The World Wars and the period between them were filled with problems that strengthened the importance of the state in protecting people in Canada. New political parties have appeared in response to such issues as the influenza pandemic, which claimed many lives, among them – fifty thousand Canadians, and the economic crisis.
The circumstances contributed to the tension and the emergence of new problems. New influential parties also formed due to discontent among workers and farmers. Despite the desire to solve existing problems, new forces created additional tension in the country’s political life.
The consequences of military actions required new solutions and measures. Veterans and their Great War Veterans’ Association (GWVA), later reorganized as the Canadian Legion, became an influential political force. The Department of Soldiers’ Civil Re-Establishment was created to support soldiers who returned from the war and were injured.
Women, in turn, continued to defend their rights and were successful, but men dominated political parties. Suffragettes initiated the Persons Case, which promoted their equality in rights and privileges. Workers also sought to defend their rights and met with government pressure, but discontent remained, leading to the creation of the Communist Party of Canada.
The farmers’ dissatisfaction with free trade, taxes, and other issues became the basis for the activation of the Progressive Party of Canada. As a result of the new parties’ formation, citizens faced a wide choice in voting in 1921, and a minority government arose for the first time. Mackenzie King, a representative of the Liberal forces, became prime minister for a long time.
Significant changes in political forces have occurred due to economic turmoil. After the war, economic growth accelerated, but when the stock market in New York fell, the Great Depression began. King’s ruling party was confused, and the Conservatives, led by Richard Bennett, won the 1930 election.
Despite the actions taken and the attempt to introduce a “New Deal” using the American example, Bennett did not succeed, and after the next election, King returned to power. At this time, the influence of fascism in the world was growing, and Parti National Social Chrétien was organized in Canada, while the Communist Party was declared illegal.
In unstable conditions, democratic socialists united, and representatives of several parties formed the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF), which aimed to improve the well-being of citizens. The desire for monetary policy reform has pushed for the creation of the Social Credit Party. All these forces sought to defend their interests and help solve post-war problems.
Thus, the interwar period in Canadian political life was quite tense due to many problems and the government’s inability to solve them. The economic crisis, the well-being of citizens, in particular veterans after the war, and the protection of the rights of population groups were significant issues in politics. In response to these questions and international trends, various parties appeared. Their efforts focused on diverse perspectives, lacking unity with each other that only interfered, and did not help solve problems.