Monday, July 4, 2016
The Manitoba NDP lost an election but the struggle continues.
For all those leftists who attack the New Democratic Party (NDP) for not being socialist and then turn around and support Bernie Sanders, I will say this by way of voicing my opinion about the April elections in Manitoba where the Conservatives defeated the NDP and the leftists who have attacked the NDP support Bernie Sanders and even Hillary Clinton...
I do find it very strange that among some leftists in Canada who have such a problem working to build the NDP into a very strong working class-based socialist party but they have no problem working with "leftists" here in the pushing Bernie Sanders and even "leftists" who support imperialist Wall Street warmongers like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
One would be hard pressed to find many grassroots and rank-and-file working class activists and supporters of the NDP who don't view it as a socialist party and support it because it is a socialist party in spite of a few who opportunistically took the word socialism out of the platform to appease anti-Communists and red-baiters.
For all practical purposes the NDP is a working class based socialist party.
Get socialism put back into the platform; instead of using this as a position for attacking the NDP.
As far as Bernie Sanders goes, he is far, far to the right of the NDP.
No matter what kind of electoral system any country has workers still need their own mass political party--- Marxists understand this.
I think there is a lack of understanding in Canada about just who these "democratic socialists" associated with Bernie Sanders really are.
They are an actual organization working inside the Democratic Party aligned with the CIA front groups of the AFL-CIO; one of which is the International Confederation of Trade Unions (ITUC) which is also causing havoc inside the NDP--- sowing confusion and disorientation under the guise of claiming to be "social democrats" even though they have nothing to do with "social democracy," either.
Social democracy, as much as I as a Marxist disagree with it as a world view and ideology, is a very legitimate part of the working class movement as are many other varieties of socialism.
In fact, these "democratic socialists" have been holding clandestine meetings with their Canadian counterparts who are mostly affiliated with AFL-CIO unions although they have managed to suck in a few from UNIFOR under the guise of working towards cross-border unity when the only thing that unites them is making the NDP ineffective and a partner with the Democratic Party.
Previously the ITUC was called the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions; their links with the CIA were exposed by Victor Reuther who admitted he and his brothers worked for the CIA through this outfit whose CIA fronts were organized by the Dulles brothers.
All of this is detailed in the Church Commission findings in a joint report about the CIA and FBI activities.
The primary thrust of this group of "democratic socialists" (their actual organization is the Democratic Socialists of America) has been to splinter working class movements through their use of red-baiting and anti-Communism.
All of this was exposed long ago by stalwart Canadian trade unionists like Ray Stevenson who is widely admired all across Canada and the United States and who worked closely with Howard Pawley, Jim Tester the Marxist labor leader from Sudbury and Al King who wrote the book "Red Bait!"
While most people supporting Bernie Sanders know nothing of the pernicious activities of this very small little group calling themselves "democratic socialists" this doesn't mean that this group and Sanders aren't up to no good... simply look for yourself and you will see what is going on.
A while back I exposed how this group was meeting clandestinely in northern Minnesota at the Grand Portage Casino and Resort and the leaders of the CLC and CAW didn't even know these people were meeting let alone for what purpose and that they were intentionally meeting in a non-union facility to try to thwart a union organizing campaign that they considered to be Communist influenced.
In fact, these millions of Americans who have come out supporting socialism as the reason they support Bernie Sanders could very well form the base for a new political party like the NDP but Sanders and his little band of "democratic socialists" are hard at work trying to head off such a political formation which should be enough to cause people to stop and think about Bernie Sanders' real role and motives in all of this... as anyone can now see, if Bernie Sanders was sincerely ever interested in actually being on the 2016 ballot he would have had to have done so as the candidate of a new party or some kind of broad-based electoral coalition; he never had a chance of obtaining ballot status as the Democratic Party nominee.
For the first time in many decades, after years of McCarthyite anti-Communist political repression, we now have millions of people here in the United States once again very publicly considering the socialist alternative to capitalism and this is what is most important, not what Bernie Sanders is up to as he tries to help make sure people don't free themselves from this two-party trap. It is of utmost importance that this public discussion about the socialist alternative to capitalism continues and gets directed into the formation of a people's party that is both anti-monopoly and anti-imperialist.
As for the problems in the NDP, especially in Manitoba which has been home to a number of very good socialist NDP governments--- the best, and most successful in terms of serving the interests of the working class and oppressed peoples, of which was the Howard Pawley led NDP government; I am confident Canadian workers will sort the problems out and with some help from Marxists the NDP will get on the road to a socialist Canada. Manitoba will continue to be the homebase for this struggle.
I had the opportunity to travel all across Canada and everywhere I went there was support for socialism among working people. There is really no reason, other than lack of well organized grassroots and rank-and-file initiative led by working class Marxists, that the NDP will not be the vehicle to get Canadians to socialism. If anyone thinks otherwise I would like to hear what they have in mind as an alternative to the NDP. Socialism is the goal and objective--- it really makes no difference what party the working class chooses to use.
I believe the NDP will respond very positively to united militant struggles of working people when these militants speak their minds within the NDP.
And the fact that the most organized workers in Manitoba have a great deal of confidence that the NDP is still their party as reflected in the Winnipeg and area votes bodes well for this.
When one looks closely at the April election results in Manitoba, most of the ridings the NDP lost were still very close.
The NDP was not trounced by the Conservatives in the April election as some leftists are claiming in order to support and defend their indefensible sectarian positions--- let these people unleash criticism where it is required, against those leftists supporting Obama and Clinton who have a great deal to do with Canadian politics as we can see from the interventions of the U.S. ambassador to Canada and the U.S. multi-national corporations.
The NDP remains very strong in Manitoba and it is unfortunate the working class will have to endure many setbacks under these thoroughly reactionary conservatives before the working class figures out what is happening and fights back. From a united militant fight back new leaders will come to the forefront in the Manitoba NDP and they will not be so shy in attacking capitalism while advocating the socialist solution.
My hunch is that a struggle over privatization of Manitoba Hydro will be the catalyst for this struggle.
I remember when the small Communist Club I was part of in Manitoba launched a petition campaign trying to save the dental program in the elementary schools that Gary Filmon and his very mean spirited conservatives attacked as one of their first orders of business after defeating the Howard Pawley government through a campaign of smears and lies.
Gary Filmon and his Conservatives moved very quickly once he got a whiff of the campaign that began building very rapidly in defense of the dental program.
The NDP and the labor movement--- as well as a very divided and confused Communist Party--- were very slow to respond to this attack on the dental program and Manitobans lost an important social program.
Manitobans also lost Manitoba Telephone because the fight back didn't materialize for many of the same reasons.
Manitobans need to assess what these Conservatives will now attack and organize a defense now, before the attacks occur, and the NDP and the labor movement need to be brought into this struggle immediately.
One way to do this is to establish organizations of concerned citizens--- don't wait for established organizations to act. Learn from the defeats suffered in the past with the dental program and Manitoba Telephone.
Manitoba Telephone was a provincially owned enterprise just like Manitoba Hydro--- a huge publicly owned provincial enterprise employing thousands and selling electricity across the border, too.
There is even talk from Manitoba Conservatives that they want to privatize the very lucrative Casinos in Winnipeg which are also provincial enterprises--- and smoke free.
You might want to ask Bernie Sanders and the Democratic Party for their support since your primary opponents among the Conservatives are U.S. multi-national corporations: Wall Street and its junior partner, Bay Street.
Had the U.S. multi-national corporations and other multi-nationals not intervened in the April elections, the Manitoba NDP would still be in power instead of in opposition. This is a fact.
Much of the left in Manitoba is now going to have to reassess its very sectarian positions towards the NDP if the Conservatives are going to be stopped in their tracks. Again, this is a fact which proves the importance of the NDP to working people struggling to improve their lives and their livelihoods.
The work done by Manitoba Communists Jacob Penner and Joe Zuken should be considered when considering the attitude towards the NDP.
Canadian Communists, especially in Manitoba, would do well to heed the advice and lessons learned of the Finnish Communists:
The NDP lost a very important election at a very critical time in Manitoba but it is far from dead as its enemies are declaring; we have heard such declarations before.