Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Saskatchewan Farmer-Labor Party: How radical was it?

By George Hoffman

Much of the writing which has been done on the early Cooperative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.) has emphasized its radical socialist nature.

This holds true for both the nalional party and its Saskatchewan counterpart from 1932 to 1934. the Farmer-Labor party. Historians generally argue that both were radical and socialist at their origins in 1932 and 1933. They also maintain that the party broadened out and became more moderate, particularly after the mid 1930's, because of the political realities of tbe time. They claim that it was necessary for the party to change its stand on certain issues because the original position was too radical for the majority of Canadians.

One cannot seriously dispute that the Farmer-Labor party, founded in Saskatoon in July 1932 was a good deal more radical than the other major political parties in the province at the time. Judging from many of the policy statements of the United Farmers' of Canada (U.F.C.). the Independent Labour Party (I.L.P.) and the Farmer-Labor party between 1930 and 1934, it would seem that the new political movement which emerged in Saskatchewan was unmistakably socialist.

Read the full article below.