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Manitoba History No. 89
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No. 89

War Memorials in Manitoba
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This Old Elevator
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Jack Houston’s Editorials in the OBU Bulletin: 29 November 1919

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The Civic Elections

It is all over but the shouting. Any election is an uncertainty. It is, ever and always, so far as those who vote are concerned, an expression of the culture of the voters. Those who are students of culture are the only ones capable of forming, in advance of the count, any estimate of the probable results of the ballots cast, and then only if they had an intimate knowledge of the individuals and groups taking part.

In this election, those who have done the propaganda for the Citizen’s Committee of One Thousand have proceeded on the assumption that the majority of the voters were so backward in culture, so credulous, so superstitious, so ignorant, that they could only be affected by lying appeals to reactionary principles of conduct that were discarded and scrapped by advanced people, long before the close of the last century.

An election endorsing such appeals is an advertisement to all the world that a reactionary and an unenlightened people live in such a city, and that the stream of civic life, cannot rise higher than its source. Then, as to those who have set the pace on so low a basis, the question arises: Are these men, themselves on this low cultural plane or are they simply predatory strategists, attempting to hold power by playing on the ignorance and bigotry of the constituency.

On the other hand the candidates put up by labor have had, necessarily to appeal to the new culture which is slowly permeating the world as the result of the discipline of the machine culture. As a new culture is first acquired by the workers, so being held by a class the appeal had to be made to the workers alone. To this only would the workers respond. As a point of attack, the reactionaries, hating the workers movement with the venom of a snake, naturally concentrated all their resources to fight along the same lines. Had the labor candidates tried to dodge the class issue, it would have been forced upon them by the attacks of their opponents. The result has been the only one possible a campaign of low-lives on a plane of lying, ignorance, stupidity, expecting a response from a culture carrying these characteristics. Has the culture of Winnipeg developed sufficiently that modern principles are in the ascendant? The count of votes is the answer.

Page revised: 28 July 2013

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