Canadians got a dangerous status quo on election night. It indicates that it is up to the working people, women, youth and Indigenous peoples, Inuit, Metis and the people of Quebec to step up political organizing work to turn things around in their favour.
For $600 million and counting Canadians got a dangerous status quo on the night of the election. Initial reports of the 44th general election results are said to be Liberals: 158 (up one); Conservatives 119 (down three); NDP 25 (up one); Bloc Québécois 34 (up two) and Green Party two (down one). Mail-in ballots are yet to be counted. Once they are counted reports indicate it could affect the outcome in 18 ridings but will not change the fact that the next government will be a Liberal minority.
It remains a mystery for Canadians why the Liberals thought calling an election in the middle of a pandemic was a good idea. More so because the election call coincided with the September return to schools with teachers, education workers and parents focused on coping with all the uncertainties and worries related to COVID-19 outbreaks and unsafe learning and teaching conditions. In these circumstances they eliminated many teachers, education workers and parents from the equation of who might vote for them.
The turnout in the election appears to be low once again. Reports indicate that roughly 17 million out of 27,366,297 voters on the final list of electors cast their ballots. Turn out based on in-person voting is 58 per cent of registered voters; with yet to be validated ballots turnout is roughly 62.2 per cent. Even if we take the higher figure, it means that the Liberals who will form the government and received some 32 per cent of votes cast, will govern with a vote of only 18.9 per cent of registered electors.
Spinning this into talk about receiving a “mandate” from the people is becoming an impossible task for the ruling class which is desperate to shore up the democratic credentials of their anti-people, anti-social and anti-national rule. This rule is putting the entire country and its people in increasing dangers of all kinds as the conditions of life and work and in the communities and regions reveal.
The coverage of the election by the state broadcaster was so prejudiced and desperate that with only 14 per cent of the polls counted a Liberal government was already proclaimed and everything became about the Liberals’ “close races,” where the Liberals were leading or were not leading, what was the margin of the Liberal vote here or there. The results of the vote then started being presented as a “win for Canadians” because, viewers were told, they will finally get a national day-care program. We know this why? Because, we are told, the Liberals have struck deals with the provinces already and, thus, putting ink to the deal will be easy with the “other progressive parties.”
The comment most frequently made is that we are back to where we were in 2019. The “message of the people” is that they want the parties to work together on a set of known issues. That is the “mandate.” It is at once a “mandate” to “stay the course, but we’re watching you,” to Trudeau and “work together” to everyone else.
Despite his humiliating performance, for Justin Trudeau it is also business as usual. “You are sending us back to work with a clear mandate to get Canada through this pandemic to the brighter days ahead,” he declared.
The status quo is dangerous for Canadians because it means that business will continue as usual with programs and rules announced according to the recovery agenda which serves the interests of the ruling class to control new technologies and win the war of competing interests in these fields. It is an agenda to pay the rich for their infrastructure needs, increase funding for big pharma and private delivery of social programs which will exacerbate the crisis of conflicting authorities between the federal and provincial levels as each competes to profit from paying the rich for interests they serve.
Canadians can also expect that Canada’s participation in the war preparations of the U.S. imperialists will be stepped up. As is the case of the U.S., Canada is also in denial that they and NATO were defeated in Afghanistan. The U.S. is stepping up its striving to dominate the world no matter what consequences to “partners” and “alliances” while Canada and NATO are reduced to keeping up, even though deals are struck behind their backs. The new deal the U.S. struck with Australia is evidence of this while Australia’s rescinding of its submarine deal with France shows that in the neo-liberal world, contracts are not worth the paper they are written on.
All of it indicates that anarchy and violence will increase in the coming period and all working people should prepare for this by stepping up their work to defend the rights of all within the situation.
During this election the demands of the working people revealed for all to see that as a result of thirty years of the neo-liberal anti-social agenda, the education and health care sectors and delivery of social services have been destroyed to such an extent that the crisis cannot be managed. Dictates, threats and the criminalization of workers and their demands are to no avail. So too in all places of work, the treatment of workers as disposable is creating a crisis of hitherto unseen proportions with human rights trampled in the mud on all fronts.
Addressing how to deal with the clash between the conditions and the authority in practical terms is what will continue to drive the actions of working people, Indigenous peoples, Inuit, Métis, the people of Quebec and all women, youth and others who oppose attempts to divide the people by fomenting passions on the basis of neo-liberal definitions of identity, values and conscience. These neo-liberal definitions said to be progressive deny the right of human beings to determine their own identity by affirming their right to be and taking up the task of humanizing the natural and social environment on that basis while fighting to make Canada a zone for peace.
Meanwhile, the air waves are filled with disinformation to make sure Canadians do not organize themselves in defence of the rights of all. Canadians are supposed to watch to see what happens next. Their “issues” are said to be what the Liberals will do about their “leader” who lost what the media and pundits called his “gamble” for a majority government. Even if he did not “hit the jackpot,” we are told, “he at least got his money back.”
What was the election for? Who was calling the shots who thought the Liberals could pull off a majority in pandemic conditions because their handling of the pandemic made them “popular?” Do we just accept that this was, as is broadly said, “Trudeau’s gamble?” Was it just an interlude for deals to be struck behind our backs about which we know nothing?
Such a rendering covers up the depth of the crisis in which what are called the liberal democratic institutions are mired. The cut-throat competition between narrow private interests is causing anarchy and violence worldwide. The state power in the advanced capitalist and imperialist countries has been privatized by the oligopolies and their cartels and coalitions. They are in a vicious rivalry to control everything in favour of the narrow private interests they represent which is why federal provincial relations are also clashing. The neo-liberal anti-national, anti-social offensive is such that the working people can no longer shoulder the burden of absorbing the anarchy, chaos and violence that the rulers and their cartel parties and state agencies have imposed on society as a result of their pay-the-rich schemes and arrangements. The people are paying for the exacerbation of the environmental and climate crisis as never before.
The MLPC called for a minority government so that working people have a better chance to mobilize themselves against the assaults which lie ahead and organize to turn things around in their favour. All the news coverage which presents the election as “too close to call,” a “nail biter election” and that the people have provided whatever government is formed with a mandate all appear as substanceless contrivances to make fools of us all.
In a poll on September 17 by Ipsos, the number of people who said the election was unnecessary and that they were opposed to it, stood at 69 per cent — up some 11 per cent from the beginning of the election. The number of people who said they were not drawn to vote for any party stood at 47 per cent, even when they are being asked “who will you vote for, please?” The “analyst” interpreted this as a problem for the parties to overcome to make sure they get more votes. This is the fraud. It is a problem for the ruling class to overcome as they desperately try to give their anti-democratic system credibility and legitimacy. It is a clear indication that it is up to the working people, women, youth and Indigenous peoples, Inuit, Metis and the people of Quebec to step up political organizing work so as to turn things around in their favour. Practical measures are needed to make sure the ruling class cannot get away with their dictates and that Canada becomes a factor for peace in the world.
This is what the MLPC thinks is at stake at this time.
Renewal Update, September 21, 2021
Renewal Update is the newsletter of the Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada, the electoral name registered by Elections Canada of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) or CPC(M-L).
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