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Fernwood 2021/22 leaderboard

2021 Federal Election

On August 16, Justin Trudeau called on the governor general to dissolve parliament, setting the stage for a national election. It will be the shortest campaign allowed by federal law, yet it will also be held under the shadow of a nearly two-year long pandemic that has profoundly reshaped our lives, and the global economy. What will it mean for Canada and the Canadian left?

  • What’s the point of voting NDP?

    Instead of playing the game by the Liberals’ rules, the NDP should be straight with its voters: get us to 40 seats and we’ll get you a fairer tax system, a green economy, and electoral reform on top of it all. What’s more, an NDP blocking minority would change Canadian politics for good, as it has the potential of transforming its political culture, making it more democratic and collaborative.

  • Media ignore politics behind Green leader’s demise

    Annamie Paul’s perspective has overwhelmingly shaped coverage of the dramatic and bitter conflict within the Green Party. The media has even uncritically reported Paul’s claim that Elizabeth May, who abused her authority to promote Paul’s candidacy in last year’s leadership race, is part of a conspiracy against her. As 25-year Green Party member Constantine Kritsonis noted, “Straight out of the twilight zone! The Annamie Paul gang blames Elizabeth May!”

  • Can we really fight for a left agenda within the NDP?

    We are often told that voting is a form of ‘harm reduction.’ But consider all the energy and resources poured into trying-and-usually-failing to get NDP candidates elected to a parliament where they likely cannot or will not make any difference in the actual policy output. What if we put those resources and energy into the actual harm reduction itself?

  • The election everyone lost

    The 2021 Canadian federal election is over, and it produced one of the most status quo results in Canadian history. While not all ridings have been called, the end result is determined. No party will gain or lose more than a few seats, there was little popular vote shift among the larger parties, and the result is another healthy Trudeau Liberal minority where neither the NDP nor the Bloc Québécois hold the balance of power on their own.

  • Justin Trudeau’s status quo election

    For the many millions of Canadians frustrated by Liberal incompetence and repulsed by Conservative callousness, this federal election outcome is not a joyous one. And how could it be, when both parties (in differing degrees, granted) are either ignoring the country’s most pressing issues, offering insufficient, piecemeal policies to address them, or are complicit in exacerbating them?

  • The tail wags the dog in Alberta. Can we expect the same if Erin O’Toole forms government in Ottawa?

    Jason Kenney and his strategic brain trust have proved themselves to be either sympathetic to that caucus or too fearful of raising its ire to act decisively in dealing with the COVID situation. This is what happens when you let the tail wag the dog. Will O’Toole have the stuff to rein in a caucus loaded with members who answer to the loud-mouthed minority? I’m not optimistic.

  • Why vote Communist?

    Where every other party is obliged to broker the interests of working class and colonized people to the grand abstraction of ‘The Economy,’ balancing corporate interests with the best of their respective platforms, the Communist Party of Canada can confidently name the profit system that dispossesses all, however differently—of land, of lifetime, of the wealth that we incessantly create.

  • NDP platform the most progressive and fiscally responsible of top three parties

    There is much economic uncertainty as the country uneasily exits the pandemic. Now is not the time for governments to be timid. Now is the time for the federal government to lead. Bold spending can deliver long overdue government programs that support those in greatest need and stimulate the economy. As it stands, the NDP’s promises are the only ones that approach the necessary scale of action.

  • ‘Securing the future’ requires a real plan to fix childcare. The Conservatives don’t have one

    Erin O’Toole’s childcare strategy misses the mark: it contains no plan to bring more women into the workforce, create new daycare spaces, or provide more equitable pay to childcare workers. And while there’s little doubt providing more cash to parents would help with affordability, the Conservatives’ planned tax rebate gets nowhere close to reducing the accessibility gap, particularly in underserved communities or cities with a high cost of living.

  • Moving beyond the centrist consensus in Election 44

    It matters who wins the election and better is preferable to worse, but while we focus on how to solve the challenges of our day, we ought to also focus on the structures that produce the problems we face time and time again. That shift in focus requires us to imagine a world beyond the constraints of the current political and economic order, and it requires that political elites take up the cause.

  • Just watch him: Jagmeet Singh takes on the rich to build a better Canada

    Jagmeet Singh and the NDP have come out with a bold costed platform that is a marked departure from Canada’s long neoliberal consensus. It makes a concise and powerful pitch: Canada is plagued by social and economic injustice that has only been intensified by COVID, and as we build out of this crisis, regular Canadians need help, and the rich have the responsibility and ability to contribute to a just recovery.

  • Canada’s in a housing crisis. It’s time for radical solutions

    Recent polling shows that more than ever, Canadians cite housing affordability as one of their top election issues—especially young Canadians. This should come as no surprise: years of political inaction has led us to a desperate housing emergency in which speculators and developers reap massive profits, while working class Canadians pay record amounts of their income just to have a roof over their heads.

  • Federal election 2021: A Courage analysis

    The narrative that has emerged in the current election has given eco-socialists an opening that is unprecedented. Government activism has never played such a starring role in a federal election. Austerity, lower taxes, cutbacks—the usual themes on the electoral political stage—have been written out of the campaign scripts and the loosening of public purse strings now implies placing the public interest above private greed.

  • NDP’s same old foreign policy is a massive disappointment

    The New Democratic Party’s foreign policy and military statements suggest little would change if the party formed government, writes Yves Engler. That’s unfortunate since there’s much that needs to shift in Canada’s relationship to the world. Canadians of conscience shouldn’t be satisfied with being a junior partner in the neoliberal world order and bullying others to follow the dictates of the US empire.

  • Urgent action on genocide missing from federal party platforms

    The 44th federal election is well underway, and Canadians and Indigenous peoples alike are concerned about the many issues contributing to the genocide of Indigenous peoples. In fact, the majority of Canadians said that reconciliation with Indigenous peoples will influence their vote this election. So, where is the urgent action on genocide in the federal party platforms?

  • Hey Conservatives, you’ve got an Alberta problem

    Whatever the case, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney’s failure to implement even the most basic of measures required to deal effectively with the pandemic suggests a weak leader who’s lost control of government to the looniest of conservative loons in his caucus. The question for Canadians ahead of the upcoming federal election is would a Prime Minister Erin O’Toole be any different?

  • Green Party members give preliminary approval to bold progressive policies

    On August 19, four days after the Trudeau government called a federal election, the Green Party of Canada disclosed that its members had given preliminary approval to a series of bold climate and social justice policies. If given final approval by GPC members, these policies will position the GPC as the most progressive party in Canada’s Parliament by a wide margin, writes Dimitri Lascaris.

  • Direction of post-COVID reconstruction at stake in federal election

    None of the major political parties are proposing a program with sufficient ambition and breadth to fully achieve this vision of post-COVID reconstruction. But there is an undeniable distinction between those that (to varying degrees) accept the new parameters of economic policy since COVID, and those that oppose them and want to return to conventional neoliberal practice as soon as possible.

  • Why horse-race polling is little more than political theatre

    The polls are tightening up in Election 44 and we have a live one on our hands. With the Conservatives taking the lead, it’s anyone’s guess who will form government after election day, right? Well, not exactly. The problem is that the popular vote doesn’t really mean squat. It’s little more than a temperature check for the national mood and leaves Canadians in the dark about where we really stand in this election.

  • Canada’s in a prolonged housing crisis. There’s one trick to getting out of it: Build more (non-market) housing

    The housing crisis is not a policy crisis—it’s a political crisis. We know what must be done: demand-side interventions to support an all-out housing strategy. We just need politicians who’ll do it. Whether the 2021 election will return enough of them to make a difference is to be seen, but it seems unlikely, though that is no reason to stop fighting for a solution to the problem of fulfilling a fundamental human need.

  • A modest proposal for reimagining Canadian foreign policy

    Kim Campbell once said “an election is no time to discuss serious issues.” While most politicians would reject the former prime minister’s bluntness, they largely follow her logic, offering sound bites rather than substantial policy reforms. Recognizing the rigid parameters of electioneering, the Canadian Foreign Policy Institute has developed a concise, practical and cost-free foreign policy platform most progressive voters could endorse.

  • It’s time to make Canadian medicare truly universal

    It is no accident that health care is Canada’s best-loved social program, even though it has become increasingly meaner and leaner. But we have failed to learn from its success and have so far fallen short in our efforts to build a universal public system for today. We need a new national plan that goes beyond hospitals to include pharmacare, homecare, dental and long-term residential care.

  • The urgent need to tax billionaires out of existence

    One of the most profound changes over the past 40 years has been the ever-increasing concentration of wealth in the hands of a tiny number of individuals. This increasing dominance of billionaires—and how it renders us powerless to protect ourselves in the most basic ways—should be front and centre in the current federal election campaign. Instead it’s barely even identified as an issue.

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