The savvy cam­paign that changed Canada

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - CANADA -

OTTAWA — “We were young and vig­or­ous and full of am­bi­tion. We would re­write our his­tory. We would copy no other coun­try. We would be our­selves, and proud of it.’’ — Nel­lie McClung. It was the kind of savvy political strat­egy that politi­cians and lob­by­ists at­tempt to craft to­day: Stitch to­gether a coali­tion of sup­port­ers from di­verse com­mu­ni­ties, se­cure fi­nan­cial back­ers, mount a suc­cess­ful ad cam­paign, and earn some pos­i­tive me­dia cov­er­age. A group of women in Man­i­toba used it to win the right to vote a cen­tury ago. The prov­ince was the first place in Canada to bring in women’s suf­frage, on Jan. 28, 1916. That trig­gered a wave of changes — first in Western Canada and fi­nally at the fed­eral level in 1919. In­dige­nous peo­ple, it should be noted, did not get the vote fed­er­ally un­til 1960.

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