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Crisis in The Canadian Parliament!

8 January 2009

What has been billed by the Canadian press as a parliamentary crisis is simply the normal machinations of the struggle for power between the various opposing, capitalist-supporting factions. It was triggered by an innocuous economic statement that the Harper government presented to parliament. Quite gratuitously, it included a few items from the neo-conservative agenda such as suspending the right to strike for federal civil servants, putting a hold on the equal pay for women process, and ending the practice of federal funding for political parties, viewed by many observers as a necessary part of the democratic process. It was arbitrary and arrogant of Harper, in a minority governing position, to bring the economic statement to parliament without consulting the other parties. The irate reaction of the opposition parties set off a chain reaction that led to the formation of a coalition of Liberals and NDP, supported by the Bloc Quebecois, which could, and fully intended to, defeat the government. Harper, rather than face ignominious defeat, went to the Governor-General and asked to prorogue parliament until the end of January, leaving the country, in a time of economic crisis, without any government at all. Accusations and advertising began immediately. The Tories hammered away at the idea that this was all unfair and undemocratic and that the Canadian people had elected Harper to run the country just seven weeks ago and the coalition, through back-room deals, was usurping the will of the people. Actually, the Canadian people do not elect their prime minister, the party that wins the election does that. It is quite normal for governments around the world to face non-confidence motions and they do sometimes lose and are put out of office. Harper’s move to suspend parliament may be constitutional but it is a much more undemocratic move to evade the will of a majority of elected M.P.s. Then the Liberal Party showed just how truly democratic it is by ignoring its own rules and tossing out the democratic procedure to elect a new leader when current leader, Dion, was persuaded to step down immediately, and all candidates save, Ignatieff, withdrew to prepare for a coronation – a backroom deal if ever there was one!

What is lost in all the hysteria, as far as the socialist is concerned, is the fact that it will not make one wit of difference to the workers of Canada. Whoever is in power by February, they will be running the state in the interests of the capitalist class, as they are duty bound to do. The capitalist mode of production will continue, backed by the state legislation, enforced by the army, police, and juridicial system; the theft of the surplus value created by the worker will continue; the profit system that benefits the owners at the expense of the non-owners will continue; the further accumulation of capital on behalf of the capitalist class will continue; and the current recession, as a natural consequence of capitalist production, with its attendant worker layoffs and belt-tightening will continue. In fact, none of the above will disappear until the capitalist system itself disappears no matter which of the capitalist supporting parties is in power. And this won’t happen, reader, until you and the rest of the working class come to realize that this current system does not work for you.

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