Action libérale nationale

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National Liberal Action
Action libérale nationale
Leader Paul Gouin
Founded June 6, 1934 (1934-06-06)
Dissolved October 25, 1939 (1939-10-25)
Split from Quebec Liberal Party
Merged into Union Nationale
Ideology Quebec Nationalism,
Progressivism,
Corporativism,
Political catholicism

The Action libérale nationale (ALN, in English: National Liberal Action) was a short-lived provincial political party in Quebec, Canada. It was founded during the Great Depression and led by Paul Gouin. The ALN played an important role in the foundation of the Union Nationale.[1]

Origin and beliefs[edit]

The party was created in 1934 by dissidents from the Liberal Party of Quebec. It soon received the support of federal Liberal Member of Parliament Édouard Lacroix and Liberal Member of the Legislature Oscar Drouin.

The ALN promoted social justice, nationalism and was not affiliated to any federal party. Its platform included the following proposals:[2]

Its ideology was influenced by the social doctrine of the Catholic Church.

Electoral breakthrough[edit]

In order to unite the vote against the Liberal government of Alexandre Taschereau, the Action libérale nationale (ALN) and the Conservative Party of Quebec decided to run only one candidate of either party in each district for the 1935 Quebec election. With 29% of the vote, the ALN elected 26 out of 57 candidates; the Conservatives received 19% of the vote and won 16 seat out of 33 in which they ran a candidate.[3]

Decline[edit]

Less than a year later, Conservative Leader Maurice Duplessis, a rising star in provincial politics, tried to pressure ALN Leader Paul Gouin into merging both parties. While Gouin cuts ties with Duplessis, 22 of his Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) joined the new party, known as Union Nationale, which won the 1936 Quebec election.

Gouin did not run for re-election to the legislature in 1936. ALN MNAs Vital Cliche, Wilfrid-Eldège Lauriault and Frederick Arthur Monk ran for re-election as Independents. None of them were elected. Cliche ran as an Action libérale nationale candidate in a by-election held on March 17, 1937 in his home district of Beauce. He was defeated.

The ALN opposed conscription and contested the 1939 Quebec election. Other than Gouin who took the leadership, the party was unable to attract any of its former candidates from the 1935 election. Instead René Chaloult and Oscar Drouin, who had grown disillusioned with Duplessis after they joined the Union Nationale, ran as Liberal candidates. The party won only 4.5% of the vote and none of its 56 candidates were elected. It disappeared soon after.

Legacy[edit]

Even though the ALN did not survive the 1930s realignment in Quebec politics, many of its policies were eventually implemented by the provincial governments of Maurice Duplessis, Adélard Godbout and Jean Lesage.

Election results[edit]

General election # of candidates # of seats won % of popular vote
1935 57 26 29.57%
1936 No candidates ran under the ALN label in 1936.
1939 56 0 4.53%

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Patricia G. Dirks, The Failure of L'Action Libérale Nationale, ISBN 0-7735-0831-7, McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP, Montreal, 1991.
  2. ^ Paul Gouin (1898-1976), Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College, 1997-2006
  3. ^ Bilan du Siècle, 1934: Manifeste de l'Action libérale nationale

See also[edit]

External links[edit]