On June 23, 1990, Aboriginal leader and Manitoba politician Elijah Harper voted against the Meech Lake Accord. His single, dramatic vote effectively killed the federal-provincial agreement that would have changed Canada’s federal structure. It was a devastating blow to the federal Conservative government and remains one of the best-known events in Canadian politics. Just One Vote demonstrates how the stage for Harper’s historic vote was set by two earlier single votes: Jim Walding’s one-vote victory over a party nomination challenge; and his subsequent vote against his own party that brought down the NDP majority government. The resulting minority government delayed final ratification of Meech Lake until the eleventh hour, leaving the accord vulnerable to defeat. Combining data drawn from archives, interviews, and the media, Just One Vote is a vivid and exceptionally detailed study of the nomination process, and how singular events can produce large consequences as they cascade through the political system.
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Ian Stewart teaches political science at Acadia University. He is the author of three previous books, most recently Conventional Choices: Maritime Leadership Politics, co-authored with David Stewart.
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