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Common misperceptions of the events relating to the rise of the protest movements on the prairies Sanguinetti, Sonja Patricia

Abstract

This paper presents a model based on a synthesis of the four major themes in the standard literature on the rise of the protest movements on the prairies. The themes are a homogeneous population, a quasi-colonial economy, a non-partisan political system and the depression. They are given as explanations for the coming to power of the Progressive, Social Credit, and C.C.F. parties by the authors of this literature such as Morton, Sharp, Lipset, and Macpherson. An examination of the data relating to voter behaviour and population composition shows this model to be over-simplified. The imperfections of it are further highlighted by the historical data which indicate the different patterns of development of the western provinces. The political situation which arose in Canada after the 1917 election seems to give a much better indication of how the protest parties were able to achieve success on the prairies. In other words, both the total Canadian context and the individual provincial histories must be considered if one desires to understand the protest movement on the prairies.

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