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Vol. 75/No. 18      May 9, 2011

Not ‘anybody but Harper,’
but fight for workers power
(feature article)

MONTREAL—As the May 2 federal election approaches here, some 1.5 million workers in Canada are unemployed, by the government’s own understated figures. Many workers and farmers owe more and more of their income to the banks. Working people face rising gas and food prices. Federal and provincial governments are cutting social benefits, while hiking fees on tuition and services.

Meanwhile, the imperialist government here is joining in daily airstrikes against Libya by the Washington-led NATO alliance. And Ottawa’s participation in the war against Afghanistan continues, with 1,000 troops set to remain after a promised reduction later this year from some 3,000.

Yet campaign coverage in the capitalist-owned newspapers and TV in the lead-up to the election is focused not on all this but instead on opinion polls showing a jump in support for the New Democratic Party (NDP). The NDP is a social-democratic party linked to the class-collaborationist union officialdom in Canada.

Quebec polls show the NDP well ahead of the bourgeois-nationalist Bloc Quebecois (BQ). The BQ holds the majority of Quebec’s seats in parliament.

Across Canada an April 26 poll shows support for the governing Conservative Party headed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper at 35 percent, with the NDP in second place ahead of the Liberal Party.

Most of the union officialdom is calling on workers to support “Anybody but Harper,” hoping the outcome lays the basis for a coalition capitalist government with some combination of the Liberals, NDP, and BQ.

The Communist League (CL) is running Joseph Young, an industrial worker, for parliament in the Montreal riding of Papineau.

The CL is the only party campaigning for working people across Canada to organize working-class solidarity in face of capitalism’s devastation of the lives, livelihoods, and political rights of working people here and the world over.

Young and Communist League campaign supporters have participating in labor solidarity actions from Quebec to British Columbia, a March 31 demonstration in Montreal protesting tuition hikes, and an April 9 protest against Ottawa’s participation in wars in Afghanistan and Libya. They have handed out the CL platform and sold the Militant on the job, on street corners, and door-to-door in working-class neighborhoods.

Young points out that the NDP “is joining in the ‘law and order’ campaign of the other capitalist parties, calling for hiring 2,500 more police officers.” The CL platform opposes cop brutality and other attacks on the rights of working people. Young’s supporters joined a picket April 12 opposing the deportation of Dany Villanueva, the brother of Fredy Villanueva, who was killed by Montreal cops in August 2008.

“Working people need to build a revolutionary movement of millions to take political power out of the hands of the capitalist class,” says Young.
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