Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Spring 1999


Published in Great Plains Research 9 (Spring 1999): 165-167 Copyright © 1999 The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Used by permission.


In the 1997 Canadian election, Preston Manning's Reform Party emerged as Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition with 60 seats in the House of Commons. The Liberal Governing Party of Prime Minister Jean Chretien would have been reduced to a minority had Liberals not won 101 of Ontario's 103 seats. Why and how did this development occur? What are some of its probable consequences? Western Visions provides a timely and revealing set of answers to these questions so closely related to Canada's perennial national unity crisis. Most academics and interested citizens think about that crisis primarily, if not exclusively, in terms of the secessionist movement in Quebec. Little wonder, as Gibbons and Arrison remind us, that Canadians living in the four western provinces, now comprising 30% of Canada's population, feel like "stangers in a strange land."