Canada Election 2015: Racism and Reaction Disloged But Not Capitalism
By Der Kosmonaut
Ottawa, Canada 20 October 2015
Last night in a historic and arguably the most important election in modern Canadian history, Stephen Harper and his Conservative party were bounced out of government by the Liberal Party led by Justin Trudeau. In an election campaign which raised eyebrows internationally, a decade of political reaction was decisively rejected. In a desperate bid to cling to power, Harper brought in an Australian political consultant who specializes in racism, to whip up fear and hatred against Muslims. For the first time in a modern Canadian election, a leading political candidate resorted to vicious race baiting. This proved too much for Canadians, especially in Ontario.
The beheading of Harper began in Newfoundland and Labrador and became a bloodbath in The Maritimes. The Liberal Party made a clean sweep of Eastern Canada. Ages long held Conservative seats in Nova Scotia went Liberal red. The New Democratic Party became collateral damage in the carnage. For the first time in a modern election, the sweep of Eastern Canada made the national media already call the election of the Liberals. It was a tsunami of blood which raced down the St. Lawrence River and turned the Great Lakes in a sea of blood not seen since the War of 1812.
Considered to be the worst Prime Minster in since the Great Depression and surely the most hated one in recent memory, Stephen Harper resorted to racism and race baiting. While that did boost his fortunes in Quebec, it alienated many of his visible minority immigrant supporters in and around Toronto. Scrapping the bottom of the barrel, Harper campaigned with the despised Ford brothers in Toronto. Hoping to appeal to petite-bourgeois voters in suburbia, Harper turned into a game show host warning that the Liberals would make them lose thousands of dollars. However, the constant sound of cash register rings turned off voters even more. Shortly after the polls closed in Quebec and Ontario, CBC announced that the Liberals had won a majority.
What was most striking about this election was that it was fought among two petite-bourgeois politicians against one bourgeois. Mulcair is the most right wing leader in the history of the New Democrats. He is a self professed admirer of Margaret Thatcher. Mulcair not only ran a conservative campaign but he positioned himself to the right of both Harper and Trudeau.
In addition to having two petite-bourgeois politicians, this election saw two rapid Zionists. Historically the NDP was the anti-Zionist party which advocated for the political and human rights of Palestinians. The NDP was known for its strident criticisms of the policies of Israel. However Mulcair silenced all his MPs and even removed a few candidates for past and present criticisms leveled against Israel. On every score, Mulcair tried to position himself as the most Zionist leader in a stupid bid to win the Zionist and right wing vote. After alienating the party base by aligning with Zionism, Mulcair ran as a fiscal conservative. Balanced budgets, zero deficits and no tax hikes on the 1% (though he wanted to raise the corporate tax rate to lower than it was before Harper took power) were the order of the day. He was rightfully called "Harper Lite" by the World Socialist Website.
Mulcair lacked confidence and many Canadians rightly estimated that had he won a Minority government, the country would've been on shaky ground. Mulcair came across as flat and insincere. He was so afraid to lose that he appeared to have something to hide. His shifty and suspicious eyes coupled with his lack of confidence and running a right wing campaign sealed his fate. Mulcair tried to posture as a progressive by opposing the totalitarian "anti-terrorism" law and advocating for a national child care program. He also took a principled stand defending Muslim women having the right to wear Niqabs and other attire. In that regard, he was outstanding. It cost him dearly in Quebec.
However, he could not avoid one of the two oldest Canadian political maxims: The NDP can't win federal elections. If Harper was knocked out by the Liberals, Mulcair had his teeth bashed in. Politics is a blood sport and this election proved so.
Son of the most important Prime Minister in Canadian history, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Justin turned out to be the most underestimated politician since Jean Chretien. Leftists denounced him for having "Daddy issues" and complexes. Moderates considered him to be an "empty shirt". Right wingers considered him to be an "airhead". They were all proven false. Justin Trudeau revealed himself to be the brightest and sharpest of the three main contenders, though in that regard Green Party leader Elizabeth May was clearly the sharpest knife in the drawer. Trudeau displayed confidence and passion. He lacerated both Harper and Mulcair.
Harper and the Conservatives tried the old American advertising trick of branding Trudeau repeatedly insisting that he's "just not ready". Trudeau proved that he was surely ready. Seeing Mulcair stupidly moving to the right, he positioned himself to the left.
Trudeau did something that is considered suicidal in Anglo-Saxon politics. He promised to spend for 3 years and create a budget deficit. He also promised to raise taxes on the wealthy and end tax credits and other economic benefits for the petite-bourgeoisie. He went out on a limb where no one had ever dared to go. He was the biggest winner. He took the Liberal party from third place to a Majority government.
It is true that the Liberal sweep had less to do with the popularity of Trudeau than it had to do with the seething hatred against Harper. There are two old political maxims in Canada. The first one comes from Quebec and The Maritimes: Tory times are hard times. The second is nationwide. The NDP can't win Federal elections. Canadians were desperate to kick Harper in the ass and out of office. The only way that's possible in Canada is to vote Liberal. Voters were not going to take a chance voting NDP. Indeed, many Canadians deeply regretted voting NDP in 2011. As Trudeau said a couple of years ago, by voting NDP, it allowed Harper to get a Majority government. Canadians were not going to make the same mistake twice.
The Maritimes is the most politically aware and engaged region of English Canada. Since the beginning of Confederation, The Maritimes has historically been the most intensely engaged region politically. Newfoundland and Labrador was the first region in English Canada to see Harper for what he was. Prince Edward Island and the mainland East Coast was long a bastion of Progressive Conservatism. However, Harper who represents the Alberta and Western Canada far right politics, alienated the Progressive Conservatives in The Maritimes. When it came down to the election, The Maritimers led the nation.
Meanwhile, Ontario wanted a divorce. The Harper government was a coalition and marriage between the old Reform/Canadian Alliance Party with the Ontario Provincial Progressive Conservative party of Mike Harris. However, there are seven countries within Canada. The marriage of conservative suburban petite-bourgeoisie of Ontario with the far right reactionary rural of Western Canada was doomed to failure. In many respects the Harper coalition was similar to the Fascist Austria-Germany Nazi marriage of 1938. In the latter case, it didn't take long before the Austrians were unhappy in the German Reich. Already by 1939 the Viennese were already disillusioned. By the end of 1942, the Viennese hated Hitler. With the marriage of conservative Ontario with reactionary Alberta, Torontonians played the role of the Viennese. The Mike Harris era is finally over after 20 years. For 8 years the Harris regime terrorized Ontario and for another 10 years it terrorized Canada. Ontario and the country had enough. The era of racism and reaction has been dealt a near death blow in this election.
Capitalism Remains Entrenched
One of the strangest reactions to the Liberal sweep is the boohoos of Leftists and Progressives. They have been crying a river for the past 24 hours. Feminists weep for the ouster of the lesbian feminist Nova Scotia MP Megan Leslie. One would think that Queer Feminists would rejoice that their number enemy Stephen Harper was retired. Moreover, Trudeau was the only candidate of the three men to call himself a "Feminist". Surely one would think that Feminists would be glad that a self-declared male feminist was elected Prime Minister for the first time in Canada.
Meanwhile other NDP supporters weep because of disappointment. The reaction of NDP supporters confirms what I wrote back in 2006 and after the 2011 Election. The NDP is less concerned about the openly racist, sexist and bigoted Conservatives having power than the moderate Liberals.
My good friend and colleague Jason McLean of Forget The Box epitomizes this contradictory mentality. McLean believes that Canada blew the opportunity of having a "political revolution". The NDP since Jack Layton has long since abandoned any nominal opposition to capitalism. Indeed, Mulcair followed the footsteps of Tony Blair by removing the word "socialism" from the NDP constitution. Mulcair is even more right wing than Layton. Mulcair expressed his admiration for Margaret Thatcher. How can any Leftist think that a politician that praises the greatest enemy of progressives since the Second World War was going to lead a "political revolution"? Moreover, McLean criticized Mulcair for his purging and silencing of Israel critics during the election. Mulcair is a Thatcher loving Zionist. Mulcair had no intention of challenging totalitarian capitalism nor was he going to pursue an agenda of social justice.
"Yes but he promised to repeal the totalitarian Bill C-51!", respond NDP partisans. There was no guarantee that the NDP would actually do so. In 2008, Barack Obama promised to abolish torture and shut down Guantanamo Bay. 7 years into his presidency torture is more widespread in the US than it was under Bush and Guantanamo is still open. Given Mulcair's right wing politics, his promise to repeal Bill C-51 was most likely a gimmick. On a side note to Bill C-51, a constitutional challenge has been launched in the courts. It's very likely that the Supreme Court of Canada will strike it down as a gross violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The danger is that had Harper been elected, he might have invoked the Notwithstanding Clause to override the court. It's highly unlikely that Justin Trudeau will do so when the law is inevitably struck down. Bill C-51 will most likely be dead within 2 years.
This is the thing: A Mulcair election would have been a disaster. He would have broken promise after promise. What Tony Blair, Barack Obama, Francoise Hollande and Alex Tsipras have taught us over the past two decades is that there is nothing worse than Social Democrats, Liberal Democrats and so-called "Radicals" winning power on a "progressive" agenda only to implement policies worse than the Conservative and right wing parties..
If anyone expected Canadian capitalism to be challenged after this election was either not paying attention (as many Americans didn't pay attention to Barack Obama in 2007-08) or was hopelessly naive. Neither the NDP nor the Greens were going to even tamper with capitalism. If one wanted to abolish or challenge Canadian capitalism, then the Communist Party of Canada and the Marxist Leninist Party would have been the parties to vote for.
Everyone should rejoice that racism and reaction was soundly defeated in this election. For those that are interested in Queer Feminist politics should be celebrating the victory of the Liberal Party. NDP supporters have every right to be disappointed but they need to grow up. For those of us that want to overthrow totalitarian capitalism, no election will achieve that.
No one should have any illusions in Justin Trudeau or the Liberal Party of Canada. They are a tried and tested instrument of Canadian capitalism. It is for this reason that it's known as Canada's "natural governing party." However, the party has a good track record of competence and efficiency. It's been the most successful political party in the Western world. They have time and time employed the trick of campaigning on the left and governing from the right. With that awareness I will borrow from John Major's ill fated campaign against Tony Blair in 1997: One can always be sure with the Liberals.
I give the final word to my best Canadian friend AVD, on the results of this historic election and on Justin Trudeau and his wife.
"Don't let the pretty white couple get away with shit. This ain't the royal family."