“Duplessis Gives to His Province” – The Political Marketing of the Union nationale

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This exhibition explores the role that political marketing played in Maurice Duplessis’ Union nationale party. You’ll learn how such marketing strategies employed in the middle of the 20th century in Quebec were just as effective as those used by today’s major political parties. And you’ll see how Duplessis himself – known as “The Chief” – was the focus of a carefully crafted “marketing” campaign.

The Union nationale was a Quebec political party with a right-wing ideology that history associates with a period called the ”Great Darkness.” However, this backward-looking label cannot be applied to the party’s innovative communication strategies. Maurice Duplessis’ party and the governments he formed were quick to realize the importance of propaganda through photography, written documentation and audio, as well as through objects.

 “Duplessis Gives to His Province” highlights the diverse and highly innovative promotional methods used by the Union nationale during electoral campaigns, which included the use of comic strips, puzzles, posters, glasses and matchbooks. All of this before the advent of television!

A travelling exhibition produced by the Musée québécois de culture populaire, and presented at the Canadian Museum of History.