What’s this? Two posts in two days? I better slow my roll, I don’t want anybody getting the idea that I’m competent, or anything.
Whenever smug Canadians point out that electing a craven hard-right populist like Donald Trump could NEVER happen in Canada due to, I dunno, niceness, or smug superiority, or something, this election will serve as a constant reminder to them that they’re full of shit.
The Ontario provincial election has come and gone, and, as one would expect from a voter turnout of, as of Thursday night, about 57%, it went about as well as I predicted. Which is to say that everything is fucked.
For most of the last two months, the upcoming Ontario election has kind of been a representative microcosm of how most timelines of recent elections in the “Western world” (for lack of a less exclusionary term) have progressed:
Phenomenally unpopular, uninspiring centrist status-quo government exists, as the right-wing opposition salivates in anticipation for the chance to knock them off.
Right-wing opposition presents “populist” candidate and/or platform that offends every moral sensibility held by decent people.
Right-wing opposition gets incredibly popular anyways on the basis of “not being the phenomenally unpopular centrist status-quo government.”
Right-wing opposition pulls ahead in polls, unhindered by smug, matter-of-fact contentions from the phenomenally unpopular centrist status-quo government.
The election happens.
Everything continues to be shitty.
These story beats are all-too noticeable when examining the lead-up to tomorrow’s Ontario general election between the incumbent Liberal Party , the Progressive Conservative Party, and the New Democratic Party. However, the race has gotten unexpectedly competitive as of late, and there are some added quirks thrown into this particular linear path towards the inevitable violent overthrow of the ruling class that make a post worth everybody’s time. And by “quirks,” I mean oh my God, they’re going to elect Doug Ford, aren’t they?
We are all Xavier Trudeau/Nous sommes tous Xaver Trudeau.
Because I can’t understand steel tariffs, and because of the torrent of anger and vitriol that Colten Boushie case stirs up inside of me, we’re going to start with the literal least important possible thing to happen in the last couple weeks: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s surreal visit to India for a state visit and meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
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?