n the late 1950s, the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) clung to survival on the national political scene. Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) supporters of a more labour-orientated party decided in 1958 to launch discussions with the CCF, farm organizations, and other interested groups on the possibility of creating a "New Party." In 1961, after considerable national and local debate, these groups met in convention in Ottawa to create the New Democratic Party (NDP). The party's platform reflected its social democratic roots in the CLC and CCF. Its reform agenda called for full employment, universal health care and portable pensions, bilingualism, multiculturalism, and nuclear disarmament. Tommy Douglas, the CCF premier of Saskatchewan was chosen as the party's first leader. Despite considerable enthusiasm, financial resources, and the CLC's organizational skills, further electoral success evaded the NDP, especially in federal elections, for another decade.

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