Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Saskatchewan Farmer-Labor Group

The Movement Grows to Power

"THE YEAR 1932 saw the Saskatchewan farmers and the socialist movement united in a national attempt to establish socialism in Canada. Joining with other groups in the rest of Canada did not greatly affect the Saskatchewan movement beyond giving it a base from which to take part in national elections. The Saskatchewan group called itself the Farmer-Labor Group, and did not officially adopt the name Coöperative Commonwealth Federation for provincial usage until 1935. The new C.C.F. was to remain essentially a federation of provincial parties, each of which had its own approach to socialism and politics and did not interfere with the activities of other provincial sections.

The creation of a mass socialist party in Saskatchewan was not, therefore, the local extension of a new national movement but, rather, an endemic movement having its roots in Saskatchewan. A small group of convinced socialists in key positions in the farmers' movement prompted action in the face of the double catastrophe of depression and drought. These socialists attempted to use this opportune moment to make a drastic change in the thinking and organized actions of farmers and workers."
- S.M. Lipset, Agrarian Socialism

Photo: George Williams speaking at a wheat pool picnic, 1930

George William's letter to Farmer-Labor supporters

(click image for larger format)

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