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BC NDP election disaster: What went wrong?

bc ndp adrian dixIt wasn't supposed to happen this way. After 12 years of BC Liberal rule, the scandal-plagued right-wing government was set to take a beating. The NDP entered this race with a 20-point lead in the polls; they were unstoppable! But that's not what happened on election night.  Instead, it was the NDP that took a beating, actually losing seats and strengthening the Liberal majority.  Amidst the stunned NDP activists at the “victory party”, one question was written across the face of everyone in the room — “How could this happen?”

 

Canadian health care under attack!

One of the most important reforms won by Canadian workers, public medicare, is coming under relentless attack by government austerity programs.  Recent provincial budget decisions in Ontario, for example, have cut $3-billion from health spending, which is putting the health of Canadians at extreme risk — especially those from the most marginalized sectors of society.  For the sake of our own health, we need to put a halt to the austerity agenda.

Mass demonstration in Montreal against EI reform

April 27 marked the first demonstration of the spring season in Montreal. Tens of thousands of people gathered from across Quebec in a protest called by the main workers' unions against the Employment Insurance (EI) reform put forward by the Harper government. The draconian measures are meant to push unemployment recipients back onto the job market at reduced pay. These measures are being resisted by workers across the country, and the weekend’s demonstration in Montreal was a good beginning for the movement. We must extend the fight against austerity at federal and provincial levels, and the student strike last year has shown us that militant action is the only way to win.

Say “No” to Euro free trade (CETA): Agreement would hurt labour, empower corporations

Negotiations for the Canadian-European Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) are being conducted by the Harper government in secret. The agreement, if passed in its current form, would not only be full of the same flaws that have marred previous Canadian free trade agreements, but would introduce a few special problems of its own. The NDP, as the party that represents Canadian workers, must oppose the CETA and oppose capitalist free trade agreements. There is nothing positive in this agreement for Canadian workers.

Abolish the Senate!

The Senate is often an afterthought in the minds of people in Canada, with most writing off this body as inconsequential to the everyday life of the working class. Normally, the extravagant privileges of Canada’s unelected senators are written off by the media and other commentators as an unfortunate quirk of Canada’s parliamentary system.  However, this time around, this sort of tactic is not working; the wave of scandal is sticking and there appears to be a new popular groundswell to finally abolish the Canadian Senate.  What has been the change this time around compared to previous scandals?

Police repression returns to the streets of Montreal

In the past couple of weeks, hundreds of innocent people have been rounded up by the Montreal police, despite the fact that these individuals committed no crimes. It is very clear that this is only the latest attempt by the state to frighten ordinary workers and youth from demonstrating opposition to the ruling class’ agenda. But, in doing so, they are playing a very dangerous game and risk destroying the veil that is bourgeois democracy.

Ontario Liberals have a new face, but same old austerity policies: NDP must vote down Liberals’ budget!

ontario liberals wynne mcguintyThe Ontario Liberals are trying their best to put forward a new face after Kathleen Wynne took over the premier’s office from Dalton McGuinty.  The recent speech from the Throne attempted to present the Liberal government in a softer light, in the hopes that the labour movement would forget the Liberals’ bullying of workers and single-minded drive to impose austerity.  However, labour and the NDP cannot have any illusions that Wynne’s Liberals will be any different than those under McGuinty.  As the famous song goes: “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”

 

Quebec education summit is a masquerade: Indexation is not a solution for students

The newly-elected Parti Québécois government called for an education summit, which, unsurprisingly, was met with a cynical mood from the thousands of Quebec students who participated in last spring's student movement. The PQ had already decided before-hand that free education was not to be discussed, and that a tuition increase would be imposed. ASSÉ was correct in calling for a boycott of this charade; the student movement will not be pacified by façades like this!

Massive labour demo confronts Ontario Liberals: Labour leaders must defy illegitimate laws in fight against austerity

As many as 25,000 people, wrapped up in winter coats and scarves, braved the frigid conditions to protest the Ontario Liberal leadership convention and the Liberals’ trampling of workers’ rights — the largest such demo since the 1990s. This is a good beginning, but if the labour movement is going to successfully fight austerity and defend the rights of workers, then it must prepare itself to defy illegitimate laws and use the full might of the working class.

The austerity of the Parti Québécois and the tasks of Quebec solidaire

For a period of several months last summer, a mass movement shook the province of Quebec. It forced an election where the victorious Parti Québécois felt compelled to present themselves as being on the left — proposing to cancel the tuition increase, abolishing the hated law 78, as well as other progressive measures. In its first budget since the election, the Marois government went back on many of its promises made during the election campaign. Faced with the hypocrisy of the PQ who had put themselves forward as “the progressive option”, the possibility to form a party that can represent the interests of workers and youth is more important than ever before. For the left-wing party, Quebec solidaire, the potential for success is greater than it has ever been. But, how can Quebec solidaire take advantage of the present situation and build a real alternative for the workers who search for a way to combat the austerity being forced upon them?