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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Study of the philosophy and social welfare policy of the New Democratic Party of British Columbia : a descriptive study of the origins and basic tenets of the New Democratic Party and of its significance in the social welfare philosophy of the New Democratic movement as it has emerged in British Columbia Gibson, Julia-Anne Kathleen


The policy of a political party reflects its philosophy and historical background. Social welfare has become an integral part of our modern society and as a result a major concern of political parties. Therefore, specific political parties will have social welfare policies based on their philosophical views. The subject of this thesis is the philosophy of the New Democratic Party of British Columbia and its social welfare policies. This thesis has examined the historical development of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation-New Democratic Party from its inception. In doing this the history of socialism has been explored from the early 19th century in Europe. The socialist movement began its development in Canada in the early 1900’s and has evolved from a theoretical socialist base (emphasis on the class struggle) to an essentially welfare state focus. The methods used to obtain this information were drawn from a review of historical literature and interviews. The resolutions which were examined from the convention proceedings did not demonstrate this movement to welfare statism so completely, since a large group in the Party gives a higher priority to economic reforms. A questionnaire, sent to a sample of the New Democratic Party membership, indicated that there was a great deal of consistency among them in favor of the welfare state. The thesis is, to our knowledge, the first attempt at providing a comprehensive review which links the philosophy of the New Democratic Party to their social welfare policy. Because political parties play a major role in the genesis and development of welfare programs, it is essential to the public, and to persons directly concerned with social welfare, that accurate descriptions of philosophy and policies of individual parties be available. This thesis has been an attempt to provide such a description with respect to the New Democratic Party.

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