Douglas Credit Party
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The Douglas Credit Party was an Australian political party based on the Social Credit theory of monetary reform, first set out by C. H. Douglas. It gained its strongest result in Queensland in 1935, when it gained 7.02% of first preferences. The party's strongest federal result was at the 1934 election on 4.69% of the national lower house vote. The party did not win seats in either election.
The Australian followers of Social Credit were ambivalent about direct political action. Some entered into the political party fray; others sought to influence the existing political parties - especially the Australian Labor Party (ALP). At the height of the economic depression in the 1930s, advocates of Social Credit theory were successful in gaining majority conference support within the ALP for financial reform along the lines of that proposed by Social Credit theory. However, this policy was never put into practice by subsequent Labor governments. Others felt the existing form of democracy - with its emphasis on parties of the "left and right" - to be inimical to genuine representation of the people. It was felt by some Social Crediters that all parliamentarians should have a first loyalty to their constituents and not a greater loyalty to a particular party organisation. However, not all supporters of the movement were also involved with Labor — Charles North, the state president of the Western Australia branch of the movement during the 1930s, was a Nationalist member of the state lower house.
During the 1960s, there were several attempts in Queensland, South Australia and New South Wales to revive the political fortunes of Social Credit. In South Australia, the "Liberty League" contested a few seats in federal elections but failed to gain many votes. At the 1961 federal election, three candidates - Messrs W G K Ward, A A Lee and Whiteman - unsuccessfully stood for the Senate in New South Wales. They polled about 15,000 primary votes across the State. Some support was shown in a few New South Wales federal electorates - notably the Labor-held seats of East Sydney and a few strong Labor seats in the Hunter Valley.
At the 1961 federal election, several candidates contested the poll under the banner of the Australian National Party. The party was short-lived and some of its members joined the ranks of a revived Social Credit Movement of Australia (Queensland), which contested nine seats at the 1963 Queensland State election with only meagre results. Strongest support was in the Maryborough area of central Queensland.
A Social Credit Secretariat in Queensland continues to promote Social Credit via the internet.
A single Social Credit candidate stood in the 1969 federal election in the Sydney seat of Banks, but gained little support. Another attempt was made in the early 1970s in NSW to contest a seat in the Senate, but again the votes gained were minimal.
For some decades (until the late 1960s), the late Mrs J Elvin operated, on a voluntary basis, a Social Credit bookroom in George Street, Sydney. A small monthly newsletter was also produced and circulated via this centre in downtown Sydney.
The on-going influence of Social Credit ideas was also revealed in the heyday of the One Nation Party in the late 1990s, with that party's promotion of a National Credit Authority.