Joseph Tweed Shaw

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Joseph Tweed Shaw
Joseph Tweed Shaw.png
Member of the Canadian House of Commons
In office
Preceded byThomas Tweedie
Succeeded byRichard Bennett
ConstituencyCalgary West
Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta
In office
June 28, 1926 – June 19, 1930
Preceded byCharles Mitchell
Succeeded byJohn Mackintosh
ConstituencyBow Valley
Leader of the Alberta Liberal Party
In office
Preceded byJohn Bowen
Succeeded byJohn McDonald
Personal details
Born(1883-08-30)August 30, 1883
Port Arthur, Ontario, Canada
DiedJuly 12, 1944(1944-07-12) (aged 60)
Calgary, Alberta, Canada[1]
Political partyIndependent Labour,

Joseph Tweed Shaw (August 30, 1883 – July 12, 1944) was a Canadian politician. He served in the House of Commons of Canada from 1921 to 1925 as an independent Labour Member of Parliament (MP), and later became an MLA and leader of the Alberta Liberal Party.

Early life[edit]

Shaw was born at Port Arthur in Northern Ontario, and received his early education in Calgary, Alberta. He later received a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Michigan, and returned to Alberta to work as a barrister. He served in the Canadian Expeditionary Force during World War I from 1916 to 1918. In religion, he was a Presbyterian.

Political career[edit]

He was elected to the Canadian House of Commons in the 1921 federal election, defeating future Conservative Prime Minister Richard Bennett by twelve votes in Calgary West. Shaw is usually considered to have been a Labour candidate but he actually ran as an independent, supported by both the United Farmers of Alberta (UFA) and the Alberta branch of the Dominion Labor Party (DLP).[2] He attended a Progressive Party convention in 1922 and may have been a candidate for that party's leadership, but he reaffirmed his independence from all parties in 1923.[3] During his time in parliament, Shaw was associated with the Ginger Group of radical Labour and Progressive representatives.[4]

Shaw sought re-election in 1925 as an independent candidate, and this time received unofficial support from the Liberal Party of Canada. He lost to Bennett in a rematch of 1921, and subsequently became affiliated with the Alberta Liberal Party. On April 21, 1926, he was chosen without opposition as leader of the provincial party. From his new position, he attacked Alberta's UFA ministry as the government of a class rather than of all the people.[5] A provincial election was called for June, and Shaw led his party to a disappointing 7 seats of out 61. He was personally elected in Bow Valley. In the first count of this election held under STV rules, he came in second, but on the second count, he picked up enough second choice votes from the eliminated Conservative candidate to win, although his lead over his UFA opponent was but a single vote.

He served as an opposition member for the next four years. Although leader of the Liberal party, he never served as Leader of the Opposition in the legislature, after a Speaker's ruling that divided the Official Opposition funding between all the party leaders.

He did not seek re-election in 1930. He attempted a return to the House of Commons in the 1935 federal election, but was defeated in Calgary East. He also campaigned for the "Independent Movement" (a fusion of Liberals and Progressive Conservatives) in the 1940 provincial election, but again failed to win a seat. He died four years later.


  1. ^ [1]
  1. ^ Anthony Mardiros, William Irvine: The Life of a Prairie Radical, (Toronto: J. Lorimer, 1979), p. 112. The Canadian parliamentary website lists him as a Labour MP, but this is an error.
  2. ^ William L. Morton, The Progressive Party in Canada, (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1950), p. 182.
  3. ^ Mardiros, p. 173.
  4. ^ Mardiros, p. 168.

External links[edit]