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Disunity in transition : a comparative analysis of organizational, policy and leadership conflicts within… Nanson, David Hubert Geoffrey 1982

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DISUNITY IN TRANSITION: A Comparative Analysis of Organizat ional , Po l icy and Leadership Conf l i c ts wi thin Western Separat ist Groups - - West-Fed and WCC (February, 1980-August, 1982) B.A. , The Univers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1980 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of P o l i t i c a l Science) We accept th is thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA August 1982 c*") David Hubert Geoffrey Nanson, 1982 by David Hubert Geoffrey Nanson • / MASTER OF ARTS in In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements f o r an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree t h a t the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and study. I f u r t h e r agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e copying o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the head o f my department o r by h i s o r her r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t i s understood t h a t copying or p u b l i c a t i o n of t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not be allowed without my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . Department o f The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia 1956 Main Mall Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Y3 September 16, 1982 Date - i i -ABSTRACT This paper i s a case study of West-Fed Associat ion and Western Canada Concept. As the two major separat is t organizations in western Canada, operating i n t h e e a r l y 1980s, these two groups have received an abundance of curious at tent ion from the media and academics a l i k e . Yet l i t t l e of th is at tent ion has been focused on the internal structure and workings of the two assoc ia t ions . This study's object ive therefore, i s to gain a c learer understanding of how West-Fed and Western Canada Concept functioned as p o l i t i c a l organizat ions. More s p e c i f i c a l l y , the paper w i l l h igh l ight those internal con f l i c t s which severely weakened and dramatical ly a l tered the two groups; of par t i cu la r in terest w i l l be the importance and scope of each assoc ia t ion 's organizat ion, po l icy and leadership components as contributors to the creat ion and development of the several c o n f l i c t s . In the end, however, the essay w i l l argue that neither West-Fed nor Western Canada Concept have suffered a greater de-gree of internal dissension than any other p o l i t i c a l organizat ion, suggesting that the two groups can (or could have) decrease the sever i ty of future con f l i c t s once they es tab l ish a c lear sense of p r i o r i t i e s . - i i i -TABLE OF CONTENTS Chronology of Events i v Introduction • • • 1 Background: WCC and West-Fed 5 West-Fed: 12 Organization 12 Po l icy 18 Leadership 25 Western Canada Concept: 27 Organization 27 Po l i cy 32 Leadership 35 Discussion 40 Conclusions 52 Footnotes 5 4 Bibl iography 59 - iv -CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS 1975 - V i c to r i a lawyer, Douglas.Chr is t ie , wri tes l e t t e r to edi tor of c i t y ' s newspaper promoting western separatism - Committee for Western Independence (CWI) founded 1979 - CWI changes name to Western National Associat ion (WNA) - Ch r i s t i e becomes leader of WNA 1980 (Feb.) - Edmonton businessman Elmer Knutson wri tes l e t t e r to Edmonton Journal c r i t i c i z i n g Quebec-based, Francophone-supported Liberal party (May) - West-Fed Associat ion incorporated under Alberta Societ ies  Act (June) - Ch r i s t i e leaves WNA to found Western Canada Concept (WCC) (July-Dec.) - Both Chr i s t i e and Knutson begin touring western Canada speaking on the inequi t ies of Confederation (Nov.) - C h r i s t i e a t t rac ts 2,700 people to Edmonton's Jubi lee Audi-torium 1981 (Mar.) - West-Fed Calgary executives voice the i r d i ssa t i s fac t i on with Knutson's cent ra l ized con t ro l ; Knutson's attempt to censure them resu l ts in the Calgary executives resigning "en masse" (May) - F i r s t "e lected" WCC executive takes o f f i ce (June) - WCC national executive confronts Chr i s t i e on his unitary state po l icy (July-Aug.) - Chr i s t i e tours western Canada (Aug.) ' - West-Fed's annual convention resu l ts in Knutson's move from the presidency to the leadership, support for a motion from the Calgary r id ing associat ions to turn West-Fed into an outr ight separat is t group, and a mandate to negotiate a merger or coa l i t i on with WCC. (Sept.) - WCC national executive meets to organize Alberta provin-c i a l party - Chr i s t i e wri tes l e t t e r to members opposing the national execut ive 's move; he tenders his resignat ion - V -(Oct.) - C h r i s t i e ' s resignat ion accepted through non-support; WCC's national o f f i ce ceases to e x i s t ; most former national o f f i ce rs assume posi t ions in new WCC (Alberta) party. WCC is now two autonomous provincia l part ies in B.C. and Alberta (Dec.) - West-Fed Calgary execut ives, d i s s a t i s f i e d with lack of progress on negotiations with WCC, decide to leave West-Fed to work for WCC. 1982 (Jan.) - Other West-Fed constituency organizations fol low the Calgary lead ; soon a f ter the ent i re B.C. contingent de-fects to WCC; West-Fed e f fec t i ve l y dead. (Feb.) - Gordon Kesler elected in Alberta r id ing of Olds-Didsbury in by-elect ion under WCC banner; B.C. wing s tar ts to take shape under pro-tern presidency of Don Munro. (Mar.-Apr.) - Kesler adopts a moderate stance on the importance of a separat is t image for the party; ensuing confrontation with Maygard and Westmore (leader and president, respec-t i v e l y ) ; the two l a t t e r ind iv idua ls res ign ; Kesler appointed inter im leader. (June) - WCC (B.C.) annual convention; Chr i s t i e defeats Munro for the leadership (Aug.) - WCC (Alberta) annual convention; Kesler defeats long-time party organizer Howard Thompson for the leadership. INTRODUCTION In any new p o l i t i c a l party or movement, the greatest threat to the continued existence of the organizat ion i s from the members themselves. The d i rec t and ind i rec t act ions of the membership determine whether the emergent associat ion w i l l survive the i n i t i a l stages of development. Internal c o n f l i c t , not external f ac to rs , i s the f i r s t enemy. Yet d issen-sion i s v i r t u a l l y inev i tab le in any p o l i t i c a l organizat ion as there are bound to be divergent opinions on matters when a disparate grouping of po l i t i ca l l y -mot iva ted ind iv iduals are brought together. Cer ta in ly dissension is not foreign to Canadian p o l i t i c a l part ies and movements. The Progressive Conservative party has a long h is tory of i n -ternal c o n f l i c t - - the most recent incident being the displeasure with the Joe Clark leadership voiced pub l ic ly by a large number of party and caucus members. The L ibera ls have also experienced internal unity problems as witnessed by.the l e t t e r sent to Prime Min is ter Trudeau by ten Liberal Members of Parliament from Quebec questioning his high in teres t rates po l i cy . As for p o l i t i c a l movements, the B r i t i s h Columbia a n t i - r a c i s t organizations are current ly embroiled in a heated, and sometimes v io len t debate over the best tac t i cs to use in further ing the i r cause. S t i l l , these c o n f l i c t s , serious as they are, have not resulted in the wholesale destruct ion of the respective organizat ions. One reason these groups have been able to survive the disputes when a newer p o l i t i c a l associat ion may not, l i e s in the d i s -t i nc t ion between internal and external factors. ' ' ' Establ ished organizations have the advantage of a c lear ly -def ined external threat ; i f the external - 2 -threat i s perceived by the members as being of greater import than i n te r -nal fac to rs , then internal disputes should not have grave deb i l i t a t i ng consequences. For the L ibera ls and the Conservatives the greater threat is from each other, not C la rk ' s leadership or Trudeau's p o l i c i e s . S imi -l a r l y B.C. a n t i - r a c i s t groups are at one in the i r perception of the common enemy being the r a c i s t s . New p o l i t i c a l organizations often do not have the benefi t of unanimity as to the correct external adversary, however. Invariably the people who jo in newly-formed p o l i t i c a l groupings come with d i f fe rent opinions as to what const i tutes the greatest threat to them. For example, in western separat is t organizations the members' views of the leading external foe range from Confederation i t s e l f to the Liberal par ty, to Trudeau, to met r i f i ca t ion or b i l i ngua l i sm. Hence, unless or un t i l there is a consensus on what poses the greatest threat to the freedom and l i be r t y of a new assoc ia t ion 's members, they w i l l often turn the i r energies inwards, concentrating on internal issues instead. The object of th is paper i s to come to a better understanding of the internal forces which caused the destruct ion of West-Fed and the near des-t ruct ion of Western Canada Concept (WCC). In add i t i on , I want to test the assumption that one reason emergent p o l i t i c a l organizations are more prone to se l f -des t ruc t ion by internal c o n f l i c t than more establ ished groups is because the former have yet to gain general agreement on what const i tutes the greatest external threat . In th is sense i t w i l l be argued that the two 2 western separat is t groups were the achi tects of the i r own problems. The internal d isuni ty which severely weakened both organizations was not much d i f fe rent than that suffered occasional ly by the establ ished p o l i t i c a l - 3 -assoc ia t ions. But, internal c o n f l i c t proved to have very serious conse-quences for West-Fed and WCC, large ly because neither was able to d iver t the members' co l l ec t i ve energies towards a general ly accepted external threat. Further, the paper attempts to discover the types of disputes - -be they over organizat ion, pol icy or leadership - - which were the cause of la rge-sca le d isun i ty . I t i s hoped that the paper w i l l be a s ign i f i can t addi t ion to the western separatism l i t e r a t u r e , i f only because i t f i l l s a vo id . Much attent ion has been granted th is recent phenomenon ca l led western separa-t ism. The te lev i s ion and pr in t media have reported the s ize and tenor of separat is t meetings, they have a i red the separat is ts gr ievances, conveyed the i r p o l i c i e s , and delighted in unearthing the i r unity problems; the po l l s te rs have gauged the degree of support for secession; academics have endeavoured to discover the roots of separat is t sentiments, have system-a t i c a l l y dismantled separat is t complaints t ry ing to discern the i r v a l i d i t y , or have analyzed the f e a s i b i l i t y of an independent west. My in terests do not l i e in these areas. Much of th is research on western separatism deals with factors external to the two organizat ions. My concern i s exact ly the opposite: I want to analyze the internal const i tu t ion of the two groups, paying par t i cu la r at tent ion to those areas which were sources of d isun i t y . Hence, the paper w i l l be pr imar i ly a case-study of the two assoc ia t ions. The format of the essay i s based on a be l i e f that both part ies and movements can be broken down into three component parts - - organizat ion, 3 po l i c i es and leadership. These var iables w i l l be reviewed for each organizat ion so the i r spec i f i c contr ibut ion to internal c o n f l i c t can be - 4 -ascerta ined. It i s expected that each i s a potent ial source of d isun i ty . I f the organizat ion of the decision-making process i s viewed as i l l e g i t i -mate, i f the po l i c i es drafted are unrepresentative of the members' i n te res t s , or i f the leadership i s not respected due to perceived incompetence or d i s i n te res t , then dissension w i l l l i k e l y r e s u l t . The f i r s t sect ion of the paper i s a discussion of the background of West-Fed and WCC, the main purpose of which i s to f am i l i a r i ze the reader with the i nd i v i dua l s , events, issues-, and decisions which played a major ro le in the con f l i c t s to be discussed l a t e r . The second and th i rd sections review the organizat ion, po l icy and leadership charac te r i s t i cs of West-Fed and WCC respect ive ly . These parts w i l l expand on the background material of the f i r s t sec t ion . The segment on the organizat ional qua l i t i es of both groups w i l l emphasize the decision-making structure and process as a con-t r ibu tor to d issension. The pol icy component i s designed to h igh l ight those po l i c i es which produced the most controversy; leadership w i l l be delineated with the intent ion of construct ing a composite of the leaders ' p o l i t i c a l qua l i t i es and d i s t i n c t i v e personal i ty t r a i t s . In these sections the discussion i s geared towards providing answers to questions of why dissension surfaced and from where i t emerged. In la te r sections the s im i -l a r i t i e s and di f ferences between West-Fed and WCC with respect to organiza-t i o n a l , po l icy and leadership con f l i c t s w i l l be compared. As well the in te r - re la t ionsh ip among the three var iables operating wi thin the indiv idual organizations w i l l be analyzed. F i n a l l y , i t w i l l be argued that the internal d isuni ty suffered by the western separat is t groups was not charac-t e r i s t i c a l l y d i f fe rent from that experienced by other p o l i t i c a l assoc ia t ions ; - 5 -internal c o n f l i c t can thus be relegated to a pos i t ion of secondary impor-tance, espec ia l l y i f the members can d i rec t the i r at tent ion to external concerns. BACKGROUND: WCC AND WEST-FED Although West-Fed Associat ion of Alberta (West-Fed) and Western Canada Concept sprang into publ ic view at approximately the same time ( F a l l , 1980) and, although both were founded as a response to the Liberal e lect ion v ic tory of February 1980, the background of the two groups forma-t ion are quite d i s t i n c t . WCC enjoys the longer h is to ry . I t was in 1975 that twenty-nine year old V ic to r ia lawyer Douglas Chr i s t i e wrote a l e t t e r to the edi tor of the c i t y ' s newspaper explaining the necessity and merits 4 of western Canadian independence. The number of encouraging responses prompted a few meetings of the interested pa r t i es ; from these informal discussion groups the Committee for Western Independence (CWI) was formed. Later incorporated under the B r i t i s h Columbia Societ ies Act , CWI was a p o l i t i c a l movement aspi r ing towards separation by educating the B.C. publ ic as to the inequi t ies of Confederation. From 1975 to 1979 CWI l imi ted the i r a c t i v i t i e s to B.C. and res t r i c ted themselves to a study group format — there was no attempt to estab l ish a p o l i t i c a l party. The year 1979 saw the fortunes of Doug Chr i s t i e and CWI s h i f t . F i r s t , in the spring the executive changed the name of CWI to the Western National Associat ion (WNA) - - a move designed to broaden the group's support base 5 by delet ing the separat is t connotation. A few months l a te r Chr i s t i e emerged as leader of what was formally a p o l i t i c a l party (but which retained more charac te r i s t i cs of a movement^). C h r i s t i e ' s incumbency as leader proved to - 6 -be temporary however, as he held the posi t ion for only three months. In June, 1980 he l e f t WNA to form his own pa r t y . 7 The reasons for C h r i s t i e ' s departure from WNA are twofold - - both re la t ing to po l icy di f ferences between the leader and the execut ive. F i r s t , Chr i s t i e favoured the expansion of operations into A lber ta , while most of the executive o f f i ce rs were determined to confine party energies to B.C. Second, Stan Bennett and several other prominent members were pressuring the executive to adopt an immigration platform of rac ia l equal i ty in en-g trance quotas — a programme Chr i s t i e was not prepared to accept. The departure of Chr i s t i e also marked the beginning of a lengthy court bat t le between Chr i s t i e and WNA over party records, espec ia l l y membership l i s t s . It was within days of his re ject ion of WNA that Chr i s t i e founded Western Canada Concept; i t was within weeks that WCC was incorporated under 9 the B.C. Societ ies Act . Chr i s t i e claimed (perhaps incor rec t ly ) that a few months la te r - - Summer, 1980 - - WCC was registered as a p o l i t i c a l party in B.C. and A lber ta . Therefore, well before the establishment of WCC, Doug Chr i s t i e was ac t i ve l y involved in western separat is t endeavours. And not su rp r i s i ng l y , events which had marred C h r i s t i e ' s short tenure in WNA (pol icy d isputes, leadership con f l i c t s ) would also become the nemesis of WCC. With the founding of his new party, Chr i s t i e focused most of his energies on ensuring WCC would become a p o l i t i c a l force in western. Canada. He spoke in any c i t y or town in B.C. and Alberta where a meeting could be organized. Attendance at the meetings was less than encouraging however, (averaging about f i f t y people with some at t rac t ing less than ten) as i t - 7 -appeared attendance was dependent on federal government ac t ions. The h ighl ight of C h r i s t i e ' s speaking tours was thus the November 28, 1980 r a l l y in Edmonton attended by 2,700 Albertans seeking ways to protest the recently-enacted National Energy Program. Chr i s t i e was pub l i c l y undaunted by the low attendance f i gu res , which continued through his J u l y , 1981 tour of the two westernmost provinces. Instead he emphasized the internal strength of the organizat ion. Western Canada Concept's internal unity was not as so l i d as Chr i s t i e l i ked to c la im, however. It was prec ise ly at the time Chr i s t i e was conduc-t ing his 1981 tour that the foundation of WCC began to crack and the frame-work to bend. Problems s imi la r to those Chr i s t i e experienced while with WNA came to the fore . F i r s t , C h r i s t i e ' s long-standing adherence to a po l icy of creat ing a unitary state af ter independence was questioned by the A lber ta -dominated national executive in June, 1981. He was coerced into accepting a po l icy which allowed for a post-independence referendum to decide i f a unitary or federal state was preferred by the pub l i c . Then, on September 12, 1981, the Alberta members of the national execut ive, under the d i rec t ion of president Al Maygard, held a membership meeting in Edmonton to discuss the p o s s i b i l i t y of organizing an Alberta wing of WCC. By the time the small meeting ( less than 100 members attended) had been adjourned, not only had a pro-tern provinc ia l executive been e lec ted, but a po l icy had been r a t i f i e d re ject ing any concept of a unitary s ta te , r es t r i c t i ng the spending of a l l Alberta-der ived funds to A lber ta , and most important, refusing to recognize Doug Chr i s t i e as having any control over the Alberta members. Personal i ty and po l i c i es were c i ted as the cause of C h r i s t i e ' s r e j e c t i o n . " ^ ' - 8 -The fol lowing day Chr i s t ie wrote a l e t t e r to a l l WCC members claiming the Albertans had acted undemocratical ly, had f a i l ed to properly not i fy members of the meeting, and had establ ished an Alberta executive when there was no need. He then ca l led on a l l members to support him in his opposit ion to the move, threatening to resign within a month i f the support was not forthcoming. Due in part to an aggressive campaign in defense of the Alberta i n i t i a t i v e made by the party newspaper (by th is t ime, contro l led by 11 an t i -Ch r i s t i e d i ss iden ts ) , Chr i s t i e never received his support. By November, 1981 the national o f f i ce of WCC, depleted by the defections of the Alberta executives to the prov inc ia l wing and the t a c i t acceptance of C h r i s t i e ' s resignat ion by the membership, ceased to operate. Devoid of a national execut ive, WCC became two autonomous prov inc ia l 12 grouping: one in A lber ta , the other in B.C. Yet, the move to form an Alberta branch did not save the party from further d issension. Only months af ter the Albertans s p l i t from the national assoc ia t ion , they had entangled themselves in another power st ruggle. The three major actors in the dispute were Maygard (now leader of WCC A lber ta ) , Wes Westmore (provinc ia l pres ident) , and Gordon Kesler (deputy leader and recent ly-e lected MLA for Olds-Didsbury). Maygard and Westmore had long advocated that independence was the f i r s t and 13 foremost i ssue, a l l other concerns being secondary. I n i t i a l l y Kesler did not oppose the independence-first stand, then, his posi t ion strengthened by his new-found support base from the February 17, 1982 by-e lec t ion , he made his view known. He was of the a t t i tude that the highest p r i o r i t y of a party was to see i t s candidates were e lec ted; the goal should be therefore, to appeal to a greater port ion of the electorate than was presently the case. - 9 -As such the party should cu r ta i l the separat is t rhe to r i c , concentrating instead on addressing provinc ia l matters and d isc red i t ing the Lougheed government. This i s not to say Kesler i s not a separa t i s t , rather he believed the party could not succeed in a prov inc ia l e lec t ion campaign by carrying only a separat is t banner. The dispute came to a head in May, 1982 with both Maygard and Westmore, apparently rea l i z i ng they were in the minor i ty , tendering the i r res ignat ions. They were accepted short ly there-a f te r . Hence, WCC has endured two rather major con f l i c t s in i t s short h is to ry . The f i r s t saw Chr i s t i e rejected as national leader by the Alberta wing of the party (undoubtedly the largest fact ion) as well as the formation of an Alberta prov inc ia l WCC party. The other c o n f l i c t involved a po l icy dispute between Kesler and Maygard and Westmore over the emphasis to be placed on the separat is t issue. West-Fed's roots do not reach back as far as those of WCC; nor was West-Fed able to survive as long as WCC has. Whereas the l a t t e r i s s t i l l p o l i t i c a l l y - a c t i v e , the former i s e f fec t i ve l y dead — a spent p o l i t i c a l force. Rocked by dissension and dismantled by mass defect ions, West-Fed i s not even a shadow of i t s former s e l f . Yet i t merits at tent ion here i f only because i t s demise was due large ly to internal d isun i ty . The or ig ins of West-Fed can be traced to the Liberal e lect ion v i c to ry of February 18, 1980. The v ic tory prompted Edmonton businessman Elmer Knutson to wri te a l e t t e r to the Edmonton Journal severely c r i t i c i z i n g the Quebec-based and Francophone-supported party. According to Knutson, the pos i t ive response to his l e t t e r was so overwhelming he f e l t compelled to - 10 -organize the d isaf fected respondents. For the next year, Elmer Knutson and his West-Fed Associat ion were to command the curious at tent ion of the majority of western Canadians. Knutson's message was straightforward: westerners must gain greater input into Confederation; since they could not do so v ia the e lectora l route, they must band together to form a western federation thus enabling them to speak to "the easterners" with one, un i -f ied voice. West-Fed rejected the p o s s i b i l i t y of forming a p o l i t i c a l party because " i t was slow process and westerners d idn ' t want another p o l i t i c a l 14 par ty . " So Knutson toured the western provinces (confining his speaking engagements to the major c i t i e s ) encouraging the public to become p o l i t i c a l l y ac t i ve . On the surface West-Fed seemed to be a reasonably s tab le , un i ted organizat ion. They had a larger membership than WCC (approximately 20,000 as opposed to WCC's 3,000) and more money ($30,000 of which was Knutson's own). So too were they more successful in a t t rac t ing people to the i r meetings. But much of th is apparent s t a b i l i t y was due only to the fact West-Fed was a p o l i t i c a l movement and not a party. As a movement, western Canadians were more w i l l i n g to voice the i r grievances with the federal government by jo in ing a protest group, rather than a party. Membership in a party i s considered a more serious and involved commitment than supporting a movement. Hence for one year, Knutson was able to convince himself that he headed a strongly-supported movement. By the f a l l of 1981, however, internal events proved that West-Fed was not the homogeneous associat ion Knutson portrayed. At that time some of the sub-groups under Knutson's umbrella leadership began to rebe l ; they - 11 -c i ted po l icy di f ferences and lack-of input into the decision-making 15 process as the i r main complaints. Unable to come to terms with Knutson, some of the Calgary const i tu t ing organizations decided to en-courage the i r members to j o in WCC. Very qu ick ly , other Alberta r id ing executives followed s u i t , then the ent i re B.C. fact ion of West-Fed o f f i -16 c i a l l y declared they were disbanding to move into the WCC camp. By March, 1982 West-Fed was non-existent. Although s t i l l registered as an associat ion in Alberta and s t i l l the rec ip ient of some members' annual dues. West-Fed today is no longer a p o l i t i c a l force in any region of western Canada. F i n a l l y , both organizations membership f igures should be discussed b r i e f l y . As noted West-Fed had the larger membership, due pr imar i ly to i t being a movement. Throughout i t s h i s to ry , West-Fed execut ives' claims as to the number of members ranged between 15,000 and 40,000. This l a t t e r f igure is highly i n f l a t e d ; i t was derived from an incorrect ca lcu la t ion by the Calgary o f f i ce rs who had added the members in the Calgary area to national l i s t - - thus counting Calgary members twice. A c loser f igure would be the one of 21,183 Knutson made publ ic in December, 1 9 8 1 . T h i s number i s l i k e l y an exaggeration as w e l l , for at that time the organizat ion was dead. My sense i s that the f igure of 20,000 re la tes to the number of mem-bers who had ever paid a membership fee during the groups' two year h is to ry . Of those members, Knutson said approximately s ix ty percent were Alberta res idents , twenty percent from B.C. and the rest divided almost evenly between Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The same apportionment among regions was evident in WCC's membership. Their l i s t , though shorter , also f luc tuated. - 12 -In J u l y , 1981, Chr i s t ie claimed the party had 2,700 members (the same number as in the f a l l of 1980); in June, 1982 Don Munro said the B.C. wing had over 4,000, while WCC (Alberta) claimed 10,000 members in J u l y , 18 1982. More important than numbers of members, however, i s the i n t e r -re la t ionsh ip between the membership l i s t s of both assoc ia t ions . Most l i k e l y , a large port ion of the act ive West-Fed members at the constituency level also held membership in WCC. This would be pa r t i cu la r l y true in the la te r stages of West-Fed's existence. Thus, when West-Fed disbanded, those members with WCC cards could eas i l y d i rec t the i r at tent ion to the other organizat ion. The information above is not intended to be an in-depth suryey of the con f l i c t s which severely disrupted both organizat ions. Rather i t s purpose i s to bring to the reader 's at tent ion the two disputes experienced by WCC and the one destructuve c o n f l i c t which was West-Fed's downfal l . We can now make a more systematic and informed analysis of these d isputes, furnishing more thoughtful answers to the questions concerning the o r i g i n s , scope and consequences of the internal d issension. Were the disputes pr imar i ly over po l i c y , or did leadership and organizat ion also play a role? Which po l i c i es occasioned the most controversy? Who were the people who formulated the disputed po l i c ies? WEST-FED: Organization The sa l ien t point in analyzing e i ther West-Fed or WCC's internal organizat ion i s to decide, through an appraisal of the author i ty hierarchy and decision-making process, whether the groupings' structures were a - 13 -source of or contr ibutor to d isun i t y . So too should a discussion of organi -zat ional charac te r i s t i cs include a review of membership recruitment and the i r input in to the groups' a f f a i r s , along with a mention of the assoc ia -t i ons ' funding. Undoubtedly the most s i gn i f i can t feature of West-Fed's internal organizat ion was the very obvious discrepancy between the way the organi -zat ion was supposed to be structured and the way i t ac tua l ly operated. Elmer Knutson del ighted in emphasizing the popul ist base of the assoc ia -19 t ion - - t h i s was a grassroots movement, created by and for the people, and run by the general membership. This was a movement which at t racted people from a l l occupations and p o l i t i c a l a f f i l i a t i o n s . This was a move-ment which was w i l l i n g "to give Canada one more chance" by fo l lowing the "not necessar i ly separatism, but separatism i f necessary" l i n e . However, as events proved, Mr. Knutson's del ight was unsubstantiated as West-Fed was, in r e a l i t y , a h igh ly -cen t ra l i zed , e l i t i s t organizat ion. It did not resemble the structure portrayed by Knutson. F i r s t , the membership was not drawn from diverse backgrounds. At a l l l e v e l s , in a l l provinces, the majority of members were over s ix ty coming from small business or rural occupations; they were conservative ind iv idua ls des i r ing a return to the days of small government. Approximately s ix ty percent were Alberta res idents . A l so , a healthy port ion of the members were avowed separa t i s ts , refusing to comply with West-Fed po l icy that the movement was not a sponsor of independence. Most of these separa= 20 t i s t s were based in the Calgary region. The funding of the group was more in l i ne with the grassroots image as most of the monies came from - 14 -membership dues (which dropped from $20 to $5 i n one year) and a few small donations. Yet West-Fed a l s o had some more generous benefactors (Knutson being one) who c o n t r i b u t e d upwards of $20,000 -- i n d i c a t i n g the grass was greener i n some areas than others. Second, and more importantly, the a s s o c i a t i o n was n e i t h e r as decentra-l i z e d nor as democratic as Knutson represented. O s t e n s i b l y a l l power was to emanate from the bottom; Knutson t o l d members to organize themselves by p r o v i n c i a l c o n s t i t u e n c i e s , then e l e c t a r i d i n g executive. In t u r n , a l l constituency executives would e l e c t a p r o v i n c i a l president who would auto-m a t i c a l l y serve as national v i c e - p r e s i d e n t . Overarching the c o t e r i e o f p r o v i n c i a l executives was Knutson's o f f i c e o f the national presidency which was to be e l e c t e d by the membership at l a r g e . Nat'l Pres. (Knutson) 4 P r o v i n c i a l Presidents/Nat'1 Vice-Pres I B.C. C o n s t i t u -ency Exec. A l t a . ency C o n s t i t u - Sask. C o n s t i t u - Man. C o n s t i t u -Exec. ency Exec. ency Exec. Members organized by P r o v i n c i a l C o n s t i t u e n c i e s - 15 -For several rason the system did not function as described. On the one hand, the fact the upper echelon of the national executive was in tac t before any membership dr ives were i n i t i a t e d caused some problems. The executives'entrenchment meant they were not to be held responsible to the general membership since they were elected (or appointed) by a small group at one of the founding meetings. Further, most of the members neglected to organize themselves by constituency and were thus l e f t without an e f fec-t i ve voice in the assoc ia t ion . Those members who did choose to organize r id ing associat ions were pr imar i ly located in the Calgary area. F ina l l y the structure did not operate as designed because Knutson had decided that the important areas of po l icy formulation and funds a l loca t ion were to be the exclusive prerogative of the national president, himself . There-fore , West-Fed's internal organizat ion must be c l a s s i f i e d as anything but democratic and decentra l ized. For the most part the members declined to become involved in internal a f f a i r s . Even i f more r id ings had been organized, those members would have discovered (as the Calgary region did) that the i r inf luence was minimal as they were without any measurable con-t ro l over decisions on pol icy or allotment of funds. The or ig ina l s t ruc-ture then was highly centra l ized with Knutson c lea r l y holding the balance of power. Not su rp r i s i ng l y , the cen t ra l i za t ion of the decision-making process produced some dissension within West-Fed. D issa t i s fac t ion with the internal structure emerged from two areas beginning in the spring of 1981 - - f i r s t from the Calgary area execut ives, then from the national executive i t s e l f . Both groups' d i ssa t i s fac t i on appeared to stem from Knutson's unbridled - 16 -control over the movement. I t was the actions of the Calgary executives which set in motion a process which began to "snowball" and only ended with the destruct ion of the ent i re organizat ion. In March, 1981 the Calgary constituency executives began to voice the i r disapproval of the decision-making structure and the po l i c ies which i t produced. They also stated pub l ic ly that they rejected Knutson's plan to "give Canada one more chance", claiming separatism was the only opt ion. Knutson's unsuccessful bid to censure those executive o f f i ce rs responsible was an exercise apparently so de f i c ien t in diplomacy that the 21 ent i re Calgary executive resigned "en masse". The new executives elected short ly thereafter were no more acquiescent, however. They were i ns t ru -mental in turning West-Fed into a separat is t grouping at the August, 1981 annual convention, then deserting Knutson to jo in Western Canada Concept in December of that year. Undeniably, the August, 1981 meeting was the pivotal point in West-Fed's existence, as three events occurred which e f fec t i ve l y k i l l e d the organizat ion. The f i r s t was a move by the national executive to force Knutson to s h i f t from the presidency to f i l l the newly-created o f f i ce of movement leader. This act ion was s i gn i f i can t because i t should have re -22 moved Knutson from his erstwhi le posi t ion of preeminence, as West-Fed had been structured (by Knutson) in such a fashion that the president held the important por t fo l ios of po l icy and f inance. In his new o f f i ce 23 Knutson was to be relegated to l i t t l e more than a platform speaker. For whatever reasons - - perhaps they desired more power themselves or thought the constituency executives should have more - - the national - 17 -executive wanted Knutson to hold a less dominant pos i t i on . The second event was the strong support given the Calgary sponsored motion to turn 24 West-Fed into an outr ight separat is t organizat ion; the th i rd was a man-date al lowing the executive to negotiate some type of merger or coa l i t i on 25 with WCC. Whether by design or d i s i n t e res t , the convention members had removed v i r t u a l l y a l l the charac te r is t i cs which had dist inguished West-Fed from WCC. Regardless of the membership's expectations of the negot iat ions, no merger or coa l i t i on with WCC was forthcoming. The mandate had been given to the national execut ive, meaning Knutson was to assume a major ro le in the success or f a i l u re of the negot iat ions. That the discussions resulted in nothing construct ive and that Knutson was, a t th is time, beginning a campaign to have West-Fed transformed into a p o l i t i c a l party in i t s own 26 r i gh t , can only indicate that Knutson was less than sincere in his e f f o r t s . In December, 1981 the Calgary executives - - once again discouraged by the i r lack of control over the organizat ion 's d i rec t ion - - convened a meeting to discuss the i r future involvement. At one points the meeting chairman, Pat S te in , asked the less than eighty members in attendance i f 27 they favoured jo in ing the Alberta WCC party. With ninety-three percent supporting the informal motion, West-Fed's Calgary executives ceased oper-at ions and, accompanied by the i r supporters, joined WCC (Alber ta) . Of course the i r defections were then followed by other Alberta r id ing assoc ia-t ions and then the ent i re B.C. contingent. By March, 1982 West-Fed was defunct. In sum therefore, the organizat ional structure of West-Fed was - 18 -c h a r a c t e r i z e d by c e n t r a l i z e d a u t h o r i t y : so c e n t r a l i z e d , i n f a c t , that i t ' s not c l e a r the p r o v i n c i a l presidents had any measurable c o n t r o l over Knutson's a c t i o n . Knutson's contention that the power of the movement was to be found at the grassroots l e v e l i s not sustained by the evidence. Most of the members were uninvolved, and those who d i d become a c t i v e never enjoyed a p o s i t i o n of i n f l u e n c e and power v i s - a - v i s Knutson. Even the a c t i o n under-taken by the Calgary constituency a s s o c i a t i o n s cannot be viewed as an e x e r c i s e of power. Those executives had only two options -- e i t h e r to remain under Knutson's c o n t r o l or leave the movement. C e r t a i n l y the a b i l i t y to d e f e c t , even i f i t means the d e s t r u c t i o n of the o r g a n i z a t i o n , i s not a c l a s s i c e x e r c i s e o f power. Hence, the o r g a n i z a t i o n a l s t r u c t u r e which Knutson i n s t i t u t e d must be viewed.as a source of d i s u n i t y w i t h i n West-Fed. Pol i c y The Calgary r i d i n g executives' disenchantment with t h e i r lack of i n f l u e n c e i n the o r g a n i z a t i o n was d i r e c t l y r e l a t e d to the p o l i c i e s which Knutson formulated. One may speculate that t h e i r d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n would not have been as vocal i f Knutson had developed more acceptable p o l i c i e s . Since Knutson's p o l i c i e s were not i n l i n e with t h e i r own t h i n k i n g , the Calgary executives' natural r e a c t i o n was to c a l l the c e n t r a l i z e d d e c i s i o n -making process i n t o question. What, then, were these p o l i c i e s which the Calgary West-Feders found so ob j e c t i o n a b l e ? The simple answer i s that many of the Calgary-based executives, being s e p a r a t i s t s , disagreed with Knutson on the i d e o l o g i c a l o r i e n t a t i o n of the movement — they could not accept Knutson's r e f u s a l to turn West-Fed i n t o an o u t r i g h t s e p a r a t i s t - 19 -organization. Of course they could neither assent to the poli c i e s which were derived from Knutson's ideological l i n e . Thus, the Calgary execu-ti v e s ' rejection of Knutson's centralized control was produced, in part, by their disagreement with Knutson on the ideological basis of the move-ment and the two major policy proposals which stemmed from his ideology. In turn, these two policy proposals were so foreign to p o l i t i c a l and legal r e a l i t y that they too became counterproductive and d i v i s i v e . As of July, 1981 Knutson had developed two policy platforms. One addressed a programme which would either give the west a greater voice in Confederation, or withdraw i t altogether; the other attempted to argue that a Canadian federation no longer existed. On the f i r s t point, Knutson proposed an extra-parliamentary strategy. West-Fed members were to j o i n the provincial p o l i t i c a l party of th e i r choice, become active, then form a subgroup to pressure the MLA to support the concept of a western federation. If the MLA did not respond p o s i t i v e l y to these advances, more pressure would be applied: f i r s t by forcing the constituency executive to hold a special meeting at which (stacked with West-Fed sympathisers) there would be a c a l l for the election of a new riding executive; at the election meeting ( s i m i l a r l y stacked) i t was expected West-Fed members would form the new executive. Once in control of the executive, the West-Fed members could demand the MLA's support threatening to sponsor a more sympathetic candidate at the next nomination meeting i f his support was not forthcoming. Ostensibly the MLAs would have yielded to the pressure and, together with s i m i l a r l y deferential MLAs, would become an advocate of a western federation. - 20 -The lobbying of MLAs would be considered complete once the four western premiers (e i ther simultaneously or ind iv idua l l y ) had been per-28 suaded to accept the formation of a western federat ion. At th is po int , the west, although s t i l l a part of Canada, was to have been able to speak on dominion-provincial re la t ions with one vo ice. Once West-Fed reached th is stage the next step was to inv i te the other three regions (Ontario, Quebec and A t lan t i c Canada, but not Ottawa) to negotiate a new federat ion. Now, i f the other three regions were e i ther unreceptive to the west's over-tures or unwi l l ing to accept the highly decentral ized s t ructure, then the west would e lec t a consti tuent assembly, wri te a const i tu t ion and es tab l ish an independent s ta te . According to Knutson, i t would be only at the point of re jec t ion by the east that West-Fed could be labe l led separa t is t . The only problem with Knutson's programme of forming a western federation i s that i t was p o l i t i c a l l y u n r e a l i s t i c . In thinking or even hoping events would fo l low the route mapped out above, Knutson and his few fol lowers only demonstrated how extremely shortsighted they were. It i s my be l i e f that West-Fed could not have succeeded in gaining eastern acceptance of the plan to form a new federat ion, neither could they have succeeded in securing su f f i c i en t MLA support within the i r eighteen month schedule, nor could they have recru i ted the some 200,000 to 300,000 members (based on an average of 1,000 per prov inc ia l constituency) which Knutson admitted were required for his programme to be e f f ec t i ve . On the l as t point : to expect to e n l i s t th is number of members in eighteen months or even eighteen years i s l i t t l e short of a b l ind asp i ra t i on . Not only are there important var iables beyond West-Fed's control (federal and provinc ia l - 21 -government ac t ions , general economic condit ions) to be considered, there i s also the h is tory of Canadians' p o l i t i c a l apathy and non-involvement. No p o l i t i c a l associat ion in Canada i s able to boast the membership r o l l s which Knutson envisioned. Second, even i f West-Fed had succeeded in the i r recruitment pro-gramme, the p o s s i b i l i t y of gaining adequate MLA support for the i r pos i -t ion in eighteen months i s s l im indeed. P o l i t i c i a n s , espec ia l l y Canadian ones, tend to view themselves as trustees of the publ ic in terest (as de-f ined by the i r par t ies) rather than delegates elected to protect the changing in terests of the i r r id ing assoc ia t ions. As such, an MLA could have def lected any pressure exerted by West-Fed sympathisers by declar ing that the electorate had not given him a mandate to support a western fed-era t ion . Further, any attempt by West-Fed to usurp control of a cons t i tu -ency executive would have been met by equally determined ef for ts by non-West-Feders to defeat the i n i t i a t i v e . Again, Knutson revealed his ignorance of Canadian p o l i t i c a l r e a l i t y by thinking i t would be acceptable to westerners to have the i r f ede ra l i s t in terests a r t i cu la ted by one pan-provincial organizat ion. A reca l l of the divergent posi t ions adopted by the western provinces in the recent cons t i -tut ional debate, and the d i f fe rent emphasis placed by each on shared con-cerns should atest to the be l i e f that western in terests cannot be represented by one group alone. The Vancouver businessman and Saskatchewan farmer do not have the same p o l i t i c a l p r i o r i t i e s . So too was Knutson l i k e l y mis-taken in h is expectation of eastern receptiveness to h is programme. He could not have honestly expected the other three regions to enter into - 22 -negotiations when the agenda of a highly decentral ized state was set by one party alone - - the Knutson proposal was more a r a t i f i c a t i o n vote for West-Fed demands than a format for a newly negotiated compact. Moreover, i t would be i l l o g i c a l to ant ic ipate eastern involvement in these negotia-t ions i f , as Mr. Knutston says, the prime economic concern of eastern Canada is to "plunder the west". F i n a l l y , regardless of Mr. Knutson's views on Confederation, the national government i s both a legal and p o l i t i c a l ent i ty within Canada, and any attempt to exclude i t from the pro-posed negotiations would have been an unconst i tut ional usurpation of the i r legi t imate ro le in Confederation. Even the provinc ia l premiers would have 30 agreed Ottawa had a ro le to play. Very b r i e f l y then, Knutson had devised a plan for a western federation highl ighted by i nsu f f i c i en t forethought, imprecise d ra f t i ng , p o l i t i c a l l y unpalatable concepts and un rea l i s t i c ex-pectations of success. That West-Fed never came close to the ant ic ipated membership nor MLA support proves how i d e a l i s t i c the programme was. The other arm of West-Fed pol icy was not so much pol icy as an i n te r -pretat ion of const i tu t iona l developments: a further attempt to repudiate the separat is t image. Yet since Knutson promulgated the in terpretat ion as i f i t were a po l i cy , and since i t was a source of dissension over po l i c y , i t warrants our a t tent ion. Knutson would argue that West-Fed was not separat is t in intent since Canada, as a product of the 1864 to 1867 negotia-t i ons , was not a va l id confederacy. If a confederacy had been produced, he s a i d , then a l l the const i tuent units would have had to be previously sovereign so they could re l ingu ish a portion of the i r author i ty to a new 31 central government. I question from where Mr. Knutson receives his - 23 -information. Sovereignty of the indiv idual const i tuent units i s not a precondit ion to the legi t imate formation of a federat ion. In neither India nor Niger ia - - two former B r i t i s h colonies which, l i k e Canada, had a h is tory of both d i rec t and ind i rec t ru le - - were the states sovereign pr ior to independence as a federat ion. There i s simply no basis in e i ther law or p o l i t i c s to a contention that B r i t a i n had a legal ob l igat ion to en-sure the existence of sovereign const i tuent units before granting indepen-dence. A co lon ia l power may accord peaceful independence in any form i t des i res ; i t s only concern need be that the product be viewed as legi t imate by the former co lon ia l s . To confuse matters more, Knutson would then argue that even i f a con-federation was const i tuted in 1867, the Statute of Westminster made the provinces sovereign in 1931. The s ta tu te , he sa id , was designed to up-grade the status of the B r i t i s h North America colonies equal to that of Great B r i t a i n . Since Ottawa was never a B r i t i s h colony, i t must have been the provinces which emerged autonomous. Although Knutson's in terpretat ion of the 1931 statute was obviously appeal ing to some western Canadians, i t too was devoid of any substance. The intent of the Statute of West-minster was to have B r i t a i n r e l i n q j i s h , symbol ical ly and l e g a l l y , a l l vestiges of p o l i t i c a l control over the Commonwealth. Pr io r to 1931 Canada had allowed B r i t a i n to control (at one time or another) foreign a f f a i r s and the navy, as well as bind Canada to any internat ional agreements to which B r i t a i n was a signatory. With the Statute of Westminster, control over those subject matters formerly held by B r i t a i n was granted to that level of government which had j u r i s d i c t i o n under the enumerated heads of - 24 -ss . 91 and 92. To saddle the statute with an intent ion to cede a l l power to the provinces, as Mr. Knutson d id , was a pract ice which verged on fab r i ca t ion . It mattered not that pr ior to 1867, Ottawa was not a B r i t i s h colony: what was important was that in 1931 Ottawa possessed legi t imate j u r i s d i c t i o n over the subject-matters of s . 91, and thus became the bene-f i c i a r y of the s ta tu te 's prov is ions. Therefore, by developing and promoting these two extravagant, con-fusing and unsubstantiated p o l i c i e s , Knutson v i r t u a l l y forced any p o l i t i -cal ly-aware members of his organizat ion (and the publ ic) to question his c r e d i b i l i t y . C lear ly the proposal for a western federation was de f ic ien t in i t s expectations of a t t rac t ing one-quarter m i l l i on members, of securing MLA support for the plan within eighteen months, of western Canadian acceptance to having the i r dominion-provincial in terests represented by one organizat ion, and of eastern approval for the creat ion of a new, de-cent ra l ized Canada. S i m i l a r l y , his in terpretat ion of const i tu t iona l developments was so bewildering and contradictory i t made l i t t l e p o l i t i c a l or legal sense. The problem was further exacerbated when the two pol icy posi t ions are read in conjunct ion. On the one hand, Knutson was saying that Canada was never an independent, federal s ta te , or that i f i t was at one time, by 1931 the provinces became autonomous; on the other hand he proposes a plan which has as a long-term object ive the removal of the west from Canada. If there i s not a Canada, from what did West-Fed think they would secede? It was prec ise ly th is type of inconsistency and confusion which led the Calgary r id ing associat ions to re ject the movement's cen-t ra l p o l i c i e s , to voice the i r d i ssa t i s fac t i on with the decision-making - 25 -process which formulated those p o l i c i e s , and to c a l l Knutson's leadership into quest ion. Leadership The information on organizat ion, buttressed by that on po l i c y , c l ea r l y indicates that Elmer Knutson was the prime West-Fed decision-maker. That being the case, a discussion of leadership need only be concerned with th is one i nd i v i dua l , as no other was able to command the power he enjoyed. Further, since the man was so c lose ly associated or t ied to his p o l i c i e s , a leadership review should h ighl ight those qua l i t i es of Knutson's persona-l i t y which inf luenced his pol icy choices. Born in rural Saskatchewan in the ear ly 1920s, Knutson l e f t school at the age of th i r teen (and at the height of the Depression) to seek employ-ment. Spending a number of years with temporary jobs, he la te r moved to Edmonton where he began what i s today a very successful t ractor -par ts business. The son of a L ibera l party worker, Knutson has been exposed to party p o l i t i c s since h is chi ldhood. Although once a L ibera l supporter himself , he long ago abandoned the party to become an act ive Progressive Conservative. The culmination of h is act ive involvement with that party was an unsuccessful bid to gain the P.C. nomination in Edmonton-South in 1980. And yet despite an involved p o l i t i c a l past and an act ive present, Knutson cons is tent ly maintained he harboured no p o l i t i c a l ambit ions, 32 nor did he consider himself the ideal leader. To develop a precise p o l i t i c a l composite of Elmer Knutson i s a d i f -f i c u l t task indeed. The problem does not l i e in him eluding c l a s s i f i c a t i o n , but rather than he seems to f i t himself into so many disparate categor ies. - 26 -I f he were an academic he might be ca l led a man of cont rad ic t ions. Instead i t i s best to describe him as confused or naive with respect to p o l i t i c a l r e a l i t i e s . Cer ta in ly the i l l - conce ived and incongruous platforms which were his po l i c i es sustain th is c la im. Elmer Knutson i s not a p o l i t i c i a n . Nor i s he a leader or president. He is best suited to the ro le of founder: being the one to temporarily cap i t a l i ze on the grievances of a d isaf fected segment of the western 33 populat ion, then able to r a l l y these people for a time. As a leader, however, he was incapable of devising the concise, coherent po l i c i es needed to lend a permanency to the i n i t i a l support. Due large ly to his negative publ ic ora t ions, he was not someone in whom the members were able to place the i r f a i t h and devotion. As a president his weakness lay in an i n a b i l i t y or unwil l ingness to delegate author i ty . He was de f i n i t e l y more comfortable working by himself or the provinc ia l presidents than the constituency assoc ia t ions. There appears to be something in his make-up which prevented him from part ing with any of his power. Whether his single-minded deter-mination to remain the central f igure in West-Fed at a l l costs was the resu l t of some hidden convict ion that his path was the correct one or of a hesitancy to permit someone else to assume control of the organizat ion he founded, i s unclear. What i s evident though, i s that despite Mr. Knutson's h is tory of p o l i t i c a l involvement, he learnt l i t t l e about po l icy formulation and author i ty delegat ion. Nor did Knutson possess many of the qua l i t i es expected of a popul is t 34 movement leader. A soft-spoken, exceedingly candid grandfatherly f i gu re , overly modest and r e t i r i n g , Knutson i s anything but the epitome of the - 27 -se l f -con f iden t , aggressive leader. So too is he impaired by a lack of prescience, being unable to foresee potent ial challenges and act ing accordingly to ar rest them. When he did act however, he did so with neither tact nor diplomacy, as witnessed by the f i r s t resignat ion of the Calgary executives in March, 1981. Under circumstances such as these, i t i s c lear why Knutson never received the respect of the few constituency associat ions needed for him to be an e f fec t ive leader. Hence, these charac te r i s t i cs of Knutson's personal const i tu t ion - -an i n a b i l i t y to formulate acceptable, unambiguous p o l i c i e s , an unwi l l i ng -ness to delegate author i ty , and a lack of foresight and tact - - provided a leadership component to the organizat ional and pol icy grievances already held by the Calgary executives. WESTERN CANADA CONCEPT Organization Since i t s founding - - a f ter Doug Chr i s t i e l e f t the Western National Associat ion in June, 1980 - - Western Canada Concept has had three d i f fe ren t executive s t ructures. The or ig ina l one operated from F a l l , 1980 to May, 1981, the second from May to September, 1981 when the th i rd was establ ished as a resu l t of the s p l i t between Chr i s t i e and the A lber ta -dominated national executive and the subsequent creat ion of independent prov inc ia l pa r t ies . The f i r s t executive structure of WCC was rea l l y no executive at a l l . For the f i r s t year Chr i s t i e c l ea r l y contro l led a l l facets of the organiza-t i o n , the being no evidence of any elected executive o f f i c e r s . Those - 28 -people who were involved in WCC did so in the capacity of r a l l y organizers - - e i ther sel f-appointed or appointed by C h r i s t i e . I t was not un t i l one year a f te r WCC was formed that i t was large enough to take on a semblance of internal organizat ion. On May 2, 1981 the second executive was elected at a small (seventy members attended) convention in Edmonton. Purely 35 national in design and in tent , without provinc ia l organizat ions, the executive was const i tuted by a leader ( C h r i s t i e ) , a president (Al Maygard), v ice-president (Gordon Reid) , treasurer (Doug C h r i s t i e , S r . ) , secretary (Ke l t ie Zubko) and a Board of Di rectors . The most noteworthy feature of th is executive was the geographical cen t ra l i za t ion of the elected o f f i c e r s ' residency. Of the fourteen d i rec to rsh ips , th i r teen were f i l l e d by Albertans and one by a B r i t i s h Columbian; members from Alberta also held four of the f i ve top executive posts, with Doug Chr i s t i e being the 37 sole non-Albertan. Saskatchewan and Manitoba were devoid of represen-tat ion on the national executive. I t was th is preponderance of Alberta executive o f f i ce rs which allowed for the formation of a separate provin-c i a l party in A lber ta . While Chr i s t i e had enjoyed a free hand in running the organizat ion 's a f f a i r s pr ior to May, 1981, he quick ly discovered he was not going to be afforded s im i la r l i b e r t i e s under th is new execut ive. Within one month the executive had decided C h r i s t i e ' s po l icy of creat ing a unitary state af ter independence was unacceptable. The new pol icy posi t ion was to i n -s t i t u te a post-independence referendum on the question of whether a federal or unitary state was preferred. This c o n f l i c t was jus t the beginning of a heated debate between Chr i s t i e and the executive o f f i ce rs concerning - 29 -Second Executive Structure (Nat ional) : President (Maygard) Leader (Chr is t ie ) V ice-Pres iden l .(Reid) Treasurer (Chr is t ie Sr . ) Board of Directors (fourteen) 40 Zone Organizat ions; approx. 5 const i tuencies per zone (only 8 were ever organized Secretary (Zubko) B.C. Const i -tuency Assoc. r 1 Alberta Con-s t i tuenc ies >• Saskatchewan Manitoba Third Executive Structure (P rov inc ia l ) : 38 Leader (optional) President F i r s t V ice-President 1 Board of Directors (Ten) Up to 11 zone organizations per province. Organized:only with assent of voting delegates Constituency Assoc iat ions. Con-s i s t of President, Vice-President and not less than 3 Directors (and MLA i f any) Second V ice-{. President - 30 -organizat ion, po l icy and leadership which was to s p l i t the party wi th in f i ve months. On the organizat ional side of the c o n f l i c t : the Alberta-dominated executive was interested in preparing for an ant ic ipated prov inc ia l e lec t i on . Af ter consult ing A lber ta 's Chief Electora l O f f i ce r , i t was discovered that WCC could not contest a prov inc ia l e lec t ion because Chr i s t i e had f a i l ed to reg is ter WCC as a p o l i t i c a l party in Alberta (something Ch r i s t i e had to ld the executive had already been accomplished). Further WCC could not run an e lect ion campaign in Alberta under the leader-39 ship of a B.C. resident ( C h r i s t i e ) . Hence the need for an Alberta party. C h r i s t i e , recognizing that such a move would a l l but destroy his already diminished control over party a f f a i r s in Alberta and s h i f t the majority of members (and funds) to the provinc ia l l e v e l , sought to ar rest or at leas t s t a l l the process. I t appears Mr. Chr i s t i e was contemplating moving to Alberta to seek the leadership of the Alberta party and thus wished to delay the matter un t i l he had establ ished his residency. Being unable to force a postponement, "his strategy . . . (was) to create confusion and chaos in the hope that Party members (would) r a l l y to his support. Of course, the members shunned his attempts to gain the i r support and the fate of Ch r i s t i e as national leader was sealed. The party then moved into the next phase of the i r organizat ional development. With the events of F a l l , 1981 resu l t ing in the demise of the national o f f i c e , WCC became, in e f fec t , a co l l ec t i on of prov inc ia l pa r t ies . Each i s independent of the others, having complete control over po l i cy , organizat ion, funding and leadership; each may place as l i t t l e - 31 -emphasis on the separat is t image as i s deemed advisable or necessary. In the main, however,there is not much di f ference between the organi -zation of the Alberta or B r i t i s h Columbia par t ies . Both are r i g i d l y structured in an attempt to prevent one indiv idual from gaining control of the organizat ion. A l l d i rectors are subject to expulsion from the i r o f f i ces by a two-thirds vote of the ent i re execut ive; the leader i s constrained by being subject to a leadership convention on the wr i t ten notice of twenty percent of the constituency assoc ia t ions. 41 Further, the job descr ipt ions of a l l executives are c l ea r l y def ined, while a l l po l icy must be debated and r a t i f i e d by the members. This organi-zat ion i s a vast improvement over e i ther the one man control which Chr i s t i e enjoyed for the f i r s t year of WCC's existence or the highly cen-t r a l i z e d , executive decision-making structure which characterized the May to September, 1981 executive. So, whereas neither the general membership nor the few constituency associat ions had any inf luence on the decisions made by the f i r s t two execut ives, with the formation of the t h i r d , as defined by the party cons t i t u t i on , the r id ing executives now hold the balance of power and the members have a greater say in po l icy dec is ions. Although at the time of wr i t ing th is new system has been in place only s ix months in Alberta and two in B . C . , i t seems to be operating e f fec-t i v e l y . The pol icy dispute between Maygard and Kesler over the emphasis to be given to independence overshadowed the organizat ional endeavours of the Alberta party. However, true to the party const i tu t ion the members rose to order a stop to the in f igh t ing and the constituency associat ions responded by giv ing the i r guarded support to Kesler . The B r i t i s h Columbia - 32 -branch has escaped the dissension experienced by the Albertans for two reasons. F i r s t , the pro-tern president, Don Munro, was an advocate of de-centra l ized control - - he was determined to make the party executive re-42 presentative of and responsible to the members. In l i ne with his th ink ing , he supervised the establishment of t h i r t y - f i v e const i tuencies (up from the previous s ix) months before the permanent provinc ia l executive was e lec ted. So too did he ensure that the party headquarters were moved from Doug 43 C h r i s t i e ' s V i c to r i a o f f i ce to Vancouver. Second, the B.C. members seem to have developed a consensus on a pro-independence stand. A l l the execu-t i ve o f f i ce rs campaigned against any diminution of the separa t ism- f i rs t image; the tenor of the comments from the convention f l oo r showed they received the members support. In the f i r s t two years of WCC's b r ie f h i s to ry , therefore, the organizat ion endured three d i s t i n c t executive s t ructures. For the f i r s t year Doug Chr i s t i e enjoyed unbridled control over an organizat ion opera-t ing on the national l e v e l ; with the e lec t ion of the second executive in May, 1981 C h r i s t i e ' s dominant posi t ion weakened as the executive o f f i ce rs began to question his po l i c ies and his nat ional ly -or iented organizat ion. The s p l i t between Chr i s t i e and the Alberta-dominated national executive occasioned the demise of the national o f f i ce and the creat ion of indepen-dent prov inc ia l wings. To date the provinc ia l part ies have adopted, a more democratic and decentral ized approach to internal party organizat ion than e i ther of the two previous st ructures. Pol i cy Both the F a l l , 1981 s p l i t and the dispute Kesler had with Maygard and - 33 -Westmore had obvious pol icy components. While organizat ion, po l icy and leadership were a l l contr ibut ing factors to the f i r s t c o n f l i c t , the second was pr imar i ly caused by discord over po l icy with some leadership considerat ions. WCC pol icy proposals have always gone beyond a simple c a l l for i n -dependence; they have always included a programme by which independence is to be secured and the type of governing body to be establ ished a f ter 44 separat ion. Beyond that there was l i t t l e which const i tuted WCC pol icy - - at leas t un t i l mid-1982 when the party began to develop po l i c ies on other issues. None of the members of the two national executives ever hedged on the independence quest ion: to them the only important object ive was independence. Neither has there been disputes in any of the executives over the most expedient route to fo l low: there has always been a consen-sus on pursuing the e lectora l avenue. S im i la r l y there has been general agreement to the strategy of i n i t i a t i n g a referendum on independence a f ter WCC had succeeded in forming a provinc ia l government. So too has WCC pol icy cont inual ly rejected any notion of negotiations on independence 45 with the federal government. These are not points of contention within Western Canada Concept. Where disputes over po l icy have ar isen in the past are in the areas of what form of government should preside over an independent west and how great an emphasis should be placed on separat is t rhetor ic during a provincia l e lect ion campaign. As noted, the d iv is ions between Chr i s t i e (and a few of his supporters) and the second executive dominated by Alberta members were produced in part by C h r i s t i e ' s adherence to the formation of a unitary s ta te . For the f i r s t - 34 -year of WCC's existence th is po l icy had been a cornerstone of the grouping's programme. "One Nation; One Language; One Government" was WCC's o r ig ina l 46 slogan. Yet th is "cornerstone" remained in tac t for only one month af ter the e lect ion of the second execut ive, as the new o f f i ce rs apparently f e l t the Alberta electorate would not accept a plan which would erode the i r control over the i r resources. Hence the po l icy was a l te red : f i r s t by giv ing the publ ic a choice on the form of government, then (af ter C h r i s t i e ' s demise as national leader) by advocating a federation more decentral ized than the current d i v i s i on of powers and featur ing a bi-cameral structure at both the federal and provinc ia l leve ls with the upper houses elected 47 by region. Hence WCC's po l icy on the best form of government has ex-perienced a number of changes as there was a t rans i t ion from a no-option unitary s ta te , to a referendum on the quest ion, to a no-opt ion, highly 48 decentral ized (and highly over-governed) federat ion. But the po l icy issue which created greater disagreement was the level of at tent ion to be given the independence platform in provinc ia l e lec t ion campaigns. I t i s expected th is issue w i l l cause yet further con f l i c t in both the B.C. and Alberta branches. In A lbe r ta , Kes le r ' s v ic tory over Maygard and Westmore in gaining constituency approval for a diminution of the separat is t stand did not permanently resolve the quest ion. If Maygard had followed through with his plans to seek the Alberta leadership in 49 la te August, 1982, then the debate would have been resurrected. Even af ter Kes ler 's v i c to ry , the d iv i s ions should l i k e l y remain, only to surface again during the prov inc ia l e lec t ion campaign. In B.C. there has not been the same measure of discord on the subject as the B.C. members and executive - 35 -seem to be united in the i r desire to have independence as the major 50 plank in the i r campaign platform. S t i l l th is wr i ter sees the potent ia l for d isuni ty on the topic come the next prov inc ia l e l ec t i on . Pract ica l p o l i t i c s and the experience of the Par t i Quebecois in the ear ly seventies suggest that a party cannot run a successful campaign by addressing a separat is t po l icy alone. I f WCC (B.C.) expects to form the prov inc ia l government in one or.two elect ions they w i l l , perforce, need to focus more at tent ion on prov inc ia l concerns. Due to time cons t ra in ts , th is could only be undertaken at the expense of the i r strong posi t ion on inde-pendence. In the main, however, there has been l i t t l e disagreement on pol icy matters during WCC's h is to ry . Today, both the B.C. and Alberta part ies concur on the other issues - - ag r i cu l tu re , heal th , education, wel fare, 51 resource and economic development, foreign investment and taxation a l l re f lec t ing the conservat ive, non- intervent ionist doctr ines of the party. Yet two po l icy con f l i c t s (post-independence form of government and importance of separat is t rhetor ic) were instrumental in the Chr i s t i e - Alberta s p l i t and the Kesler - Maygard dispute respect ive ly . Leadership I f a review of the Western Canada Concept leadership had been under-taken in 1981, only one i n d i v i d u a l , Doug C h r i s t i e , would have been discussed. Undeniably un t i l the summer of 1982 Doug Chr i s t i e was WCC: he made the po l icy dec is ions , he was the sole platform speaker, and he personally censured any d iss iden ts . However, the changes of la te 1981 to Summer, 1982 brought new actors to the stage - - so today an analysis of WCC's leadership - 36 -involves at least a cursory review of some of these other i nd iv idua ls . S t i l l , due to C h r i s t i e ' s continued prominence, he w i l l command most of the d iscuss ion. His background i s that of neither the pr iv i leged nor working c lasses . Douglas Chr i s t i e - - born in Winnipeg in 1946, the son of a c i v i l servant in the Department of National Revenue - - took his undergraduate degree at the Univers i ty of Manitoba, graduating with a double honours major in Philosophy and P o l i t i c a l Science. He then earned an L .L .B . from the Univers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia, before se t t l i ng in V i c t o r i a . A devout Ca tho l i c , Ch r i s t i e i s s i ng le , very much a loner , and re t i cen t , to the point of secrecy, about his personal l i f e . In a p o l i t i c a l ve in , Chr i s t i e is no newcomer to party p o l i t i c s . A card-carry ing member of the national Progressive Conservative party, Ch r i s t i e has been president of two r id ing associat ions and has made an unsuccessful bid for a nomination. With the addit ion of an independent campaign in the 1979 B.C. e l ec t i on , one receives a f a i r l y c lear ind icat ion of the scope of C h r i s t i e ' s p o l i t i c a l ambitions. C h r i s t i e ' s past record in WNA, coupled with my discussions with Al Maygard (past national president) , Don Munro (B.C. pro-tern pres ident) , and Elmer Knutson, along with my interview with him provide more than adequate material for an assessment of C h r i s t i e ' s p o l i t i c a l personal i ty . Douglas Chr i s t ie i s the type of ind iv idual who seeks to gain as much con-t ro l as possible over those organizations with which he i s involved. He i s se l f -con f iden t , with an at t i tude towards any authori ty (but his own) bordering on contumacy; he i s a man convinced that his assessments, opinions and be l ie fs are correct and any opposing ones are wrong. He i s - 37 -suspicious of the media, academics and his own members; he i s v i n d i c t i v e , ready to use pr ivate d iscuss ions, publ ic arenas and the courts to d i s -52 c red i t those detractors who he fee ls have impugned his reputat ion. On the other hand, there i s no question of C h r i s t i e ' s commitment to the cause. He i s an indefat igable , intense p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i s t , w i l l i n g to leave a good law pract ice for weeks at a time so he can tour western Canada. Unt i l mid-1981 a l l these qua l i t i es acted in unison, one complimenting the other, and thus enabled Chr i s t i e to maintain a strong gr ip on the organiza-t i on . Leadership con f l i c t s were par t ly responsible for the s p l i t between Chr i s t i e and the Alberta-dominated second execut ive. Although the d i s -pute was i n i t i a l l y over organizat ion and s p e c i f i c a l l y the formation of an Alberta provincia l party (which Chr i s t i e then transformed into a po l icy argument on the unitary state i ssue) , there was also an ind i rec t l ink to leadership. The connection i s found in the i n a b i l i t y of the national exe-cut ive to work with C h r i s t i e . It seems Chr is t ie was t ry ing to run the organizat ion by himself , much as he had done from June, 1980 to May, 1981 when th is national executive was e lected. Af ter t ry ing to work with him for f i ve months, they decided his arrogant and reca lc i t ran t behaviour made the e f fo r t f u t i l e . The respect then national president, Al Maygard, had 53 once held for Chr i s t i e quick ly turned into d isrespect , then open contempt. Neither Maygard nor Wes Westmore expressed any regret for C h r i s t i e ' s 54 departure. Hence the leadership question did play a ro le in the o r ig ina l schism. Leadership has also caused some problems in the newly-formed provinc ia l - 38 -par t ies . In B.C. the demise of the national o f f i ce and the subsequent retreat of most of the executive o f f i ce rs to the Alberta party, meant B.C. was devoid of o f f i c i a l leadership. Within two months however, Don Munro (the re t i red postmaster for White Rock) had stepped i n , assumed the pro-tern presidency, and began bui ld ing a prov inc ia l organizat ion. Chr i s t i e was appointed pro-tern, leader for a s ix month per iod. Yet i t was not Doug Chr i s t i e who was to provide the i n i t i a l leadership in WCC ( B . C . ) ; for probably the f i r s t time in his p o l i t i c a l career Chr i s t i e maintained a low p r o f i l e , undoubtedly s t i l l b i t t e r about his f a l l from power. Instead, Don Munro was the force behind bui ld ing and strengthening the organizat ion in preparation for a convention ca l led for la te June, 1982. The leadership e lect ion was one of the most in terest ing developments at the convention. Pa r t i cu la r l y noteworthy was the margin by which Chr i s t ie retained his incumbency, and the person over whom he was v i c to r i ous . He was elected on the second ba l lo t by gaining 158 of the 281 general member-ship votes (there were no delegates) thus defeating his chal lenger, Don Munro, by 25 votes. It was a s ign i f i can t event not only because two ba l lo ts were needed for Chr i s t i e to secure the leadership, but also be-55 cause Munro did not decide un t i l that morning to contest the leadership. Apparently Munro decided to run af ter r ea l i z i ng the other two candidates did not pose a serious challenge to C h r i s t i e . The f i na l vote suggests the members sent a message to C h r i s t i e : he must abide by the party cons t i tu -t ion and adhere to the r a t i f i e d po l i cy , or e lse face being removed from o f f i ce at the leadership review session in October. Like B . C . , Alberta has also experienced some d i f f i c u l t i e s with the - 39 -leadership as the dispute Kesler had with Maygard and Westmore had strong 56 leadership impl icat ions - - the j o in t resignat ion of the l a t t e r two. That Kesler gained the support of the constituency associat ions only re-solved the issue temporari ly. Although i t was expected the debate would be started anew at the August leadership convention, the absence of May-gard as a candidate prevented a continuation of th is po l icy c o n f l i c t . Both 57 Maygard and Knutson had stated they would contest the leadership. But for some reason, Maygard changed his mind; that Knutson was a candidate was i ns ign i f i can t as he was dismissed with three others, on the f i r s t 58 ba l l o t . In the end the leadership bat t le was between Kesler and long-time organizer' Howard Thompson, with the former emerging v ic tor ious by for ty votes cast by the over 600 members in attendance. The question of the importance to be placed on a separat is t rhetor ic was not a major issue however, as Thompson concentrated more on image — portraying him-se l f as the one person able to unify the party. Yet, as with B . C . , i t i s expected that both during and af ter the next prov inc ia l e lec t ion campaign the issue of the separat is t image w i l l be debated again. Very b r i e f l y then, the h is tory of WCC's leadership has been a chequered one indeed. From a beginning of C h r i s t i e ' s single-handed control over a l l facets of the organizat ion, WCC has f a l l en prey to a number of deb i l i t a t i ng internal power st ruggles. F i r s t was the re ject ion of C h r i s t i e ' s leadership (as a response to accumulated grievances with his unitary state po l i c y , his nat ional ly -or iented organizat ion, and his personal i ty) by Maygard and the rest of the Alberta-dominated national executive. Soon af ter the newly-formed Alberta wing was embroiled in the i r - 40 -own dispute over the importance of the independence issue, while in B.C. the members were giv ing guarded support to Chr i s t i e as provinc ia l leader. DISCUSSION To th is point , the paper has been pr imar i ly a broad del ineat ion of events wi thin West-Fed and WCC which were, to varying degrees, causes of the d isuni ty suffered by both organizat ions. Although the descr ip t ion has at times focused on par t i cu la r incidents or issues and has involved some analysis of ..those points , i t i s hoped that the overal l tenor of the preceding material i s s t i l l general in content. The purpose of the d i s -cussion, therefore, i s more s p e c i f i c : to review, compare and analyze those points in an e f fo r t to determine the scope of the i r contr ibut ion to the two groups' internal unity problems. Whereas in the sections above we were interested in discerning from where and why dissension emerged, we now sh i f t our at tent ion to furnishing answers to s l i g h t l y d i f fe rent questions. Accepting that organizat ion, po l i c ies and leadership were a l l sources of c o n f l i c t in West-Fed and WCC, which caused the greatest measure of dissent in each associat ion? Did both groups suf fer from s im i la r types of organiza-t i o n a l , po l icy or leadership con f l i c t ? Did the three determinants operate independent of each other, or did one serve to exacerbate or diminish the d isuni ty sponsored by another? It i s thus ant ic ipated that th is analysis and discussion w i l l f i r s t c r y s t a l l i z e the understanding of the two groups internal problems gained from the sections above, while demonstrating that dissension of th is order need not be t o t a l l y destruct ive as other Canadian part ies and movements have experienced s im i la r or greater con f l i c t s and - 41 -survived. In both West-Fed and Western Canada Concept internal organizat ion proved to be a source of d isun i ty . The decision-making process i n s t i -tuted by Knutson was h igh ly -cen t ra l i zed , his o f f i ce being responsible for po l icy formulation and most of the funds a l l o ca t i on . The few cons t i -tuency executives had l i t t l e input into e i ther national or prov inc ia l dec is ions. Without any measurable input , without control over most of the funds they co l l ec ted , relegated to a ro le of promoters.of West-Fed r a l l i e s , the consti tuent units became understandably r e s t l e s s . Despite Knutson's proud declarat ions that the movement was a "grass-roots" one, i t was obvious the decision-making process did not reach down that fa r . So, when the Calgary executives rebel led in December, 1981 the po l icy di f ferences were buttressed by a f i rm re jec t ion of the cent ra l ized or-ganization of the movement. The c o n f l i c t over the future organizat ion of the party had profound impl icat ions for WCC as w e l l . The organizat ional component of the f i r s t WCC schism was based on a need to form an independent prov inc ia l party ( in compliance with.the Alberta Elect ions Act) i f the Albertans wished to contest a provinc ia l e lec t i on . On th is note the thinking was purely pract ica l and was not v i n d i c t i v e towards C h r i s t i e . The Alberta members had every reason to bel ieve the i r best chance of e lectora l success was in A lbe r ta , and to expect an ear ly e lec t ion c a l l . The sooner they organized themselves into a provinc ia l un i t , the bet ter . But Chr i s t i e only aggravated the s i tua t ion - - by wr i t ing a l e t t e r to members claiming the sa l i en t issue was the federal state opt ion, he sponsored the membership - 42 -confusion which la te r polar ized the party. In ef fect i t was Chr i s t i e who turned a simple organizat ional issue into a leadership struggle in a vain attempt to maintain his paramouncy in the party. I t w i l l be noted that the organizat ional dispute which disrupted WCC was quite d i f fe rent from that which led to West-Fed's demise. The la t te r concerned the cent ra l ized decision-making process of the assoc ia-t i o n , while the former centred on the future d i rec t ion of the party. A l -though the WCC decis ion to become a prov inc ia l party had a far-reaching ef fect on the party hierarchy and decision-making s t ructure, the i n i t i a l dispute was not, as in West-Fed, a question of cent ra l ized party con t ro l . The po l icy con f l i c t s experienced by the two groups produced d iv is ions which were only resolved in West-Fed when the associat ion disbanded and have been only temporarily repaired in WCC. In West-Fed disagreement over po l icy was present from the movement's incept ion. With a s i g n i f i c a n t percentage of the membership being avowed separat is ts and Knutson developing po l i c ies designed to counter a separat is t image, i t was inev i tab le that the two would c lash . The confrontation was further heightened by the two confusing and contradictory pol icy posi t ions Knutson promulgated. His po l icy of creat ing a western federation had always been viewed skep t i ca l l y by the pro-separat is t members, pa r t i cu la r l y those based around Calgary. They, more than he, were aware of the de f i c i enc ies : that the membership recruitment program was overly presumptive, that the lobbying of MLAs could not be brought to f r u i t i on in eighteen months, that western in terests could not be a r t i cu la ted by one organizat ion, and that the eastern regions would be unreceptive to West-Fed demands. Af ter one year of l i s ten ing to Knutson's _ 43 . hollow v i s i o n , the Calgary o f f i ce rs made the i r move. Thus by f i r s t declar ing themselves separa t i s ts , then gaining membership approval for the i r posi t ion in August, 1981, the Calgarians e f fec t i ve l y l a i d to rest the very concept upon which West-Fed had been founded. The const i tu t iona l development argument did not produce the same degree of marked d iscord , l i k e l y because members benignly accepted i t , did not understand i t , or chose to ignore i t . S t i l l the potent ial for d i s -unity was present as any po l i t i ca l l y -aware members would have rea l ized Knutson's interpretat ions of Confederation and the Statute of Westminster contradicted each other as well as the western federation po l i cy . Moreover, the in terpretat ion was too r e s t r i c t i v e , based so le ly on the semantics of the appl icable documents rather than the i r in tent . Any d isun i ty caused by these arguments was l i k e l y a resu l t of Knutson's determination to dra f t po l i c i es and arguments with the express purpose of downplaying the independence issue. Yet since an i n f l uen t i a l portion of the members favoured un i la tera l secession, the po l i c i es proved counterproductive. While doing l i t t l e to correct West-Fed's image problems, these two po l i c ies did irreparable damage to the internal unity of the movement. Po l icy a lso played a major ro le in contr ibut ing to the two schisms in WCC. The f i r s t s p l i t in F a l l , 1981 was at least p a r t i a l l y due to the debate between Chr i s t i e and the Alberta-dominated national executive con-cerning the d e s i r a b i l i t y of the creat ion of a unitary or federal s ta te . C h r i s t i e , a f ter already backing down from his o r ig ina l unitary state po l icy by accepting a referendum on the subject , refused to acquiesce to the pro-federa l is t po l icy proposed by the Albertans. The re ject ion of C h r i s t i e ' s - 44 -leadership was to fo l low shor t ly thereaf ter . Likewise pol icy di f ferences were a s i gn i f i can t factor in the Kesler-Maygard power s t ruggle. S imi la r to the West-Fed experience, the new Alberta party was divided between the vehement separat is ts and those w i l l i n g to suppress the separat is t rhetor ic in an e f fo r t to enrich the par ty 's popular appeal. The in terest ing point in the WCC (Alberta) debacle was that moderation on independence had never been a contentious issue - - not unt i l Kesler had been elected and secured his internal support, did the question come to the fo re . I do not th ink, however, that the timing of the c o n f l i c t indicates Kesler had any immediate plans to assume the party leadership; rather that he took a prgamatic approach to e lectora l p o l i t i c s by appreciat ing WCC would enjoy more success at the po l l s with a less m i l i t an t stand on independence. As Maygard and Westmore were deposed, i t appears the membership shared Kes le r ' s opin ion. S t i l l the debate is not f i n i shed , as th is issue, more than any other pol icy concern, poses the greatest threat to party unity in the near future. Po l icy i s of prime importance in any analysis of c o n f l i c t wi th in a new movement or party. I t i s po l i cy , not leadership and cer ta in ly not organizat ion, which const i tutes the i n i t i a l appeal of the new grouping. Yet i f the po l i c ies are unsound, contradictory or confusing, then dissent w i l l r esu l t . West-Fed was a c l a s s i c example of an organizat ion bound for destruct ion simply because the po l icy decisions were so foreign to both p o l i t i c a l r e a l i t y and the expectations of the members and executives a l i ke that c o n f l i c t over po l icy was assured. That West-Fed's had o r i g i n a l l y attracted numerous separat is ts who then succeeded in securing executive - 45 -posit ions in the Calgary region only exacerbated the s i t ua t i on , p a r t i -cu la r l y when Knutson was attempting to repudiate the separat is t image. Po l icy was no less important to the second WCC c o n f l i c t . While the f i r s t s p l i t had been occasioned by debate over the unitary state po l i cy , i t a lso had strong leadership and organizat ional overtones; the Kesler-Maygard controversy was pr imar i ly a resu l t of po l icy d i f ferences. F i n a l l y , the material suggests that leadership in general , and the inf luence of the leaders ' personal i t ies on pol icy choices in pa r t i cu la r , were sources of c o n f l i c t in both West-Fed and WCC. The question of com-petent, cred ib le leadership played a substant ial ro le in the Calgary execu-t i ves ' re jec t ion of Knutson as well as the dispute between Chr i s t i e and the Alberta-dominated national executive. Even in WCC's provinc ia l pa r t i es , leadership was a problem. The West-Fed leadership had always been of concern to the movement; Knutson himself would f ree ly admit he was not the ideal leader. Yet despite his modesty, he proved unwi l l ing to vacate his o f f i ce and part with the power accompanying i t — even amid obvious dissent within the ranks. His continuing i n a b i l i t y to develop po l i c ies which were understood and accepted by the general pub l i c , much less his own members, coupled with his attempts to control almost a l l facets of the internal organizat ion were not the leadership qua l i t i es West-Fed needed. As such he never enjoyed the type of respect from the provincia l presidents and constituency executives which are required of a popular movement leader. Thus when the Calgary executives confronted Knutson, complaining of the i r lack of input into po l icy dec is ions , they were ac tua l ly ca l l i ng his leadership into quest ion. - 46 -Just as Knutson was a f f i c ted with a lack of respect in West-Fed, so too was Chr i s t i e in WCC. But the reasons behind the disrespect afforded each were as d i f fe rent as the two men's persona l i t i es . Whereas Knutson's respect problems stemmed from an honest appraisal of his p o l i t i c a l a b i l i t i e s , Chr i s t ie wasnot-respected more out of fear and contempt for the man himself than for his p o l i t i c a l e f f i cacy . I t was C h r i s t i e ' s arrogance more than any other of his personal i ty t r a i t s which engendered the lack of respect toward him. I t was th is arrogance which made i t d i f f i c u l t for him to work with Munro and impossible to work with Maygard. When a man posseses a.con-fidence in his own p o l i t i c a l a b i l i t i e s and worth to a point where a l l other opinions are secondary, one cannot expect him to be an asset to the p o l i t i c a l team. And teamwork i s a requ is i te in any p o l i t i c a l party. S i m i l a r l y , a leader cannot expect to receive the respect of his associates when a l l know he i s ready to seek legal redress i f the i r publ ic statements are even s l i g h t l y c r i t i c a l . Hence, C h r i s t i e ' s arrogant and suspicious nature cannot be viewed as the foremost qua l i t i es of a party leader. Despite a keen sense of p o l i t i c s and an emot ion-st i r r ing platform s t y l e , C h r i s t i e ' s ear ly leadership of WCC w i l l be remembered pr imar i ly as the time when one man t r i ed to maintain complete control over the organizat ion. In sum, Knutson was a v ic t im of his i n a b i l i t i e s , Chr i s t i e was a v ic t im of his personal i ty . . With Knutson being incapable of draf t ing sound po l i c ies and unwi l l ing to delegate author i ty , and Chr i s t i e being resolute in his sel f -esteem, neither man was able to re ta in the respect of his exe-cut ive o f f i c e r s . And since legit imacy i s usual ly d i r ec t l y proportional to the level of respect, both los t the i r legi t imacy. - 47 -F i n a l l y , leadership was also a concern in the prov inc ia l wings of WCC. In A lbe r ta , Kes ler 's attack on the po l icy associated with the pro-separat is t leader and president (Maygard and Westmore) was also an attack on the i r leadership. S i m i l a r l y , Munro's belated decis ion to challenge Chr i s t i e for the WCC (B.C.) leadership was a d i rec t re jec t ion of the man and his brand of leadership. While Munro's act ion did not have any profound consequences in B.C. - - aside from showing Chr i s t ie was not accepted by a l l members - - the provinc ia l leadership question did have s ign i f i can t ramif icat ions in Alberta as witnessed by the resignat ion of the two chief executives. Very b r i e f l y then, organizat ion, po l i c i es and leadership a l l c o n t r i -buted to the major deb i l i t a t i ng con f l i c t s suffered by West-Fed and Western Canada Concept. Although the primary causes of d isuni ty may be l i s t e d under these three general headings, i t must be stressed that wi thin each var iable the causes of d isuni ty were quite d i f f e ren t . So the leader-ship problems in West-Fed were the product of Knutson's p o l i t i c a l naivete and i n a b i l i t y , while WCC's ear ly leadership con f l i c t s were due to C h r i s t i e ' s personal i ty , pa r t i cu la r l y his arrogance. The leadership component of the Kesler-Maygard dispute involved neither the leader 's i n a b i l i t i e s nor his arrogance but was rather a struggle between two divergent perceptions of the most e f f i cac ious route to e lectora l success. Likewise the organizat ion con f l i c t s experienced by the two groups d i f f e red . For West-Fed the pivotal question was the degree of cent ra l ized decision-making; for WCC the issue was a pract ica l r ea l i za t i on of a need for a provinc ia l party. Where the two organizations did share the same c o n f l i c t , however, was in the po l icy - 48 -area. Although West-Fed never f e l l prey to any measurable dissent over the question of a uni tary/ federal state opt ion, they, l i k e WCC were divided on the emphasis to be placed on the independence issue. Given that leadership, po l i c ies and organizat ion were a l l respon-s ib le for the promotion of party and movement d issent , i s one then able to discern the in te r re la t ionsh ip among the three var iables? Did they act independent of each other; or did they act in unison with leadership exacerbating the po l icy con f l i c t s or po l icy compounding an organizat ional dispute? Looking f i r s t to the West-Fed s i tua t ion i t w i l l be noted that the revo l t of the Calgary executives was the culmination of the i r d i s s a t i s f a c -t ion with Knutson, h is po l i c i es and his cent ra l ized organizat ion of move-ment a f f a i r s . A l l three var iables were present with each inf luencing the others. I t i s near impossible to d is t ingu ish Knutson from his p o l i c i e s , the two being so c lose ly al igned they acted as one. Detractors of Knutson's leadership based the i r c r i t i c i sms not on the man himself .but on his stead-fas t adherence to po l i c ies they re jected. The re jec t i on , by the Calgary execut ives, of an accommodation!'st po l icy and the r a t i f i c a t i o n of a pro-separat is t one, was equally a re ject ion of Knutson's leadership. S im i la r l y these was a c lose nexus between the 1eadership/pol icy con f l i c t s and the dispute over organizat ion. Undoubtedly, i f the regional o f f i ce rs had been allowed greater input into pol icy matters, v ia a decentral ized decision-making format, then the po l i c i es they so vehemently opposed would never have been formulated. Instead the highly cent ra l ized structure enable the development of po l i c ies which were viewed as unpalatable. But - 49 -i t seems that the s i tua t ion could not have been otherwise, for there was something in Knutson's nature which prevented him from re l ingu ish ing any of his author i ty . The whole argument quick ly devolves into a c i r cu l a r one - - which i s prec ise ly the point . The downfall of West-Fed was a combination of dissent towards leadership, po l i c i es and organizat ion - -each act ing upon and inf luencing the others - - culminating in the f r us t ra -t ion and eventual desert ion of the Calgary executives. The c lose re la t ionsh ip among leadership, po l icy and organizat ion var iables was also evidenced in the two WCC c o n f l i c t s . The f i r s t schism began as a simple attempt to es tab l ish a prov inc ia l branch of the party. Very quickly, however, the arguments took on an organizat ional component as Chr i s t i e became worried about his diminished ro le in the party and h is loss of input into the decisions which would control i t s dest iny. To def lec t at tent ion Ch r i s t i e emphasized the co r ro l l a ry argument of the uni tary/ federal state opt ion, t ry ing to show the Albertans as re jectors of a po l icy r a t i f i e d by a l l the execut ives. Hence the c o n f l i c t adopted pol icy overtones. And, since i t was Chr i s t i e who drew the l ines between himself and the Albertans (who by th is time were convinced of the inade-quacies of his leadership) the debate had strong leadership impl ica t ions. One var iab le did not operate independent of the others. For the most par t , i t was Chr i s t i e who brought old leadership and po l icy disputes to the fo re ; once present the three worked in conjunction to d i sc red i t Chr i s t ie and secure his demise as national leader. S im i l a r l y there was a c lose re la t ionsh ip among the three var iables in the Kesler-Maygard dispute. When Kesler began to champion moderation - 50 -of the independence issue he was not only questioning po l icy - - he was d i r ec t l y challenging Maygard1s leadership and the decision-making process which had r a t i f i e d the po l i cy . Although the dispute was pr imar i ly a po l icy concern, i t had important leadership and organizat ional rami f i ca t ions ; as witnessed by Maygard's attempt to turn the dispute into a leadership con-f l i c t by emphasizing Kes ler 's re l ig ious a f f i l i a t i o n s , the resignations of Maygard and Westmore and the i r subsequent replacement in the decision-making hierarchy by Kesler supporters. Therefore, a analysis of the re la t ionsh ip among the three var iables provides su f f i c i en t evidence to conclude that each did not act independently in e i ther the West-Fed or WCC c o n f l i c t s . Rather, leadership, po l icy and organizat ional dissent seemed to work in unison with each supporting and re in forc ing the others. This is an important observat ion, as i t shows that the c o n f l i c t was not some iso la ted event caused by the chance union of the three var iables at the same time and in the same place. Instead, the close connection among the three v i r t u a l l y dictated that c o n f l i c t o r ig inat ing from one of the var iables was destined to be influenced by the other two. Although the systematic d issect ion of c o n f l i c t into i t s component parts of organizat ion, po l i c ies and leadership makes for in terest ing analysis and, I th ink, allows for a more thorough understanding of West-Fed and WCC, we must not lose s ight of the fac t that what the two groups suffered was only internal d issension. It i s f ine to be spec i f i c about the nature of the c o n f l i c t under inves t iga t ion , but in the end we must return to the more general — rea l i z i ng that neither group experienced anything not - 51 -suffered by other p o l i t i c a l organizat ions. Dissension i s present in a l l p o l i t i c a l assoc ia t ions ; indeed i t i s v i r t u a l l y a requ is i te to the organiza-t i on ' s healthy, democratic development. Cer ta in ly one would not expect the organ iza t iona l , po l icy and leadership problems which s p l i t WCC or destroyed West-Fed to have a s im i la r e f fec t on the L ibera ls or Conserva-t i ves . Even the two major separat is t groups in Quebec in the ear ly s i x t i e s were able to endure major internal c o n f l i c t s . The Rassemblement pour 1'Independence Nationale (RIN) was cont inual ly plagued with in tera l r i f t s during i t s eight year h is tory from 1960 to 1968. In that time the party survived three s ign i f i can t s p l i t s over ideology and the best strategy (e i ther extra-parl iamentary or e lec to ra l l y ) with which to gain independence. That the RIN disbanded in 1968 does not mean i t s demise was a product of in ternal d i sun i t y , but rather that a more cred ib le and p o l i t i c a l l y -acceptable group (Levesque's Par t i Quebecois) had usurped the RIN's 59 power base. S i m i l a r l y , the Par t i Quebecois (PQ) has experienced internal dissension pa r t i cu la r l y during i t s f i r s t eight years. From 1968 to 1976 there was an ongoing debate wi thin the party centred upon — l i k e WCC (Alberta) - - the importance of a separat is t image in an fin e lec t ion campaign. Yet the PQ survived these c o n f l i c t s . The sa l i en t point in these br ie f del ineat ions is to i l l u s t r a t e that West-Fed and WCC do not hold a monopoly on d issension. The o lder , es ta-bl ished national part ies and the more recent Quebec separat is t groups have a l l endured internal unity problems. The spec i f i c reasons behind the i r surv ival (be i t the t r a d i t i o n , patronage resources or bureaucracies - 52 -of the o l d - l i n e part ies or a t ac i t consensus among the Quebec separat is ts that the most serious threat came from outs ide, not w i th in , the organiza-t ion) seem secondary to the fact they have overcome these c o n f l i c t s . Cer ta in ly West-Fed i s not able to boast such a record; only the events of the next few months or years w i l l t e l l how WCC has fared. CONCLUSION The object ives of th is paper were twofold: f i r s t to gain a c learer understanding of the internal forces which caused the destruct ion of West-Fed and the near destruct ion of Western Canada Concept; second, to suggest that the two groups experienced only that which i s common in any p o l i t i c a l organizat ion. On the f i r s t point , the two associat ions were broken down into organ iza t iona l , pol icy and leadership components, thus permitt ing a more in-depth analysis of the sources of d isun i ty . It can be concluded that in the two major con f l i c t s wi thin WCC and the one destruct ive d i s -pute in West-Fed, a l l three components played a discernable r o l e . Further, the three did not act independently of each other, as po l icy con f l i c t s accentuated leadership and organizat ional problems, as leader-ship was a cause of organizat ional and po l icy d isputes, and so fo r th . Yet f i n a l l y we must return to the general proposit ion that dissension i s v i r t u a l l y unavoidable in any p o l i t i c a l organizat ion, espec ia l l y a newly-formed one. Perhaps the only way for new p o l i t i c a l associat ions to ensure dissension does not have grave deb i l i t a t i ng consequences is to have a c l ea r l y defined external threat and receive a consensus on that threat being of primary importance. While the Quebec separat is t appear to have - 5 3 -been able to achieve such an accord, the western separat is t have not. To date they are s t i l l divided over whether Confederation, the federal Liberal party, Trudeau, b i l ingual ism or met r i f i ca t ion i s the greatest enemy. Only recent ly have they begun to concentrate some of the i r energies on provinc ia l matters. The prognosis thus seem to be along the l ines that unless or unt i l the prov inc ia l wings of WCC reach a consensus as to what poses the greatest threat , they w i l l continue to focus the i r at tent ion on internal matters. - 54 -FOOTNOTES 1. This i s not to say that establ ished organizations survive internal c o n f l i c t s only because there i s a consensus on the greatest external threat. There are other reasons, be they the age of the organizat ion, i t s t r ad i t i ons , the a b i l i t y to a t t rac t seasoned p o l i t i c i a n s , an establ ished internal bureaucracy, patronage resources, and so fo r th . Yet the inverse proposit ion i s s t i l l important: that new groups which have yet to gain general agreement on an external threat are more l i k e l y to f a l l prey to deb i l i t a t i ng internal d issension. 2. I use the word "separat is t " to describe West-Fed even though the founder, Elmer Knutson, has repeatedly denied the group.'s;purpose was to promote secession. I use the separat is t label for several reasons: a large number of West-Fed members were avowed separa t i s t s , the assoc ia t ion 's or ig ina l po l icy can only be l o g i c a l l y viewed as separat is t in in tent , and in la te 1981 the associat ion formally adopted a separat is t plat form. 3. This i s a general ca tegor iza t ion. To be sure, organizat ion can be div ided into membership charac te r i s t i cs (age, sex, occupation, subject ive soc ia l c l a s s ) , funding, decision-making process, executive structure and so fo r th . Further, po l icy can also include ideology. Ideology, meaning the placement of the associat ion on a l e f t / r i g h t a x i s , w i l l not be c lose ly examined here because there i s a general consensus that both groups held conservat ive, small-government o r ien-ta t ions . The more spec i f i c ideology of the role of separatism within the groups w i l l be discussed in the po l icy sect ions. 4. The information on the background and organizat ion of WCC was derived from an interview with Doug Chr i s t i e recorded at Harrison Hot Spr ings, B.C. in the Memorial Hall on Ju ly 1, 1981, and w i l l not be subse-quently footnoted. 5. Vancouver Province, (February 25, 1980), A4. 6. Calgary Herald, (March 24, 1980), B4. 7. Vancouver Sun, (July 2, 1980), D14. 8. This i s a confusing po l i cy . I t appears Mr. Bennett wanted, at the l eas t , a more l i be ra l immigration programme al lowing equal entrance opportunit ies for a l l races. Or he may have wanted equal quotas for immigration from a l l races. I f the l a t t e r was the case then his po l icy would have been r a c i s t . Yet i t was Chr i s t i e who was labe l led the r a c i s t a f ter he opposed Bennett 's p lan. S t i l l the more important point i s to show how a disagreement over po l icy was su f f i c i en t to remove Chr i s t ie from WNA. - 55 -9. Don Munro, WCC (B.C.) pro-tem president (December, 1981-June, 1982) claims WCC was not registered as a B.C. party unt i l Spr ing, 1982; Al Maygard, past national president claims there was not an Alberta party un t i l F a l l , 1981. 10. For an indepth, pro-Alberta view of th is s p l i t , see The Independencer, O f f i c i a l Publ icat ion of WCC, 1 (October, 1981) 3, pp. 1-4. 11. Vancouver Sun, (October 14, 1981), A7. 12. Discussion of the Saskatchewan and Manitoba branches of WCC has been omitted; the same is true for the material on West-Fed. Neither : associat ion made a serious attempt to organize the two provinces, save for WCC's a c t i v i t i e s during the recent e lec t ion campaign in Saskatchewan. 13. Interview with Al Maygard recorded at WCC (B.C.) convention at Delta River Inn, Richmond on June 26, 1982. 14. F i r s t interview with Elmer Knutson conducted in his Edmonton o f f i ce on Ju ly 2, 1981. As with the WCC mater ia l , much of the information in th is sect ion i s derived from the interview and w i l l not be sub-sequently footnoted. 15. Calgary Herald, (December 19, 1981), D21. 16. Interview with Don Munro, pro-tem WCC (B.C.) president and former West-Feder, recorded in his North Delta home on June 10, 1982. 17. Calgary Herald, (January 21, 1982), B l . 18. Maclean's, 95 (July 26, 1982), 30, p. 10. 19. F i r s t Knutson interview. 20. Knutson f ree ly admitted that West-Fed had at t racted too many separa t i s ts , adding the ones in Calgary were a constant problem. 21. Calgary Herald, (December 19, 1981), D21. 22. I say " i t should have" removed Knutson from his pre-eminent posi t ion because in r e a l i t y Knutson was able to force his way back into being the movement's central f i gu re . 23. Vancouver Sun, (August 10, 1981), A16. 24. Vancouver Province, (August 11, 1981), B l . 25. Calgary Herald, (October 23, 1981), B14. - 5 6 -26. I b i d . , (December 19, 1981), D21. 27. I b i d . , (December 30 ,1981 ) , A8. 28. Knutson expected the lobbying process would succeed in about 18 months. 29. Knutson contended that the product of these "negot iat ions" would be s t r i k i n g l y d i f fe rent from the current d i v i s i on of powers - -central author i ty would be severely circumscribed as residual powers were to rest with the four regions. He further asserted that any federal representatives would be drawn from the regional l eg i s l a t u res , and would remain responsible to those i n s t i t u t i o n s . 30. Since the western federation scheme was cer ta in to be rejected by the east , the long-term object ive must be secession. 31. From our conversation i t appears Knutson makes no d i s t i nc t i on between a federation and a confederat ion. 32. I t w i l l be reca l led that o f f i c i a l l y Knutson was the national president, but he also assumed the ro le of movement leader. 33. Knutson's i n i t i a l speaking engagements were a success only because people wanted to hear that the i r complaints about federal government actions were shared by others. Knutson always employed a very nega-t i ve s ty le spending most of his time c r i t i c i s i n g the federal govern-ment. Very l i t t l e , even the western federat ion p lan , was voiced in a pos i t ive tone. Af ter people had heard Knutson's rendi t ion of western grievances once or twice, they stayed away from what were redundant r a l l i e s . 34. In th is sense I am thinking of the Aberharts, the Douglases, and the Levesques - - a l l of whom enjoyed great success by adopting an almost evangelical approach to the i r p o l i t i c s . 35. The ' na t i ona l ' epithet meant only the four western provinces. 36. The Independencer, 1 (June, 1981) 1, p. 4. 37. Also note that of the seventy members at the May, 1981 convention, nineteen were elected to the executive or the Board of D i rectors . 38. Alberta and B.C. are organized i d e n t i c a l l y , as B.C. adopted the WCC (Alberta) cons t i tu t ion . The only di f ference i s that Alberta o r i -g i n a l l y had a deputy leader (Kesler) before he assumed the leader-ship in May, 1982. 39. This explanation was offered by both Don Munro and Al Maygard in separate interv iews. - 57 " 40. The Independencer, 1 (October, 1981) 3, p. 3. From a column by Tom Pappajohn. Mr. Pappajohn, who the wr i ter has talked to once, i s a former aid and supporter of Doug C h r i s t i e , having worked with him since 1976. He i s an open, honest indiv idual and a person whose assessment of events th is wr i ter accepts. 41. From WCC (B.C.) and WCC (Alberta) party cons t i tu t ions . 42. Don Munro interview. 43. A feat Munro considers to be his most s i gn i f i can t achievement. 44. The lack of po l icy on other issues (socia l se rv ices , education, indus t r ia l development) was due to C h r i s t i e ' s be l i e f that i t was not up to him, or the party, to decide the path an independent west would fo l low. According to him these were matters best l e f t un t i l a f ter separat ion. Obviously other members did not share his be l i e f as both the B.C. and Alberta part ies drafted de f i n i t i ve po l icy posi t ions on these issues in the summer of 1982. 45. Information derived from 1980 WCC handbi l ls and pamphlets, Chr i s t i e interview and a review of s imi la r po l icy posi t ions adopted by the B.C. and Alberta pa r t i es ; see The Independencer, 1 (March, 1982) 6, p. 8. 46. From the o r ig ina l WCC pamphlet. 47. Although both the B.C. and Alberta part ies consider th is to be the i r posi t ions on the matter, neither of them expend much energy promulgating the po l i cy . 48. The in terest ing point here i s that the proposed form of government would make an independent west the most highly governed state in the world — even more than Canada i s now. By advocating two houses in a l l provinces and two at the federal l e v e l , they seem to contradict the i r be l i e f that we need less government. 49. Maclean's, op. c i t . , (Note that Maygard did not contest the leader-sh ip . ) 50. From an assessment of the comments made on the issue during the po l icy debate at the WCC (B.C.) annual convention on June 25 and 26, 1982. 51. The Independencer, 1 (March, 1982) 6, p. 8, and pol icy proposals r a t i f i e d at WCC (B.C.) convention in June, 1982. 52. Since the spring of 1981, Chr i s t i e has i n i t i a t e d two lawsuits for defamation of character. One involved the publisher of the party news-paper. It was due to C h r i s t i e ' s p r o c l i v i t y to seek legal redress that Don Munro decl ined to ta lk candidly about his personal i ty on tape. - 58 -53. Maygard i s not the only prominent member to voice his d i s s a t i s f a c -t ion with C h r i s t i e ' s brand of leadership. Both Don Munro and Tom Pappajohn have lamented the i r d i f f i c u l t i e s in working with C h r i s t i e . Soo too have many other members, see Letters to the Editor in The Independencer, 1 (October, 1981), 3. pp. 2-3. 54. Calgary Herald, (October 13, 1981), A24. 55. And th is was the man who had to ld me jus t weeks before that he was looking forward to leaving the executive so he could enjoy his re t i rement. 56. There was an addi t ional component to the Kesler-Maygard dispute. Short ly a f ter the c o n f l i c t surfaced (and in what seems to have been an attempt to def lec t at tent ion away from the po l icy disagreements) Maygard began to emphasize Kes le r ' s re l ig ious a f f i l i a t i o n with the Mormons. Maygard contended that Kesler was consciously turning WCC (Alberta) into a Morman-dominated organizat ion by having other Morman appointed to posi t ions of in f luence; see Maclean's, op. c i t . , p. 9. Yet only s ix of the 24 member Board of Directors were Mormons. To. th is wr i ter the important observation i s how Maygard t r ied (as Chr i s t i e had t r ied before) to transform a po l icy debate into a leadership contest. 57. From separate interviews with Knutson and Maygard on June 26, 1982. 58. Maclean's, 95 (August 30, 1982) 35, pp. 14-15. 59. For a more indepth analysis of the RIN's internal problems see: A. d'Allemagne, Le RIN de 1960 a 1963: Etude d'un groupe de  pression au Quebec"! (Montreal: Edit ions 1 'En t ince l l e , 1974), pp. 50-55; D. Cameron, Nat ional ism, Self-Determination and the Quebec  Question. (Toronto! MacMil lan, 1970), pp. 130-40; R. Denis, Luttes  de classes et question nationale au Quebec (Montreal: Presses soc ia l i s t es in te rnat iona les , 1979), pp. 515-20. 60. On the Part i Quebecois see: H. M i lner , P o l i t i c s in the New Quebec. (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1979), pp. 149-55; M. Pinard and R. Hamilton, "The Par t i Quebecois Comes to Power: An Analysis of the 1976 Quebec E l e c t i o n , " in Canadian Journal, of P o l i t i c a l Science, 11 (December, 1978) 4, pp.' 739-57; J . Saywel l , The Rise of the Par t i Quebecois, 1967-76, (Toronto: Univers i ty of Toronto- Press,1978) pp. 100-18. - 59 -BIBLIOGRAPHY Newspapers and Magazines Calgary Herald (1980) February 29, 23 March 5, 12, 13, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20, 24 Apr i l 19 May 6, 29 June 23 August 23, 25 September 3, 24 October 20, 31 November 1 (1981) January 7, 8, 12, 27, 31 October 13, 23 November 10, 12, 13, 15, 21, 25, 26, 28, 29 December 4 , 5, 6, 9, 17, 20, 30, 31 Globe and Mail (1980) March 12, 18, 25, 28 Apr i l 20, 23, 25 August 6 October 29, 31 November 8, 10, 15, 21, 24 December 1, 13, 16, 23, 29 (1981) January 10, 24 February 3, 6, 16, 17, 18, 19 Hal i fax Chronicle-Herald (1980) February 23 March 1, 8, 15, 24, 31 June 2, 9 Ju ly 21 August 7 November 10, 20, 25 December 3 (1981) January 23 February 4 The Independencer (T981) June, September, October, November issues (1982) January, March - 60 -Maclean's (1980) (1981) (1982) Vancouver Province [1980) (1981) Vancouver Sun (1980) (1981) Winnipeg Free Press [1980) Apr i l 21 May 5, 12 October 27 November 3 December 1 January 19 February 18 July 26 August 30 February 25 August 11 February 20, 21 March 10, 11, 15, 18, 20 Apr i l 12 May 1 Ju ly 2, 4, 7, 31 August 1 , 6 October 23 November 5, 7, 21, 25, 28, 29 December 6, 13, 18, 22, 30 January 8, 9, 22, 23, 31 August 10 October 14 March 24 Apr i l 5, 24, 25 May 31 July 14, 15 October 31 November 8, 10, 14, 15, 24, 27 December 2, 4, 9, 20 (1981) January 2, 9, 24, 28, 29 - 61 -Interviews Douglas Chr i s t i e - July 1, 1981 [h hour) Elmer Knutson - Ju ly 2, 1981 - June 26, 1982 (3% hours) (% hour) Don Munro - June 10, 1982 (3 hours) Al Maygard - June 26, 1982 {h hour) Books and a r t i c l es d'Allemagne, A. Le RIN de 1960 a 1963: Etude d'un groupe de pression  au Quebec. (Montreal: Edit ions l ' E t i n c e l l e , 1974). Cameron, D. Nat ional ism, Self-Determination and the Quebec Question. (Toronto: MacMillan,' 1970). Denis, R. Luttes de classes et question nationale au Quebec. (Montreal: Presses soc ia l i s t es in te rnat iona les , 1979). Mi lner , H. P o l i t i c s in the New Quebec. (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1979). P inard, M. and R. Hamilton, "The Par t i Quebecois Comes to Power: An Analysis of the 1976 Quebec E l e c t i o n , " in Canadian Journal of  P o l i t i c a l Science, 11 (December, 1978). Saywel l , J . The Rise of the Par t i Quebecois, 1967-76, (Toronto: Univers i ty of Toronto Press, 1978), 

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