The Non-Partisan League was an agrarian protest movement imported into Canada from North Dakota in 1915. The league became a political force in the Prairie provinces after its 1916 victory in the North Dakota state election. A number of leading urban radicals, including J.S. WOODSWORTH, William IRVINE and Salem BLAND, provided organizational assistance. The league hoped to replace the party system with a form of direct democracy where CABINET domination of the legislature would be replaced by control of MLAs by their individual constituencies. Issues were to be decided on their merits rather than as a result of partisan difference.
Although the league itself had disappeared as a political force by 1921, its influence continued to be felt in western Canada. Farmers, partly won over by its rhetoric, became more class conscious, and the old party system was swept away by a succession of new groups, the PROGRESSIVES, the UNITED FARMERS OF ALBERTA, SOCIAL CREDIT and the CO-OPERATIVE COMMONWEALTH FEDERATION.