Almost one hundred years ago to the day, in the former Tsarist hellhole that was the Russian Empire, the Russian Communist Party, led by revolutionary Vladimir Lenin, seized power, toppling the Russian Provisional Government in an event now immortalized as the “October Revolution,” despite the fact that it apparently took place in November.
The October November (?) Revolution led to the creation of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (Soviet Russia), which later merged into the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (commonly known as the Soviet Union or the USSR), effectively becoming the world’s first self-described socialist state and, later on, the first self-described socialist state to metaphorically eat itself alive.
I did it. I made the hackneyed Rocky & Bullwinkle joke. Only God can judge me now.
The Mid-Fall 1917 Revolution sent shockwaves around the geopolitical landscape, with Western Nations (All of whom were either capitalist states or monarchies. Go figure.) immediately scrambling to try to kill the nascent Worker’s State in its metaphorical (presumably worker-manufactured and worker-owned) cradle during the Russian Civil War (1917-23). Nevertheless, the USSR prevailed, and it’s success served as inspiration for far-left movements in countries the world over, Canada being among them.
While Canadian Communist movements are certainly not privy to the same success as their capitalist contemporaries, the Canadian Communist Party is actually the second-oldest political party in Canada after the Liberal Party and has actually had representation in federal and provincial parliaments. I don’t think it’d be realistic to say that they’ll be getting representation again anytime soon, but the far-left in Canada has had an interesting history that’s worth telling. Especially since Alberta elected a radical communist as their Premier, or so I’ve been told.
For my previously published two-part preview of the NDP leadership election, click here for Part 1, and here for Part 2!
Full disclosure: It’s not really that much of a surprise to me that Jagmeet Singh was elected leader of the New Democratic Party. Polling during the NDP’s leadership election seemed to indicate that his efforts to bring new voters to the party was pulling the title of “favourite” away from previous frontrunner Charlie Angus, and towards Singh. I was pretty sure that Angus was gonna win in the third round because Singh didn’t have a whole lot of second or third ballot support, but I could just as easily see Singh winning in the second or third. One thing was for sure: It probably wasn’t gonna end in the first ballot.
And then he did. Because I am clearly not a pollster or a mathematician, and why should my uninformed opinion mean anything?
What I clearly did NOT accurately predict was how much first-ballot support Singh would have. Because, to put it in layman’s terms, he had a metric shit-ton. 53.8% of voters had Singh as their first choice. That is over 30% more than Angus’ total (19.4%), to say nothing of Niki Ashton (17.4%) or Guy Caron (9.4%). That goes beyond a landslide: It’s straight-up decimation.
But enough sober reflection and reconsideration of my abilities as a political commentator. Just what does Jagmeet Singh’s election mean for the NDP and for Canada as a whole?
Critiquing Jagmeet Singh can wait for another couple days. Let’s all sit back, relax, and make some snarky comments about Canadian and international events! None of us can really do a damn thing about them, so we might as well make fun of them!
Note: All news directly relating to Jagmeet Singh and the New Democratic Party will be pushed to a later piece I’m hoping to get out this weekend.
For the first instalment in the thrilling saga that is Canadian federal party politics, click here.
Part Four: Where Do They Stand?
Alright, so now you know enough about these people to vote for them completely superficially based on physical appearance, life story, and how much you wanna sex them up good. If that’s all the information you need to make a decision, more power to ya. All three of you who want to make a more informed decision based on principles would probably rather learn a bit more about their actual platforms. How do they plan to combat inequality? What’s their plan for success in 2019 and beyond? How often do they say the word “neoliberal” in a mocking fashion? Do they want to kill the bourgeoisie, or merely maim them and slowly and painfully torture their children in front of them? All valid questions.
In order to determine the most relevant questions surrounding the candidates, I went through their platforms and picked out the issues that two or more of them mentioned. That way, I hope to include more pertinent, occasionally overlapping discussions like how to best implement electoral reform, and not so much something more niche, like abolishing the monarchy, or abolishing Victoria Day and replacing it by enshrining Corner Gas Day as a federal holiday. Still waiting on people to sign my petition, by the way.
No doubt that I will end up missing parts of every candidate’s platforms. In those cases, feel free to look up their specific platforms for more detail. This is meant to be a slightly in-depth, yet broadly general overview. I’m sure there’s somebody who actually knows what they’re talking about who can explain these much better than me, but I make dick jokes, so, y’know, the choice is obvious.