A federal election is a brief period of intense partisan debates, but also a time to reflect on the fundamental issues facing Canadian society, and the entire world. The Communist Party of Canada has a unique perspective to offer in this campaign.
Our political outlook is based on “people before profit”. We call for a “People’s Alternative” to defend the immediate and long-term interests of working people and the environment. At a time when millions of Canadians are out of work or stuck in dead-end jobs and poverty, we need policies to create good jobs and raise living standards. Instead of slashing taxes on corporate profits, we need stronger universal social programs, expanded health care, and better public education. We need a guaranteed livable income, and pensions which allow everyone to retire with dignity, not a wider gap between the rich and the rest of us. Instead of bigoted attacks on civil liberties and minorities, we need to expand democratic rights and social equality. Not least, instead of spending tens of billions on F-35 jets and other murderous weapons systems, we need to invest in social housing and urgent improvements in the disastrous living standards of aboriginal peoples.
The main danger in this election is the threat of a majority for the Stephen Harper Conservatives, the most reactionary, aggressive, militaristic party of the big corporations. Defeating the Tories on May 2 would be a welcome step towards reversing Harper’s right-wing policies and the sellout of Canada’s sovereignty. But simply electing the pro-business Liberals will not change much. And while the NDP, Bloc Québécois, and the Greens advance some progressive policies, these parties reject any challenge to the basis of right-wing economic policies and imperialist war—the private profit system known as capitalism. The latest proof was the unanimous vote in Parliament to back the NATO war against Libya, a war aimed at control of energy resources, despite all the self-serving propaganda about “humanitarian intervention.”
It’s time to unite our efforts to achieve more fundamental change. The Communist Party calls for a genuine People’s Coalition, bringing together the labour movement, aboriginal peoples, environmentalists, anti-war groups, women, students, seniors, immigrants, the LGBT community, defenders of civil liberties—all those who are resisting the attack by the Harper Tories and the big corporations. In our view, such a coalition could launch a decisive struggle to defeat the power of big capital and its parties, first in the streets and workplaces of Canada, and then in Parliament itself. If the peoples of Tunisia and Egypt can overthrow dictators, then Canadians can certainly block the right wing here.
The Communist party makes no secret of our long-term goal. Capitalism is destroying the people and the natural environment of our planet, and it must be replaced. Our aim is a socialist Canada, a society based on the common public ownership and democratic control of productive wealth. Only an economic system which removes the deadly cancer of private profit can begin to tackle the multiplying crises which face our country and our world.
On May 2, we urge you to defeat the Harper Tories. Use your ballot to demand jobs, social progress, democracy, equality, peace, and global environmental justice. In B.C., your strongest vote is for the Communist candidates—including Kimball Cariou in Vancouver Kingsway, George Gidora in Burnaby-Douglas, and Sam Hammond in Newton-North Delta.
Miguel Figueroa is the leader of the Communist Party of Canada.