|YCLers who are currently running as Communist Party candidates.|
Special to Rebel Youth
The Young Communist League of Canada (YCL) has started hitting the pavement for the upcoming Federal elections. Preparations started in the spring of this year at the YCL’s Central Committee meeting, which outlined the political context of this election: “The future for youth under the current system looks dismal: unemployment, underemployment, debt, environmental destruction, war and militarism, and an eroding democracy.” While this paints a bleak picture, the YCL’s message is that it is possible to reverse the situation through struggle, and that the Federal election “marks an important opportunity for the YCL-LJC in their struggle for peace, jobs, the environment and democracy, as well as the broader struggle for socialism.”
The YCL identified the Harper Conservatives as the preferred political choice of the corporate agenda, as the party that is the most pro-war, anti-labour, anti-environment and anti-equality and democratic rights. However, the YCL also identified that a “narrow electoral approach” focusing on a strategy of “lesser-evilism” is not a strategy that can defeat the Harper agenda. This is especially important in the context of this election where all the parties in parliament refuse to come out against the interests of Big Business on important issues such as an expansion of the Tar Sands and support for the liberation of Palestine. They have failed to express clear opposition to imperialist war and “free trade” agreements.
“It is up to young people themselves to organize and hit the streets during this election and after, in order to fight for a real future for our generation. Together we can put forward demands such as closing the Tar Sands, an end to Canada’s involvement in wars, jobs for youth, and an end to poverty and student debt,” said Drew Garvie, the General Secretary of the YCL.
The YCL is supporting the Communist Party of Canada’s Federal election campaign, which will see Communist candidates run in around two-dozen ridings in order to advance a “People’s Alternative” platform. The full platform is available at www.Communist-Party.ca/plaform
“Several candidates of the Communist Party of Canada are also members of the YCL and will be out fighting for pro-youth policies. This includes creating youth jobs through massive investment in value-added manufacturing, affordable housing, social services, arts and culture as well as public green jobs, raising wages including a $20/hr minimum living wage, significantly increase funding and access to training and apprenticeship programs, the abolition of student debt and tuition fees, immediately enacting the decisions of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, respecting the sovereignty and self-determination of Indigenous peoples and Quebec, putting energy and natural resources under public democratic control, phasing out the Tar Sands with jobs guaranteed at comparable wages, as well as lowering the voting age to 16.” said Garvie.
In the spring, the YCL’s Central Committee lent its full support to the Communist Party’s campaign and pledged to start mobilizing: “The Communist Party’s platform reflects an agenda that would put people’s needs before corporate greed and demonstrates that another Canada is possible. It also places the question of socialism on the table, in order to provide a clear long-term vision of what will be necessary to replace capitalism. Only socialism can get rid of exploitation and replace it with a system based on full democracy, human equality and environmental sustainability, in which the resources and economic wealth are owned and controlled by working people, not by corporate bosses. Voting Communist sends the clearest possible message that fundamental change is possible and necessary.”