p e r i e n c e and u p b r i n g i n g . H e was known a s , t h e " M a n - f r o m - M i s s o u r i " , and t h i s d e s i g n a t i o n d i d n o t h i n g t o improve t h e a c c e p t a b i l i t y o f h i s i d e a s i n t h e r e s t o f t h e c o u n t r y where A m e r i c a n i n f l u e n c e was not as p r e v a l e n t as i t was i n A l b e r t a . M o r t o n n o t e d t h a t , i n 1918, t h e e x e c u t i v e and b o a r d o f d i r e c t o r s o f t h e U n i t e d F a r mers o f A l b e r t a were composed o f e i g h t p e r s o n s b o r n i n t h e U.S.; f i v e b o r n i n Canada and an e q u a l number b o r n i n 22 12 B r i t a i n ; and one b o r n i n New Z e a l a n d . I n e v a l u a t i n g t h e i r i n f l u e n c e M o r t o n c o n c l u d e d , On t h e w h o l e , i f judgment may be b a s e d on t h e r e c o r d o f e l e c t e d l e a d e r s , t h e B r i t i s h and A m e r i c a n i m m i g r a n t s were more c a p a b l e , more i n f l u e n c e d by c u r r e n t i d e a s and more i n c l i n e d t o p o l i t i c a l and economic d i s s e n t . ^ 3 From t h e t i m e t h e UFA was c o n s t i t u t e d i n 1909 , u n t i l t h e immediate p o s t - w a r y e a r s , i t and i t s s i s t e r o r g a n i z a t i o n s grew r a p i d l y . By 1 919 , one i n e v e r y f i v e men i n f a r m i n g on t h e p r a i r i e s was a member o f h i s A h. p r o v i n c i a l a s s o c i a t i o n . F u r t h e r m o r e , t h e s e members i n c l u d e d t h e i n f l u e n t i a l s on t h e p r a i r i e s ; l a r g e b l o c s o f 15 n o n - E n g l i s h s p e a k i n g f a r m e r s p r o v e d d i f f i c u l t t o o r g a n i z e . ' By 1 9 2 1 , t h e UFA had f i f t e e n h u ndred l o c a l a s s o c i a t i o n s 16 f u n c t i o n i n g . From t h e i n c o r p o r a t i o n o f t h e p r o v i n c e i n 1905 u n t i l 1 9 2 1 , t h e L i b e r a l p a r t y was c o n t i n u o u s l y i n power i n A l b e r t a . When c o n f e r r i n g p r o v i n c i a l s t a t u s on A l b e r t a and Saskat c h e w a n , t h e f e d e r a l L i b e r a l s e s t a b l i s h e d a p r o v i n c i a l b r a n c h o f t h e p a r t y and b r o u g h t t h e n o n - p a r t y t r a d i t i o n o f t h e T e r r i t o r i a l government t o an end. U n t i l 1913 t h e L i b e r a l s were a l m o s t t h e o n l y p a r t y i n t h e A l b e r t a l e g i s l a t u r e , b u t p r i o r t o t h e e l e c t i o n o f t h a t y e a r s c a n d a l s i n v o l v i n g members o f t h e government t u r n e d enough v o t e r s 23 away from t h e L i b e r a l s t o g i v e t h e C o n s e r v a t i v e s a s i g n i f i c a n t number o f s e a t s i n t h e p r o v i n c i a l house. C. B. Macpherson d a t e d t h e l i f e o f t h e two p a r t y system i n A l b e r t a f r o m 17 1913 t o 1 9 2 1 , ' but p o p u l a r v o t e t o t a l s , as opposed t o l e g i s l a t i v e s e a t s , show t h a t t h e two p a r t y system was a l i v e 18 from 1905- I n s p i t e o f t h e i n c r e a s e d l e g i s l a t i v e s t r e n g t h o f t h e C o n s e r v a t i v e s i n 1913 > t h e L i b e r a l s r e m a i n e d t h e government p a r t y i n A l b e r t a u n t i l t h e i r d e f e a t by t h e UFA i n 1 9 2 1 . Any government p a r t y i n A l b e r t a had t o have c l o s e r e l a t i o n s w i t h t h e UFA and i t s l e a d e r s