Canada's "new government" emerges as a truly sordid affair
Commentary by SANDRA L. SMITH*
AS 2006 COMES TO A CLOSE, the activities of the Canadian government are a genuine cause for alarm. The Party in power's words and deeds reveal a secret agenda of the Canadian ruling class to restructure the state to provide monopoly right a guarantee over all political, economic, military and social affairs, annex Canada into the United States of North American Monopolies and embroil Canada in the U.S. imperialist wars of aggression and occupation abroad. In this way, what the Conservative Party in power calls Canada's "New Government" is emerging as a truly sordid affair.
As the coup unfolded, in the midst of the election and right before our eyes, the Canadian establishment and its mass media stopped portraying Stephen Harper as the ugly duckling of dogmatic, essentially un-Canadian values. They converted him into the swan of Canadian virtue, rectitude and moderation. By couching the Conservative right-wing agenda in moderate terms, the Canadian establishment and its mass media sought to hide the agenda of the ruling class and further obscure the reality that the current multi-party system serves its agenda. The Harper Conservatives' fraudulent promises about accountability and pledges to correct the fiscal imbalance were suddenly declared the alternative. And the Canadian people through the multi-party system were said to have a "choice."
For the working class and its political party, the Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada, words are expressed in deeds and accountability begins at home. The MLPC champions the movement to change social and political conditions and empower the human factor, enlightened with social consciousness. To overwhelm the progressive movement and consolidate the electoral coup during the last federal election, it was no accident the RCMP made its public announcement of the criminal investigation into the Liberal-controlled Finance Department over leaked insider information dealing with taxation of Income Trust Funds via an NDP Member of Parliament. It was the coup de grace of the electoral coup. The mass media joined in to generate a big brouhaha over values and corruption -- not the endemic corruption of the ruling class and its political system that legalizes robbery but the specific corruption practiced by the Liberal Party, and not the values of Canada's ruling elite, which are the values of its economic system based on the pursuit of individual wealth by exploiting others at home and abroad but on idealized values spouted by those whose deeds are not to be considered and who are never held accountable.
The upshot was that by a declaration of the ruling class, no deeds or changed social conditions were required to determine what the Harper Conservatives stand for. Nonetheless, life itself has revealed what the MLPC pointed out -- that the election of the Harper minority government was yet another desperate bid to find a champion for the interests and agenda of the ruling class. Even though its hope to re-establish a viable parliamentary equilibrium so as to peacefully pursue its annexationist and war-mongering anti-social line of march has yet to be realized and neither the NDP or Liberal conventions nor the choice of a new Liberal leader offer the prospect of solving the problem, the ruling class is pursuing its wrecking activity unfettered. The ruling class has set the stage whereby the role given to the people is to settle the issue of an unstable minority government. If the people accept this marginalized role within the multi-party system, the monopoly bourgeoisie can pursue its plans without an effective organized opposition.
The seizure of power by the Conservative Party has revealed for all to see, the sordid national and international features of the secret agenda of the ruling class. A harbinger of the Harper government's notion of accountability came the day after the election with the nomination of former Liberal minister David Emerson as Conservative Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics. His first job as minister was to coordinate and finalise the scandalous sell-out U.S. softwood lumber deal. Then came the appointment of the non-elected Michael Fortier as Minister of Public Works and Government Services, to replace the scapegoat of the prior regime, Alfonso Gagliano. Harper's manoeuvre sought to create the impression that now Quebec has a place at the cabinet table yet added to the existing scandal and did not and could not sort out the problem of Quebec within the country. The promises of the Conservatives, the NDP and the Liberal Party to win Quebec seats so as to dislodge the Bloc Québécois once and for all and re-establish the parliamentary equilibrium are as elusive as ever. Instead, measures have been taken to avert dealing with the need for constitutional reform to recognize Quebec's right to self-determination and re-establish federal-provincial power sharing arrangements on a modern basis. The measures taken by all these so-called major federalist parties to manoeuvre themselves into power in Quebec are increasingly crisis-ridden.
Together with Harper's dismissive attitude towards his ministers and the media, the fraudulent breast-beating over values and accountability provided the hype to facilitate the government's expansion of the prior Liberal government's annexationist war in Afghanistan, its interference in Haiti, its "democracy building" in Iraq and the Palestinian territories, and its boorish support for Zionist aggression as legitimate self-defence and an exercise in moderation.
By providing cannon fodder for U.S. imperialism and its NATO aggressive military alliance in Afghanistan, the Middle East, Central Asia and the rest of the world, Canada is out to prove its worthiness to share in the spoils of the super-exploitation of the peoples of the world.
And finally, aside from everything else, Harper's promises not to be corrupt, not to touch Income Trusts and to let western farmers decide the future of the Canadian Wheat Board have all proven hollow indeed. (See item below for a short list of sordid activities of the "New Government" during the last year that reveal a secret agenda to restructure the state to provide monopoly right a guarantee over all political, economic, military and social affairs.)
When all is said and done, the sordid activities during the past year of what the Conservative Party in power calls Canada's "New Government" show a ruling elite that parades around the world and at home without clothes, where people mock and point fingers at its shameful naked aggression, militarization, anti-social budget cuts and complete irresponsibility on such matters as the need for constitutional reform, political accountability to the people, responsibility to the First Nations and national minorities, the youth, women and the working people, climate change and other issues. Yet it has political power and the public treasury at its disposal. It has a multi-party system with political parties that can buy PR advertising firms and conduct polls to manipulate the very notion of what it means to create public opinion and prettify an outmoded decision-making process which is no longer seen to be democratic. The Party in power has fawning courtiers to do its bidding, and it can count on a mass media to declare: "Yes the government is naked. Indeed, it is not wearing any clothes. But no matter. Listen to the truly fine values it espouses and those of the other major parties. You have a choice."
In other words, the exposure of the nakedness of the Conservative Party in power or any other party is not an issue for Canadians. Naked or not, the ruling class has all the financial means and power to declare black is white, up is down, war is peace, occupation is democracy, freedom is "choice," and to make whatever arrangements it sees fit to serve private monopoly right. The Accountability Act, the softwood lumber deal, the dismantling of the Canadian Wheat Board, providing Canadian youth to be cannon fodder in unjust wars to control the world, racial profiling of Muslims and other minorities who refuse to give up their right to be, the continued theft of Native lands and oppression of First Nations, guest worker programs, smashing of unions, devastation of communities and the criminalization of conscience in the name of "choice" in the "war on terror" -- they are but the tip of the iceberg of the secret agenda.
For the working class, exposing the warmongers, mercenaries, courtiers, PR fabricators and mass media is not a matter of arguing whether the "New Government" is naked or not, or of "choosing" between the good or bad values of this or that political party of the ruling elite. The issue for the working class and people when they look in the political mirror is that it is they who are naked and have no power. It is the nakedness of the working class that is the important point. What use is it to repeat that the Emperor has no clothes when the modern social class that should be exercising control over the affairs of the polity and its socialised economy has no power to effect change?
As we enter the New Year, working people are faced with the necessity to change their own situation politically in order to acquire the power necessary to change the conditions in society, to bring the political authority in line with the socialised economy so as to change the conditions in the people's favour. The working class can begin to clothe itself by joining the work to come forward as worker politicians and either present themselves for election to parliament or select their peers for election to parliament. This political activity will provide the working class and people a genuine alternative to the status quo. The time has come for the workers to directly and broadly organize themselves to form an organized political opposition to an untenable status quo. Only by creating their own political organizations can they acquire the kind of consciousness they require at this time to intervene in the course of events in a manner that favours their interests and those of all the collectives comprising our current reality.
During the past year, in myriad ways the workers have taken up politics themselves, rejecting the idea that they need intermediaries to work out their interests and to represent them. They have embarked on a path of rejecting the chain the bourgeoisie long ago put around their necks when it declared that the workers are all brawn and no brain and they need a ruling class to be their brain. The working class must take up the work to constitute itself as the nation and vest sovereignty in the people. That is the alternative and way forward for Canada. That is the way to clothe the body politic in new attire that befits the new arrangements that must be made.
The current multi-party system, which keeps the people disempowered, is geared to facilitate the secret agenda of the ruling class at home and abroad. The system of responsible government is broken, thus its multi-party system of representative democracy cannot but block the working people from acquiring the kind of political consciousness that will permit them to govern the society themselves. The system presents the people with a fraudulent choice between allegedly different values of one or another political party of the ruling class. This fraudulent choice between political parties, which allegedly represent different values, is intended to deprive the working class and people of any power of their own. The working people must address the block that deprives them of the political power necessary to effect those changes to the political process whereby the people themselves can become the decision-makers. By getting politically organized the working people will endow themselves with a political consciousness that permits them to determine for themselves the direction of the socialized economy, provide their rights with a guarantee, bring the troops and other state agents home from their participation in annexationist wars and interference in other peoples' sovereign affairs, and begin the conscious humanizing of the social and natural environments. To bring this into being, the working class must take its politics to all sections of society, unite the people in action and march forward with confidence.
In the coming year, this is the working class program the MLPC will champion. The leaders the bourgeoisie is presenting to the people through the mass media will seek to divide the working class ideologically on the basis of beliefs, while the state is restructured to criminalize the conscience of all those who do not espouse the values of the ruling class. The notion that freedom is provided with a guarantee when the people have "choice" will be used to further criminalize the affirmation of conscience and thereby criminalize the struggle to affirm the right to be. On the basis of a working class divided in this manner and incapable of playing its leading role, the upcoming elections will be used to divide the people so that the bourgeoisie can continue to have free rein to pursue its anti-people, anti-social warmongering agenda. The people must reject the notion that if they exercise "choice" between ideologies and values they will be defending a just cause. On the contrary, the attempt to criminalize the just struggles of the people in this way must be defeated. To defeat this attempt, let us take up the political program of renewal of the MLPC and unite politically by together leading the movement for social change and political renewal.
Source: TML Daily, January 1, 2007 - No. 1
*Sandra L. Smith is National Leader of the Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada
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