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David Lewis on the 1972 election campaign trail

The Story

New Democratic Party leader David Lewis speaks at a rally at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto, ready with a list of names and numbers to back his campaign theme: that “corporate welfare bums” are profiting from deferred taxes.

Broadcast Medium: Television
Program: Television News
Reporter: Larry Stout
Guest: David Lewis
Broadcast Date: Sept. 17, 1972
Duration: 3:32

Did You know?

• David Lewis was National Secretary for the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) in 1936, and a member of the League for Social Reconstruction. He was one of the key founders of the New Democratic Party in 1961 and in 1962 he began his career as MP for York South. He lost the seat in 1963 but won it back in 1965 before losing it again in 1974.  

• Lewis was elected leader of the New Democratic Party in 1971, succeeding another party founder, Tommy Douglas. He was followed as leader of the party by Ed Broadbent in 1975.  He died on May 23, 1981. 

• According to a Globe and Mail article published Aug. 16, 1972, Lewis was well ahead of the election call with his campaign against "corporate welfare bums" whom he called "the pets of the tax system." He also railed against a government known to "hold hands in your pocket" with said big business.  

• Lewis said farewell to the party at the 1975 leadership convention won by Broadbent; watch an excerpt from that speech.


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