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Harper's 2010 Budget: Good for banks, bad for workers

After undemocratically shutting down Parliament for 2½ months, the federal Conservatives have released their 2010 budget. They said they needed the time to “recalibrate”; what they actually did was increase the transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich. On the one side, the budget contains $5-billion per year in tax giveaways to banks and corporations. On the other side, there are plans for program cuts, privatization, and attacks on public sector workers. This all comes at the same time as the Big-5 banks are reporting $5-billion profits in the 1st quarter.

20,000 protest prorogation: Where now for the movement?

On Saturday 23rd January, up to 20,000 people demonstrated against Stephen Harper’s prorogation of Parliament. Protests spanned the country, from Halifax to Victoria, with crowds numbering 3,500 on Parliament Hill, between 3,000 and 5,000 in Toronto, and over 1,000 in Vancouver. Who would have thought that an issue of arcane parliamentary procedure could bring so many out on the streets? These protests are merely symptomatic of a growing dissatisfaction in society. The question is, who will be able to give voice to this discontent?

NDP Must Not Prop Up Conservatives

On September 1st, the Liberal party pulled a 180 degree turn. From propping up the Conservative government they promised to bring down Harper at the first opportunity. The NDP leadership’s recent noises, however, seem to imply they will vote to support a government that is willing to spend billions on corporate bailouts and the war in Afghanistan while unemployed workers have to wait two weeks to receive any support. Alternatively, the NDP leadership may be playing a very irresponsible game which will only breed confusion and cynicism amongst workers and youth.

Canadian imperialism stands back and watches coup unfold in Honduras

The world is currently witnessing another reactionary coup d'etat in Latin America, unfortunately the latest in a long line of coups that have deposed popularly elected governments in the hemisphere. Governments around the world, including a half-hearted US government, said that they would not recognize Micheletti's regime and called for the return of President Zelaya. Canada, on the other hand, has stood almost alone on the international stage, going so far as to say that Zelaya should not return back to Honduras. This should not come as a huge shock for Canadians as the Canadian state has been pursuing an increasingly interventionist role in Latin American affairs for a while now.

The Coalition is dead… Long live the Coalition!

Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff has just declared his intention to support the Conservative budget. In response, an angry Jack Layton said that the NDP-Liberal coalition has been replaced by a Liberal-Conservative coalition. Jack is correct; however, we don’t know why he is so angry. This line of development was entirely predictable. When the NDP leadership bailed out the Liberals through the unprincipled coalition they gave the Liberals the opportunity to save the Conservatives. The actions of the Jack Layton leadership of the NDP are directly responsible for saving Harper and his reactionary clique in Parliament. Layton should go.

Parliament Prorogued: Dion "coalition" saves Harper

Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper has just shut down Parliament until the end of January. However, it appears that this blatantly undemocratic act is popular across the country. Why? Because the maneuvers of all the parties have completely disgusted Canadians. The sell-out deal between Dion and Layton was completely incapable of raising any enthusiasm amongst the working class.

NDP-Liberal Coalition: A Complete Sell-Out

On Monday 1st December, just before 5pm, Dion, Layton and Duceppe presented their agreement for a Liberal-NDP coalition government backed by the Bloc Quebecois.

1) Troops remain in Afghanistan.
2) The $50-billion corporate tax cuts stand.
3) No NDP member to have any influence over Finance.
4) Prime Minister Dion selects which 6 NDP MPs will enter cabinet.

It is hard to imagine a more craven sell-out.

2008 Canadian Elections: Class Polarization and Missed Opportunities

After a nasty 6-week campaign, Canada has another minority government. Both the Conservatives and the union-supported New Democratic Party increased their support at the expense of the Liberals, who suffered their worst level of popular support since 1867. However, none of the parties were able to give any answer to the financial crisis that dominated the last 2-weeks of the campaign. Faced with a lack of real solutions, workers stayed home in historic numbers with only 59% coming out to vote. The polarization in the electorate is an indicator of increased class struggle as the world heads into economic turmoil.

Cette élection, cassez les liens avec les patrons, Qu’ils soient francophones ou anglophones

C’est le temps de casser les liens avec les partis du patronat, qu’ils soient francophones ou anglophones. Que ça soit au niveau national ou fédéral, on doit surmonter les différences nationales, refuser d’être divisé et insister pour un seul mouvement socialiste, uni partout au Québec et au Canada. Seul un mouvement uni et internationaliste peut renverser le capitalisme et établir des fondations pour un Québec socialiste et vraiment libre.

This Election, Break with the Bosses, in French and English

The International Marxist Tendency in Quebec has released the following statement on the federal election. "It’s time to break with the parties of the bosses, in French and in English. Whether at the provincial or federal levels, we have to rise above national differences, refuse to be divided, and insist on a single, united socialist movement across Québec and Canada. Only a united, internationalist movement can overthrow capitalism and lay the basis for a truly free, socialist Québec."
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