Laurier: A Study in Canadian Politics

Laurier: A Study in Canadian Politics

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Laurier: A Study in Canadian Politics by John Wesley Dafoe

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71

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Laurier: A Study in Canadian Politics

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Book Excerpt

leader in the province. It may rightly be assumed that it was something more than a coincidence that not long after the delivery of this speech, Rome put a bit in the mouth of the champing Quebec ecclesiastics. This remained Laurier's most solid achievement up to the time when he was called to the leadership of the Dominion Liberal party.

DOUBTS AND HESITATIONS

Laurier's accession to leadership caused doubt and heart-burnings among the leaders of Ontario Liberalism. Still under the influence of the Geo. Brown tradition of suspicion of Quebec they felt uneasy at the transfer of the sceptre to Laurier, French by inheritance, Catholic in religion, with a political experience derived from dealing with the feelings, ambitions and prejudices of a province which was to them an unknown world. Part of the doubt arose from misconception of the qualities of Laurier. As a hard-bitten, time-worn party fighter, with an experience going back to pre-confederation days, said to the writer: "Laurier will never m