I recently picked up this recording** made by Social Credit, Vancouver Centre MLAs, Herb Capozzi (1925-2011) and Evan Wolfe (1922-2009) as part of their joint campaign¹ for the 1969 General Election. The recording was cleverly called The Record of [fill-in-the-blank]. The candidates were introduced on each side, in turn, by self-described phone-in host, Jim McDonald.² I’m assuming that Wolfe and Capozzi were the only two Social Credit candidates to produce such an album. I so assume because theirs is the only one I’ve encountered.
When I listened to each side of the record, I was under the impression that Wolfe was the incumbent and Capozzi was a new candidate in this election. The reason I so concluded was that, while Wolfe mentioned his experience on legislative committees (e.g., the Public Accounts Committee), Capozzi’s background was cast solely in terms of his non-parliamentary “business management” experience (e.g, as General Manager of the BC Lions, the first person in that position to bring a Grey Cup “home” to B.C.).
In fact, both men were successful candidates in Vancouver Centre in the previous general election (1966) and in 1969!
These Social Credit gents made some pretty predictable remarks: Wolfe, for instance, warned electors of the dangers that would come from “operating under the heavy hand of state socialism” in the event the Socreds were unsuccessful in forming another government; Capozzi, similarly, commented that, when it came to welfare policy, he favoured “self-help” rather than continuing to support families who had been receiving payments “generation after generation”. (One wonders just how long Capozzi believed that the welfare system had been in place!)
But there was also at least one surprise in The Record. Capozzi advocated that street parking be removed from all major downtown streets. This seems to me the sort of error that a rookie candidate would make³ — thus reinforcing my (mistaken) assumption that Capozzi hadn’t yet served in the provincial legislature.
*K-Tel records are a Canadian phenomenon of the 1970s. In case you weren’t alive (or were not living in Canada) at that time, here is a page where you can get a taste of K-Tel ads. Go to the 16 minute, 55 seconds point to see the ad for Emotions. And if your blood sugar levels haven’t gone through the roof after that, then Let’s Disco! (immediately after Emotions!) (Note: The scenes in this ad look as though they were shot in Vancouver at English Bay and Stanley Park.)
**This recording is now in the care and custody of the Royal BC Museum.
¹At the time, dual-member electoral districts were common in B.C. With such a system, the two candidates who won the greatest number of votes were elected. This typically meant that whichever party was favoured in a riding won double the seats that would have been the case in a single-member riding. This worked to Social Credit’s advantage in the late 1950s and 1960s. But the tide would turn in favour of the New Democrats in this riding beginning in the next General Election (1972) and would continue to favour the NDP through the 1986 election. Redistribution would result, in 1991, in the disappearance of Vancouver Centre and at the same time, in the practice of dual-member constituencies.
²As of 1970, McDonald hosted a 2-hour show, weekday mornings on CKVN, called “Open Mind with Jim McDonald.” What exactly he was doing prior to 1969 isn’t clear to me.