Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science


Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Not applicable

Advisor Role

Not applicable


This thesis examines the development of Liberalism in British Columbia from the aspect of leader influence. It intends to verify the hypothesis that in the formative period of provincial politics in British Columbia (1871-1941) the average voter was more leader-oriented than party-oriented. The method of inquiry is predominantly historical.

In chronological sequence the body of the thesis describes British Columbia’s political history from 1871, when the province entered Canadian confederation, to the resignation of premier Thomas Dufferin Pattullo, in 1941. The incision was made at this point, because the following eleven year coalition period would not yield data relevant to the hypothesis.

Implicitly, the performance of political leaders has also been evaluated in the light of Aristotalian expectations of the ‘zoon politikon.’ The initiated reader in political philosophy will have no difficulty in detecting that this thesis has been built around the questions of how man may achieve ‘polity,’ and what stands in its way.

Throughout this presentation events have sometimes been recounted in journalistic style, more clearly to depict the nature of leaders involved, and to preserve the flavour of a bygone era.

Convocation Year