Liberal program seeks to cover up neo-liberal anti-social offensive
Whoever forms the next government, Canadians should be clear that the neo-liberal way perpetuates social inequality and class privilege, warns ANNA Di CARLO
The program of Justin Trudeau in this election to target inequality and lack of opportunity or fairness is to stop the striving of the people for empowerment and to get them to conciliate with the anti-social austerity agenda. He suggests that the problems of inequality and lack of opportunity can be resolved the neo-liberal way even though it is the neo-liberal way which perpetuates social inequality and class privilege.
This much has been proven by life experience and is not in dispute. What then should the working people and youth of this country make of the new offensive which pushes the old Liberal vision of a so-called Just Society? This model of society is precisely the one which is in deep crisis not only in Canada but also the United States and Europe. Look at Greece!
Despite this, the illusion is created that if only the problem of inequality (particularly income inequality) can be overcome, then we can attain the Canadian Dream. This has been the call of the Liberal Party since Justin Trudeau was elected leader on April 14, 2013 and reached its peak during the party’s convention in 2014. The centrepiece of the convention was a conversation between Liberal MP Chrystia Freeland and U.S. economist Larry Summers, focusing on income inequality, infrastructure investment and “what it takes to create economic growth that benefits everyone.” Freeland is known for helping popularize the issue of income inequality, writing books on the subject and promoting neo-liberal solutions.
Income inequality and a Just Society remained the Liberal watchwords until shortly before the election. Stéphane Dion, former Liberal leader and MP for St-Laurent—Cartierville wrote an article in July 2015 entitled “Trudeau’s Plan for the Middle Class Will Reduce Inequality in Canada.” It portrays the Liberals’ neo-liberal economic program as “progressive” and that of the NDP and Conservatives as “regressive,” and calls for a “just society.” Dion’s article contains two proposals on child benefits and “middle class income tax rates” which are now part of the Liberals’ election platform.
Since then, the words “inequality” and “just society” have disappeared entirely from Liberal speeches and statements, including those of Freeland. Instead, the Liberals now speak of “growing the middle class,” a phrase found throughout their platform announcements, statements and commentaries.
Justin Trudeau proposes to “bring back fairness and to strengthen the heart of the Canadian economy.” He talks about “[f]airness for middle class families,” and “[a] country that gives everyone a real and fair chance to succeed” and variations on the theme.
How the Liberals are promoting the fraud about creating a society which “gives everyone a fair chance to succeed” is summed up in their “3-point plan” which they say is focused on making “a real, positive difference in the lives of Canadians.” “We will invest to create jobs, we will grow the middle class, and we will help those working hard to join the middle class do so,” they say.
The Liberals say they would “create jobs by investing in infrastructure.” Who is put in charge of building this infrastructure, who owns it, how the rights of workers are to be upheld and who decides is not discussed. Secondly, the Liberals would “cut taxes for the middle class” by “asking the wealthiest 1% to pay a little bit more.” The third neo-liberal proposal is to “grow the middle class” and “give lower-income Canadians a real chance to break out of poverty” by offering a Canada Child Benefit that promises “over $100 more a month than with Harper’s plan.” According to the Liberals, the cause of poverty is lack of money, not the increasing exploitation and oppression of the majority at the hands of the powerful few.
The Liberals use peculiar sentences such as this, which suggests that prosperity is not a condition for “a real and fair chance to succeed”: “We need to remember that economic growth is not only about prosperity. It’s about building a country that gives everyone a real and fair chance to succeed.” They add, “That is what history has taught us, and it’s what our future demands of us.”
Well, it is not what history has taught the Canadian people. Facts are stubborn things and the fact remains that the neo-liberal restructuring of the society taken up by the Liberals has stepped up the trend of the rich getting richer while the poor get poorer. Trudeau’s suggestion that taking from the one per cent will bring fairness is foolish. The fact is that the one per cent are not only privileged and have incomes dwarfing those of working people, they also have political power. Unless they are deprived of that power, nothing will change.
The 3-point plan also seeks to cover up that everywhere the Liberals rule they are vicious in their offensive to perpetuate the neo-liberal way. Look at what is happening in Quebec! It has nothing to do with creating “fairness.” Look at Ontario, where Premier Kathleen Wynne even talks about implementing austerity fairly.
Under neo-liberalism sovereign nations are destroyed and treated as “economies,” their assets and state treasuries are plundered to pay the rich. Public authorities are destroyed in the quest to make the most powerful monopolies competitive on global markets and politicize private interests.
It was the Liberals under Jean Chrétien who started “Team Canada” missions to make the monopolies competitive on global markets. They pursued a program to pay the rich and cut investments in social programs in the name of paying off the debt and balancing budgets. This exacerbated the social inequalities and diminished opportunities. When Paul Martin was Finance Minister the EI funds were turned over to general revenues at the disposal of paying the rich in the name of paying down the debt, all the while incurring new debts. The Liberals’ refusal to modernize the power sharing arrangements between the provinces and the federal government, to affirm indigenous rights and the rights of Quebec spawned the “national unity” hysteria in 1995 which led to the sponsorship scandal. This together with the Liberals’ refusal to address the real problems facing the people and society led to their loss of even the Official Opposition status in the Parliament in the last election.
Today we are on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the Quebec Referendum which took place in 1995 on Quebec sovereignty. To date the Liberals have not reckoned with the corruption which led that party to implode in the last election. But now the Canadian ruling class has the gall to tell us the Liberals can form the next government of Canada. It must not pass!
It is precisely the vicious anti-social offensive to eliminate all traces of a public authority in favour of monopoly right which is accelerating the trend of the rich getting richer and the poor poorer. Without renouncing this direction for society, talk about fairness and growing the “middle class” to succeed is to fool the gullible. It is the fight of the people in defence of the rights of all and for democratic renewal which empowers the people, not political parties of the rich. It is the fight for the rights of all which will create a society in which the rights of people by virtue of being human will prevail and be guaranteed.
In this election, the Marxist-Leninist Party calls on you to vote for democratic renewal. Vote to empower the people, not political parties. It is the people who should form the government, not political parties which serve the rich. Vote Marxist-Leninist!
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