Partisan №1

Boycott the Elections!

We are already half way through the federal election campaign; and the least we can say is that this election isn’t raising much enthusiasm among the working people. In fact, there are fewer of us voting in every election, because we know very well that whatever the ruling party, the Canadian government will continue to run for the rich and powerful. The wealthy have been running this country since Canada was formed and this election won’t change that!

But there is something new in this election. Revolutionaries and anti-capitalist activists from different parts of the country are waging a new kind of political campaign: the 2011 Boycott Elections Campaign. This campaign involves notably the Revolutionary Communist Party and the activists who circulate this newspaper. It is addressed to all those left out of the parliamentary charade, whether they be exploited workers and students, single mothers, migrants or indigenous peoples (the latter of whom tend already to boycott elections because they understandably don’t recognize the Canadian colonizing state as theirs).

This boycott campaign, which is currently going on in Ontario, Québec and the Maritimes, 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. 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 see the usual list of accusations and theatrical statements, all meant to distract from the emptiness of their proposals. 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.

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. 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. 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.

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.

Vote With Your Feet! Let’s Participate in an Active Boycott!

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