After an intense 40-day election campaign, neither Big Business political party has won a majority in the new Parliament. Pending final counts, voters have elected 157 Liberals, 120 Conservatives, 32 Bloc Quebecois, 24 New Democrats, 3 Greens, and one independent – Jody Wilson-Raybould in Vancouver Granville. The Communist Party of Canada, which ran 30 candidates on a platform to “Put People and Nature Before Profits,” saw the most positive response to its campaign in many years, despite a near-total blackout by the corporate media.
In its preliminary comment on the outcome, the Central Executive Committee of the CPC welcomes the defeat of Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives, who represented the worst danger to working people and the environment, and the failure of the far-right People’s Party to elect a single candidate. The Conservatives and PPC, which used this campaign to deny the climate change crisis and to promote austerity, bigotry and hatred, won barely over one-third of the total vote, a strong rejection of their policies. But this result (including the 290,000 votes for PPC candidates) also shows that Canada is not immune from the racist, fascist, misogynist, anti-immigrant, Islamophobic and anti-LGBTQ+ ideologies which have made gains in many other capitalist countries. The struggle against racism and fascism in Canada does not end on election night.
On the positive side, no party in the new Parliament has a majority political mandate to unilaterally impose neoliberal austerity policies. Over sixty percent of ballots were cast for parties and candidates which, to varying degrees, campaigned on promises to address the climate change crisis and expand social programs. We also note that Quebec voters showed their discontent with the status quo in part by giving increased support to the BQ.
Seen from this perspective, a big majority of voters want a federal government which takes these crucial issues seriously. The outcome on Oct. 21 presents an opportunity to press for more than just campaign rhetoric; but we also stress that despite claiming to be progressive, none of the parties in the new Parliament stand for fundamental social and economic change, or for a break with Canada’s pro-imperialist foreign policy.
Passively waiting for change from a pro-corporate Liberal big business minority government, even one backed by NDP, BQ and/or Green MPs, would be a huge strategic error. Genuine progress can be won in this situation, but only through powerful, united massive pressure on Parliament by the labour and progressive movements, Indigenous peoples, environmentalists, students, women, racialized communities and others in all parts of the country who voted in hopes of swift and meaningful action around the issues which were at the heart of this election.
The outcome on Oct. 21 has created more complex political conditions, both inside and outside Parliament. The Communist Party is preparing a more detailed and comprehensive analysis of the results, and about the new challenges facing working class and its allies.
Central Executive Committee, Communist Party of Canada