Cartels, coalitions and the need for people to take up the work for democratic renewal

Interview with MLPC Leader Anna Di Carlo

Anna Di Carlo

Following the “leaders’ debate” which was staged at the Museum of History in Gatineau, Quebec on October 7 by a media consortium with the participation of only 6 of the 21 parties registered with Elections Canada, Renewal Update interviewed the leader of the Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada (MLPC) Anna Di Carlo on the debate and related matters of concern. The transcript is posted below.

Renewal Update: On Monday the first leaders’ debate of the cartel parties took place. Do you think Canadians are any the wiser about what to expect in this election?

Anna Di Carlo: This debate was indeed a concentrated expression of the decrepit state of the democracy. The cartel parties, media and pundits are desperate to make it appear as if the people are deciding something but the role of the people is reduced to one of spectators to a circus, which is neither interesting nor even entertaining.

The election is said to be free and fair but the so-called leaders’ debates show that this is not the case. The debates are exclusionary and thus do not give the appearance that the election is either free or fair. Unless an election is seen to be free and fair, the ruling class cannot validate the claim that it confers a government with a mandate which has the consent of the governed. The electoral process as a whole is designed to block the people from setting an aim for the country. It seeks to divert them from the need to discuss the matters which concern them with their peers so as to set their own line of march, which is a method for empowering themselves. The result of the leaders’ debate on Monday night is that now Canadians have to step up their deliberation on how to make their vote count, on how to use it to make a statement. They do not believe any government which is brought to power will represent them so this is a problem they have to tackle.

Renewal Update: The possibility of a minority government is being bandied about. What does the MLPC think of this?

Anna Di Carlo: It is not uncommon as an election nears its end to hear predictions and witness the horse-trading that takes place among the cartel parties. If the next government is a minority as the pollsters predict, the horse-trading will intensify.

The ruling class would like a majority, which it associates with stability. In our experience, this is code for the ability to act with impunity. Furthermore, predictions have proven to be useless in the last twenty years at both the federal and provincial levels so we cannot rule out a majority government despite the predictions that it will be a minority. It would not be the first time such predictions are wrong.[1]

Renewal Update: What does the MLPC think favours Canadians within the situation?

Anna Di Carlo: The MLPC thinks that a preferable outcome for the people, given the options, would be a Liberal minority government. This is not because the Liberal Party is a milder form of the neo-liberal anti-social offensive than what the Scheer Conservatives will implement if they form the government. It is because the Liberal Party is the devil the people know. They have already attained a certain level of organized resistance when it comes to dealing with the Liberals’ hypocrisy and crass pay-the-rich schemes which are anti-worker and anti-people. Furthermore, having several Conservative provincial governments at this time ruling with impunity combined with a Conservative federal government would not be good for anybody’s health.

However, it is not possible to predict. There are too many unknowns in the current conditions of anarchy and violence which exist. All over the world, the powers of prediction no longer exist because the ruling class abides by no rules. It recognizes no boundaries such that the system called a representative democracy no longer functions to sort out the contradictions within its ranks. It is no longer served by what used to be considered the public good so nothing means anything any more. This is why people have to have their own conversations, set their own standards, bring in new forms in which they can speak in their own name and where rationality prevails. Adding to the incoherence is blatant interference in the election behind the backs of the people. This is greater than ever to achieve the outcome the ruling class wants. The electoral process provides all of this with a legal veneer but it does not make it either democratic or free or fair. It does not restore confidence in the democratic institutions. It is a problem the people have to address. If they do not sort out how to empower themselves, they and their children and families will bear the brunt of the dangers which lie ahead. The contradictions within the ranks of the ruling class to gather all the spoils for themselves are such they are prone to do anything they can get away with. Only the power of the people can stop them.

Renewal Update: Would you say that the only thing the rulers and their representatives in government seem to have fidelity to is their own instant gratification?

Anna Di Carlo: Yes. They adhere to no principles of any kind. Elections have become totally corrupt. The use of money to buy votes, in the most legal civilized of ways to be sure, goes hand in hand with the disruption tactics of rival factions and what are called intelligence services using social media and the monopoly-controlled media.

The ruling elite control what information is provided and what is suppressed, what discussion takes place, and who is included in their “debates.” Personal attacks, defamation and so-called scandal politics are par for the course. The massive amount of disinformation and diversion introduced surrounding the election is designed to deprive people of the ability to think things through and find their bearings. This means people have to protect themselves against the interference and noise of the cartel party electoral process. Trying to make sense of such self-serving forces as the parties that form the cartel party system or what the pollsters, media and pundits tell us is an irrational pursuit. It is best to protect oneself against such irrationality! The people have to take their own measures to become informed such as discussing with their peers how to set their own line of march.

Renewal Update: Chatter in the media deals with the need for some kind of a coalition to form the next government. Certain elements are fighting to become the “kingmakers” and are offering deals in the event either the Liberals or the Conservatives do not win a majority.

Anna Di Carlo: Cartels and coalitions of the ruling elite are one and the same form to block progress. A cartel, or coalition, involves exclusion. Somebody makes the decision about who is in and who is out. Who decides remains a mystery. Usually a high price is paid to join a cartel or coalition, such as the elimination of any discussion on content or the prohibition of actions said to cause disunity by the decision-makers or powers-that-be.

The exclusion occurs with both cartels and coalitions, often simultaneously. Neither cartels nor coalitions are forms that permit members, let alone the people, to participate in setting agendas or arriving at decisions by working out what favours them.

Renewal Update: One could say a distinguishing feature of cartels and coalitions is that they are exclusionary and based on rivalry, and on contention and collusion for an aim, which is kept hidden.

Anna Di Carlo: Yes. For example, the cartel party system decides who can be part of the club; who is legitimate and deserves to be heard; and, who is excluded. All the while, the cartel members collude and contend with one another.

This is how governments operate today. It was plain to see with the so-called leaders’ debate Monday night. Even the serious matter of the need for discussion on what kind of leaders these people are is taboo. They can become the prime minister of the country with all the prerogative powers of the office and yet the people exercise no control over them. Who the system of representative democracy represents and what it represents are topics worthy of discussion.

Renewal Update: What does the MLPC propose to deal with this problem?

Anna Di Carlo: We call on Canadians to take up work in a manner that breaks with the past, which renews the democratic process so that the role of privilege is eliminated and people participate in decision-making in a meaningful way.

We encourage people to unite in action in defence of the rights of all and to empower themselves. This uniting in action, defending rights and empowerment are what it means to humanize the natural and social environment.

Far from engaging in coalition politics, which are exclusionary, people must have fidelity to what the relations among human beings, and between humans and nature are revealing.

The relations of humans to nature are what is called technology and includes all the scientific developments that today are playing a tremendous role in changing the conditions of life itself.

Relations of humans to humans are the basis for defining what we call human need. When we say people have rights by virtue of being human it refers to the specific quality of human beings to lay claims on society to what belongs to them by right so that they can flourish.

These relations exist independent of anyone’s will. None of these relations is connected to or informs the policy objectives advocated by the cartel parties that form a cartel party system or coalitions.

The old arrangements, which came down to us from the time of the English Civil War in the 1660s, no longer have a mechanism to sort out any problems that arise between individuals or between individuals and collectives. Even the aim of the society adopted by the British system in the 19th century and imported into Canada at that time, has been abandoned. It was based on the utilitarian principle: the greatest good for the greatest number. So too other underpinnings of the system that came to be known as “good government” have been abandoned.

Renewal Update: Put another way, how do we translate the massive productive powers that have been created, this social labour within a socialized economy of industrial mass production, into people being able to change the situation?

Anna Di Carlo: When there is no understanding of all the different relations at play, and that people are the ones who change circumstances, there is a forgetting of what is crucial: the human factor/social consciousness. This aspect is crucial at this time, which is why the MLPC pays so much attention to activating the human factor/social consciousness. The people must play their role. They must lay their claims on society and identify the social forces needed for change. They must identify where and how to hit at the blocks to progress.

The cartel party leaders’ debates and the election itself serve to deprive people of a way of looking at the world and making sense of it, which is a problem of the people being deprived of power. This is why we give such importance to providing information about what is taking place on matters of concern to the people.

The significance of being deprived of an outlook is that it raises the need for discussion on what the conditions reveal and the modern definitions required to bring new arrangements into being.

In conclusion, the MLPC calls on the people to vote Marxist-Leninist for democratic renewal, but where no Marxist-Leninist candidate is running in their riding, Canadians can still cast a ballot and make it count by working out what their vote stands for within the situation. In many cases people may vote for a small party candidate or an independent. They may also just abstain or spoil their ballot. When they do this deliberately having worked out their stand, this too makes a statement. The important thing is to work to break with the past and renew the political process so that it favours the people. We say, empower yourself now!


1. In 2015, the Liberals won a majority government with 184 of the 338 seats. The Conservatives carried 99 seats, the NDP 44, the Bloc 10, and the Green Party had one. To form a majority government, a party needs 170 seats.

On October 4, the CBC poll tracker suggested that based on current numbers, the Liberals would win 158 seats, the Conservatives 140, the Bloc 19, the NDP 16, the Greens four, and the People’s Party of Canada one.

It also suggested a 30 per cent probability of the Liberals winning a majority government, and a 31 per cent possibility of the Liberal party winning the most number of seats, but not a majority. The poll tracker also gave the Conservatives a 29 per cent probability of winning the most number of seats, though shy of a majority. It put the Conservative party’s chances of forming a majority government at nine per cent probability. (The Hill Times)

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