4) ONTARIO ELECTION: DEMAND A PEOPLE'S ALTERNATIVE
Election message from the CPC (Ontario)
We are at a turning point.
In this provincial election, Ontario’s working class faces an important question. Will we watch as politicians pander to corporate profiteers, debating different versions of business-friendly policies? Or will we step up and demand policies that place people’s needs first, regardless of what the boardrooms say?
A decade of austerity measures has brought us the privatization of Hydro One and other public assets, plant closures and job losses, precarious employment, wage freezes, and reductions in health, education and public services. These policies have been implemented by the McGuinty-Wynne Liberals, and have been supported and encouraged by the Conservatives. They were introduced after the financial meltdown of 2007, to make the working class pay the costs of corporate losses and government bailouts.
Over the past decade, the average hourly wage for workers has remained largely unchanged. But corporate profits have nearly doubled and are at record levels. The Royal Bank alone announced a profit of $11.5 billion last year.
The environmental crisis has continued to deepen. Climate change, depleted water resources, poisoned land and rivers, pollution and toxic waste – these dangers are caused by the actions of profit-seeking corporations and they threaten all of us. The government’s response, supported by the NDP, is to turn pollution into a commodity by trading it through cap and trade markets. The Conservatives prefer to ignore the issue altogether.
Racist and fascist groups continue to organize in communities across Ontario, targeting Indigenous people, immigrants, racialized people, women, and LGBTQI2S+ people. The economic crisis produces increased poverty, joblessness and desperation - a breeding ground for hate groups. The resurgence of fascism and white supremacy also reflects the aggressive foreign policy of the federal government, with its higher arms spending and increased military activity.
Women continue to face widespread sexual harassment and assault, as well as a continuing gender pay gap in which women make 70 cents for every dollar a man makes. In the first 3 months of 2018, more than a dozen women or their family members have been killed by past or present intimate partners.
The Wynne Liberals won the 2014 provincial election by making progressive promises on a wide range of social policy issues. But over the past 4 years, they have shown that these promises are often just cover for more privatization and corporate profit at the expense of the working class. Now, they expect to fool us again.
The Conservatives want to paint themselves as the populist alternative to the Liberals, “outsiders” in a political world filled with cronyism. But Doug Ford’s party is campaigning in the interests of the most powerful corporations and the very rich. They want to attack and take back important gains like the $15 minimum wage – gains that the working class won through hard struggle.
A Conservative government would be a disaster for the working class.
Andrea Horwath’s NDP says they are the only progressive option, but they offer very little to the working class. They take a piecemeal approach that places “fiscal responsibility” above people’s needs.
Working class support needs to be earned, not taken for granted. Parties and candidates who fight for working class policies should be supported, during the election and in the days that follow.
We need policies that place people’s needs above those of corporations and the very rich. We need policies that are based on a full employment economy, with expanded public services and progressive tax reform.
We do not have to choose between three competing capitalist parties, who continue the policies of austerity and privatization. We can demand policies that place people’s needs before corporate greed!
Ignite the Movement for Socialism!
Working people’s interests are not served by different version of capitalist policies – Tory, Liberal or NDP. Nor are we served by elections that are simply popularity contests between parties who just want to manage the same corporate-friendly policies.
For the working class to achieve meaningful political reforms, we need to organize ourselves and win them.
We have to campaign beyond this election, to the days that follow
We have to build a progressive movement – one that can unite the labour and people’s movements, including Indigenous people, youth and students, the unemployed and unorganized, precarious workers, women, LGBTQI2S+, immigrants and racialized people.
We need to build a movement that can win far-reaching economic, social and political reforms, to strengthen the working class struggle, and open the door for socialism and working class power.
The Communist Party will work with all who are willing to fight for this progressive alternative. You can count on us to struggle against corporate power and to promote a platform that puts people’s needs before corporate greed.
We are at a turning point. Vote Communist – Ignite the movement for socialism
(The above article is from the May16-31, 2018, issue of People's Voice, Canada's leading socialist newspaper. Articles can be reprinted free if the source is credited. Subscription rates in Canada: $30/year, or $15 low income rate; for U.S. readers - $45 US per year; other overseas readers - $45 US or $50 CDN per year. Send to People's Voice, c/o PV Business Manager, 706 Clark Drive, Vancouver, BC, V5L 3J1.)