Red Flag Express №40

Let’s Boycott the Elections!

Canadian federal elections will take place May 2. As soon as the announcement came, each of the four big parties – Conservatives, Liberals, NDP and Bloc Québécois – began their campaign to “seduce” all the voters. We are proposing a radically different “electoral” campaign: we call on all those left out of the parliamentary charade, whether they be exploited workers and students, single mothers, migrants or indigenous peoples across Canada, to participate to the 2011 Boycott Elections Campaign.

This national boycott campaign, which we aim to spread across the country, is first and foremost a definitive vote of “non-confidence” to all those bourgeois parties who still want us to believe after 150 years of parliamentarianism, they represent the interests of the majority of the people in Canada. We want to break from the phony bourgeois democracy, which only allows the people a single vote every four years. This vote is in fact a wet blanket over people’s democracy. The ruling class is essentially saying: “Go and vote today, but shut your mouth for the next 4 years!” To this, we respond: Let’s boycott the elections and organize real people’s power for the years to come!

In the candidates’ speeches, we can already see the usual list of accusations and theatrical statements, all meant to distract from the emptiness of their proposals: “Harper’s a liar!” they say. “No, it’s Ignatieff!” “A vote for the NDP is useless!” And so on. In reality, all of these parties are very similar. They only differ in some tiny nuances. All of the parties prioritize the protection of capital and business over the needs of the exploited masses, including immigrants, the working poor, the unemployed, the young or single mothers. No matter which party has been in power, statistics show that the trend of growing inequality between the rich and poor has continued unabated. This is because all of the parties are first and foremost interested in propping up the capitalist system. They all want Canada to be an “attractive” place to do business, which means keeping wages of workers low, criminalizing the poor, quashing indigenous struggles and financing corporations that exploit people across the globe.

These policies and the impoverishment they provoke are not new. Whether the parties lean slightly more to the left or to the right, all of their policies have the same effect of protecting the bourgeois and exploiting the masses. The NDP demonstrated this at the provincial level when in power in Ontario from 1990 to 1995 and in British Columbia from 1991 to 2001. The Parti Québécois, the Bloc Québécois’s provincial brother, did the same during its long reign in Québec.

While each party may offer some nuances, all apply the same overall program of the wealthy, also known as the bourgeoisie. It is now for that program that they urge us to go and vote on May 2, 2011.

This is NOT democracy!

The current “democratic” system in Canada is made for the bourgeoisie. Since 1867, the Canadian ruling class imposes a parliamentary system that monopolizes the entire political activity and reduces it to election campaigns every four years. This election process can hardly influence the laws, the social inequality and the economic decisions that are at the heart of the exercise of political power. On the contrary, the bourgeois elections give extraordinary power to a small class that allows it to act for itself, to influence and even impose policies that are in the best interests of the capitalists it represents. The practice of voting is meant to make the masses think they have influence when in fact the entire political and economic system has been set up to prevent the masses from being able to influence Canadian politics.

The steady decline in the federal elections turnout (the lowest turnout in the history of elections in Canada was reached in the 2008 elections with 58.8%) surely indicates that a large portion of the masses have lost their faith in Canadian bourgeois parliament as well as in the different parties who have sat there for nearly 150 years. For most of the masses and the poorest among them, this disaffection reveals a real sentiment: elections will not change their lives. This lack of interest is also the result of the repeated lies, of broken promises, of abuses of power, of more and more corruption, of the unabashed wealth of fraudsters who remain unpunished and of privileges and preferential treatment for the bourgeois class and its political elite, while a significant portion of the population suffers from poverty. Even when they have access to a little more, the majority of people continue to struggle to pay for basic necessities of life including housing, food and clothing for their families at the same time as the wealthy minority live lives of grotesque, and environmentally damaging, excess.

We call to transform this disaffection, from a “passive” boycott, to a dynamic and constructive one. We call to make it a movement that truly expresses the kind of democracy we want, a people’s democracy and most importantly, the kind of society we want, an egalitarian society free from all forms of oppression and from class exploitation.

We want to:

  • Expose the emptiness of the political bourgeois programs and oppose them with a program of people’s demands;
  • Reveal how undemocratic bourgeois elections are and call for real political action, which is to defend, fight and organize for a people’s democracy and true people’s power. This active campaign will include public demonstrations and meetings, and the creation and distribution of newspapers, leaflets, and statements that will spread awareness about the boycott and start a conversation about how to create real equality and democracy.

Over the days and weeks to come, you are all invited to join as individuals or groups to participate in the 2011 Elections Boycott Campaign. You can do so by:

  • Circulating the official poster of the campaign, which is available in English and French;
  • Joining campaign teams who will distribute information about the boycott in different cities across Canada, whether through statements, flyers or the biweekly and bilingual newspaper called Partisan, which will develop the perspectives and engage discussions about the type of society and democracy we want and will fight for!
  • Participating in different public meetings and actions that will take place all along the electoral campaign.
  • Contacting us at:

Vote With Your Feet!

Let’s Participate in an Active Boycott!

For more information, please go to:

March 27, 2011

Supported by the Revolutionary Communist Party.

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