Agrarian Socialism: The Cooperative Commonwealth Federation in Saskatchewan, a Study in Political Sociology

By S. M. Lipset | Go to book overview
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Chapter VIII
C.C.F. SUPPORT

THE ANALYSIS and understanding of a social movement necessarily involve a discussion of the support the party receives as well as the nature of the opposition it meets. The C.C.F. is ideologically a farmer and labor party attempting to replace the political and economic hegemony of big business by "the rule of the people." The movement has three important aspects: primarily, it represents the latest historical phase of the almost continuous struggle of western grain farmers with eastern business interests; second, within the Saskatchewan setting the movement is an outgrowth of the conflict between farmers, as consumers and producers, and middlemen who derive profits from them; and lastly, within the larger urban centers, it reflects the hostility between employers and workers.

The class-struggle aspects of the C.C.F. are brought out clearly by the results of the three provincial elections contested by the party before it took office in 1944. The difference between the vote received by political parties in rural areas and that received in the small trading villages and towns reflects the fact that the urban middle class and the farmers divided sharply in their reaction to the C.C.F.

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