Social Credit

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Social Credit,

economic plan in Canada, based on the theories of Clifford Hugh DouglasDouglas, Clifford Hugh,
1879–1952, English engineer and social economist, educated at Cambridge. Author of the economic theory of Social Credit, he became (1935) chief reconstruction adviser to the Social Credit government of Alberta, Canada, but, differing with some of
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. The central idea is that the problems fundamental to economic depression are those of unequal distribution owing to lack of purchasing power. To solve these difficulties Douglas proposed a system of issuing to every citizen dividends, the amount of which would be determined by an estimate of the nation's real wealth; the establishment of a just price for all goods would be the result. The program became highly influential in Alberta during the depression years, and the Social Credit party, led by William AberhartAberhart, William
, 1878–1943, premier of Alberta, Canada, b. Ontario. He was a schoolteacher and a founder and dean of the Calgary Prophetic Bible Institute (opened 1927).
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, won a resounding victory in the provincial elections of 1935. The program included distribution of a social dividend of $25 a month, but it proved impossible to put this scheme into practice. Attempts to tax banks and to enter on currency schemes were declared unconstitutional by the courts. The party remained in power in Alberta until defeated in 1971 but was no longer a significant force there by the 1980s. In the federal parliament, the party retained 6 seats until 1980, when it lost them all. The Social Credit party in British ColumbiaBritish Columbia,
province (2001 pop. 3,907,738), 366,255 sq mi (948,600 sq km), including 6,976 sq mi (18,068 sq km) of water surface, W Canada. Geography
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 diverged from the doctrines of the original party early on; it declined during the 1990s and no longer exists.

Bibliography

See M. Pinard, The Rise of a Third Party (1971); B. Monahan, Introduction to Social Credit (1982).

References in periodicals archive ?
74) Big business, represented by Boards of Trade in urban centres, opposed the regulation, calling Social Crediters autocratic socialists.
20) The bulletin also examined Ron Gostick's activities and his overtly anti-Semitic publication and alleged there was little to distinguish this "discredited and expelled" Social Crediter from national leader Low and national president Hansell or even from the "respectable " Manning government.
But since nearly all Socred MPs came from Quebec and n o western Social Crediter was elected to parliament after 1965, Caouette wielded far greater power than Thompson.
102) It will be noted that this ruling came after Thompson's promise to "kick out" any Social Crediter who was anti-Semitic.
The national party, however, limped along into the 1980s, when it experienced a sudden burst of media attention over the actions of another Social Crediter, James Keegstra.
Thus if any clarification of the Keegstra affair is required, it is that he was a "true" Social Crediter and, in this respect, no more extreme than his Douglasite predecessors.
Canadian Social Crediter, 27 December 1950; CJC memo, Rosenberg to Hayes and Rosenzweig, 11 January 1951 (CJCNA, ZC, Social Credit); Western Region Joint Public Relations Committee memo, Paltiel to members, 10 January 1951 (CJCNA, ZC, Social Credit).
Canadian Social Crediter, 11 January 1945; Lethbridge Herald, 10 January 1945; Western Jewish News, 14 November 1957.
35) But as the editor of the CalgaryHerald sarcastically remarked: "[p]eople are always asking Social Crediters such embarrassing questions .
the electors will remember at the next national election that anti-Semitism has often been expressed by various Social Crediters and evidently is not altogether dead in the party yet.
Of course, this did not prevent other less prominent Social Crediters in Quebec from making inflammatory statements such as: "[i]t's well known that Jews control most of the business in Canada .
This was little consolation for the Canadian Jewish community which had previous experience with anti-Semitic Social Crediters who claimed that "some of their best friends were Jews.