Health Care: A Community Concern?

By Anne Crichton; Ann Robertson et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 5

Development of Canada's Welfare
State Programs

Differences between Nations' Approaches
to Welfare State Organization

Welfare states set up by most western developed countries as well as the communist states were not alike; what they had in common was some commitment to social redistribution. To give some idea of the differences in this commitment we can review Field's Typology of Health Systems (Field 1989) in which he differentiates Canada's approach from those of the United States and Great Britain (see Chart 5.1).


The Differences Are Ideological

George and Wilding (1976) have reviewed the ideas of four groups of ideological thinkers who have influenced social welfare development: (1) anti‐ collectivists, (2) reluctant collectivists, (3) Fabian (democratic) socialists, and (4) Marxists. Social reconstruction models were established between 1945 and 1975 in all western developed countries. Although these models varied to some extent according to a particular nation's commitment to capitalism or socialism, in every case there was a welfare state component. As Canada decided to adopt British models, Canada's post-Second World War federal welfare state was influenced, to a large extent, by the Fabian socialists who had influenced British thinking. Canada's centrist Liberal party was also strongly influenced by Saskatchewan's agrarian socialists, 1 Quebec's Quiet

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1
Marchak (1975) has discussed the counter-culture of democratic socialism which challenged classical liberalism, the traditional ideology in Canada. The Liberals who were in power for most of the time between 1935 and 1984, were strongly

-27-

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