In 1948, Mackenzie King finally retired at the age of 73. He was replaced as leader of the Liberal Party by Louis St. Laurent.
Louis St. Laurent Served as Prime Minister from 1948 to 1957 He seemed to like children, so the Liberals made sure he became known as “Uncle Louis” – a kindly relative. In 1957, St. Laurent faced off against the new leader of the Progressive Conservatives, John Diefenbaker, in an election...
The 1957 election By the 1950s, the media, especially television, had become instrumental in creating a public image. St. Laurent, who was 75 years old, looked tired and depressed. Diefenbaker, who was younger and full of energy, electrified Canadians who watched him speak on TV. Result: Diefenbaker won and became PM. The Liberals chose a new leader, Lester B. Pearson.
Diefenbaker versus Pearson For the next 10 years, these two men dominated Canadian politics. They took turns being prime minister and leader of the opposition. The battled each other in 5 elections over 10 years.
Diefenbaker First German-Canadian and westerner to become PM. He was from Saskatchewan. First PM without a French or English background. He believed in “Unhyphenated Canadianism” Preserving Canada’s ties with Britain Standing up to the Americans Defending human rights
Diefenbaker His accomplishments include: Appointing the first woman to the Cabinet Appointing the first Aboriginal senator Giving “Status Indians” the right to vote Introducing the Canadian Bill of Rights He was especially disliked by French-Canadians who saw themselves as a distinct nation and not as “unhyphenated Canadians”.
Pearson He wanted Canada to have a new identity that would not be English or French but would be meaningful to all Canadians. Accomplishments: Trial abolition of capital punishment Easier divorce laws Introduction of Canada’s maple leaf flagmaple leaf flag Improvement of Canada’s social welfare system, including: Canada Pension Plan (1966) Canada Assistance Plan (1966) National Medical Care Act (1966)