The party was founded in 1932 by socialists, agrarian and labour groups who sought reprieve following the great depression.The CCF,an independent socialist party, was credited for the formulation of the Regina manifesto …
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The party was founded in 1932 by socialists, agrarian and labour groups who sought reprieve following the great depression that hit most of the world’s economies. Among the major groups that founded the party, include farmers’ organisations mainly the United Farmers of Alberta, academics from the League for Social Reconstruction and members of parliament allied to farmer and trade union organisations. The Regina manifesto is regarded as the founding document adopted by the cooperative commonwealth federation in 1933 during its initial national convention (Turner 320). The convention was held at Regina in Saskatchewan thus the name and the platform that is the Regina manifesto served as a stamp from the intellectuals who sought change. The document highlighted a new social order that would wipe out the existing capitalist system through economic planning, which would replace the profit motive of democratic control of natural resources and the means of production. It would also be achieved using political power to establish economic equality and social justice for all. The manifesto, in essence, aimed at eradicating the capitalist system and establishing a socialist economy. The manifesto laid down a wide variety of goals that it believed were necessary in alleviating the suffering on its citizens caused by the great depression at the time. The goals included public ownership of industries, universal pension and health care services, compensation for workers, unemployment insurance among others. As such, CCF became an alternative to the liberal and conservative parties by offering party policies and hope to Canadians who were struggling to cope with harsh economic times. The manifesto strongly condemned the capitalist system for what was termed as inherent injustice, inhumanity, chaotic waste, and economic instability. The capitalist system was also accused of domination with exploitation of one social class by another based on wealth. The replacement of capitalism with a new social order through the Regina manifesto outlined how life of all Canadians would improve following the establishment of the national planning commission, which would be responsible for leading the socialisation of a variety of industries (“The Regina Manifesto...”). The document also aimed at acknowledging family farming as the basis of agricultural production and pledged financial support through social control of the financial system. Moreover, the CCF through their manifesto, proposed the establishment of a welfare system, which would ensure protection of industrial workers through collective bargaining and regulation of government wages. This would ensure a uniform code in the labour sector and thus equality. The welfare system would also establish an emergency program to cope with unemployment while coordinating an equitable taxation system throughout Canada. This would be facilitated by an instant review of the federal and provincial provenience of revenue. The manifesto also pledged the humanisation of the legal system, which would see the end of discrimination based on sex while according freedom of speech and assembly to all. In order to achieve the above, CCF established itself within the Canadian politics through the election of members to parliament and provincial legislature institutions. The popularity of the new party grew, as did its membership owing to the new lease of life through their policies. However, the CCF was divided following the outbreak of the Second World War due to the conflict between the uncompromising pacifists and supporters of Canada's entry into the war.
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