George Gidora: Dump the B.C. Liberals, fight for real change, vote Communist on May 14
The May 14 B.C. election comes at a time of capitalist crisis and “austerity” across the planet. Corporate profits are breaking records, while wages and pensions are slashed. The gap between the ultra rich and working people keeps getting wider. Social and equality gains won by decades of struggle are being rolled back. Billions suffer poverty, hunger, and disease, while the U.S. and its NATO allies waste a trillion dollars a year on militarism and war. Climate change is devastating the environment, while governments block serious action to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Here in British Columbia, the “best place on Earth”—which was stolen from indigenous peoples and then looted in the mad rush to exploit workers for corporate profits—the story is the same.
Gordon Campbell’s tax cuts shifted billions from the public treasury into the bank accounts of the wealthy. After spending $6 billion to host the Olympics, B.C. still has the second highest child poverty rate in Canada. More than 200,000 workers are jobless, schools and day cares keep closing, housing costs are astronomical, and thousands remain homeless. The salmon fishery is in crisis, raw log exports have skyrocketed, and “fracking”, tar sands pipelines, and tankers pose grave environmental dangers. In short, the B.C. Liberals have been a three-term disaster.
Working people in B.C. face a crucial choice: keep waging defensive battles, or unite and fight back! Our collective resistance against capitalism, militarism, racism, and environmental destruction continues every day, in workplaces, schools, and neighbourhoods, from the big cities to island communities, the Interior and the North. On May 14, we have another chance to resist, this time at the ballot box. We can’t let the Liberals and their corporate friends back into office again.
Many voters see the NDP as the only vehicle to change British Columbia, since Adrian Dix has taken up some important issues and demands. But the NDP deliberately plays down popular expectations, warning us not to demand big changes.
Electing an NDP government is not enough to reverse the right-wing policies imposed by Campbell and Christy Clark and it won’t stop the capitalist assault on workers, indigenous peoples, women, students, seniors, and the environment. We need to build a much broader struggle for a “people’s alternative” to corporate greed.
A vote for a Communist candidate is not “wasted”; it’s the most powerful statement you can make on election day. Electing even one Communist would give all working people a strong voice in the legislature. A larger Communist vote will help set the stage for bigger popular struggles, no matter which party governs in Victoria. The Communist party fights for human and planetary survival against the threat of capitalist destruction. We call for socialism, a society in which the economy is owned and democratically controlled by the people, not by private capitalists, in a world where exploitation, hunger, injustice, and war have been replaced by human freedom, equality, peace, and genuine environmental sustainability.
In this election, candidates for the Communist Party of B.C. are campaigning on a platform for radical change. We would:
• Restore pre-2001 tax rates on the wealthy and the corporations, which would add $2 billion annually to provincial revenues.
• Adopt Labour Code amendments to protect and enhance the rights to organize, bargain collectively, and strike.
• Block “fracking” and tar sands pipelines.
• End raw log exports.
• Purchase 1,000 new transit buses and institute a $1 single-zone fare for the Lower Mainland.
• Halt the “run of the rivers” giveaway to private interests.
• Stop P3 projects and privatization in the health, education, and transportation sectors.
• Scrap the Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement, and demand Canada’s withdrawal from the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with the European Union, the Trans Pacific Partnership, NAFTA, and other globalization agreements.
• Build 5,000 new social housing units annually.
• Restore $250 million annually to the public school system across B.C.
• Raise social assistance rates by 50 percent.
• Increase the minimum wage to $18 per hour.
• Roll back postsecondary tuition fees, and expand apprenticeship programs.
• Abolish MSP premiums and other health-care user fees.
• Legislate full recognition of aboriginal title to unceded territories.
• Enact a democratic “mixed member” proportional representation electoral system.
• Guarantee full Labour Code protections for agricultural labourers, migrant workers, and temporary foreign workers.
• Direct all school boards to adopt policies to protect LGBTQ students and staff.
Candidates for the Communist Party of B.C. include Peter Marcus (Vancouver-Mount Pleasant), George Gidora (Delta North), Kimball Cariou (North Vancouver-Lonsdale), and John Shaw (Victoria-Beacon Hill).
Apr 19, 2013 at 8:27pm
George you are probably right, but until the system totally crashes and the people lose everything and are hungry then it might happen. As long as the capitalist uses the banks to keep the modern day slaves broke with huge mortgages etc, and keep feeding them a few bones once in a while with the big carrot, people are gullible enough to keep the status quote. Quite sad isn't it. Especially when we know there is enough for everybody to at least have a proper roof over there heads and food etc. Greed is the root of all evils.
Apr 19, 2013 at 8:43pm
Maybe not all of this can be done, but hey I LOVE IT! Hey you CEOs--you should cut your salaries and support this! What do you say? Business is immoral--here's a chance to do some good with those profits!
Apr 20, 2013 at 1:07am
And where are you going to get the money to do all this?
Apr 20, 2013 at 2:42am
From the killing fields of Cambodia to the ruined abominations of North Korea and Albania . A mountain of dead under Lenin ,Stalin and Mao . You still take this evil called communism as an alternative ? As someone once said - Not a philosiphy or an ideology but a disease . It is a parasite on alternative politics .
Apr 20, 2013 at 3:00am
Pardon the spelling . philosophy not philosiphy . I slip up when I have tears in my eyes .
Apr 20, 2013 at 4:35am
correction - Philosophy not philosiphy
Apr 20, 2013 at 11:23am
Are the Communist Party and the Marxist-Leninist party still 2 different parties? Seriously, when you're dividing a tiny fraction of the vote over a political rift that developed over 50 years ago now you really have to consider your relevance to the political process, or lack thereof.
Apr 21, 2013 at 6:52pm
The obligatory raspberries are to be expected anytime the word communism is mentioned but the people who (correctly) point out historical atrocities perpetrated by big C communist governments in China and Russia, to name the two most obvious examples, have blinders on when it comes to clearly viewing the history of capitalist atrocities like slavery and aboriginal ethnic cleansing and ongoing injustices from brutal repression in places like Columbia(still murdering labour organizers) to increasing inequality throughout modern economies. The programs and prescriptions listed in this article are the goals any sane society should be aiming for instead of pooh-poohing the very notion of social progress and justice. Say the word communist and the knee-jerk reaction is to cry "dictatorship" but people who think they are not being dictated to already by powerful interests which exercise undemocratic influence over our political and economic affairs have only been successfully propagandized by a lifetime of corporate messaging. The truth is our society reached a high-water mark of general prosperity for the widest number of citizens in the 1970's and that was only after many decades of painful struggle had won those gains. Since the the forces of reaction have been determinedly pulling us back from those heady days. The most important statistics involve the amount of private capital being stockpiled by the wealthiest percentile while average working people continue to lose ground.
The struggle for economic justice is never over as the last 40 years have shown.
Apr 21, 2013 at 10:22pm
Commies are thieves. Plain and simple. If you want to nationalize my private property, you're gonna have to come with guns and rob it the old fashioned way. That goes for all looters who hide behind excuses that but the demands of the mob before the rights of the individual. Theft and extortion are wrong. End of story.
Apr 21, 2013 at 11:24pm
Gabriel, you are a hoot, plain and simple.