The Farmers’ Movement

The Farmers’ Movement


If this country ever needed sane thinking and right living it is in this year, 1919. Sobriety of life and thought will be just as necessary, too, in the immediate future, and it was in response to this feeling that the editorial was written which appeared in the issue of September 4, and entitled “The Provincial Political Arena.” For the same reason, W.C. Good’s friendly comment on the editorial, which appears in this issue, is much appreciated. While we cannot agree with Mr. Good in every regard, any more than he can with us, friendly, honest discussion, tempered by quiet and deliberate consideration, is essential to the well-being of the individual and the nation as a whole. We are strongly in favor of proportionate representation, but we are not in favor of class or group government. That is, in fact, what we have had and that is what we should get away from. Perhaps party government will not meet the requirements of the new democracy, and if it will not then something should take its place. We are not married to party government any more than we are to any party, but we sincerely believe that after all, the country will settle down to a system such as we have had, only it will be purified and made a government in which the people have a voice. This disregard for party does not exist among farmers only. It is, more or less, a universal sentiment. It is found in city, town, hamlet, and country. This feeling will find expression in the forthcoming elections, and we agree with Mr. Good that if some mistakes are made the ultimate results will more than compensate.

Blind allegiance to party has converted many a useful representative into a mere tool, but the electors, farmers not excluded, expected party devotion from their representatives and they got it. Our contention is, and in this we believe Mr. Good will concur, that public opinion has changed; partisanship for party’s sake alone is now secondary to the desire for equitable legislation, and a farmer representative with strong moral backing in his constituency will have higher ideals of public service and pay less attention to the crack of the party whip. This, however, is not closely related to the basic thought in the editorial which occasioned Mr. Good’s comments. In that we endeavored to express the honest opinion that the political movement was involving the U.F.O. too deeply for its own good, and that a little more caution should be exercised. This, of course, is a matter of opinion, but after listening to one particular speaker, who should not be allowed to go about publically as a representative of the United Farmers of Ontario, we were convinced that the organization and the farmers’ movement generally would accomplish more with less speed.


Celebrating 150 Years of Canadian Agriculture