Campaign literature and two photos

Campaign literature and two photos

Above: (1) Louis-Hippolyte La Fontaine and
(2) Robert Baldwin were partners in the struggle to make governments responsible to electors, rather than to the British Crown.
(3) In 1841, Robert Baldwin supported the bid of Louis-Hippolyte La Fontaine for a Toronto-area seat in the legislature of the newly created Province of Canada. When the Province of Canada won responsible government in 1848, La Fontaine became its premier.

1848 – Responsible Government
Louis-Hippolyte La Fontaine, from Lower Canada (now Quebec), and Robert Baldwin, from Upper Canada (now Ontario), united their efforts to promote the principle of responsible government. They succeeded, and responsible government was first established in what is now Canada in 1848. What makes government responsible is an elected assembly that has full authority to legislate and is accountable only to electors. This is what gives the vote its true value.

Elected legislative assemblies had existed since 1758, but representatives of the British Crown could block any decision they made. Hence, the legislatures were not responsible to electors. Before 1758, what is now Canada was governed directly by representatives of the colonial powers, France and Britain.

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