Mackenzie King" The Greatest Prime Minister of Canada


King" The Greatest Prime Minister of Canada

The greatest Prime Minister of Canada was?

Mackenzie King our 10thPrime Minister of Canada and by far one of our greatest.

William Lyon Mackenzie King accomplished a lot in his twenty-0ne years
of ministering our Country Canada!

"It is what we prevent, rather than what
we do that counts most in Government." (Mackenzie King august 26, 1936)

This statement sums up the best secrets of Mackenzie King's success as
prime minister, and perhaps, the key to governing Canada effectively. King's
record of prime minister is sometimes difficult to judge. He had no uninteresting
images, he gave no repetitive speeches, and he champions no drastic stage.

He is remembered for his easygoing, passive compromise and conciliation
(Gregory, page 267). Yet Mackenzie King led Canada for a total of twenty-two
years, through half the Depression and all of the Second World War. Like
every other prime minister, he had to possess ambition, endurance and determination
to become prime minister and, in spite if appearances, his accomplishments
in that role required political acuity, decisiveness and faultless judgment.

William Lyon Mackenzie King was born in

Berlin (later renamed Kitchener), Ontario in 1874. His father was a lawyer
and his maternal grandfather was William Lyon Mackenzie, leader of the

1837 Rebellion in Upper Canada. From an early age, King identified with
his grandfather, an association that influenced him throughout his political

King studied economics and law at the University
of Toronto also, the University of Chicago. After graduating with an M.A.
in 1897, he pursued his studies at Harvard. In 1900, he entered the civil
service and became Deputy Minister of the new Department of Labor. King
joined the Liberal party and won a seat in the 1908 election. The following
year he was chosen Minister of Labor in Prime Minister Sir Wilfred Laurier's


After he lost his seat in the 1911 election,

King worked as a labor advisor for the Rockefeller Foundation in the United

States. He ran and lost again in the 1917 election. "Parliament will decide,
he liked to say when pressed to act". Unlike most English-speaking Liberals,
he stood by Laurier in opposition to conscription (Johnson, page 134).

In 1919, King was elected leader of the

Liberal party in the first leadership convention held in Canada. The party
was still unpleasantly divided, with some Liberals in the Union government
and some in Opposition. King stood on conscription two years before it
won him the loyalty of Quebec. Furthermore his skills as a conciliator
were well developed by his labor experience and he put them to good use
rebuilding the party. The Liberals won the 1921 election.

The arguable issue of King's first expression
of office was tariffs and freight rates. King reduced them, but not enough
to satisfy the prairie farmers, who gave their support to the Progressives,
a new political party formed to represent their interests. After the 1925
election, King could continue his best part only with their support. The

Liberals lost their vote of assurance the following year. The Governor

General refused King's request to separate Parliament and called on Arthur

Meighen, Leader of the Opposition to form the government. This lasted only
four days, until King called for a vote on the constitutional right of

Meighen to govern. The Conservatives lost the vote and an election was

Although a recently - uncovered outrage
involving the Liberal Minister of Customs, King and his party won the 1926
election. He took advantage of the success of the late 1920s to reduce
the war debt and to introduce an old-age pension system. Although the Liberals
lost the 1930 election, it was to their benefit in the long run. The worst
years of the Depression were related with the Conservatives. The Liberals
were reinstated in government in 1935.

King led the nation through the Second

World War, during which Canada contribute food supplies, financial aid,
the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, ships, aircraft, tanks and
over a million Canadian troops to the Allied cause. The close friendship
of King with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and U.S. President

F.D. Roosevelt was one of the cornerstones of the Allied effort. (Larry,
page 27). One of the secrets of King's success as a leader was his ability
to be familiar with the talents of his party members. He filled his Cabinet
with really capable men and delegate to them the power to carry out their

National unity was King's most important
goal. He acknowledged that this didn't mean forcing all Canadians to support
one single vision, but accepting a huge number of differing, and sometimes
conflicting, views. It was this understanding