With the elections finally over and the Conservatives poised to lead another minority government, a few interesting facts about these latest elections, the 40th since Confede­ration, have been released.

The first and perhaps more important fact is that these elections resulted in the lowest voter turnout in Canadian history; only 59.1% of the eligible voting population bothered showing up at the polls on Tuesday, trumping the previous record set during the 2004 Federal Elections in which 60.9% of the voting population participated. Around the country, participation rates varied; in P.E.I., 69.5% of the eligible voting population showed up at the ballot, while in Newfoundland the figure was much lower – 48.1%. In the N.W.T. and Nunavut only 48.6% and 49.4% showed up, respectively, and in Alberta, the figure was just over half, at 52.9%. Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Ontario counted 56.8%, 59.4% and 59.1%.

Naturally, as these figures were released the day after the election, political pundits, columnists and loud-mouths were all up in arms, accusing those who didn’t vote of being spineless, stupid, lazy, and a number of other insulting terms. They claimed that refusing to vote was an insult, to their country and to the millions of people around the world who are “dying” to have the chance to do the same.

The RCP is, of course, among the “spineless,” though we’d undoubtedly be given a harsher sentence for the fact that we have been campaigning – quite successfully – for Canadian to boycott the elections, along with countless other groups and organizations who have the clarity of perspective to recognize the dead-end which our bourgeois democracy represents. But it is worth noting a few of the numerous contradictions inherent in the claims and statements of those who support the elections.

Immediately after the results of the elections were in, Prime Minister Stephen Harper took to the stage to address his supporters and the country. Among other things, he stressed the concept of a mandate that has been given him by the people of Canada, a concept repeated by the media. In political terminology, this mandate they speak of is essentially the agreement of the masses to allow Harper and his Conservatives to remain in power. This is interesting, especially given the record-breaking turnouts we saw this election, in which 9.5 million Canadians elected not to “loan” their consent of authority to any of the political parties which ran in the election. This amount, which represents over 40% of the entire country, is much higher than the number of votes any of the political parties received during the election: even the Conservatives, with approximately 5.2 million votes cast in their favor – about 25% of the entire eligible voting population – can’t reasonably claim that they have been given any sort of mandate from the people.

There are a variety of reasons why voter turnout was so low this time around. The media, for its part, and the politicians who won and lost, have come up with a number of them, all of which are detached from the root of the problems facing bourgeois democracy. They have talked about how the new policy on proving one’s identity at the polls for unregistered voters may have been a factor, about lack of information on polling procedures and locations, and a number of other issues which they claim may have affected the overall turnout. But for millions of people across the country, the reason is quite clear: democracy in Canada is a dead horse, little more than a circus show put on by the rich ruling class in an attempt to legitimize their hegemony over the working class. It is a game which the rich have dominated for generation upon generation, which has over the years been molded and crafted into a system in which the reigns of society have been monopolized by a handful of privileged, rich businessmen and politicians and their parties.

It is a game that a growing number of proletarians in Canada have refused to play. During the election boycotting campaign launched by the Revolutionary Communist Party, we received countless views and perspectives from proletarians of all walks of life, of all ethnicities and cultures, most of whom mirrored our own views on the futility of the elections. Many spoke of personal experiences which caused them to shun electoral politics; others gave their overall impressions about the state of democracy in Canada. It quickly became clear – weeks before the election – that apathy towards Canada’s bankrupt democratic process was quite proliferate, especially among poor proletarians who have faced the worst of this system.

All of this points towards a crisis of legitimacy of our system, and the growing realization of this fact in the minds of working-class Canadians. And the evidence of this is not just in the turnout rates, but also in a few other facts; namely, the way in which our monopolizing political parties have applied “strategic voting” tactics in order to increase their overall gains in the elections. Undoubtedly, we will see a continued drop in voter turnouts in elections in the coming years as more Canadians come to realize that the change necessary in our society will not, and can not, come from an electoral decree. The only real change that can occur, above and beyond the application or revocation of a handful of tax policies, social edicts and other irrelevant issues, is the complete trans­formation of Canadian society, and in particular its political aspect, with a revolutionary proletarian movement. Only by working towards the downfall of the rich bourgeois can we proletarians wrestle the reigns of power in this country for ourselves.

Congratulations to all for a successful boycott!

Revolution – the only solution!

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