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Book Review: Canadian Bolsheviks: The early years of the Communist Party of Canada, by Ian Angus

It is with great happiness that we welcome the reprinting of Ian Angus' book Canadian Bolsheviks. First printed in 1981, this book details the birth, growth, and eventual Stalinist degeneration of the Communist Party of Canada covering the period from WWI to the mid 1930s. Angus provides an excellent antidote to both the Stalinist "official" history and to dry academic histories that see Marxism and Leninism as identical to Stalinism. Most importantly the book details the lessons learned by the early communists while building the most successful revolutionary party in Canada's history. In the words of Angus, "They have a lot to teach us." (January, 2005)

Weak Liberal Government Delivers Weak Conservative Budget

Eight months into their minority government, the federal Liberals have tabled a budget that serves one main aim – survival. Their right-leaning budget aims to please everybody, or more accurately in typical Canadian fashion attempts to offend nobody, and in so doing shows the weakness of Canadian Liberalism. This weakness expresses the contradiction between the needs of Canadian capitalism and the opinion of the Canadian population. One way or another, the centre cannot hold. (March, 2005)

"A Plague on Both Your Houses" -- Gomery inquiry leads Canadians to reject capitalist parties

The continuing revelations of the Gomery inquiry have unearthed the corruption in Canada’s “democratic” system. Canadians are getting sick of stories of government money being used for kickbacks to the Federal Liberal party. However, the collapse in support for the Liberals has not resulted in any major enthusiasm for the opposition Conservatives. The common opinion is that all politicians are corrupt. This reflects the crowing crisis in the ability of the capitalist parties to rule. Such swindles are seen as a cost of doing business under the present political system. Canadian voters are wishing a plague on both the Liberal and Conservative Houses. If the NDP is going to avoid being lumped in with the capitalist con-men it must adopt a radical program now.

Celebrating Mad Cow Disease: The absurdity of protectionism

Canadian cattle producers are being told they have reason to celebrate. According to Alberta Agriculture Minister Doug Horner, “the light at the end of the tunnel just got bigger” with the June 24th discovery of a BSE-infected cow in the United States (Edmonton Journal, June 25, 2005). Sure enough, the 2 year-long ban on Canadian cattle has cost the industry $7 billion, and the argument against Canadian cattle has been based on the U.S. being free of BSE, better known as mad cow disease. If the infected cow proves to be of American origin (which so far seems to be the case), “the argument is not valid” says Canadian Cattlemen’s Association head Stan Eby. The idea that anybody would see a case of Mad Cow as a “light at the end of the tunnel” is glaringly absurd, and it highlights the complete inability of the capitalists to address serious questions of food safety or to solve the problems facing farmers on either side of the border.

CBC Locked Out across Canada!

Public broadcasting is one of many sectors whose funding has been slashed by the stooges of big business in government. As a result, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) has taken the same approach to cost cutting as used in all sectors; they have chosen to attack the benefits and security of the workers. Management is trying to force through a new contract on their employees - a contract eliminating restrictions on the broadcaster's ability to contract out work instead of hiring full-time employees.

NDP Leadership 2003

As the New Democratic Party selects a new leader, capitalism is in crisis. With the economy crumbling, the US is once again preparing for war. Here in British Columbia, we’ve seen tens of thousands in the streets against the government and the BC Federation of Labour just passed a resolution at their convention that “authorizes the Federation Officers to mobilize support for workplace and community action up to and including job action by sector, region or province-wide and/or general strike”. However, amidst all of this there is no credible left candidate running for the leadership of the NDP. (January, 2003)

Canadian Election Results: Disappointing NDP result due to failure to use “S” word

The Liberals were reduced to a minority government, the Conservatives failed to cash in on this, and NDP, although doing relatively well failed to pick up the potential among the workers because they tried to be too much like the Liberals, too frightened to mention the "S" word - Socialism! The many abstentions indicate that huge numbers of workers and youth are disillusioned with this set up and are looking for an alternative. (June, 2004)

Liberals Defeated, a Country Divided

After 13 years in government, the Liberal Party of Canada has finally been kicked out of office. Weighed down by a series of corruption scandals and increasing class polarization, the Liberals ran out of answers. By default, the Conservatives must attempt to lead an even more fractured minority Parliament while there is little support for right-wing policies. The Canadian elite want a strong majority government to push through attacks on the working class. But the good showing by the union-backed New Democratic Party, and the continued presence of the separatist Bloc Québecois, mean the Canadian political crisis will continue until the fall of this weak government.