Saturday, March 27, 2010

Money “Flows” During the Depression

In the midst of the Great Depression, Canadian Prime Minister R.B. Bennett promised that he would give $ 20 million to every province, and he did. As a matter of fact, Bennett spent much of time buying lottery tickets to raise money to heal the wounds. However, it could not heal the consequences though. That money hardly reached average Canadian’s hands. Provincial governments also did nothing to change economic situation. For example, in Winnipeg, many people didn’t trust the government, because they did not implement any significant policies to change the lives of ordinary people. At the end of Bennett’s era in 1935, he introduced a new plan called “Bennett’s New Deal”, which was a gimmick –just like John McCain’s gas tax holiday that he proposed in the summer of 2008. In this plan, Bennett stated that he would do anything to cope with the depression. For example, he said he would introduce an unemployment and social insurance scheme. As soon as this news spread, people thought that he had been already in the office for 5 years and had done nothing to improve our living condition. Canadain’s became really angry at him. The Ivanov family felt the same way. In the election of 1935, the Liberals came to power; however, they too had hard time to figure out solutions for the depression.

People felt big governments didn’t work, and wasn’t effective in coming up with solutions. As a result, new political parties formed all over the country. Co-operate Commonwealth Federation (CCF) was one of them. It was a dynamic political party formed by James Woodswroth during this time. He was a resident in Winnipeg and many people, event the Ivanov family, trusted on this movement. During their tenure, they provided social welfare. It made a significant difference. They made a great progress since the formation of their party. They gained some constituency in British Columbia and Saskatewan because people trusted their work better than the federal government. Many people believed new political parties could make a difference. However, the depression was not over. Newspapers stated that in 1939, over one million were on relief. Many relied on the new political movements to find jobs.

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