First Published: The Forge Vol. 6, No. 11, March 20, 1981
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Malcolm and Paul Saba
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Over the last week, the WCP kicked off its Quebec election campaign in close to ten different meetings around the province. The meetings introduced the candidates and brought together everyone prepared to give the WCP a hand with its election campaign to discuss the work to be done.
A press conference was held at the Party’s central election headquarters in Montreal to inform the media of the campaign. WCP Chairman Roger Rashi, who is a candidate in Mercier, announced that 33 candidates would be canvassing for votes in the April 13 election. WCP candidates around the province were also presented to the local press.
More than 600 people came out to the campaign kick-off meetings in the Montreal area and around the province.
Working people of all ages came out to the meetings. At the meeting in southwest Montreal, March 14, rail workers, Dominion Bridge workers and people from the neighbourhood came out to meet the candidates and find out more about the party’s program.
In central Montreal a meeting March 17 attracted many hospital workers to hear Suzanne Lortie, a nurse at Notre Dame Hospital and Louise Baiillargeon, who workd at Hotel Dieu hospital.
Lively discussions took place in the meetings; some people asked, “What good does it do to vote WCP anyway. Since you are going to lose we will just be wasting our vote.”
Party activists explained that, on the contrary, a vote for the WCP would help strengthen the voice of workers, a voice independent of the capitalist parties. Such a gesture would help build up the fightback against the bosses and their state, and prepare the workers’ movement to confront the next government, no matter which party is elected.
Several people explained that, they used to work for the PQ, but that after a while they realized they had been fooled. But with the WCP, made up of workers and with a workers’ program, they are much more enthusiastic about working to build a working-class political force.
The various meetings also brought together everyone who wants to get involved in making the WCP campaign a success. Many participants gave their names to take part in door-to-door distribution of leaflets for the WCP candidate in their ridings. Others signed up to help out at the campaign offices by stamping and folding leaflets, checking voters’ lists, and so on.
In Valleyfield a couple in their forties signed up, the woman to do some canvassing, the man to work in the office. An unemployed man in St Jerome who came to the March 18 meeting in his area decided to organize a meeting at his house where his friends could discuss with the WCP candidate in Prevost, Louise Poisson.
The meeting also allowed funds to be collected to support the WCP campaign, as well as signatures for the candidates’ nomination papers. (Sixty names are required per candidate).
From the beginning of the week, WCP activists also organized special distribution of The Forge in shopping centres and neighbourhoods. They also began going door-to-door to present the WCP program.
There’s no doubt, the WCP campaign is well underway.