First Published: The Forge Vol. 2, No. 2, January 20, 1977
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Malcolm and Paul Saba
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Only scoundrels or simpletons can think that the proletariat must win the majority in elections carried out under the rule of the bourgeoisie, under the rule of wage slavery, and that only after this must it win power. This is the height of folly or hypocrisy, it is substituting voting under the old system with the old power, for class struggle and revolution.
Lenin saw when he wrote this passage on elections, that the working class could never achieve power through elections to bourgeois parliament. Based on his experience of class struggle Lenin knew that the working class must establish its own rule and dictatorship over the bourgeoisie, to succeed in its aim of building socialism.
What does the so-called “Communist Party” of Canada think of Lenin’s teachings? Obviously not very much! They’ve completely turned them inside out!
Look at the Dec. 6 issue of Canadian Tribune. An article titles “The conscience of City Hall” loudly celebrates the fact that “C.P.” members have been on the civic council and school boards of Winnipeg for fifty years! William Kashtan, revisionist leader of the “CP.”, called this a “remarkable record of-public service”!
What is “remarkable” about it is the way revisionism changed the CPC from a proletarian party into a bourgeois party in the 1950s.
The revisionists turned a correct revolutionary tactic (participating in elections as one way of advancing class struggle) into a counter-revolutionary tactic: to set themselves up in a parliamentary easy chair to deceive the people and serve the bourgeoisie. Lenin called it “parliamentary cretinism”.
The recent municipal elections in Toronto also offer us a first-hand look at the “Communist” Party and their out right reformism and opportunism.
In running candidates for positions on the school board and council, nowhere in their campaign literature, posters etc. could the name of the “Communist Party” be found. Instead they snuck into opportunist alliances like the Toronto Movement for Municipal Reform with New Democratic Party (NDP) candidates and other reformers.
The so-called “Communist Party” of Canada has completely betrayed Lenin’s revolutionary principles. It is mired in their revisionist illusions of “parliamentary change” and the “peaceful road” to socialism. It sees the class struggle in terms of electoral contests and pleads with the NDP to join with them in “curbing the monopolies”. Far from leading a struggle to abolish capitalism and establish socialism, the “CP” wants to administer the capitalist system in a more “humane and people-oriented way”.
In a recent publication written by Bill Stewart, head of the “CP” in Ontario, a three-point programme is put forward to deal with the present economic crisis, topped off with the slogan “Make Monopoly Pay”.
Nowhere in this programme are the goals of socialism and the dictatorship of the proletariat put forward as the only way out of the capitalist economic crisis. Classes and the struggle for political power between them do not really exist for these hypocrites!
See what Stewart says: “...This means the fightback is not only one of struggle against employers (you mean the capitalist class, don’t you Bill?). The fightback must also be directed against the Federal and Provincial Governments.” This is an explanation to working people about the attacks of the bourgeoisie and their state!? About the class nature of the present crisis!? This is typical rubbish and very similar to Joe Morris and the CLC’s split between the “government” and “big-business”.
By spreading reformist illusions about capitalism the “CP” serves directly the interest of the bourgeoisie. This was proven very clearly in Chile where the “CP”’s preaching about “peaceful transition to socialism” and their bowing and scraping before capitalist parliaments left the Chilean working-class completely unarmed in the face of the fascist dictatorship launched by the bourgeoisie which was in full command of the state!
“Curbing the Monopolies” is a complete lie and illusion: the Canadian capitalist’class will never give up its power, its state, and its right to exploit us, without an armed struggle. The phoney schemes of revisionists and opportunists like Kashtan and Stewart of sharing the state with the capitalists by riding to power on the coat tails of the NDP and putting Canada under the domination of Soviet social-imperialism, will not take us one step closer to socialism.
Class struggle is the only road which leads to the end of our exploitation; to the building of a socialist society. And it is only with a new communist party, adhering to Marxism-Leninism, and dedicated to the final elimination of capitalism, that we can move forward to this goal.
Down with reformist and revisionist illusions!
Forge our Marxist-Leninist party!
 This tactic of the revisionists is not restricted to Ontario alone. They work In other municipal reformist alliances, such as the Montreal Citizen’s Movement and the Committees for Progressive Electors in Regina and Vancouver.