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The Great Depression of the 30's had shaken the political landscape of provincial politics right across Canada and Quebec had been no exception. A new party called the Union Nationale had come to power under a dynamic leader named Maurice Dupessis and had held power until 1960, except for a short period during World War II. The Union Nationale had forged a partnership with big business, the Catholic Church and other conservative elements in the province and used that alliance to hold power, suppress opposition, oppress the labour movement and generally rule the province like a medieval kingdom.

In 1959 Dupessis died and the rumblings of change arose from the resurgent provincial Liberal party. The 1956 election had seen the return of just 23 Liberals with the Union Nationale winning 68 seats. With the passing of Duplessis the Union Nationale chose Paul Sauvé as their new leaser but after only 112 days as Premier he was struck down with a heart attack. Sauvé had begun to rejuvenate the Union Nationale with his 100 days of change but with his death the change came to a standstill. They next turned to Antonio Barrette who had joined the Union Nationale in 1936 after having previously lost in the 1935 provincial election as a Conservative.

Jean Lesage who had served in the Federal Government since World War II and had been elected as an MP from Quebec, decided to turn to provincial politics in 1958 and quickly captured the leadership of the party. Lesage was a believer in the power of government and began the 1960 campaign with the slogan C’est le temps que ça change (It’s time for a change). The people of Quebec were ready for the message and on election night when it became clear that the Liberals were going to win, the long Duplessis period drew to a close.

The Liberals had won 51 seats to the Union Nationale's 43 seats and a new era in Quebec politics had begun. The Lesage government also marked the beginning of the Quiet revolution in Quebec as the government went about restructuring the economy and society or Quebec. In 1962 Lesage won the Quebec provincial election again but this time with a new slogan Maitres chez nous (Masters in Our Own Home). 

The Quebec political landscape had changed and although the Union Nationale did win one more election, they eventually disappeared from Quebec politics and in opposition to the Liberals arose the Parti Quebecoise under the leadership of the former Provincial Liberal Cabinet Minister Rene Levesque.