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Bloc populaire
Leader Maxime Raymond at the federal level,
André Laurendeau at the provincial level
Founded September 8, 1942
Dissolved July 6, 1947
Ideology anti-conscriptionism, Quebec nationalism
Politics of Canada
Political parties
Elections

The Bloc populaire was a political party in the Canadian province of Quebec founded on September 8, 1942 by opponents of conscription during World War II. At the federal level it was named Bloc populaire canadien.

Contents

Origin

In early 1942, Liguori Lacombe formed the anti-conscriptionist Parti canadien which finished strongly in two February by-elections.

In the April 27, 1942 national plebiscite on conscription held in Canada, a little more than 70% of Quebec voters refused to free the federal government from its promise to avoid a general mobilization, while about 80 per cent of the citizens of the rest of Canada accepted it. (see also Second Conscription Crisis)

The party was inspired by the nationalist ideas of Henri Bourassa and supported by Montreal mayor Camillien Houde. Jean Drapeau and Pierre Elliot Trudeau were members in their youth. The party ran candidates at both federal and provincial levels.

In addition to opposing conscription, the party aimed to defend provincial autonomy and the acquired rights of French-Canadians. The party's motto was 'Le Canada aux Canadiens (non aux Britanniques) et le Québec aux Québécois (non aux Canadiens anglais)' - Canada for Canadians (not for the British) and Quebec for Quebecers (not for English Canadians).

Provincial level

At the provincial level, it was led by André Laurendeau and won four seats in the 1944 Quebec general election, but soon lost popularity. Laurendeau resigned in July 1947, and the party dissolved and did not participate in the 1948 general election.

Federal level

At the federal level it was led by Maxime Raymond, who had been Member of Parliament (MP) from the province of Quebec since the 1925 federal election. He and two of his Liberal colleagues (Édouard Lacroix and Pierre Gauthier) crossed the floor to sit as Bloc populaire canadien MPs.

The Bloc populaire won a federal by-election in 1943.

The Bloc populaire's entry into provincial politics antagonized Quebec Premier Maurice Duplessis, leader of the Union Nationale, who henceforth transferred his party's federal support to the "Independent Group" of anti-conscription MPs led by Frédéric Dorion in the 1945 federal election.[1]

In the 1945 federal election, the Bloc nominated 35 candidates. All of them except one ran in Quebec-based ridings. The remaining candidate, Lionel Campeau, ran in the district of Nipissing in the North of Ontario. Only two candidates were elected as Members of Parliament: Maxime Raymond and René Hamel. Though former Montreal mayor Camillien Houde was officially listed as an independent candidate, he was reported to be the Bloc populaire's co-leader in the 1945 election.[2]

In addition to the Bloc populaire, there was also an "Independent Group" of five anti-conscription MPs led by Frédéric Dorion which included Liguori Lacombe, Wilfrid Lacroix, Sasseville Roy and Emmanuel D'Anjou (D'Anjou had joined the Bloc in June 1944 but had left to join Dorion's group by the time of the 1945 election). Additionally, Arthur Cardin quit Mackenzie King's cabinet in May 1942 over the conscription issue to sit as an anti-conscription independent MP.

Decline

World War II ended in 1945, and by the late 1940s the party's concerns had largely become a non-issue. Many insiders abandoned the party. The Bloc populaire canadien contested neither the 1948 provincial election nor the 1949 federal election, and soon ceased to exist.

Quebec provincial election results

General election # of candidates # of seats won % of popular vote
1944 80 4 14.40%

Members of the Legislative Assembly of Quebec

MLA District Region Years of Service Background
Ovila Bergeron Stanstead Eastern Townships 1944-1948 [3] Manager of a Credit Union
Édouard Lacroix Beauce Chaudière-Appalaches 1944-1945 [4] Lumber Merchant & Liberal MP
André Laurendeau Montréal-Laurier Montreal East 1944-1948 [5] Journalist
Albert Lemieux Beauharnois Montérégie 1944-1948 [6] Lawyer

Members of the Canadian House of Commons

MP District Region Years of Service Background
Joseph Armand Choquette Stanstead Eastern Townships 1943-1945 [7] Farmer
Joseph-Émile-Stanislas-Émmanuel D'Anjou Rimouski Bas-Saint-Laurent 1917-1924
1940-1945 [8]
Insurance Broker & Liberal MP
Pierre Gauthier Portneuf Québec 1936-1958 [9] Physician & Liberal MP
René Hamel Saint-Maurice—Laflèche Mauricie 1945-1949 [10] Lawyer
Édouard Lacroix Beauce Chaudière-Appalaches 1925-1945 [11] Lumber Merchant & Liberal MP
Maxime Raymond Beauharnois—Laprairie Montérégie 1925-1949 [12] Lawyer & Liberal MP

Notable defeated candidate

Candidate District Region Year Background
Jean Drapeau Outremont
Montréal-Jeanne-Mance
Montreal West
Montreal East
1942 (federal)
1944 (provincial)
Lawyer
Roger Duhamel St. James Montreal 1945 (federal) author

Prominent insider

Member Region Years Background
Pierre Elliott Trudeau Montreal 1942-1945 Student

Footnotes

  1. ^ "A New Party in Quebec", Toronto Daily Star (editorial), October 31, 1944
  2. ^ "Houde Sees War Against Russia Within 6 Months", Globe and Mail, June 5, 1945
  3. ^ Bergeron did not run for re-election in 1948.
  4. ^ Lacroix never took his seat at the Legislative Assembly. He resigned on May 14, 1945 and did not run for re-election.
  5. ^ Laurendeau sat as an Independent member by July 6, 1947. He did not run for re-election in 1948.
  6. ^ Lemieux did not run for re-election in 1948.
  7. ^ Choquette lost re-election in 1945.
  8. ^ D'Anjou left the Liberals and joined the Bloc on June 22, 1944. He subsequently left the Bloc to join Frédéric Dorion's group of Independent anti-conscription MPs. He ran as an Independent in the 1945 federal election and was defeated.
  9. ^ Gauthier left the Liberals and joined the Bloc Populaire on February 18, 1943. He became Liberal again on June 11, 1945 and was re-elected as a candidate of that party that same year.
  10. ^ Hamel sat as an Independent member by July 27, 1949. He lost re-election in 1949.
  11. ^ Lacroix left the Liberals and joined the Bloc Populaire on February 18, 1943. He resigned his seat on July 11, 1944 to switch to provincial politics.
  12. ^ Raymond left the Liberals and joined the Bloc Populaire on February 10, 1943. He did not run for re-election in 1949.

See also

External links

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Bloc populaire
Leader Maxime Raymond at the federal level,
André Laurendeau at the provincial level
Founded September 8, 1942
Dissolved July 6, 1947
Ideology anti-conscriptionism, Quebec nationalism
Politics of Canada
Political parties
Elections

The Bloc populaire was a political party in the Canadian province of Quebec founded on September 8, 1942 by opponents of conscription during World War II. At the federal level it was named Bloc populaire canadien.

Contents

Origin

In early 1942, Liguori Lacombe formed the anti-conscriptionist Parti canadien which finished strongly in two February by-elections.

In the April 27, 1942 national plebiscite on conscription held in Canada, a little more than 70% of Quebec voters refused to free the federal government from its promise to avoid a general mobilization, while about 80 per cent of the citizens of the rest of Canada accepted it. (see also Second Conscription Crisis)

The party was inspired by the nationalist ideas of Henri Bourassa and supported by Montreal mayor Camillien Houde. Jean Drapeau and Pierre Elliot Trudeau were members in their youth. The party ran candidates at both federal and provincial levels.

In addition to opposing conscription, the party aimed to defend provincial autonomy and the acquired rights of French-Canadians. The party's motto was 'Le Canada aux Canadiens (non aux Britanniques) et le Québec aux Québécois (non aux Canadiens anglais)' - Canada for Canadians (not for the British) and Quebec for Quebecers (not for English Canadians).

Provincial level

At the provincial level, it was led by André Laurendeau and won four seats in the 1944 Quebec general election, but soon lost popularity. Laurendeau resigned in July 1947, and the party dissolved and did not participate in the 1948 general election.

Federal level

At the federal level it was led by Maxime Raymond, who had been Member of Parliament (MP) from the province of Quebec since the 1925 federal election. He and two of his Liberal colleagues (Édouard Lacroix and Pierre Gauthier) crossed the floor to sit as Bloc populaire canadien MPs.

The Bloc populaire won a federal by-election in 1943.

The Bloc populaire's entry into provincial politics antagonized Quebec Premier Maurice Duplessis, leader of the Union Nationale, who henceforth transferred his party's federal support to the "Independent Group" of anti-conscription MPs led by Frédéric Dorion in the 1945 federal election.[1]

In the 1945 federal election, the Bloc nominated 35 candidates. All of them except one ran in Quebec-based ridings. The remaining candidate, Lionel Campeau, ran in the district of Nipissing in the North of Ontario. Only two candidates were elected as Members of Parliament: Maxime Raymond and René Hamel. Though former Montreal mayor Camillien Houde was officially listed as an independent candidate, he was reported to be the Bloc populaire's co-leader in the 1945 election.[2]

In addition to the Bloc populaire, there was also an "Independent Group" of five anti-conscription MPs led by Frédéric Dorion which included Liguori Lacombe, Wilfrid Lacroix, Sasseville Roy and Emmanuel D'Anjou (D'Anjou had joined the Bloc in June 1944 but had left to join Dorion's group by the time of the 1945 election). Additionally, Arthur Cardin quit Mackenzie King's cabinet in May 1942 over the conscription issue to sit as an anti-conscription independent MP.

Decline

World War II ended in 1945, and by the late 1940s the party's concerns had largely become a non-issue. Many insiders abandoned the party. The Bloc populaire canadien contested neither the 1948 provincial election nor the 1949 federal election, and soon ceased to exist.

Quebec provincial election results

General election # of candidates # of seats won % of popular vote
1944 80 4 14.40%

Members of the Legislative Assembly of Quebec

MLA District Region Years of Service Background
Ovila Bergeron Stanstead Eastern Townships 1944-1948 [3] Manager of a Credit Union
Édouard Lacroix Beauce Chaudière-Appalaches 1944-1945 [4] Lumber Merchant & Liberal MP
André Laurendeau Montréal-Laurier Montreal East 1944-1948 [5] Journalist
Albert Lemieux Beauharnois Montérégie 1944-1948 [6] Lawyer

Members of the Canadian House of Commons

MP District Region Years of Service Background
Joseph Armand Choquette Stanstead Eastern Townships 1943-1945 [7] Farmer
Joseph-Émile-Stanislas-Émmanuel D'Anjou Rimouski Bas-Saint-Laurent 1917-1924
1940-1945 [8]
Insurance Broker & Liberal MP
Pierre Gauthier Portneuf Québec 1936-1958 [9] Physician & Liberal MP
René Hamel Saint-Maurice—Laflèche Mauricie 1945-1949 [10] Lawyer
Édouard Lacroix Beauce Chaudière-Appalaches 1925-1945 [11] Lumber Merchant & Liberal MP
Maxime Raymond Beauharnois—Laprairie Montérégie 1925-1949 [12] Lawyer & Liberal MP

Notable defeated candidate

Candidate District Region Year Background
Jean Drapeau Outremont
Montréal-Jeanne-Mance
Montreal West
Montreal East
1942 (federal)
1944 (provincial)
Lawyer
Roger Duhamel St. James Montreal 1945 (federal) author

Prominent insider

Member Region Years Background
Pierre Elliott Trudeau Montreal 1942–1945 Student

Footnotes

  1. ^ "A New Party in Quebec", Toronto Daily Star (editorial), October 31, 1944
  2. ^ "Houde Sees War Against Russia Within 6 Months", Globe and Mail, June 5, 1945
  3. ^ Bergeron did not run for re-election in 1948.
  4. ^ Lacroix never took his seat at the Legislative Assembly. He resigned on May 14, 1945 and did not run for re-election.
  5. ^ Laurendeau sat as an Independent member by July 6, 1947. He did not run for re-election in 1948.
  6. ^ Lemieux did not run for re-election in 1948.
  7. ^ Choquette lost re-election in 1945.
  8. ^ D'Anjou left the Liberals and joined the Bloc on June 22, 1944. He subsequently left the Bloc to join Frédéric Dorion's group of Independent anti-conscription MPs. He ran as an Independent in the 1945 federal election and was defeated.
  9. ^ Gauthier left the Liberals and joined the Bloc Populaire on February 18, 1943. He became Liberal again on June 11, 1945 and was re-elected as a candidate of that party that same year.
  10. ^ Hamel sat as an Independent member by July 27, 1949. He lost re-election in 1949.
  11. ^ Lacroix left the Liberals and joined the Bloc Populaire on February 18, 1943. He resigned his seat on July 11, 1944 to switch to provincial politics.
  12. ^ Raymond left the Liberals and joined the Bloc Populaire on February 10, 1943. He did not run for re-election in 1949.

See also

External links


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