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William Lyon Mackenzie King Essay

809 words - 4 pages

William Lyon Mackenzie King was one of the greatest prime ministers in Canada, although he did not give a fascinating speech or had an exciting image and supported few radical policies . King’s opinions were very strong and would not be changed no matter what. No one could influence King and this was shown through his leadership during the Great Depression and the election in 1930.

When the Great Depression occurred right around 1930, William Lyon Mackenzie King and his government did not respond strongly . Although the depression was evidently obvious, King believed that the economic crisis was temporarily and only patience was needed to overcome it . It took a while for King to realize how the depression was affecting the politics . King believed that welfare was a provincial responsibility and no one else’s . During the depression, all provinces wanted to increase the tax in Ottawa, but he did not understand the concept of it since other provinces were going to use the tax for themselves. King thought that it was necessary for the provinces to take initiative and increase their taxes . As the depression hit rock bottom many Canadians were unemployed. As Canada was changing right in front of his eyes, King’s perspectives did not show change. In one of his speeches he declared, “I submit that there is not evidence in Canada today of an emergency situation which demands anything of that kind” . King did not face with depression in the most orderly matter but he was a great Liberal leader, he kept the Liberals together when the Conservatives were falling apart and new political parties were developed to compete for the votes . During the depression, King held an election that was one of the most important events that occurred in his career as a leader.

In 1930, King held an election, which was effected badly because of his 5-cent piece speech he made. King was confident that the economy was not going to get any worse than it was then. He took a chance and instead of holding an election on 1931 he held it on 1930 . In this election King had to face with R.B. Bennett who was a very strong competitor . During the election the Liberals were pretty much pretending that the unemployment was not happening at all . Instead of focusing about depression and promoting his ideas for the solution for depression, King focused on trade, taxation, and tariff preferences . When King...

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