Canadian federal election, 1965

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The Canadian parliament after the 1965 election

In the Canadian federal election of 1965, the Liberal Party of Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson was re-elected with a larger number of seats in the Canadian House of Commons. Although the Liberals lost a small share of the popular vote, they were able to win more seats, but fell just short of having a majority.

The Liberals campaigned on their record of having kept the promises made in the 1963 campaign, job creation, lowering income taxes, higher wages, higher family allowances and student loans. They promised to implement a national medicare program by 1967, and the Canada Pension Plan system of public pensions. They urged voters to give them a majority for "five more years of prosperity". The party campaigned under the slogans, "Good Things Happen When a Government Cares About People", and, "For Continued Prosperity".

The Progressive Conservative Party of John Diefenbaker, campaigning with the slogan, "Policies for People, Policies for Progress", lost a small number of seats. Despite losing a second time, Diefenbaker refused to resign as party leader, and was eventually forced from the position by to a campaign by party president Dalton Camp. Diefenbaker ran to succeed himself in the party's 1967 leadership convention, but lost to Robert Stanfield.

Old age pensions were an important issue in this campaign. The Liberal Party pointed having increased the pension to $75 per month for persons 70 years of age and older, put in place plans to reduce the eligibility age to 65 by 1970, and to add a "Canada Assistance Program" payment for seniors with lower incomes. The PCs promised to increase OAP to $100 per month for all those 70 years old and over.

The New Democratic Party of Tommy Douglas, campaigning under the slogan, "Fed up? Speak up! Vote for the New Democrats!", increased its share of the popular vote by more than four and a half percentage points, but in winning only four extra seats, it continued to fail to make the electoral break-through that was hoped for when the party was founded in 1960.

The Social Credit Party of Canada was split in two before this election: Réal Caouette led French-Canadian Socreds out of the party into the new Ralliement créditiste (Social Credit Rally), and won more seats than the old party. Robert N. Thompson continued to lead the Social Credit Party in English-speaking Canada, but lost a significant share of the vote.

This was the first election for the Rhinoceros Party of Canada, a satirical party led by Cornelius the First. The party fielded only one candidate. Cornelius, a resident of the Granby zoo, did not seek election because Canadian election law does not permit rhinoceroses or other zoo animals to seek election.

In order to govern, the minority Liberals relied on the New Democratic Party, and occasionally other smaller opposition parties in order to remain in power. Pearson announced his intention to resign as Liberal leader in December 1967, and was replaced the following April by Pierre Trudeau.

Party platforms

Liberal Party:

  • implement a national medicare program by July 1, 1967;
  • $500 million for medical and dental research over 15 years;
  • $40 million university scholarship program over 2 years;
  • improve crop insurance for farmers;
  • create a national dairy marketing board;
  • allow full-time farm workers to participate in Unemployment Insurance;
  • increase old age security payments;
  • $100 million programs to build roads in northern Canada;
  • $25 million to support the coal industry in Nova Scotia.

Progressive Conservative Party:

  • increase grants to universities;
  • special tax deduction for gifts to universties;
  • grants to support medical and dental research;
  • establish a federal government grain agency;
  • provide grants to farmers;
  • increase old age security payments from $75 per month to $100 per month for senior citizens over the age of 70;
  • create a national water conservation program, and divert water from northern Canada to southern regions;
  • develop hydro-electric potential of Nelson River, Peace River and the Bay of Fundy;
  • reduce corporate and personal income taxes;
  • provide tax deductions for home-owners.

New Democratic Party:

  • eliminate university tuition fees;
  • provide grants for universities' capital costs;
  • increased funding for technical training;
  • increase the minimum price for wheat;
  • increase the old age security payment from $75 per month to $100 per month at age 65;
  • implement economic palnning program that lays down guidelinhes for wages and prices;
  • halt unjustified price increases.

Social Credit Party:

  • increased federal aid for education;
  • introduce a non-compuslory medicare program;
  • require the Bank of Canada to provide loans for government capital projects.

Ralliement des creditistes/Social Credit Rally:

  • in lieu of a medicare program, provide government allowance to individuals to buy private medical insurance;
  • subsidize famers' crop losses;
  • increase old age security payments to $100 per month immeidately, and to $125 per month over time;
  • require the Bank of Canada to pay $15 million of dividends to Canadians.

Source: Globe and Mail newspaper, October 1965.

National results

Party Party Leader # of
candidates
Seats Popular Vote
1963 Dissolution Elected % Change # % Change

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Liberal/row

Liberal 265 128 128 131 +2.3% 3,099,521 40.18% -1.34%

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Progressive Conservatives/row

Progressive Conservative <center> John Diefenbaker 265 93 95 97 +4.3% 2,500,113 32.41% -0.31%

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/NDP/row

New Democratic <center> Tommy Douglas 255 24 17 21 -12.5% 1,381,658 17.91% +4.67%

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Social Credit/row

Ralliement créditiste <center> Real Caouette 77     9   359,258 4.66%  

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Social Credit/row

Social Credit <center> R.N. Thompson 86 17 24 5 -70.6% 282,454 3.66% -8.26%

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Independents/row

Independent 24   - 1   52,155 0.68% +0.61%

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Independents/row

Independent PC 4 - - 1   13,198 0.17% +0.15%

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Independents/row

Independent Liberal 10 - - - - 16,738 0.22% +0.03%

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Communist/row

Communist <center> William Kashtan 12 - - - - 4,285 0.06% x

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Independents/row

New Capitalist <center>Frank O'Hearn 3     -   1,009 0.01%  

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Ouvrier indépendant <center>   2 - - - - 650 0.01% -0.01%

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Droit vital personnel <center> H-G Grenier 1     -   465 0.01%  

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Independents/row

Independent Social Credit 2 - - - - 422 0.01% x

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Independents/row

Independent Conservative 1 - - - - 373 x x

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Rhino/row

Rhinoceros <center> Cornelius I 1     -   321 x  

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Independents/row

Republican <center>   1     -   297 x  

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Independents/row

Progressive Workers <center>   1     -   274 x  

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Socialist Labour <center>   1 - - - - 147 x x
Total 1,011 265 265 265 - 7,713,338 100% <center>
Sources: http://www.elections.ca History of Federal Ridings since 1867 (http://www.parl.gc.ca/information/about/process/house/hfer/hfer.asp?Language=E)

Notes:

"% change" refers to change from previous election

x - less than 0.005% of the popular vote

1 "Previous" refers to the results of the previous election, not the party standings in the House of Commons prior to dissolution.

Results by province

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Independents/row
Party Name BC AB SK MB ON QC NB NS PE NL NW YK Total

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Liberal/row

Liberal Seats: 7 - - 1 51 56 6 2 - 7 - 1 131

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Liberal/row

Popular Vote: 30.0 22.4 24.0 31.0 43.6 45.6 47.5 42.0 44.1 64.1 44.8 56.2 40.2

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Progressive Conservatives/row

Progressive Conservative Seats: 3 15 17 10 25 8 4 10 4 - 1 - 97

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Progressive Conservatives/row

Vote: 19.2 46.6 48.0 40.7 34.0 21.3 42.5 48.6 53.9 32.4 55.2 39.1 32.4

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/NDP/row

New Democratic Seats: 9 - - 3 9 - - - - -   - 21

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/NDP/row

Vote: 32.9 8.2 26.0 24.0 21.7 12.0 9.4 9.1 2.0 1.2   4.7 17.9

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Social Credit/row

Ralliement créditiste Seats:         - 9 -           9

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Social Credit/row

Vote:         xx 17.5 0.4           4.7

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Social Credit/row

Social Credit Seats: 3 2 - - -               5

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Social Credit/row

Vote: 17.4 22.5 1.9 4.3 0.4               3.7

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Independents/row

Independent Seats:           1             1

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Independents/row

Vote: 0.2 0.1   0.1 0.2 2.1   0.3         0.7

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Independents/row

Independent PC Seats:         - 1             1

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Independents/row

Vote:         xx 0.6             0.2
Total seats: 22 17 17 14 85 75 10 12 4 7 1 1 265
Parties that won no seats:
Independent Liberal Vote:           0.8             0.2

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Communist/row

Communist Vote: 0.2 0.1 xx   xx xx             0.1

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Independents/row

New Capitalist Vote:         xx               xx

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Independents/row

Ouvrier Indépendant Vote:           xx             xx

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Independents/row

Droit vital personnel Vote:           xx             xx

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Independents/row

Independent Social Credit Vote: xx         xx             xx

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Independents/row

Independent Conservative Vote:         xx               xx

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Rhino/row

Rhinoceros Vote:           xx             xx

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Independents/row

Republican Vote:           xx             xx

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Independents/row

Progressive Workers Vote: xx                       xx

Template:Canadian politics/party colours/Independents/row

Socialist Labour Vote:         xx               xx

xx - less than 0.05% of the popular vote

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