17 IMCWP, Contribution of CP of Canada [En]
Contribution of the Communist Party of Canada
presented by Miguel Figueroa,
Central Executive Committee, CPC
“The tasks of Communist and Workers’ Parties to strengthen the struggle of the working class against capitalist exploitation, imperialist wars and fascism, for workers’ and peoples’ emancipation, for socialism”
First of all, we join with others in expressing our solidarity to our host party, the Communist Party, Turkey, on the eve of the national elections, and our deep appreciation for graciously facilitating this meeting. At such a critical moment in this region, with dark clouds of war swirling everywhere, with imperialist intrigues fomenting national and religious conflict in order to extend its hegemony, and with a humanitarian and refugee crisis of epic proportions, the principled, internationalist role of your party and other Communist and Workers’ parties across the Middle East are more crucially important than ever.
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The tasks currently facing our parties – and all the anti-imperialist and revolutionary forces in a broader sense – flow from an objective assessment of the general, systemic dynamics of capitalism today. In our view, the basic, underlying contradictions inherent to this system are maturing at an accelerating pace, giving rise to a series of interrelated crises which have sharpened over the recent period.
Foremost amongst these, of course, continues to be the historic conflict between the two main classes – the working class and the ruling capitalist class – locked in dialectical unity and struggle by virtue of their central location in the process of production. The class struggle is intensifying everywhere, as state-monopoly capital strives to drive down the price of labour-power to reverse the decline in the rate of profit, and to preserve their class domination at the expense of the workers and their labour rights.
In the Canadian context, this takes the form of an all-sided capitalist offensive against the wages and living standards of workers, the loss of full-time and permanent employment, especially in industry, and its replacement with part-time, contractual and other forms of precarious employment, growing social disparities between the super-rich and the vast majority of working people, the spread of poverty and insecurity, and the increased attack on the trade unions, labour standards and workers’ rights in general. The Canadian State plays a central role in enforcing this capitalist offensive, through austerity programs, the weakening and privatization of public programs, services and social protections, the imposition of pro-corporate trade and investment pacts like the Canada-Europe (CETA) and Trans-Pacific Partnership deals, and legislative and judicial attacks on trade union rights.
Another critical aspect of this capitalist offensive which our Party prioritizes in its work is the drive to militarization, imperialist aggression and war. Over the past decade in particular, Canada has played in increasingly active and bellicose role within the NATO imperialist alliance, especially in the occupation of Afghanistan, in Libya, in support of the fascist regime in Kiev, and as one of Zionist Israel’s strongest backers. It has hiked military spending, announced major procurements of new stealth fighter jets and warships, and is now expanding the number of Canadian military bases on foreign soil.
A third priority for our Party is the struggle to defend and extend the democratic rights of the people and to combat every encroachment on the right to political dissent, violations of civil liberties, and the passage of authoritarian and even proto-fascist, police state laws such as C-51 (the new ‘anti-terrorism’ law) by governments at every level. This also includes the battle against all forms of racism and Islamophobia, and ultra-right, fascist groups seeking to divide the working class on this basis; the struggle for the full emancipation and social equality of women and sexual minorities; and the struggle in solidarity of the just demands and national rights of Canada’s indigenous peoples and of Quebec.
Finally, our Party also considers among its top priorities our active participation in the environmental movement, and in particular efforts to mitigate and reverse climate change, the impact of which falls most heavily on the working class, peasants and farmers, and on the poor and marginalized sections of the people around the world. We sense a special responsibility on this point, not only because on a per capital basis, Canada is among the very worst polluters in the world – but also because of the disgusting role which the Harper Conservative government has played over the past decade in obstructing any binding international agreement to reduce emissions – a cravenly self-serving policy on behalf of Canadian energy, mining and resource monopolies.
The recent federal elections must be seen in this context. In our view, the defeat of the Harper government marked a significant victory for the working class, for indigenous peoples, for women, youth and students, for the unemployed and underemployed, and for the LGBTiQ communities. It was a victory for all those dedicated to peace and disarmament, for immediate action to combat climate change, and to the struggle for social equity and social justice. The results reflected a strong rejection of the pro-austerity and pro-war agenda of the Harper Conservatives by the peoples of Canada.
We have no illusions about the new Liberal majority under Justin Trudeau that is now in place. The Liberal Party is also a bourgeois, big business party; it has not changed its political colouring or class orientation. It remains committed to neoliberal economic doctrine at home, and to an imperialist foreign policy abroad.We think it wrong however to dismiss this outcome as simply the meaningless replacement of one bourgeois government with another. The Harper government was the most anti-working class, anti-democratic, pro-war, misogynistic government in Canadian history. Its defeat opens up new political space to not only reverse the damage already done, but to also win more advanced and radical democratic, economic and political demands. This will require however a conscious political and organizational struggle to invigorate the extra-parliamentary movements, and an ideological struggle to shed illusions about the bourgeois role and character of the Liberal government.
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A brief comment on our own process of International Meetings itself. Our Party is deeply committed to the strengthening of cooperation and the unity-of-action of our Communist movement internationally. It is for this reason that we have supported the IMCWP ever since its inception, and we continue to do so today.
We are concerned therefore about the difficulties encountered in recent years in strengthening this cooperative process. Especially now, in a period of the deepening systemic crisis of capitalism, of proliferating imperialist aggression and war, and destruction of the global environment, it is more urgent than ever for our movement internationally to speak out with a clear and powerful voice for the alternative of socialism, and for our parties to elevate the level of our common action. We are disturbed that, for the third year in a row, there will be no Joint Declaration coming out of this meeting. We think this is a serious retreat, and appeal to all parties to reach consensus on restoring the Joint Declarations. We recognize that there are political and ideological differences on some important questions; however we would remind comrades that there are far more points around which we agree than those about which we disagree, and we reject the view that because we cannot find unity around all points, it is better to silence our common voice entirely.
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Finally, we would like to draw delegates’ attention to a special resolution for your consideration at this meeting. It is co-sponsored by the CPs of Britain, Canada, Ireland, Lebanon, and South Africa. It concerns our solidarity work with the Palestinian people’s struggle, and in particular the growing international campaign to impose Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel until such time as it ceases its violations of the basic human rights of the Palestinian people. Our Party actively supports the BDS campaign. It is especially timely now, and we urge all parties to give this matter serious consideration, and to support this resolution.
Thank you for your attention.