|Contributor||The Oncoming Storm|
|Last Edited||RBH - September 25, 2011 03:43am|
|Description||When first formed in 1935, Social Credit took many voters from the Progressive Party of Canada and the United Farmers Movement. The party grew out of disaffection with the status quo due to the Great Depression that hit western Canada especially hard. |
In its first federal election it won seventeen seats, all but two of them in Alberta with over 46% of that province's popular vote.
Never taking more than 31 seats, the party was never seen as a serious threat to government. The party had a major breakthrough in Quebec in the 1962 election returning 26 MPs from the province led by R�al Caoutte while only electing four MPs from English Canada. This imbalance caused severe tensions in the Social Credit caucus and in 1962 the party split into English Canadian wing and a separte Quebec party led by Caouette - the Ralliement des Creditiste. The English Canadian party lost its last MPs, from Alberta, in 1968 and the Quebec Creditistes gradually declined until the 1980 federal election when it failed to win any seats and dissolved.
Quebec Social Credit supporters were mostly social conservatives and nationalists, while Western Canadian supporters were mostly socially conservative populists.
After the collapse of the party most of its supporters went on to support Brian Mulroney in his 'great coalition' of western populists, Quebec nationalists, and Ontario fiscal conservatives. Other supporters of Social Credit went on to support the New Democratic Party
Mulroney's coalition fell apart in the 1993 election. Westerners went on to form the the Reform Party of Canada, and the Canadian Alliance while nationalists in Quebec supported the Bloc Quebecois.