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Leader: Miguel Figueroa

Web Site:

Platform: Election 2004 Platform. The party's extensive Program (which explains the party's ideology and goals) is also available online.

Candidates: The party's list of candidates is here. As of May 27, 2004, the party had nominated candidates in almost 10% of Canada's ridings.

The Party: The Communist Party of Canada ("CPC") web site says that the CPC was formed in 1921. The party platform says that the "...aim of the Communist Party of Canada is to establish a socialist and, ultimately, a communist society in Canada." (from Program of the Communist Party of Canada).

The Party's Views on Society: The CPC argues that the current economic system, the means of production (i.e., "capital") are predominantly privately owned (i.e., "capitalists"). It argues that human labour is the source of all material wealth. It argues that capitalists receive profits and accumulate capital by "exploiting" workers. A "worker" is anyone who makes a living by trading his/her own mental or physical labour for money.

What does the CPC regard as exploitation? The answer, quite simply, is: keeping a profit. Owing largely to Joseph Pierre Proudhon's 1840 essay "What is Property?", which preceded and informed Marx and Engels' 1848 Communist Manifesto, communism ultimately believes that every penny received in exchange for a widget (e.g., a car, a bushel of wheat, a house) should be distributed back to the labourers, whose labour resulted in the production of the widget. To communists, for a person to hire employees, do no work himself except hiring the workers and selling their product, and then keep some of the proceeds from the sale (i.e., a "profit"), is wrong. In other words, at its core, communism is founded on the idea that everyone should labour for a living, and that the cost of goods must always equal the cost of producing them: zero profit.

The CPC explains that in "...a socialist Canada, the principal means of producing and distributing wealth will be the common property of society as a whole." Thus, again, those who used to make money by employing the capital that they owned will be forced to work for a living.

The zero profit idea is an important part - but nonetheless only a part - of the communist view on the political and social scene. The CPC views capitalists and workers as being in a constant tug of war:

"The basic conflict between capital and labour is inherent to the capitalist system. The capitalists, who control the main means of production, employ wage-workers only so long as their labour produces profits for them. They hold down wages to the lowest possible level so as to squeeze greater profits out of the exploitation of the workers. The workers fight to maintain and increase their wages, improve their living and working conditions, and extend their economic, social and political rights. This is the heart of the class struggle under capitalism which affects the whole of society, and which at a certain stage impels the working class to revolutionary struggle aimed at changing the social system itself."

In other words, the CPC says that capitalists want lower wages and higher profits, whereas workers want higher wages and lower profits. This tug of war, claims the CPC (and communism in general) ultimately explodes, with the workers resorting to a revolution to overthrow capitalism and all it entails.

The CPC's Mission:
The main thrust of the CPC is against what it calls "finance capital":

"Finance capital, the fusion of bank and industrial capital, has become the dominant form of capital in Canada. Finance capital – both Canadian and foreign-based – controls giant transnational companies and banks which operate around the world increasingly in disregard of national interests..." (from Program of the Communist Party of Canada).

The CPC opposes the merging of finance capital with government: it calls that merger "state-monopoly capitalism". Examples of state-monopoly capitalism

NOTE: What the CPC calls "state-monopoly capitalism" is what Benito Mussolini called: fascism or corporativism. More recently, it has been called the "third way". Fascism is not a form of communism and it is not a form of capitalism. It is an economic system in which productive capital is privately owned, but in which government regulates production, wages, prices, etc.. It is the same system installed not only by Mussolini but by Adolf Hitler. Arguably, the CPC is correct about the current economic model in Canada. By any honest measure, Canada employs a fascist (though not nationalist or racist) economic model, and has done so increasingly since the 1930s. So called "public-private partnerships" ("P-3s") - e.g., in some of the Ottawa hospital projects currently underway - typify fascism/corporatism/the third way.

The CPC argues that "state-monopoly capitalism":

"...undermines the basis of traditional bourgeois democracy. The subordination of the state to the interests of finance capital erodes the already limited role of elected government bodies, federal, provincial and local. Big business openly intervenes in the electoral process on its own behalf, and also indirectly through a network of pro-corporate institutes and think tanks. It uses its control of mass media to influence the ideas and attitudes of the people, and to blatantly influence election results. It corrupts the democratic process through the buying of politicians and officials. It tramples on the political right of the Canadian people to exercise any meaningful choice, thereby promoting widespread public alienation and cynicism about the electoral process." (from Program of the Communist Party of Canada).

The CPC platform does not indicate the extent to which all other interested parties, such as labour unions, use the same means to manipulate public opinion.

The CPC explains - quite believably - the current use of government:

"The government, while seemingly independent of specific corporate interests, has become predominantly the political instrument of a small group comprising the top monopoly capitalists for exercising control over the rest of society. Finance capital uses the state to provide orders, capital and subsidies, and to secure foreign markets and investments. Monopoly capital supports the expansion of the state sector – both services and enterprises – when that serves its interests, and at other times it uses the state to cut back and privatize. The state is also used to redistribute income and wealth in favour of monopoly interests through the tax system, and through legislation to drive down wages and weaken the trade union movement." (from Program of the Communist Party of Canada).

The CPC argues that the influence of internationally-organized businesses are so strong that domestic policy is actually being decided by foreign business interests:

"Canadian finance capital is today largely interlocked with U.S. transnationals, and international finance capital in general...Important decisions on investment policy, technological change, plant closures and layoffs are made outside our borders. No sector of Canada's economy is free from U.S. and other transnational influence." (from Program of the Communist Party of Canada).

That said, the CPC is not against globalism, they are just against global capitalism:

"Communists are internationalists, and hold that the fundamental interests of working people throughout the world are one. The struggle to advance the interests of the working class and people of Canada, and to defend its sovereignty, is inseparable from working class internationalism – the solidarity of the working class of all countries in cooperation against imperialist rule and for a world at peace." (from Program of the Communist Party of Canada).

Thus, the CPC concludes that capitalism, not globalism per se, is "the enemy":

"The struggle against U.S. domination and for genuine Canadian independence and an independent foreign policy is part of the worldwide struggle against capitalist globalization, imperialist aggression and war.

The fight for democracy and sovereignty is a necessary and integral component of the Canadian revolutionary process. This requires a concerted struggle against the main enemy of the Canadian people – finance capital, both Canadian and international." (from Program of the Communist Party of Canada).

Noteworthy Achievement: CPC leader Miguel Figueroa has successfully challenged various aspects of Canada's patently anti-competition Elections Act as unconstitutional. Under earlier incarnations of that act, the government of Canada could seize all assets of a registered federal political party that failed to run at least 50 candidates in a federal general election. The CPC was successful at trial in having several sections of the Elections Act declared unconstitutional (including the 50 candidate rule, and seizure provisions). The CPC prevailed in an appeal from the Ontario Court of Appeal's decision, to the Supreme Court of Canada in December of 2002. The court's decision was rendered in June of 2003 and the offending provisions of the Elections Act cease to be of any force or effect in June of 2004 (the court gave the government one year to make the Elections Act comply with the constitution. The CPC continues to fight the government of Canada, which is attempting to create other hurdles in the Election Act designed to prevent new political parties from getting a foot-hold. For more information see the Institute for Research on Public Policy's analysis of the impact of the Supreme Court of Canada's decision. To read the CPC's submissions to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs concerning proposed amendments to the Election Act, click here.


Page Last updated: Thursday, May 27, 2004  








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