We publish the following open letter, recently written by the Quebec Marxists of the International Marxist Tendency, a recognized collective within Quebec solidaire. The orignial letter, in French, is available here.
This May 2nd was an enormous step forward for the NDP in Quebec: the party captured 59 seats and has built significant momentum in the province. But we are now facing a majority Conservative government intent on $4-billion a year in attacks on our social services, a program of savage attacks on public sector workers and the living standards of all workers in Quebec and Canada.
In Quebec, workers are faced with attacks from Jean Charest’s Liberals, as well as Pauline Marois’ Parti Quebecois, or any new right-wing populist formation. The capitalists, federalist or sovereigntist, are united in their common program of austerity. Bouchard, Charest, Harper, Legault, and Marois all are guided by the same social forces and thus pursue the same program of austerity. They are all agreed on the need to make us pay for their crisis.
The NDP, QS, and the trade unions are all organizations which can serve to unite the resistance against these attacks. Brothers, sisters, what we need now is to unite our forces in defence against the coming austerity. We must mobilize a mass resistance to the cuts. The NDP and Quebec solidaire are the parties closest to the workers of Quebec and their aspirations to reject these attacks.
The NDP rallied 1,628,483 votes on election night and their support has continued to grow in polls since then. However, NDP supporters need direction for how to resist austerity during the next provincial election. QS is the only provincial party in Quebec that stands against the program of austerity. Clearly the NDP, QS, and trade union activists are all agreed that the election of a right-wing formation in Quebec would be disastrous for working people. It is beholden upon all to work together to counter this vicious ongoing program of austerity. The NDP’s slogan of “travaillons ensemble” is an excellent starting point for the NDP, QS, and the unions. In the coming provincial election, all three forces must work towards a QS victory and a defeat of the right-wing parties. Union activists, QS activists, and NDP activists must work together to re-create the orange wave provincially. Similarly, QS activists must assist the NDP in beating back Harper’s attacks on the federal level, such as we’ve seen with the Canada Post workers. All should strive to work together to strengthen the resistance against austerity.
The key to this fight against austerity is the labour movement. The unions are the most powerful social force in the province and have the ability to beat back this austerity agenda if they posses a political vehicle. For too long organized labour in Quebec has lacked a party of their own. For a truly successful fight, all three forces — the unions, QS, and the NDP — must unite. In the immediate period, defeating the austerity is the main challenge and we call for a united front to achieve this aim. However, on an ongoing basis, if this common work is successful, we believe that there is no reason for this unity not to be formalized with affiliations and democratic representation just like the unions are affiliated to the NDP in English Canada.
The bosses are united in their attacks. We must be united in our defence. It’s time to prepare the united front!
-The International Marxist Tendency, the Marxist collective inside Quebec solidaire