The Progressive Party was formed in 1920 when Ontario and prairie farmers on the Canadian Council of Agriculture united with dissident Liberals led by Thomas CRERAR
, who resigned from the federal Cabinet in 1919 opposing high tariffs. In November 1918 the CCA had proposed a "New National Policy" of free trade, nationalization (particularly of railways) and direct democracy. Under Crerar the Progressive Party permanently broke the 2-party pattern of federal politics in the 1921 election: it won 65 seats in the West, Ontario and New Brunswick, and was the second-largest party in Parliament. However, it was unable to act cohesively when facing the new minority Liberal government. Many party members were former Liberals who wanted only to shift their old party to free trade. Others wanted a more radical party. Although public support dropped in the 1925 and 1926 elections, agrarian revolt and the Progressive Party had transformed Canadian politics. The more radical members joined the CO-OPERATIVE COMMONWEALTH FEDERATION
in 1932 and others linked with the CONSERVATIVE PARTY
Crerar, Thomas Alexander
Around 1945. Crerar led the Progressive Party to a stunning success in 1921 but could not unite the party and quit in 1922 (courtesy PAM/N11570).
PETER A. RUSSELL
Links to Other Sites
Saskatchewan’s 1944 CCF Election
Follow the development of the CCF party in this online collection of archival documents and photographs. Focuses on the Progressives, the Farmer-Labor Party, the Regina Convention and more. From the Saskatchewan Archival Information Network.