Nathan Eldon Tanner – the political years

During most of the last century Cardston, Raymond and Magrath Alberta made up the “Mormon Triangle” which dominated its own political riding (similar to District in US political terminology).   This riding was and is a creature of habit, with only a few exceptions once elected never rejected.

In 1935 during the height of the Great Depression one of the new political thoughts running through Britain and Canada was a concept put forward by Major Clifford Hugh Douglas called Social Credit.  This is a complex political idea which in practice never really worked.  Though practiced in only a few areas none made it work successfully.

In Alberta Canada at the time William Aberhart, a radio preacher also nicknamed “Bible Bill” became a great believer in the idea of Social Credit.  His campaign for the establishment of a style of economic dividend for Albertans led him first to force it on the governing party the United Farmers of Alberta.  Then when that failed he established an overnight success by taking Social Credit into full political party status.

When the 1935 election roled around the Social Credit were looking for a candidate in riding of Chief Mountain (which featured the “Mormon Triangle”).  I will have to confirm the truthfulness of this story but it is often told that when they approached N. Eldon Tanner he at first told them to get another guy.  He suggested that he did not know anything about the party.  The answer came, thats ok we are going to win and we need someone in government from down here.

So in 1935 N. Eldon Tanner was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta.  Tanner served one term as a member of the government in Cabinet.  Eventually he was called to be the Speaker of the Assembly, considered a neutral position (wink wink) to adjudicate on parliamentary procedure.

Tanner would serve at this position until the end of his political life in 1952.  Eight years later he was called into be an apostle.  However one little interesting fact, because of having served the province as Speaker his portrait hangs up today in the Alberta Legislature, the only member of the church to receive that honour.

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2 Responses to Nathan Eldon Tanner – the political years

  1. Nitsav says:

    It’s hard to conceive of Raymond and Magrath dominating anything 😉

  2. Jon W says:

    or Cardston for that matter 😉

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