Wednesday, June 14, 2017

British Columbia 114 years earlier, and later .. the life of a Parliament, the position of Government and Opposition was often reversed

Electoral History of B.C.

Parties and Party Affiliation   1871 - 1903

The first provincial election along federal party lines, i.e. Conservative and Liberal, in British Columbia was the general election of 1903.  Before 1903 lines were drawn between Government supporters, grouped around the Premier, and the Opposition, grouped around ONE or MORE Opposition leaders.  Candidates declared themselves as one or the other, or as Independents.  There was no formal selection process for the most part so it was not uncommon for Government (or Opposition) candidates to be running against another Government (or Opposition) candidate.  As well, a candidate's position was not always clear and consistent.  The PRESS, which was highly partisan, added to the confusion by giving its own interpretation of a candidate's platform, particularly if declared Independent and perceived to be otherwise.  After an election, and not infrequently during the life of a Parliament, the position of Government and Opposition was often reversed.  From 1871 to 1903 there were eight Parliaments and fifteen Governments; the seventh and eighth Parliaments accounted for six of these Governments.  Allegiances shifted frequently depending on the ISSUE, there was little or no discipline.  IN 1886 separate Labour candidates first appeared and in 1900 a Socialist candidate was nominated.  The 1900 general election is also significant in that although the traditional division of Government and Opposition was still present, party groupings were beginning to play  a role and it foreshadowed the election of 1903 along full party lines.

Political affiliation has been provided for general and by-elections from 1875 to 1903.  The 1871 general election obviously had no Government, and hence no clearly formed Opposition either, and in subsequent by-elections a clear affiliation was difficult to determine.  It has been necessary to rely largely upon newspapers of the period.  An explanation is given in the notes for each election and separate sources are cited if clarification is needed.  These affiliations are to be used only as a general guide to the political interests of candidates and to the outcome of the election.

1903 - 1986

Although elections from 1903 onward were fought along party lines it was not until 1921 that there was any requirements to state party affiliation on the nomination papers or ballots - and then only for the Vancouver and Victoria City Electoral Districts.  In 1939 the requirement was extended to the remaining Districts.  Party affiliation appears in various official sources beginning in 1924.  A "List of Candidates" contains affiliations for all Vancouver and Victoria candidates for general elections from 1924 to 1937  and for all candidates from 1941 to 1986.  The Statement of votes for 1928 .....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

WAC Bennett, expropriated First Nations land?