The People’s Cold Front- The Tumultuous​ History of Canadian Communism (Introduction/Definitions)

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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.

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Russia is a silly place. 

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.

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Things really went downhill after Mr. Big was deposed, in my opinion. 

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.

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You know, by morons!

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Jagmeet Singh, and What He Means​

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?

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I should’ve figured out the jig was up when this happened, honestly. 

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?

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NDP ELECTIONWATCH 2017: The Indifferent Layperson’s Guide to the 2017 New Democratic Party Leadership Race (2/2)

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.

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Our Cheers, basically.

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.

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NDP ELECTIONWATCH 2017: The Indifferent Layperson’s Guide to the New Democratic Party Leadership Race (1/2)

Oh god, what did I do to deserve this???

The Canadian Left is having a rough go of it lately, publicity-wise. The leaderless New Democratic Party is currently wanting for media attention while its two rivals, the Liberals and Conservatives, currently hogging the spotlight due to the formers’ incredibly photogenic and popular leader/prime minister, and the latter’s frighteningly comical flirtations with insanity. Coming off one of the more damaging political defeats in their history and consistently polling at just under 20% of popular support, the NDP has found itself groping wildly for any sort of identity beyond “The Liberals, but angrier”. The good news is that this new identity may be on the way in the form of a new leader to replace the outgoing Tom Mulcair, who will retire from politics after serving as the replacement for party legend Jack Layton.

What’s that? Didn’t you know the NDP was having a leadership election? That’s okay. Neither did 99% of Canadians. It’s hard for a third party to jockey for attention when pretty much all the candidates agree on everything, especially while the two bigger parties are either having their leader fellated in a Rolling Stone article or having their own leadership election in which the main point of contention appears to be “screaming at each other over whether or not brown people are worthy of basic human decency”.

Unfortunately for any interested parties who are just hearing about the voting (which I suspect constitutes most of the interested parties. You would think that those annoying pleas for donations would’ve amounted to something resembling prominent advertising) it’s too late to sign up for party membership, and the leadership election itself has begun, with the first ballot results expected to be revealed on Sunday, October 1 but if you are eligible to vote and plan on doing so, or if you just have some time to kill before soul-crushing reality rears its ugly head again, this handy-dandy two-post guide (because approximately zero people can be arsed to read one 7000+ word post) should prove informative, with the second part coming out sometime tomorrow.  

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