Fringe Party Profiles: The Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist)

Canada has two Communist parties. The youngest is the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist), who appear on the ballots as the Marxist-Leninist Party in order to avoid confusion. They were founded in 1970. That was at a time when Communist movements all over the world were being fractured, various factions throwing their support behind particular dictators and ideological strains. The CPC-ML were "anti-revisionist", which meant they sided with China against the Soviet Union, who were accused of softening their approach after Stalin's death. Eventually, however, they split with China too, more closely aligning with Stalin-loving Albanian dictator Enver Hoxha.

These days, they've set off more in their own direction. They argue in favour increasing spending for social programs, while nationalizing all banks and other financial institutions. They would seek a new constitution for Canada, with strengthened rights for minorities and Quebec. Internationally, they would withdraw from NAFTA, NATO, NORAD and all international military and financial blocks. They would call for the end to blockades against Cuba and North Korea. And they would seek to reform the United Nations so that every country has an equal say.

In our last federal election, the Marxist-Leninists were the second most popular fringe party, finishing 7th of the 19 parties who ran. That was right behind the Christian Heritage Party and just ahead of the Libertarians. They put forward 59 candidates, more than any other fringe party, and won about 8,500 votes. That was 0.06% of the ballots cast.

We spoke with the party's leader, Anna DiCarlo, earlier in the campaign to ask about her views and her thoughts on the current campaign. (Two of our questions went unanswered; we've included them below.)

How would you describe your party to a voter who isn't already familiar with it?

Our party's main aim is to organize Canadians to empower themselves. We don't agree with party governments where political parties have formed a mafia-style cartel which wheels and deals behind the backs of the people. Another hallmark of our party is that it is very informed about the issues that concern Canadians. We even publish a daily newspaper in both official languages which goes to literally thousands of people. Visit our website at mlpc.ca and see for yourselves.

What kind of voter do you expect your party to appeal to?

Our party appeals to those who dare to take a stand against the establishment set-up whereby they are marginalized and don't count. Today our vote is negligible but it represents a whole new way of doing things and has a future.

What do you think is the most important issue facing voters in this election?

The striving of Canadians for empowerment. Who will decide the outcome of the election? Money and fraudulent politics. Who decides the direction of the economy? The monopolies and governments in their service. As in the past, they will announce a fraudulent majority and claim a mandate to rule. But Canadians are taking a stand against this bogus decision-making process. They are already abstaining in large numbers but recognize this does not create an alternative. Various means are being developed to give expression to the demands of the working people.

Another crucial issue is Canada's involvement in yet another military aggression, with all the parties in the House of Commons voting to intervene in Libya's civil war. We need an anti-war government to turn Canada into a factor for peace.

What do you see as the least important issue currently distracting attention away from more vital ones?

To divert from the people’s striving for empowerment, the ruling circles are trying to make this election a two-way race. They hope to re-establish the parliamentary equilibrium based on a Party-in-Power and a Party-in-Opposition so as to get out of the nightmare of a dysfunctional parliament. Instead of formulating their own political demands, Canadians are supposed to choose between two parties representing variants of a right-wing fringe extremist program, both of which are desperately trying to convince us that they are mainstream. This is not an option for most Canadians. Even Canadians who are clear about the necessity to defeat Harper, whose concentration of power in the PMO and in his own persona has reached tyrannical proportions, have difficulty believing that the Liberals are more benign.

What do you see as the biggest flaw in the way the country has been run over the last few years?

The civil society which is supposed to be based on the recognition of public right is adopting all the arrangements that characterize a tyranny. Arrangements established in the past to sort out differences amongst individuals, and between individuals and collectives, are defunct. Governments uphold monopoly right in the name of economic prosperity, job creation, globalization and security. They are trampling underfoot the very notion that people are born to society and depend on it for their living. They are not fit to govern. This is not because folks like us don't like them but because they have lost all moral legitimacy.

What, in your opinion, are the important differences between your party and the Communist Party of Canada?

Why speak about differences? The MLPC moved some of its candidates so we wouldn’t have both an MLPC and a CPC candidate in the same riding. This includes the riding where the CPC’s national leader is running. We would like to extend this to all ridings. The CPC says it agrees. Difficulties include not having advance knowledge of where candidates are being fielded, but we think this can be overcome.

Much of your platform is based on "democratic renewal" and a new constitution. How would your party change the electoral process of Canadians?

Our slogans No Election Without Selection and Fund the Process Not the Parties address the main problem that the electoral process is dominated by political parties with a combined membership of less than 1% of the electors. Canadians don't select their own candidates. Unless someone is your peer, how do you hold them to account? Even an independent candidate, unless independently wealthy, rarely makes headway. Most importantly the individual MPs themselves exercise no control over their party’s politics. In Question Period the questions are not even their own, but given to them by the Party Whip. Of course, the questions are not for the purpose of deliberating on policies, but solely to discredit their opponents.

Our program for democratic renewal also calls for a new constitution which would recognize rights by virtue of being human and provide them with a guarantee, recognize the hereditary rights of the First Nations, and the right of Quebec to self-determination. Whatever the new arrangement is, it should be drafted by a Constituent Assembly duly elected by the people and submitted to a referendum.

We ourselves would favour a renewed Canada based on a free and equal union of its constituent parts for purposes of opposing annexation. Canada was founded on the basis of opposing the annexation of British North America to the U.S. Today, annexation has becomes the rule, not only in economic terms but militarily as well, and who knows what other government ministries have become part of the U.S. fifth column. Once the raison d’etre of opposing annexation is ended, what is Canada? It is a serious question. To answer it, we need all Canadians to participate in a new nation building project which vests sovereignty in the people. Right now sovereignty is vested in the Queen of England, an anachronistic institution. We are categorically opposed to the Royal Prerogative and the anachronistic institutions based on such a decision-making mechanism.

On our website we have several briefs to Parliament which detail how we think the electoral process can be reformed. As well, there are three very informative and analytical books on Canada’s political process and the need for democratic renewal written by Hardial Bains during and after the 1992 Charlottetown Accord referendum: The Essence of the Consensus Report, A Future to Face, and A Power to Share.

Your platform also promises to nationalize banks and other financial institutions. Are there other programs and organizations your party would nationalize as well?

At this time, the main form this struggle takes is to demand that governments uphold public right, not monopoly right. Canadians are waging a huge fight against the privatization of health care, education, postal services, the plunder of natural resources, such as the export of raw logs, and against the destruction of manufacturing, ie: against nation wrecking.

What is your response to people who suggest that voting for a lesser-known political party is tantamount to throwing your vote away?

We think that casting a ballot for one of the well-known parties is a wasted vote. The days are long gone when the so-called major parties could claim to represent the national interest. The notion that Canadians who are not represented by the party in power are represented by the opposition is also total nonsense. The fact that the largest party in Canada is the abstentionist party shows that Canadians consider a vote for one of the so-called major parties, the ones presented as “viable” options, to be a waste because the rule of the monopoly interests is a foregone conclusion.

Only the working class does not represent a special interest because it is the producer of all the wealth the society depends upon for its living and functioning. It should set the direction for the economy and exercise control over the decision-making process, including who is selected and elected to govern. It should sort out the problem of political representation which is a non-partisan issue and faces the country as a whole. We call on the working class to constitute itself the nation and vest sovereignty in the people

What is the biggest challenge you expect your party to face over the course of the campaign?

We compete on our own terms to systematically raise the level of organization of the Canadian workers - to bring it on par with their political needs. This means that during the election we continue to participate in the anti-war movement; the movement to defend public services, such as against the privatization of the post office and the efforts of the municipal and provincial governments to attack the public sector workers in Toronto and privatize ‘everything that isn’t nailed down;’ the actions for May Day, where for the first time during a federal election, workers will be on Parliament Hill presenting their demands in defence of their rights and so on.

We also continue to publish our daily on-line newspaper, TML Daily, and a monthly magazine, The Workers Forum, in both official languages. We have one of the most informative web-sites with news, analysis and commentaries on major international and national affairs, lots of photos and reports on people fighting for their demands, and election coverage as well.

What has to have happened by the time the election is over for you to look back on it as a success?

The strengthening of the ability of the people to put forward their own solutions to problems they and the society face.

What are your long-term hopes for your party? Where would you like to see it in five or ten years?

We are dedicated to the cause of democratic renewal and think it is a problem that can only be solved when people of all political persuasions who want to put an end to the status quo unite with this single aim in mind.

What's your party's attitude toward Communist governments in other parts of the world, particularly in Cuba, China and North Korea?

How much has your party's ideology changed since its founding? Does it still share much in common with the ideas of former Albanian leader Enver Hoxha, and his anti-revisionist defence of Stalinism?


You can learn more about the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) by visiting them at cpcml.ca

This is the ninth in a series of profiles we will be posting over the course of the campaign.  Here are the others we have published so far:

Canadian Action Party, leader Christopher Porter here.
United Party of Canada, leader Brian Jedan, here.
Marijuana Party of Canada, leader Blair T. Longley here
Rhinoceros Party of Canada, leader Francois "Yo" Gound here.
Libertarian Party of Canada, VP of Political Action John Shaw here
Pirate Party of Canada, former leader Jake Daynes here
Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party of Canada, leader Liz White here.
Christian Heritage Party of Canada, Executive Director Vicki Gunn here.
Communist Party of Canada, campaign coordinator Dave Andrews here.




5 comments:

Jorein Versteege said...

I cannot vote for a communist party, that is glorifying totalitarian dictators. Stalin killed 600.000 communists including 2/3 of Lenin's party. Most members of Lenin's Central Comittee in 1917 were executed during the Great Purge between 1934 and 1938. The MLPC is hardcore Stalinist and I consider them hypocrites when they talk about democracy and socialism, while saying that Stalin, Mao and Enver Hoxha were genuine communists.

Anonymous said...

working class parties must unite in a coalition against capitalists and the Rich to end great suffering in Canada and to bring Economic Equality and Happiness.

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