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Bigger CCF Surge in 1945 Canadian election

OwenM

Your guess is as good as mine.
#1
After gaining government in Saskatchewan for the first time in 1944, there were speculations the Co-Operative Commonwealth Federation could become the second largest party in Canada or even form a minority government, a late 1943 poll having already seen them in first place.
But ultimately whilst they doubled their voteshare from 1940, Coldwell would only 28 seats - barely twice as many as Solon Low's Social Credit, despite getting almost four times as many votes, and well of the 118 for King's Liberals or 67 for Bracken's PCs (a major increase despite them actually slightly losing voteshare).
While government was probably always utterly unrealistic, could the CCF have done well enough to overtake the Tories? There seems to be some suggestion that Bracken's Tories got a major fillip from their landslide win in Ontario the week before - maybe if Drew goes for a snap election later, there's still a feeling that only the Liberals can win, so the CCF are better able to gain some votes as a better opposition and end up the bigger opposition party? Or does this require King to move left less, or changes in government even further back (perhaps meaning it's the Grits the CCF end up overtaking)?
And of course, what would the knock-on effects of a CCF Leader of the Opposition in the 1940s be?
 

Oppo

Nationalize Five Guys
#2
Your best POD is probably John Bracken not taking up the offer to lead the Tories. Without Bracken, the Liberal-Conservatives are stuck with Arthur Meighan, an unpopular old Tory without a seat in Parliament. Unlike Bracken, Meighan was very anti-labor, anti-welfare, and very pro-conscription. Couple that with your Ontario idea and Fred Rose being exposed as a Soviet agent earlier, and you’ve likely got the CCF in opposition.

If you wanted to go a more unorthodox route, you could have the proposed Unity alliance between the CCF, SoCreds, and Communists take shape.

Given how many seats the CCF were projected to have, MacKenzie King is going to be forced into a minority government. IOTL, MacKenzie King threatened to call another election if there was a minority, which may not prove very popular with Canadians. Given that 1945 was the real death of the CCF and Canadian socialism, there’s going to be a major shift to the left in Canadian politics.

If the CCF don’t win, it’s going to be a while before the Liberals are defeated. The challenge will be to prevent the Tories from surging back or bleeding support to the Liberals.
 
#3
You could always have the conscription plebiscite go badly for King - in other words, have more provinces other than Quebec vote against conscription. If King handles a different result badly (and there's no reason to suspect otherwise, even for a politician as cunning as he) then that could provide an opening for the CCF. Also - the CCF (as the PSD, or Parti social-démocratique du Canada) needs to find a way to explain their policies to French-Canadians in language they understand (just simply translating it is not enough). If the CCF can overcome their reputation as being a party who catered primarily to Anglophone interests and in particular try to convince at least one riding or two that voting for them is not a mortal sin, and can recruit a geniune Francophone who can serve as a de facto figurehead for explaining the CCF's policies in French Canada (not just Québec, but also Eastern Ontario and Acadia, at the very least), that would go a long way in helping. Particularly as if the CCF especially wants to get a majority they'd have to do so through Québec.
More here: http://faculty.marianopolis.edu/c.belanger/quebechistory/readings/ccf-ndp.htm
 

Oppo

Nationalize Five Guys
#4
Here I’ve outlined three scenarios on how a stronger CCF showing would impact the next 15 years in Canada. The first one has the CCF come to power in 1946 and establish themselves as the main opposition to the Liberals. The second has the CCF end up in opposition for the next decade (like OTL’s Tories). The final scenario has the Liberals take the CCF’s policies (as they famously do) and end up having them fall to third place again.

1935-1946: W.L. MacKenzie King (Liberal)
1935 (Majority) def. R.B. Bennett (Conservative), J.H. Blackmore (Social Credit), J.S. Woodsworth (CCF), H.H. Stevens (Reconstruction)
1940 (Majority) def. Robert Manion (National Government), William D. Herridge (Social Credit), J.S. Woodsworth (CCF)
1945 (Minority) def. M.J. Coldwell (CCF), Arthur Meighan (Conservative), Solon Earl Low (Social Credit), Maxime Raymond (Bloc populare)

1946-1952: M.J. Coldwell (CCF)
1946 (Minority) def. W.L. MacKenzie King (Liberal), Arthur Meighen (Conservative), Solon Earl Low (Social Credit)
1948 (Majority) def. Angus Lewis Macdonald (Liberal), George Drew (Conservative), Solon Earl Low (Social Credit)
1952-1954: Angus Lewis Macdonald (Liberal)
1952 (Majority) def. M.J. Coldwell (CCF), George Drew (Conservative), Solon Earl Low (Social Credit)
1954-1956: Paul Martin (Liberal majority)
1956-0000: M.J. Coldwell (CCF)
1956 (Minority) def. Paul Martin (Liberal), George Drew (Conservative), Solon Earl Low (Social Credit)
1958 (Majority) def. Paul Martin (Liberal), John Diefenbaker (Conservative), Solon Earl Low (Social Credit)


1935-1948: W.L. MacKenzie King (Liberal)
1935 (Majority) def. R.B. Bennett (Conservative), J.H. Blackmore (Social Credit), J.S. Woodsworth (CCF), H.H. Stevens (Reconstruction)
1940 (Majority) def. Robert Manion (National Government), William D. Herridge (Social Credit), J.S. Woodsworth (CCF)

1945 (Minority) def. M.J. Coldwell (CCF), Arthur Meighan (Conservative), Solon Earl Low (Social Credit), Maxime Raymond (Bloc populare)
1946 (Majority) def. M.J. Coldwell (CCF), Arthur Meighen (Conservative), Solon Earl Low (Social Credit)
1948-1954: Louis St. Laurent (Liberal)
1950 (Majority) def. M.J. Coldwell (CCF), George Drew (Conservative), Solon Earl Low (Social Credit)
1954-0000: Tommy Douglas (CCF)
1954 (Majority) def. Louis St. Laurent (Liberal), George Drew (Conservative), Solon Earl Low (Social Credit)
1958 (Majority) def. Louis St. Laurent (Liberal), Donald Fleming (Conservative), Solon Earl Low (Social Credit)

1935-1948: W.L. MacKenzie King (Liberal)
1935 (Majority) def. R.B. Bennett (Conservative), J.H. Blackmore (Social Credit), J.S. Woodsworth (CCF), H.H. Stevens (Reconstruction)
1940 (Majority) def. Robert Manion (National Government), William D. Herridge (Social Credit), J.S. Woodsworth (CCF)

1945 (Minority) def. M.J. Coldwell (CCF), Arthur Meighan (Conservative), Solon Earl Low (Social Credit), Maxime Raymond (Bloc populare)
1946 (Majority) def. M.J. Coldwell (CCF), Arthur Meighen (Conservative), Solon Earl Low (Social Credit)
1948-1953: Louis St. Laurent (Liberal)
1950 (Majority) def. M.J. Coldwell (CCF), John Diefenbaker (Conservative), Solon Earl Low (Social Credit)
1953-1958: James Joseph McCann (Liberal)
1954 (Majority) def. John Diefenbaker (Conservative), M.J. Coldwell (CCF), Solon Earl Low (Social Credit)
1958-0000: Jean Lesage (Liberal)
1958 (Majority) def. John Diefenbaker (Conservative), Hazen Argue (CCF), Réal Caouette (Social Credit)
 
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OwenM

Your guess is as good as mine.
#5
You could always have the conscription plebiscite go badly for King - in other words, have more provinces other than Quebec vote against conscription. If King handles a different result badly (and there's no reason to suspect otherwise, even for a politician as cunning as he) then that could provide an opening for the CCF. Also - the CCF (as the PSD, or Parti social-démocratique du Canada) needs to find a way to explain their policies to French-Canadians in language they understand (just simply translating it is not enough). If the CCF can overcome their reputation as being a party who catered primarily to Anglophone interests and in particular try to convince at least one riding or two that voting for them is not a mortal sin, and can recruit a geniune Francophone who can serve as a de facto figurehead for explaining the CCF's policies in French Canada (not just Québec, but also Eastern Ontario and Acadia, at the very least), that would go a long way in helping. Particularly as if the CCF especially wants to get a majority they'd have to do so through Québec.
More here: http://faculty.marianopolis.edu/c.belanger/quebechistory/readings/ccf-ndp.htm
I guess if they can get a toehold into the 50s you might see the likes of Trudeau pere or maybe even Levesque joining them instead of the Liberals as the Quiet Revolution begins, which would help?
 
#7
I guess if they can get a toehold into the 50s you might see the likes of Trudeau pere or maybe even Levesque joining them instead of the Liberals as the Quiet Revolution begins, which would help?
René I'm not sure about - he seemed to be OK in the PLQ until he started advocating for Québec independence OTL. So he could either remain a committed Liberal or one who would start in the PLQ and move up federally to the PSD if a better offer was in the offing in terms of nationalism. Pierre Trudeau, OTOH - he could work as long as he kept his mouth shut on national unity ideas or at least have his views incorporated as part of the CCF's views towards Québec, dependent on what the party platform is. The key to the CCF/PSD's success, as I see it, is not to start off assuming that the PSD would become a major player in the Quebec provincial scene from the get-go - that's not going to happen. Instead, the CCF/PSD would have to limit itself to the federal level, which limits its options considerably on one level, though on another it could allow the party to explain to Québec voters how having a CCF/PSD presence among the Quebec delegation in Ottawa is important, hence talking in language that French-Canadians can understand and how it can work within a French-Canadian context (if need be, to keep the priests at bay, one could always quote the famous papal encyclicals that form the basis of Catholic social teaching to not only make its case but also to explain that the roots of the CCF/PSD are not Marxist/"foreign" but are as Canadian as maple syrup - conveniently ignoring the League for Social Reconstruction's role, which for all intents and purposes was a Canadian counterpart to the Fabian Society; and yes I know it would sound a bit hypocritical).

One possibility? Potential absorption of the Bloc populaire, if one can stomach its anti-conscription rhetoric and all the symptoms characteristic of the 1930s. After WWII, though, its potential was largely spent as a force because of the end of the war, and it eventually disappeared. However, malgré eux, if the CCF managed to ingratiate themselves with the Bloc populaire early on and incorporate the vast intellectual movement behind it towards the CCF, that could probably somewhat help in bringing the CCF down to the level of average French-Canadians and make it less like "the Anglophone party". That would mean, of course, that instead of using the PSD name it would have to retain the Bloc populaire name instead, but if one is desperate enough to increase the CCF's voteshare in Quebec that's one way to do it (although by no means would it be the only way). Then you can get people like PET on board with the CCF early on (though not René - he was busy elsewhere, and from what I can tell had no truck with politics).
 

Heat

what if the tory vote share just did that
#8
@Dan1988 I've never really understood what the Bloc populaire actually stood for - were they actually that ideologically close to the CCF that neither side would consider it a total non-starter?
 
#9
@Dan1988 I've never been able to figure out what the Bloc populaire actually stood for - were they actually that ideologically close to the CCF that neither side would instinctively balk?
The Bloc populaire - and the similar League for the Defence of Canada - are not that necessarily close to the CCF, but it's worth examining. Basically the Bloc was a single-issue party focused around conscription - and in particular the belief that WWII was an "English" war that French-Canadians should not bother themselves with. As a result it ties itself with Canadian nationalism (in fact Canadian nationalism now among English-Canadians, minus the multiculturalism bit, was French-Canadian nationalism in the 1930s and 1940s) and stood itself against the all-too common view outside of Quebec at this time among English Canada of Canada as a natural extension of the British Empire even with the newfound autonomy granted it by the Statute of Westminster. Many of the Bloc populaire members after the war would have long careers in Canada in which this nationalist thinking could find application (André Laurendeau, for example, was one of the co-chairs in the '60s of the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism). So the Bloc was nationalist, pro-Canada (and in particular pro-French Canada, with its center in Québec as the citadel where Francophones were in the majority), anti-imperialist (in the original, genuine sense of the word), leery as all progressive French-Canadian nationalists were at the time of the stranglehold over the newly-industrializing Quebec economy by the US and 'England' (broadly defined), and consequently anti-conscription. If given the choice if Québec were an independent country during this period, most would have preferred the neutrality of Éamonn de Valera (even if skeptical of almost everything else going on domestically within Ireland because of Quebec's role in the North American economy). Because of this single-minded focus on conscription, the Bloc's members were successful in OTL for mobilizing Québécois/e voters in the conscription plebiscite towards voting "NO" (every other province voted "YES").

How it could work into working in the CCF's favor? As I see it - and my apologies if I over-simplify - at this point in time the socialist camp, at least in North America, was committed to creating a massive change in society as it stood, whether it be the urban/immigrant origins of the Socialist Party of America in the US or the rural-populist origins of the CCF through (part of) the United Farmers movement. If one has a look at the Regina Manifesto - the founding document of the CCF - one can see elements of which are probably familiar to others familiar with the Labour Party in the UK and other pro-labor/social-democratic movements in (Western) Europe. But let's look at it in another way. Now it's often been assumed in the general literature of Quebec's Quiet Revolution that the path towards radical progressive change and secularization in Quebec was basically the French dirigiste model on speed because the intellectual class believed that Quebec was far behind the rest of Canada and if the French-Canadian nation needed to survive (which the majority of the population wanted) it needed to change and modernize. Rereading the Regina Manifesto, though, gives a different light to the Quiet Revolution - for while Quebec did not nationalize anything apart from the remaining electricity companies to form a reincarnated Hydro-Québec (finishing what Adélard Godbout started just a mere few decades earlier) and did not overthrow capitalism in favor to making capitalism work to Quebec's favor in creating a Francophone entrepreneurial class (even though one of the main legacies of the Revolution was the huge growth of the bureaucracy) one can see elements of the Regina Manifesto which echoed among Quebec Liberals (particularly the PLQ's social-democratic wing) in the 1960s. And then there's this curious nugget:
9. B.N.A. Act
The amendment of the Canadian Constitution, without infringing upon racial or religious minority rights or upon legitimate provincial claims to autonomy, so as to deal effectively with urgent economic problems which are essentially national in scope; the abolition of the Canadian Senate

We propose that the necessary amendments to the B.N.A. Act shall be obtained as speedily as required, safeguards being inserted to ensure that the existing rights of racial and religious minorities shall not be changed without their own consent. What is chiefly needed today is the placing in the hands of the national government of more power to control national economic development. In a rapidly changing economic environment our political constitution must be reasonably flexible. The present division of powers between Dominion and Provinces reflects the conditions of a pioneer, mainly agricultural, community in 1867. Our constitution must be brought into line with the increasing industrialization of the country and the consequent centralization of economic and financial power—which has taken place in the last two generations. The principle laid down in the Quebec Resolution of the Fathers of Confederation should be applied to the conditions of 1933, that "there be a general government charged with matters of common interest to the whole country and local governments for each of the provinces charged with the control of local matters to their respective sections".
Personally I would see that as an opening for the Bloc populaire, if both sides were willing, to bring their concerns to the forefront. A lot of the intellectuals held views which would be best described as social-democratic (so somewhat closer to the softer edges of the CCF), and if the CCF and Bloc populaire were to have a meeting of the minds, in my view, on this one bit alone which could allow French-Canadian concerns to be addressed (since harmony among the 'two founding peoples' is a prerequisite for the maintenance of the Canadian nation in its totality, at least in the traditional language of French Canada which saw Confederation as a partnership of equals), something could be done to bring them closer together, if not the Bloc as the CCF's Quebec wing then at least a similar understanding similar to modern OTL Germany's CDU and CSU. It could have been possible.
 

RyanF

Abbot of Unreason
Published by SLP
Location
Falkirk
#10
If you wanted to go a more unorthodox route, you could have the proposed Unity alliance between the CCF, SoCreds, and Communists take shape.
Any more information on this? I know there was proposed co-operation between the CCF and CPC in the 1930s but had never heard the SoCreds were also part of the proposal.