Friday, October 25, 2013

Dave Barrett

In 1941, a reindeer watches as World War II planes drops bombs in Russia.
See the guy in the bell bottoms that is second from the left? That is a 14-year old Osama Bin Laden. 
Child labourers in 1880.
On October 2, 1930, in Vancouver, BC, David Barrett was born. This man, more commonly known as Dave Barrett, would go on to become the province's 26th premier. And the first ever NDP premier.

In the 1960 election, Barrett was elected to the British Columbia legislature as a Co-operative Commonwealth Federation member for the electoral district of Dewdney. Barrett was a civil servant at that the time, which meant he had to fight to be allowed to run because at the time civil servants weren't allowed to run for office.

Barrett was known for his public speaking ability and he held his seat for four elections. He ran for the provincial leadership of the New Democratic Party of British Columbia, NDP, but lost to Tom Berger. (The Co-operative Commonwealth Federation had become the NDP). In 1969, the NDP lost the election and the party had been expected to win so Berger resigned and Barrett was made party leader.
 In Rio da Janeiro, Brazil, the Christ the Redeemer statue is under construction.

Che Guevara
Grounded planes after 9/11.

California lumberjacks.

The 20 year term of the W.A.C. Bennett government was stagnating and Dave Barrett led his party to victory in 1972. Barrett became premier on September 15.

When the NDP took over, there was a surplus of monies in the government but that didn't last long and soon the province was in debt. The NDP claimed the debt wasn't their fault and was due to the fact that the party introduced modern accounting practices and the previous government had hidden huge liabilities off the books.

Barrett and his government reformed the welfare system and initiated a number of reforms such as establishing the province's Labour Relations Board and expanded the public sector. The government brought in the Agricultural Land Reserve to protect farm land in BC and formed the Insurance Company of British Columbia to provide government car insurance. (Both the ALR and ICBC are still operating.) The NDP also made the government more democratic by establishing a questions period and providing full Hansard transcripts of the legislative proceedings.

The NDP passed a new law on average of every three days while they were in power. This was enough to cause the centre and centre-right to unite under the Social Credit banner to oppose the NDP.
More lumberjacks and California Redwoods.

The employee cafeteria at Disneyland in 1961.
Martin Luther King Jr. removing a burned cross from his lawn with his son.

The beginning of an empire. A young Bill Gates and Microsoft staff in 1978.

Barrett called a snap election in 1975 and was defeated by the Social Credit party, led by W.A.C. Bennett's son, Bill Bennett. Bennett's campaign focused on the NDP's handling of provincial finances. 

The NDP had more votes in raw numbers in the 1975 election but less of a percentage. Its support outside of the Vancouver area dropped considerably, costing the party 20 seats and Barrett lost his Coquitlam seat, which he had held since its creation in 1965. In June of 1976, Barrett returned to the legislature in a by-election in Vancouver East. He remained in that riding until 1984.

In 1988, Barrett was elected as Member of Parliament for the riding of Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca (federal government). He ran for leadership of the federal NDP but lost in a narrow margin on the fourth ballot.  Dave Barrett argued during his campaign that the party should be concerned with western alienation rather than focusing its attention on Quebec. This stand caused controversy in the party with certain members threatening to quit if Barrett was elected leader.

During the party leadership race, rival candidate Simon De Jong, told Barrett he would support him in exchange for being named party whip. Unfortunately, the CBC was filming a documentary on the convention and De Jong was wearing a microphone at the time. The backroom discussion became national news.
See the man in the background standing between the tree trunk and tank? That is the man who stood against a line of tanks in Tiananmen Square.

Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife in 1914. Their murders later that day would spark World War I.
The Beatles and Muhammad Ali.

In 1912, this is the first photo of the discovery of Machu Pichu.

Not only did Barrett make history by being the first NDP premier, on October 16, 1983, he made history again. He was the first member of legislature who had to be forcibly removed from the Legislative Assembly for not following the Speaker's ruling.

Thanks Mom and Wes for the photos. And to Wikepdia for the information on Dave Barrett. I didn't put down a death date because Barrett is still alive and living in Esquimalt. He is apparently the oldest living premier of B.C.

Bill and Hilary Clinton playing volleyball in 1975.

Mississippi steamboats in 1907.
1911. Times Square in New York.
Arnold Schwarzenegger the day he received his American citizenship.

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