Social Credit Party (British Columbia)

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Social Credit Party (British Columbia)

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  • British Columbia Social Credit Party
  • B.C. Social Credit Party

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The British Columbia Social Credit Party traces its origins to the reformist philosophy of Major Douglas, a Scottish engineer. He believed that government, through prudent fiscal and monetary policies, should be a vehicle for ensuring that the creative ideas of individuals are brought to fruition, thereby enhancing all of society. This turn-of-the-century concept along with the principles of freedom, responsibility, brotherhood, economic justice and personal fulfillment through creative work are the cornerstone of Social Credit philosophy. I

n 1934, the British Columbia Social Credit Party found its beginnings as part of the Social Credit Association of Canada. In 1936, B.C.'s Douglas Social Credit Group became the Social Credit League of British Columbia, a name the organization retained for many years. In 1945, President Peer Paynter and Vice President Eric Martin, along with 14 other candidates, including newspaper woman Margaret "Ma" Murray, entered the provincial election representing the Social Credit Association. In the 1949 provincial election, while Lyle Wicks was president, two Social Credit slates sought office: one under the Social Credit banner (known as the Social Credit League), the other under the “Union of Electors” label. None were elected, but a strong showing was made.

The B.C. Social Credit League entered into the June 12th, 1952 provincial election with a campaign leader but without a leader. After their victory, the elected Social Credit MLA's voted W.A.C. Bennett as their leader and on August 2, 1952, British Columbia's first Social Credit government took office, and remained there until the 1972 election. Between 1971 and 1975, the Social Credit League underwent a great many changes. During this period the party voted to disaffiliate itself with the federal party and become a distinct and separate provincial entity. It changed its name to the British Columbia Social Credit Party. The Hon. W.A.C. Bennett retired as leader and resigned his seat as the member from Okanagan South.

William Richards Bennett was elected as the member from Okanagan South and subsequently elected as leader of the party. An aggressive membership campaign was undertaken, led by Grace McCarthy who replaced George Driediga as Party President, a position he held from 1963 to 1973. Peter Hyndman continued the membership drive and took the party into the December, 1975 election which Social Credit won convincingly. They continued in power under Premier Bill Bennett until 1986 and under Premiers Bill Vander Zalm and Rita Johnston until 1991.

In 1991, Social Credit lost the election and the party began to disintegrate. Many of the members and MLA's joined the Liberal Party of British Columbia.


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British Columbia Social Credit League

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KHUGHES 2012-12-12




Central Name Authority Files.|Administrative history taken from pamphlet Yesterday, today & tomorrow / The British Columbia Social Credit Party, published ca. 1983

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