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The Rise and Fall of Universal Social Programs The Case of Canadian Family Allowance

Cho Young Hoon 1

1동의대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Family allowance was instituted during the Second World War in Canada, which did not have a contributory old-age pension, health insurance and public aids at the federal level until the 1960s. Therefore, it is very natural to ask why such an advanced welfare program as family allowance was introduced in the welfare laggard like 1940s' Canada. This research aims to seek for the social background, which was directly related to the making of the universal social program in Canada. This article attempts to present the most persuasive explanation after examining several possible factors, which include the class mobilization of social democratic party, the reformist character of the ruling party, the radicalization of the working class, and the political crisis of the ruling party. This research selects the last one as the most appropriate, because the other factors were either unapplicable to the Canadian society or unsuitable to the explanation for the introduction of the universal social program, which provides benefits to all citizens, not to a particular social group or class. The Canadian family allowance continued to be cut back after its inauguration and was abolished in the 1990s. The secondary aim of this article is to explain why the family allowance, which was supported by almost all the social groups and political parties when introduced, went through such a process. This research focuses on the fact that the political interests to maintain the generous family allowance were reduced as the political crisis harassing the ruling Liberal Party disappeared during the 1950's economic growth and social stabilization.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.