|Chairman|| J. S. Woodsworth |
M. J. Coldwell
F. R. Scott
|Secretary||M. J. Coldwell|
|Preceded by|| Ginger Group |
Independent Labour Party
United Farmers of Alberta
|Succeeded by||New Democratic Party|
|Ideology|| Social democracy |
|International affiliation||Socialist International|
|Colours||Green and Yellow|
The Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) (French : Fédération du Commonwealth Coopératif, from 1955 the Parti social démocratique du Canada) was a social-democratic and democratic socialist political party in Canada. The CCF was founded in 1932 in Calgary, Alberta, by a number of socialist, agrarian, co-operative, and labour groups, and the League for Social Reconstruction. In 1944, the CCF formed the first social-democratic government in North America when it was elected to form the provincial government in Saskatchewan. In 1961, the CCF was succeeded by the New Democratic Party (NDP). The full, but little used, name of the party was Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (Farmer-Labour-Socialist).
The CCF aimed to alleviate the suffering that workers and farmers, the ill and the old endure under capitalism, seen most starkly during the Great Depression, through the creation of a Co-operative Commonwealth, which would entail economic co-operation, public ownership of the economy, and political reform.
The object of the political party as reported at its founding meeting in Calgary in 1932 was "the federation [joining together] of organizations whose purpose is the establishment in Canada of a co-operative commonwealth, in which the basic principle of regulating production, distribution and exchange will be the supplying of human needs instead of the making of profit."
The goal of the CCF was defined as a "community freed from the domination of irresponsible financial and economic power in which all social means of production and distribution, including land, are socially owned and controlled either by voluntarily organized groups of producers and consumers or – in the case of major public services and utilities and such productive and distributive enterprises as can be conducted most efficiently when owned in common – by public corporations responsible to the people's elected representatives".Many of the party's first Members of Parliament (MPs) were members of the Ginger Group, composed of United Farmers of Alberta, left-wing Progressive, and Labour MPs. These MPs included United Farmers of Alberta MPs William Irvine and Ted Garland, Agnes Macphail (UFO), Humphrey Mitchell, Abraham Albert Heaps, Angus MacInnis, and Labour Party MP J. S. Woodsworth. Also involved in founding the new party were members of the League for Social Reconstruction (LSR), such as F. R. Scott and Frank Underhill. It can be said that the CCF was founded on May 26, 1932, when the Ginger Group MPs and LSR members met in William Irvine's office, the unofficial caucus meeting room for the Ginger Group, and went about forming the basis of the new party. J. S. Woodsworth was unanimously appointed the temporary leader until they could hold a founding convention. The temporary name for the new party was the Commonwealth Party.
At its founding convention in 1932 in Calgary, the party settled on the name "Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (Farmer-Labour-Socialist)" and selected J. S. Woodsworth as party leader.Woodsworth had been an Independent Labour Party MP since 1921 and a member of the Ginger Group of MPs. The party's 1933 convention, held in Regina, Saskatchewan, adopted the Regina Manifesto as the party's program. The manifesto outlined a number of goals, including public ownership of key industries, universal public pensions, universal health care, children's allowances, unemployment insurance, and workers' compensation.
Its conclusion read, "No CCF Government will rest content until it has eradicated capitalism and put into operation the full programme of socialized planning which will lead to the establishment in Canada of the Co-operative Commonwealth."The party affiliated to the Socialist International.
In line with Alberta's important role in founding the CCF, it is said that the first CCF candidate elected was Chester Ronning in the Alberta provincial constituency of Camrose, in October 1932.The UFA, under whose banner he contested the election, formalized its already-strong connection to the CCF in its next provincial convention, in January 1933.
In its first federal election, seven CCF MPs were elected to the House of Commons in 1935. Eight were elected in the following election in 1940, including their first member east of Manitoba, Clarence Gillis, in Cape Breton, a coal-mining area of Nova Scotia (specifically the federal riding of Cape Breton South. The party was divided with the outbreak of World War II: Woodsworth was a pacifist, while many party members supported the Canadian war effort. Woodsworth had a physically debilitating stroke in May 1940 and could no longer perform his duties as leader.In October, Woodsworth wrote a letter to the 1940 CCF convention, in essence asking to retire from the leadership. Instead, the delegates created the new position of Honorary President, abolished the President's position and re-elected M. J. Coldwell as the National Chairman. Coldwell was then appointed acting House Leader on 6 November. Woodsworth died on 21 March 1942, and Coldwell officially became the new leader at the July convention in Toronto and threw the party behind the war effort. As a memorial to Woodsworth, Coldwell suggested that the CCF create a research foundation, and Woodsworth House was established in Toronto for that purpose.
The party won a critical York South by-election on 8 February 1942, and in the process prevented the Conservative leader, former Prime Minister Arthur Meighen, from entering the House of Commons. In the 1945 election, 28 CCF MPs were elected, and the party won 15.6% of the vote.
The party had greatest success in provincial politics in the 1940s. In 1943, the Ontario CCF became the official opposition in that province, and in 1944 the Saskatchewan CCF formed the first democratic socialist government in North America, with Tommy Douglas as premier. Douglas introduced universal Medicare to Saskatchewan, a policy that was soon adopted by other provinces and implemented nationally by the Liberal Party of Canada during the administration of Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson.
Federally, during the Cold War, the CCF was accused of having Communist leanings. The party moved to address these accusations in 1956 by replacing the Regina Manifesto with a more moderate document, the Winnipeg Declaration. Nevertheless, the party did poorly in the 1958 federal election, winning only eight seats.
After much discussion, the CCF and the Canadian Labour Congress decided to join forces to create a new political party that could make social democracy more popular with Canadian voters. This party, initially known as the New Party, became the New Democratic Party (NDP) in 1961.
In 2018, New Democratic MP Erin Weir was expelled from the party caucus following complaints of sexual harassment. As of May 11, 2018, he declared that he was sitting as a CCF member. However, he did not otherwise attempt to revive the historical party. He did not run again in the subsequent election in 2019.
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The CCF estimated its membership as being slightly more than 20,000 in 1938, less than 30,000 in 1942, and over 90,000 in 1944.Membership figures declined following World War II to only 20,238 in 1950 and would never again reach 30,000
By the late 1940s the CCF had official or unofficial weekly newspapers in Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan; twice-monthly papers in Ontario and Manitoba; and a bimonthly in the Maritimes. A French-language paper in Quebec was also attempted at various times. The party also produced many educational books, pamphlets, and magazines, though these efforts declined in the 1950s.
|Picture||Name||Term start||Term end||Riding as leader||Notes|
|J. S. Woodsworth||1 August 1932||21 March 1942||Winnipeg North Centre, Winnipeg Centre, MB||"Temporary leader" from the party's founding meeting on August 1, 1932 until the founding convention in July 1933 when he was elected president (leader) of the CCF. Due to illness, Woodsworth ceased to be parliamentary leader in October 1940. He remained honorary president (leader) of the CCF until his death.|
|M. J. Coldwell||29 July 1942||10 August 1960||Rosetown—Biggar, SK||Became parliamentary leader of the CCF in October 1940. Was unanimously elected party president (leader) at the CCF's national convention in Toronto in July 1942.|
|Hazen Argue||11 August 1960||2 August 1961||Assiniboia, Wood Mountain, SK||Chosen parliamentary leader by the CCF caucus after Coldwell lost his seat in the 1958 general election. Officially elected party leader, without opposition, at the CCF national convention in 1960.|
The national chairman was the equivalent of party president in most Canadian political parties and was sometimes referred to as such, in that it was largely an organizational role. In the case of the CCF, the national chairman oversaw the party's national council and chaired its meetings. Following an initial period in which Woodsworth held both roles, it was usually distinct from and secondary to the position of party leader. National president originally was also a title the leader held, as both Woodsworth and Coldwell held the title when they held seats in the House of Commons. In 1958, after Coldwell lost his seat, the position of national chairman was merged formally into the president's title and was held by David Lewis.
The national secretary was a staff position (initially part-time, and then full-time beginning 1938) which was responsible for the day-to-day organizing of the party. The national secretary was the only full-time employee at the party's national headquarters until 1943, when a research director, Eugene Forsey, and an assistant to the leader were hired.
The CCF song would be later popularized by the movie Prairie Giant: The Tommy Douglas Story .
Thomas Clement Douglas was a Scottish Canadian politician who served as Premier of Saskatchewan from 1944 to 1961 and Leader of the New Democratic Party from 1961 to 1971. A Baptist minister, he was elected to the House of Commons of Canada in 1935 as a member of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF). He left federal politics to become Leader of the Saskatchewan Co-operative Commonwealth Federation and then the seventh Premier of Saskatchewan. His cabinet was the first democratic socialist government in North America and it introduced the continent's first single-payer, universal health care program.
David Lewis was a Canadian labour lawyer and social democratic politician. He was national secretary of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) from 1936 to 1950, and one of the key architects of the New Democratic Party (NDP) in 1961. In 1962, he was elected as the Member of Parliament (MP), in the House of Commons of Canada, for the York South electoral district. While an MP, he was elected the NDP's national leader, and served from 1971 until 1975. After his defeat in the 1974 federal election, he stepped down as leader and retired from politics. He spent his last years as a university professor at Carleton University, and as a travel correspondent for the Toronto Star. In retirement, he was named to the Order of Canada for his political service. After suffering from cancer for a long time, he died in Ottawa in 1981.
Hazen Robert Argue, was a Canadian politician who served in the House of Commons and the Senate. He was first elected as a Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) Member of Parliament (MP) in 1945 and was the last leader of the party, from 1960 to 1961. He crossed the floor to the Liberal Party in 1962 and was defeated in 1963. In 1966 he was appointed to the Senate. He entered the federal cabinet in 1980, as the only Saskatchewan representative, with responsibilities for the Canadian Wheat Board. He is well known for being a strong proponent of the proposed Canadian annexation of the Turks and Caicos Islands. He was the first senator ever to have been charged with fraud, in 1989. The charges were eventually dropped as he had been suffering from cancer for a year; he died shortly thereafter in 1991.
The Saskatchewan New Democratic Party (NDP) is a social-democratic political party in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. It currently forms the official opposition, but has been a dominant force in Saskatchewan politics since the 1940s. The party is the successor to the Saskatchewan section of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF), and is affiliated with the federal New Democratic Party.
Major James William Coldwell, usually known as M. J. Coldwell, was a Canadian democratic socialist politician, and leader of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) party from 1942 to 1960.
There have been various groups in Canada that have nominated candidates under the label Labour Party or Independent Labour Party or other variations from the 1870s until the 1960s. These were usually local or provincial groups using the Labour Party or Independent Labour Party name, backed by local labour councils or individual trade unions. There was an attempt to create a national Canadian Labour Party in the late 1910s and in the 1920s, but these were partly successful. The Communist Party of Canada, formed in 1921/22, fulfilled some of labour's political yearnings from coast to coast, and then the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation – Worker Farmer Socialist" was formed in 1932. With organic ties to the organized labour movement, this was a labour party by definition.
New Party was the interim name used by the new political party being established in Canada from 1958 to 1961 by the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) and the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), which eventually defined itself as a social democratic party. In 1958 a joint CCF-CLC committee, the National Committee for the New Party (NCNP), was formed and spent the next three years laying down the foundations of the "New Party". During the process of founding the party, the New Party name was used in the October 1960 Peterborough, Canadian federal by-election; which was won by its candidate, Walter Pitman. In August 1961, at the end of a five-day-long convention, the New Democratic Party (NDP) was born and Tommy Douglas was elected its first leader. Once the NDP was formed, the New Party clubs, and affiliates automatically ceased, and became part of newly formed party.
The Alberta New Democratic Party, commonly shortened to Alberta's NDP, is a social-democratic political party in Alberta, Canada. It is the provincial Alberta affiliate of the federal New Democratic Party of Canada, and the successor to the Alberta section of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation and the even earlier Alberta wing of the Canadian Labour Party and the United Farmers of Alberta. From the mid-1980s to 2004, the party abbreviated its name as the "New Democrats" (ND).
James Shaver Woodsworth was a pioneer in the Canadian social democratic movement. While studying at Oxford, he became interested in social welfare, and upon his return to Canada as a minister of the Methodist church he preached the Social Gospel to the poor and the working classes of Manitoba. As the superintendent of the All People's Mission in Winnipeg and the secretary of the Canadian Welfare League he focused on investigating social conditions, worked with immigrants and campaigned for social welfare.
Stanley Howard Knowles was a Canadian parliamentarian. Knowles represented the riding of Winnipeg North Centre from 1942 to 1958 on behalf of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) and again from 1962 to 1984 representing the CCF's successor, the New Democratic Party (NDP).
The Co-operative Commonwealth Federation – The Farmer-Labor Party of Ontario, or more commonly known as the Ontario CCF, was a democratic socialist provincial political party in Ontario that existed from 1932 to 1961. It was the provincial wing of the federal Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF). The party had no leader in the beginning, and was governed by a provincial council and executive. The party's first Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) was elected by voters in the 1934 Ontario general election. In the 1937 general election, no CCF members were elected to the Ontario Legislature. In 1942, the party elected Toronto lawyer Ted Jolliffe as its first leader. He led the party to within a few seats of forming the government in the 1943 general election; instead, it formed the Official Opposition. In that election, the first two women were elected to the Ontario Legislature as CCFers: Agnes Macphail and Rae Luckock. The 1945 election was a setback, as the party lost most of its seats in the Legislature, including Jolliffe's seat. The party again became the Official Opposition after the 1948 general election, and defeated the Conservative premier George Drew in his seat, when Bill Temple unexpectedly won in the High Park constituency. The middle and late 1940s were the peak years for the Ontario CCF. After that time, its electoral performances were dismal, as it was reduced to a rump of two seats in the 1951 election, three seats in the 1955 election, and five seats in the 1959 election. Jolliffe stepped down as leader in 1953, and was replaced by Donald C. MacDonald.
Francis Andrew Brewin (1907–1983), also known as Andy Brewin, was a lawyer and Canadian politician and Member of Parliament. He was the grandson of Liberal cabinet minister Andrew George Blair. His son John Brewin also served in the House of Commons of Canada.
William Irvine was a Canadian politician, journalist and clergyman. He served in the House of Commons of Canada on three different occasions, as a representative of Labour, the United Farmers of Alberta and the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation. During the 1920s, he was active in the Ginger Group of radical Members of Parliament (MPs).
The Douglas–Coldwell Foundation is a left-wing Canadian think tank devoted, in the words of its slogan, to "promoting education and research into social democracy." It was founded in 1971, and is based in Ottawa.
Clarence Melvin Fines was a Canadian politician, teacher and union leader. He was provincial treasurer of the province of Saskatchewan during the Tommy Douglas era, and also served as Deputy Premier.
Socialism in Canada has a long history and alongside with conservatism and liberalism is a political force in Canada.
The Canadian Congress of Labour (CCL) was founded in 1940 and merged with Trades and Labour Congress of Canada (TLC) to form the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) in 1956.
Robert Connell (1871–1957) was a Scottish-Canadian Anglican priest and politician in British Columbia. He was the first leader of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation party in British Columbia.
The New Democratic Party is a social democratic federal political party in Canada. The party was founded in 1961 out of the merger of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) with the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC). On the Canadian political spectrum, the party sits to the left of the Liberal Party. The federal and provincial level NDPs are more integrated than other political parties in Canada, and have shared membership.
The 1961 New Democratic Party founding convention was held in Ottawa from July 31 to August 4 to elect a leader of the New Democratic Party (NDP) of Canada. This convention formally closed down the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) party, the New Party clubs, and merged them with the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) to form the NDP. It is also known for the divisive leadership vote in which Saskatchewan Premier Tommy Douglas was elected over national CCF leader Hazen Argue. Over 2000 delegates attended the five-day convention held at the Ottawa Coliseum.
Anatomy of a party.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
| Co-operative Commonwealth Federation|
1932 - 1961
New Democratic Party