Blood and the Ballot: Democracy on Hold

The Campaigns

Blood and the Ballot: Democracy on Hold

Blood and the Ballot: Democracy on Hold – The Federal Election of 1917

On December 17, 1917 Canadians voted in the most bitter and divisive election the country has ever seen. The key issue was conscription and the fight over whether young Canadian men should be ordered into battle in the First World War. It set political giants Sir Wilfrid Laurier and Sir Robert Borden against each other, in a battle over two extremely different visions of the way Canada would emerge from the bloody battlefields of the Western Front.

In the no holds barred campaign, some women—but only some—were given the right to vote for the first time while other Canadians were stripped of that right. It was all about winning the election—at any cost! And the cost was nearly the country itself. Revisit the personalities, issues and platforms central to the 1917 federal election.


image - Peter Van Dusen

Peter Van Dusen

A distinctive and popular personality with more than two decades of reporting and anchoring experience, Peter is a well-known journalist in Canada’s political arena. He joined CPAC in 2001 to host CPAC’s flagship show, PrimeTime Politics, and as Executive Producer of the channel has guided the evolution of programming to strengthen the viewer experience. Prior to joining CPAC, Peter spent 11 years with CBC Television in Ottawa as the evening anchor for local news.