M965.199.4185 | Blessed Event.
1938-1939, 20th century
Ink, crayon and graphite on card
36.4 x 28.9 cm
Gift of Mr. John Collins - The Gazette
© McCord Museum
Keywords: Cartoon (19139) , Drawing (18637) , drawing (18379) , politics (10928)
Keys to History
In 1938, R.B. Bennett (1870-1947) vacated the leadership of the federal Conservatives. Unhappy with the party's course under his successor, Dr. Robert Manion (1881-1943), W.D. Herridge (1888-1961) offered his political program, "New Democracy," to the Canadian people in early 1939.
Herridge, Bennett's brother-in-law and Canadian ambassador in Washington while the interventionist New Deal (the slogan used by U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945) to describe the economic principles and policies adopted by his administration to promote economic recovery and social welfare and, by purging capitalism of some of its excesses and failures, to make it work better) took shape in 1933, believed Canada needed something similar. He deplored the hostility of wealthy Canadians to constructive change. "Some who shout the loudest against interference with private initiative would be equally rebellious [against] any restraint not imposed by the laws of the jungle." (quoted in Horn)
Herridge co-wrote Bennett's "New Deal" radio speeches of January 1935. Many of the ideas in them reappeared in his New Democracy program. He allied his movement with the Social Credit party, but in the 1940 federal election New Democracy won only ten seats while Herridge went down to personal defeat. This killed the movement.
Mother Herridge introduces her political baby to a confused Father Canada and four children, party leaders Robert J. Manion (1881-1943), William Aberhart (1878-1943), W.L.M. King (1874-1950) and J.S. Woodsworth (1874-1942).
In 1940, New Democracy (Social Credit) ran 17 candidates in Alberta, 10 of whom gained election. Outside Alberta only 12 candidates ran. None came close to being elected.
New Democracy's potential appeal was undermined by the outbreak of war in Europe in September 1939, a war Canada entered on September 10.
John Collins (b. 1917), author of this cartoon, was for more than 40 years the editorial cartoonist of the Montreal Gazette.