The First Round Begins

The field of 16 has been set in the search for Canada’s Biggest Election. For simplicity’s sake, there will be 8 federal and 8 provincial elections (even though Ralph Klein’s first Calgary mayoral run was an inspired suggestion), and will only involve elections prior to 1990.

As a fun twist this year, I’ve brought in an expert to seed the teams – John Duffy. John’s Fights of our Lives is one of the best books on Canadian elections out there so he seemed like a natural choice and I’m very happy that he agreed to do it. I sent him a list of all the nominations and comments people submitted and, from that, he produced the seedings (and the little one line synopses you’ll see bellow).

Apologies if your election of choice was left out but I believe the final list John produced has a great mix of elections on it, which should make this a fun contest.

Voting begins today and closes at noon Saturday for the four federal first round match-ups. Next week, we’ll begin what should be a series of very intriguing provincial competitions (I’ll be announcing the provincial seeds this weekend…so you’ll need to live in suspense for a bit).

1896 (8) vs. 1988 (1)
1896 (Laurier over Tupper): With the new country shaking to bits over religious education in Manitoba, a great unifier emerges in Laurier.
1988 (Mulroney over Turner and Broadbent): Turner and Mulroney duke it out over free trade with the US and leadership in an epic personal duel.

Which Election was Bigger?
(8) 1898: Laurier over Tupper
(1) 1988: Mulroney over Turner
See Results

1925/26 (7) vs. 1878 (2)
1925/26 (King over Meighen…and Byng): In a wild and wooly hung parliament, a cornered Mackenzie King outfoxes Meighen, Byng, the Progressives, everyone — and turns House of Commons trickery into ballot box gold.
1878 (MacDonald over Mackenzie): Macdonald storms back from the wildreness of scandal to re-ignite the National Policy and complete the CPR.

Which Election was Bigger?
(7) 1925/26: King over Meighen
(2) 1878: MacDonald over Mackenzie
See Results

1957/58 (6) vs. 1979/80 (3)
1957/58 (Dief over St. Laurent, Pearson): Prairie no-hoper Diefenbaker decks the Chairman of the Board, St.Laurent, then crushes his successor, Prince-of-Peace Pearson.
1979/80 (Clark over Trudeau, Trudeau over Clark): Trudeau falls, Clark rises, Clark falls, Trudeau rises, as constitutional and energy battles rage across the regional landscape.

Which Election was Bigger?
(6) 1957/58: Diefenbaker over St.Laurent, Pearson
(3) 1979/80: Trudeau vs. Clark
See Results

1911 (5) vs. 1935 (4)
1911 (Borden over Laurier): An aging Laurier deploys free trade with the US to revive his government, but challenger Borden turns the blade to defeat the champion.
1935 (King over Everyone): Arguing it’s “King or Chaos”, Liberals take on all comers and shatter the Conservative brand for two decades.

Which Election was Bigger?
(5) 1911: Borden over Laurier
(4) 1935: King over Bennett
See Results

Posted on by CalgaryGrit in Canada's Biggest Election

About CalgaryGrit

A former Calgary Liberal, now living in Toronto. My writings on politics can be found at and online at the National Post.

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