The activities in this program encourage students to think critically about messages they see in the media. Students will evaluate and critique images, ask questions, and confer with their classmates about what they mean. A follow-up activity encourages students to create a visual identity for themselves and participate in a mock election campaign. Consult the online primary documents and website text as resources.

Additional Materials

Introduction

  • Begin by examining a number of logos: historic and current, corporate and governmental, successful and unsuccessful.
  • In small groups, have students discuss how these images form an identity for the group they represent. What kind of conclusions can students draw from the images? Is it important where these images are likely to be found? (television, the internet, signs in their school and community, other social media, etc.)
  • Encourage students to make connections between the logos and the groups they represent, and ask students to make value judgments about which logos they like or dislike, and why.
  • Study and discuss the differences between campaigning styles past and present. How does Diefenbaker's style compare and contrast with the campaigns of other Canadian politicians?
  • Give students the opportunity to study the primary documents and familiarize themselves with the concept of election campaigning.
  • Encourage students to conduct background research to enhance this activity.

Refer to the following links:

  • History of the Vote in Canada
  • Young Voters
  • Persuasion: Print Advertising and Advocacy on the Prairies
  • History Matters: Making Sense of Ads
  • Why are a donkey and elephant symbols of the Democratic and Republican parties?
  • Elections Canada: "Canada at the Polls!" election simulation

Activity

  • Introduce the concept of campaigning; explain that when individuals run in elections, they seek to create a public image which will appeal to the voters and represent their beliefs or ideas.
  • Encourage students to think about how they would summarize who they are in a single picture or statement.
  • Examine the logos of the political parties of Canada, Britain, and other Commonwealth nations. How are these images connected to the philosophy of the party they represent? Are there similarities between the logos of the Canadian parties and their British equivalents?
  • Examine the logos of the major political parties in the United States. Why do their parties use the colours of the American flag? Why might political parties in Canada and Britain not use the colours of their respective flags in their logos?
  • Examine political ads used during election campaigns past and present. Students should focus on identifying the purpose of the ad, who the intended audience is, how the group/candidate is "selling" themselves to voters, what the ad reveals or conceals about the group and what additional information is required to make a good decision?

Optional Activities: Mock Campaign and Election Simulation

  • Divide students into parties, and help them choose an agenda to focus on, design a logo, and create a campaign line which summarizes what their party represents.
  • Students can also create media for themselves, such as campaign ads, while highlighting the best qualities and larger ideas of their parties.
  • Facilitate a simulated election where students vote for a class leader or a particular field trip.
  • Additional resources available upon request from the Diefenbaker Canada Centre for extended learning opportunities.

John Diefenbaker smiles as he is carried on the shoulders of members of a large crowd bearing election posters with slogans such as “Victoire assure pour Diefenbaker Dufresne”, Quebec City, Quebec.
John Diefenbaker campaigning in Quebec City

Media and Document Gallery

Images

John Diefenbaker voting at Prince Albert
John and Olive Diefenbaker beside a campaign train
John Diefenbaker speaking during election campaign
John Diefenbaker chatting with a farmer
John Diefenbaker speaking from an election train
John Diefenbaker with Leslie Frost
John Diefenbaker campaigning in Quebec City

Audio

Part of a speech by John George Diefenbaker at Dauphin Armouries during 1958 election

Creator: Progressive Conservative Party of Canada

Subject: Canada – Parliamentarians | Canada – Personalities | Canada – Election Campaigning

Description: John Diefenbaker discusses the unprecedented wave of support for the Progressive Conservatives which is sweeping Canada

Date Created: 17 March1958

Identifier:MG01/XVIII/T150-PAC17b

Speech by John Diefenbaker at an election rally in Winnipeg during the 1957 election campaign

Creator: Unknown

Subject: Canada – Parliamentarians | Canada – Personalities | Canada – Election Campaigning

Description: John Diefenbaker urges the voters to send Progressive Conservatives to Parliament so that all Canadians will have equality in rights and opportunities in Canada

Date Created: 23 May1957

Identifier:MG01/XVIII/T144-PAC14

Speech by John Diefenbaker to open 1957 federal election campaign at Massey Hall, Toronto

Creator: Unknown

Subject: Canada – Parliamentarians | Canada – Personalities | Canada – Election Campaigning

Description: John Diefenbaker launches the Progressive Conservative Party’s 1957 election campaign, unveiling the party platform

Date Created: 25 April1957

Identifier:MG01/XVIII/T134-PAC6a

Documents

Major Campaign Speech

Creator: John Diefenbaker

Subject: Canada – Elections | National Election – 1957 | Progressive Conservative Party – Campaign | Progressive Conservative Party – National Policy

Description: Campaign speech number 1 is a long version of Diefenbaker’s campaign platform for the 1957 election, where he outlines his vision for “One Canada.”

Date Created:1957

Identifier:MG01/XXI/589 Volume 17 (SCAN 0001 – 0014)

“A Date with Diefenbaker”

Creator: Unknown

Subject: Canada – Elections | National Election – 1957 | Progressive Conservative Party – Campaign

Description: Campaign poster announcing official opening of national campaign for election to be held on 10 June 1957.

Date Created: 25 April1957

Identifier:MG01/IV/304 – 1957 Volume 4 (02548)

“A New National Policy”

Creator: Unknown

Subject: Canada – Elections | National Election – 1957 | Progressive Conservative Party – Campaign | Progressive Conservative Party – National Policy

Description: Campaign booklet includes highlights of PC campaign and direct quotes from Diefenbaker’s speeches.

Date Created:1957

Identifier:MG01/IV/304 – 1957 Volume 4 (02611 – 02621)

“It’s Time for a Diefenbaker Government”

Creator: Unknown

Subject: Canada – Elections | National Election – 1957 | Progressive Conservative Party – Campaign

Description: Campaign flier criticizing Liberal Party’s closure of Parliament to pass “Pipeline Bill” without debate.

Date Created:1957

Identifier:MG01/IV/304 – 1957 Volume 4 (02531 – 02532)

"12 Good Reasons to Vote Conservative"

Creator: Unknown

Subject: Canada – Elections | National Election – 1957 | Progressive Conservative Party – Campaign

Description: Campaign advertisement outlines successes of Diefenbaker's government since the 1957 electoral victory.

Date Created:1958

Identifier:MG01/VII/B/21 Volume 268 (167391)

Opening Campaign Speech

Creator: John G. Diefenbaker

Subject: Canada – Elections | National Election – 1958 | Progressive Conservative Party – Campaign | Progressive Conservative Party – National Policy

Description: Diefenbaker's speech officially opening the 1958 campaign, given in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Date Created: 12 February1958

Identifier:MG01/XXI/950 Volume 19

"The Great Canadian"

Creator: Unknown

Subject: Canada – Elections | National Election – 1958 | Progressive Conservative Party – Campaign |

Description: Campaign poster for John Diefenbaker

Date Created:1958

Identifier:MG01/VII/B/21 Volume 268 (167376)

"Talking Points for Progressive Conservative Speakers and Workers"

Creator: Unknown

Subject: Canada – Elections | National Election – 1958 | Progressive Conservative Party – Campaign | Progressive Conservative Party – National Policy

Description: Outlines policy initiatives for the 1958 election, including Northern Development.

Date Created:1958

Identifier:MG01/VII/B/21 Volume 268 (167403 – 167436)