Laurier: A Study in Canadian Politics eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 92 pages of information about Laurier.
challenge the government to submit the issue to the people in a general election.  That within eighteen months from the date of their disastrous defeat the Liberals should invite a second trial of strength spoke of rapidly reviving confidence.  The government ignored the challenge, for very good reasons.  In the sequel Laurier, as with all his policies having to deal with Imperial questions, was amply justified.  The policy of Dominion navies was never again seriously questioned in Canada; when admiralty officials, true to form, challenged it in 1918 it was Sir Robert Borden who defended it, to some purpose.

These developments were fatal to Quebec Nationalism as a distinct political force under the direction of Mr. Bourassa.  The ideas that inspired it did not lapse.  Nor did Mr. Bourassa, as apostle of these ideas, lose his personal eminence.  But the electors in sympathy with these ideals began to develop views of their own as to the political action required by the times.  Their alliance with the Conservatives had brought them no satisfaction.  They had ejected the most eminent living French-Canadian from the premiership to the very evident injury of Quebec’s influence in Confederation—­that about represented the sum of their achievements.  The thought that they had been on the wrong track began to grow in their minds.  The conditions making for the creation of the Quebec bloc were developing.  The disposition was to get together under a common leadership.  It was still a question as to whether, in the long run, that leader should be Laurier or Bourassa; but all the conditions favored Laurier.  For one thing, he could command a large body of support outside of his own province which it was quite beyond the power of Bourassa to duplicate.  The swing to Laurier was so marked that by 1914 the confident prediction was made by good political judges that if there were an election Laurier would carry 60 out of the 65 seats in Quebec.  Such a vote meant victory.  Sir Wilfrid was slow in coming to believe that an early reversal of the decision of 1911 was possible; but finally found himself infected with the hopefulness of his following.  Hard times became a powerful ally of the Liberals and the government suffered from the first shock of the impending railway collapse.  The course of the party lay clear before it; it was to see that the conditions in Quebec remained favorable and to await, with patience, the coming of an election which would reopen the doors to office.  But not too much patience, for the years were slipping past.  Laurier was in his 73rd year.


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Laurier: A Study in Canadian Politics from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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