The Social Basis of Party Politics in British Columbia
It seems that the farther west one goes, the greater is the proclivity for radical politics. Saskatchewan was governed for twenty years by North America’s only socialist government and today the New Democratic party is the major opposition party in the provincial legislature. Alberta has re-elected since 1935 a Social Credit government which presently shows little sign of senility or decay. British Columbia is twice blessed. The Social Credit government first elected in 1952 has been returned in every succeeding election. Premier W. A. C. Bennett has enjoyed the fruits of office longer than any other premier in British Columbia history. Facing him in the legislature is the New Democratic party, the major opposition in the provincial house since 1942. The moribund Conservative party holds no provincial seats, while Liberal representation is limited to five. The British Columbia situation is plainly unique both in the West and in the entire country. In no other province are the two federal minor parties — Social Credit and New Democratic — major parties in the legislature.
KeywordsParty Politics Democratic Party Labour Movement Political Behaviour Major Party
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