An Election that Highlights the Need for Democratic Renewal and an Anti-War Government
Renewal Update interviewed Anna Di Carlo, National Leader of the Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada (MLPC), on the call for the 44th General Election.
Renewal Update: What is the view of the MLPC on Trudeau’s calling of the federal election for September 20?
Anna Di Carlo: The MLPC stands with the large majority of Canadians who oppose the calling of the election while the pandemic persists. The calling of the election is an act of defiance against the Canadian people. Prime Minister Trudeau’s duplicitous mantra during his August 15 press conference following his visit to the Governor General about how “Canadians need to have their say,” shows that words no longer mean anything. How much lower can politics go when you have the Prime Minister appealing to Canadians to “make your voices heard,” while the voices he is hearing against the calling of an election during the pandemic are ignored? His condescending attempt to justify the calling of the election by saying Canadians “deserve a say,” and that “this is your moment [to] weigh-in” are good enough reason for the polity to make sure that the Liberals don’t get a majority.
The election brings into sharp relief the fact that the electoral process is in desperate need of reforms that would actually enable the people to decide what happens in the country. The current electoral system reduces citizens to voting for candidates they have had no say in selecting, within a framework of “issues” that they have not established.
The calling of this election has also confirmed the irrelevancy of the House of Commons as a decision-making body and its takeover by private interests that are holding the entire polity ransom. How can people take the House of Commons seriously when in May, less than four months ago, virtually every Member of Parliament voted yea to a motion declaring “in the opinion of the House, holding an election during a pandemic would be irresponsible” and that “it is the responsibility of the government to make sure that voters are not called to the polls as long as this pandemic continues”?
All the talk about this election being needed so that Canadians can decide is fraud of the highest order and we will work in this election to involve the people in addressing this most central problem of who decides and the need for a new political and electoral process that enables the people to be the decision-makers.
RU: It is being said that the only reason Trudeau has called the election is so that he can secure a majority. At the same time, as many are pointing out, the Liberal minority government could have carried on, with the NDP even offering to keep it propped up. What does the MLPC think about this Liberal proposition that it wants a majority?
ADC: Why the Trudeau Liberals are taking a calculated risk to secure a majority is an important question which needs to be explored. To say the election timing is based on opportunism or, as some are describing it, “seeking power for powers’ sake” leaves aside the question of what is it that the Liberals want to accomplish? What is their agenda? Certainly, we will hear that the Liberal plan is to “build back better,” they have their “green plan,” and so on, but all of these catch-phrases are a front to further advance the neo-liberal agenda of privatization and pay-the-rich schemes that are buried behind it all.
The agenda-setters are not the Liberals as such, but the neo-liberal supra-national organizations dominated by the most economically powerful private interests in the world, including those in Canada. Given the extent of Canada’s integration into the U.S. war machine and the ambitions of the NATO countries for a dominant position in the globalized economy, the agenda is not being set by the Liberals. We are living in a dangerous time of oligarchic dictate.
It was most disconcerting that Prime Minister Trudeau chose to launch his press conference with remarks about the situation in Afghanistan and his declaration that in the coming weeks, “the Government” will work with its allies to address the situation. This marks a further destruction of the parliamentary norms, in this case the expectation that a “care-taker government” does not take important decisions during elections. Certainly what Canada does in regard to the situation in Afghanistan is a most important question.
In this election, it will be very important for Canadians to fight for an anti-war government, to demand an end to Canada’s participation in the U.S. war machine and make the country a Zone for Peace.