Last week the Manitoba government announced that PTH 10 from the U.S. border to Riding Mountain had been renamed in honour of John Bracken, premier from 1922 to 1943 and leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada from 1942-48. Bracken had been a professor of animal husbandry in Saskatchewan and principal of the Manitoba Agricultural College before becoming leader of the United Farmers of Manitoba, which won the provincial election in 1922.
*The UFM governed as the Progressive Party, and was re-elected in July 1927. The victory was welcomed by the editorial cartoonist for The Grain Growers Guide, portraying Bracken as leader of a sensible and fiscally responsible farmer-run party as opposed to the free-spending, old-line Liberals and Conservatives.
In 1931, Bracken’s Progressives formed an alliance with the Manitoba Liberal Party, and the two parties eventually merged. In 1940, Bracken formed a wartime coalition government that included the Conservative, CCF and Social Credit parties. In 1942 he agreed to run for leader of the national Conservative Party on the condition that it change its name to the Progressive Conservatives.
*An earlier version incorrectly indicated the 1927 election was held with a system in which rural but not urban ridings used proportional representation. See reader comment at bottom.