The following is from Alphonse Pelletier, a "missioner" of our Institute of Political Action, presently in his third month of canvassing the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. He writes from Falher (Alberta) in the Peace River constituency where Mr. Low was defeated in the last federal elecțion. His remarks corroborate the post-electoral comments of Mary Evans, reproduced on another page of this paper.
This week I worked through the towns of Guy, Balleter, Donelly and Falher. Everywhere, I met with the closest collaboration on the part of our subscribers.
The readers of our paper understand and appreciate more and more our political formula, The Union of Electors, and are turning from party politics, even when a party bears the name, Social Credit.
But the majority of Alberta voters, especially the young, are ignorant of the true meaning of Social Credit. They see it only as a political party whose provincial chiet is the premier, Ernest Manning.
The other day, while going from door to door in Morinville, I met a man who called himself a Crediter. He was quite scandalized to learn that I had come all the way from Quebec to propagate Social Credit in Alberta. "What are you doing here?" he asked me, "You should be propagating Social Credit in your own province. Here in Alberta we have a Social Credit government. In Quebec you haven't a single Social Credit member of parliament."
"On the contrary, I answered, "we understand Social Credit better in Quebec than you here in Alberta do. Find me one young person, outside of those who read Vers Demain, here in Morinville who can describe the broad lines of Social Credit.".
After thinking a moment he had to admit that he couldn't think of one. In the time of Aberhart, Crediters studied Social Credit. But all the study circles have since disappeared. The Social Credit paper of Alberta is almost wholly devoted to showing that Alberta has a good government. The older people can remember what they learned. But the younger folk know nothing of Douglas' doctrine. They are either for or against Manning's party — that's all.
The number of those who studied Social Credit is steadily decreasing while the ranks of those ignorant of Social Credit are growing. An electoral tidal wave could very easily do to Manning's party what the Conservative landslide did to the federal party of Solon Low. The votes of a very large number are based on party affiliation and not solidly on-principles.
I said to this man: "A movement which has no young people to take the torch from those who are passing on, is a dying movement.".
The more I talk with Albertans the more convinced I am of the uncertainty of party politics as a means of propagating an idea; and the more convinced I am of the superiority of politics through pressure exerted by an educated people who know what they want and how to voice what they want.
The Union of Electors' Annual Congress
These congresses are not, as are the conventions of political parties, meetings where are shaped platforms for the purpose of taking over power. No. The Institute of Political Action, which recruits supporters the year round, has other meetings, local and regional, where plans of action are drawn up.
Rather, a congress of the Union of Electors is a demonstration, a manifestation of faith in the cause which has been embraced. It is an opportunity for a brotherly get-together, a chance for personal contact between individuals who live apart but are bound together by the same ideal. It is a popular assembly somewhat similar to the religious congresses in which the church invites the multitude of the faithful to participate.
The congresses of the Union of Electors are prepared and inspired by Crediters, and it is predominantly Crediters who take part in them. But they are open to everyone, regardless of political affiliations. In every sense, meetings of the union of electors.
This year, for the first time, the annual Congress will be held outside the province of Quebec. The site will be in New Brunswick, at St. Basile near Edmundston. Preparations are already under way. A dozen full-time workers are visiting all the constituencies of New Brunswick, multiplying the readers of Vers Demain and The Union of Electors, creating a Social Credit atmosphere throughout the province. Social Credit posters are on display along all the routes. The arena of St. Basile will be magnificently decorated with the emblems of the movement.
The first meeting of the congress will take place at St. Jacques, constituency of Madawaska. There the congress members of New Brunswick will meet those coming from Quebec and the other provinces, on Saturday, August 30 at 3.00 p.m. The representatives of the constituency, two provincial and one federal, will be on hand to extend greetings. Then all will go in parade, with flags and a band, to the St. Basile arena, passing through the streets of the city of Edmundston. The first session will be held in the arena Saturday evening.
Sessions will continue Sunday afternoon and evening.
On Sunday, August 31, at 2.00 p.m., the congress will officially receive the premier of New Brunswick, the Hon. John Flemming, who, we have every reason to believe, will be able to accept personally the invitation we have extended to him. The other members of his cabinet and of the legislature have been invited to take part in this special meeting. The reception will be followed by a motor trip to Grand Falls, 35 miles from St. Basile. From a suitably decorated platform in a public place of the town, the premier will be invited to address the population and to receive anew the respects of those attending the congress before their return to St. Basile.
This special afternoon session will be conducted in English. The others will be held in French.
There is no admission charge for any of the meetings. It will be a wonderful occasion to witness the vitality, the sincerity, the sentiment of brotherhood and the enthusiasm which animate these Social Crediters, the builders of the Union of Electors.