The Canadian General Election of 1957

The Canadian General Election of 1957

The Canadian General Election of 1957

The Canadian General Election of 1957

Excerpt

This volume describes the 1957 CANADIAN ELECTION. It is, therefore, an exercise in contemporary history. But it is also a study in political science. As such, it is highly selective in what it records and analyses. No attempt is made to chronicle all the major political events that occurred during the period preceding or following the election. Consequently the existence of the present book in no sense frees Canadian historians from their duty to provide general accounts of the King- St. Laurent era, of which the events discussed below are merely its final hour.

It is proposed that future Canadian elections be given similar attention. Eventually a series of election studies may emerge, enabling the scholar, the politician, and the general reader to obtain a thorough insight into one of the central processes of our political life. Some aspects of Canadian elections, which have received detailed consideration in the ensuing pages, will be accorded only scant attention in forthcoming studies, for they vary little from election to election. Other features, neglected here, will be singled out for future examination. The usefulness of any one electoral study increases with the publication of each subsequent volume. The present analysis of similarities and differences among candidates in the 1957 election may, for instance, appear unrewarding. But when compared with corresponding information for an election twenty years hence, it may prove highly revealing about the changing nature of our parties.

The cumulative usefulness of election surveys has been demonstrated by the studies of British elections sponsored by Nuffield College in Oxford. This book owes much to the pioneering work done in the field of election studies by the authors of these accounts of British general elections.

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