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Politicians, Prime Ministers and Polls

24 December 2007

In the wake of the Brian Mulroney/Karl Heinz Schreiber scandal there has been an outpouring of emotion concerning politicians in general and Mulroney in particular. This has reached such an extent that on December 15th the Toronto Star published the results of an Angus Reid strategies poll showing how Canadians felt about ex-prime ministers Trudeau, Chretien and Mulroney. The headlines read, PMs evoke fear, love, loathing. The results were charted, supporters and opponents checking off their feelings about them: love, joy, wonder, optimism, acceptance, no feelings, surprise, sadness, displeasure, shame, anger, contempt, disgust, and so on read the poll.

Theres no need to republish the results here. To do so would be to hoodwink the matter within the capitalist kaleidoscope of the Angus Reid Political Watch obtaining the results that tell readers, emotions are a very powerful predictor of voting intentions. This may indeed be a considerable factor in determining how people vote findings which by the way echo the finest of capitalist examples like in 1932 where two German-Nazi elections played up heavily on the worst possible xenophobia of its German electorate to eventually gas-chamber Jews in that nation’s ‘final solution.’

Whether an electors vote is determined by one’s mood or calmly reviewing a capitalist candidates’ promises, it amounts to the same thing. Both ways of voting are on the premise that capitalist politicians can actually make a difference. The only difference they can make, however, is to introduce wishy-washy reforms that may in some way or another make a slight improvement to workers lives, only to be quickly reversed by succeeding governments. The erosion of the British (and Canadian) medicare system is a typical example. No one can deny the world is in a heck of a mess today, and every day there is evidence that the politicians cannot cope. The whole anarchic lack-of-planning of capitalist production time and time again sees commodities flood markets until sales plummet and workers by the millions are sacked. Linked to this and the competitive nature capitalism engenders are the constant wars between groups of capitalists over the rights to raw materials, markets, trade routes and strategic positions Iraq and Afghanistan being its latest ‘victims of prosperity.’

Politicians have long been attempting to cope with this anarchic market volatility since the beginning of the modern day industrial state two hundred years ago and havent yet succeeded. Do they still wish us to believe they have a chance today? Their job is to manage the day to day chaos of capital little more. It makes not an iota of difference whether they are honest, clever, stupid, or educated. Nor does it matter if they are well meaning. If good intentions or any of these other things were all that were required to fix capitalism there would be no problem.

For most of the 1950s and 60s things were relatively good by capitalist standards. With low unemployment and low inflation of that era many thought success would go on forever, not realizing the driving forces of the economy were beyond the management of the politicians. Changes in world market conditions and the natural booms and busts of the capitalist business cycle brought them crashing back to the grim reality of the business by the 1980s.

We in The Socialist Party of Canada and our companions parties in the World Socialist Movement are not interested in upholding capitalist economics. We are not asking anyone to vote for us who does not understand and want socialism; we are not in the business of providing reformist promises to patch the system back together. We are asking you to study the case for socialism so that when you do vote for socialism, you will, in effect, be voting for yourself for your own interests.

Whatever the Angus Reid Company may say, for workers their poll is only an exercise in futility pining over defunct political lackeys of capital rather than how to best smash the cash-nexus of wage-slavery and commodity exchange. We believe hard-headed understanding of knowing what we want as a class and the perseverance to achieve it trumps such irrelevant polls measuring ‘emotional capitalist politics’ any time! Join us today in establishing a socialist society just for all, we have a world to win.

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