Non-Proportional System Distorts Vote, Again

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Canada’s skewed voting system gave the Liberals 34 more seats than the Conservatives, despite the Conservatives getting 1.5% more votes than the Liberals.  Voter turnout was 67 per cent, marginally lower than the 68.5 per cent in the 2015 federal election.

In the four western provinces, Conservatives won about 53% of the votes, yet the Conservative Party captured about 68% of the MPs. Western Liberals won about 21% of the votes, yet Liberal voters elected only 14% of the MPs.

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B.C. NDP Gov’t First to Implement UNDRIP

 

by Gary Porter

reconciliation-heroAfter decades of struggle by indigenous peoples world-wide, the United Nations adopted in 2007 a Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).  It was adopted by 144 countries, with 11 abstentions and 4 countries voting against it — Canada, the USA, New Zealand, and Australia. Since 2009 Australia and New Zealand reversed their positions and now support the Declaration.  In 2010, the United States and Canada did likewise, however lukewarm that endorsement may be.  It remains the world’s most comprehensive official statement of the rights of aboriginal peoples.

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WAM takes Class Struggle Unionism to the OFL

ofl_1by Julius Arscott

The Workers Action Movement, a grass roots alliance of labour militants that fights concessions bargaining and demands greater union democracy, is running a slate of candidates for top positions in the Ontario Federation of Labour.  The vote will occur at the OFL convention in Toronto’s Sheraton Centre Hotel, November 25-29, with about 2,000 delegates expected to attend.

WAM candidate for OFL President is CUPE Local 5167 external vice-president Barry Conway, who got 17 per cent of the votes when he ran for the OFL top position in 2017.  Conway is also a member of the IWW.  Kurt Young, from Sheet Metal Workers’ Union, Local 30, a picket captain in one of the many strikes that recently rocked the building trades in Ontario, and a leading member of Socialist Action, is vying for the OFL Executive Vice-President spot.  WAM hopes to run a candidate for Secretary-Treasurer as well.

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NDP Flops into Fourth Place Minority Gov’t More Vulnerable to Resistance

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by Barry Weisleder

Canadians chose on October 21 to slap down Justin Trudeau and reduce his Liberal Party to minority government status with a million fewer votes than in 2015.  As a result, there may be another federal election in two years, or less.  The enlarged Tory caucus is bristling for a fight, although under-performing Andrew Scheer can already feel daggers at his back.

The labour-based New Democratic Party suffered heavy losses for the second federal election in a row.  It emerged with 20 fewer seats and 511,000 votes less than it won in 2015.  Yet it potentially holds the balance of power in Parliament.  Will it turn up the volume and stand independent of the Liberals?  Its working class base demands that the NDP agitate vigorously for No new pipelines, Nationalize the energy industry, Tax the rich, and provide Restitution to Indigenous peoples.  It ought to fight for head to toe medicare now, cancellation of student debt, proportional representation, an end to Canadian complicity with the U.S.-led war drive, and break with the bid to overthrow the elected government of Venezuela.  It should do what it can to cut the military, stop backing the Zionist apartheid regime, and halt the supply of armored vehicles to Saudi Arabia.

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Huge Havana Conference hails global revolt against austerity and repression

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By Barry Weisleder

Against the backdrop of fiery mass protests around the world, opponents of imperialism and social cuts gathered November 1-3 in Havana, Cuba. Over 1,300 delegates from 95 countries (including about 100 from the United States and 35 from Canada) assembled to celebrate a new rise of revolt, and potential revolution. The Anti-Imperialist Solidarity Conference, for Democracy and against Neoliberalism, the third of its kind since the demise of the USSR in the late 1980s, convened a diversity of radical parties, freedom campaigners, as well as bourgeois nationalist governments. Solidarity with the Cuban Revolution, admiration for its momentous achievements both within and far beyond the Caribbean island, is what drew them all together.

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