Canada’s Lesser Evilism

In the 2004 US presidential election, a curious movement arose within the progressive political ranks. Although the leading political parties are both militaristic, capitalistic arms of the corporate structure, a faction arose that advocated voting for the Democratic Party candidate John Kerry despite his professed abhorrence of liberalism and his attempts to out-macho the Republican incumbent president George W. Bush militaristically. That the strategy of lesser evilism was severely flawed was evinced by the return of Bush to the presidency, leaving behind a fractured and disillusioned progressive movement. The UK also features a corporate political duopoly that predominates. There is little today to differentiate the Labour Party from the Conservative Party on economics and hawkish support for US imperialistic adventurism. There are murmurs though that the traditional third party, the Liberal Democratic Party, which is opposed to the invasion and occupation of Iraq might make inroads because of this principled stance.

Canada is similar to the UK in that it also has a corporate duopoly, the Liberals and the reincarnated Conservatives, and the perennially lagging New Democrats. The New Democratic Party (NDP) is the propeace party in Canadian politics.

The Canadian political stage is unstable. A simmering government scandal might be used as a lever by opportunistic parties to force an early election this year. The stakes are high. So the present writer was struck with bewilderment that writer Greg Felton, an ardent supporter of the Palestinians’ right to self-determination, would embrace the colossal failure of the lesser evilist strategy for Canada. [1] Felton sternly noted the dangerous outcome that a fanatical Conservative government in Canada would have for any semblance of a just approach to the ethnic cleansing and occupation of Palestine. Felton wields ad hominem to buttress his contention: "Here are four words that should make every self-respecting Canadian reach for an airsick bag: ‘Foreign Minister Stockwell Day.’" It is eerily reminiscent of a tactic used by the misnamed Anybody-but-Bush (ABB — in actuality, Kerry-but-Bush) crowd. For ABBers it was a four letter word that sent shivers down their spines: Bush.

Felton has denounced the recent pathetic Liberal Party record vis-à-vis a moral approach to the plight of Palestinians and noted the insidious influence of a Zionist cabal within the Liberal Party. [2] Yet, in the event of a quick election, he concluded: "Sad though it may be, voters have no choice — re-elect the Liberals." This is factually inaccurate and suggests either an ideological bias or a flawed grasp of the current Canadian political situation. Canada is governed by a minority Liberal government. The current minority government has seen a distinct drift toward a pro-Zionist position, as noted by Felton. [3] In other words, with two pro-Zionist parties dominating the political landscape, already a swing is underway in Canada, much to the consternation of Palestinian supporters. It would seem that Zionists already have a major stake in the Canadian corporate duopoly.

But there is clearly another choice on the Canadian political spectrum: vote NDP. [4] The most recent poll indicates that the next election will produce another minority government. [5] Based solely on a foreign policy line toward Palestine, it seems logical and prudent to cast a vote for the favorably disposed NDP. Fewer Liberal and Conservative parliamentarians would be good news for pro-Palestinian Canadians.

Marxist author Tariq Ali, an ABB advocate in 2004, seemingly has learned a lesson from that debacle and now supports a vote for the Liberal Democrats in the upcoming UK elections. [6]

Voting for the NDP in Canada would be a similar tactic. Presenting another Liberal government to Palestinian supporters will do nothing to stop the slide to a greater pro-Zionist stance. What kind of choice is this? It offers no hope for a stronger Canadian voice against the immoral perversities heaped on the Palestinians.

Furthermore, it is well known that the Liberals are pursuing a "deep integration" with the US. [7] This would effectively subvert Canada’s sovereignty to the US and hence to Bush. Given the flagrant US government disregard for Palestinians’ human rights, the negative consequences of such a integration would be profound..

It is a stark contradiction for Felton to advise that "Canadians must put aside their moral indignation to think about their self-respect…" It seems moral indignation and respect for the Palestinians is something that Canadians require in greater quantity. Canada needs to be bold and follow an electoral strategy that emphasizes morality and respect for self and others. Without moral fortitude from others, any lingering hope might swiftly become a sad illusion for the long-suffering Palestinians.


[1]. Greg Felton, "Canada’s self-respect is an election issue, and voters (sigh!) have no choice," Media Monitors Network, 15 April 2005

[2]. Greg Felton, "Zionists putting the screws to Canada’s Foreign Ministry," Media Monitors Network, 29 October 2004; "’Dirty Dozen’ threaten integrity of Canada’s foreign policy," Media Monitors Network, 7 January 2004

[3]. Greg Felton, "Pettigrew and Cotler test critical extremes," Media Monitors Network, 31 March 2005

[4]. The present writer is by no means a supporter of the NDP, but considering electoral viability in a first-past-the-post system, unfortunately only the NDP presents a conceivable chance to dint the corporate duopoly’s stranglehold on political power.

[5]. Canadian Press, "Martin speech didn’t boost Liberals: poll,", 26 April 2005; Reuters, "Lead Narrows for Conservatives in New Poll," Yahoo! News, 26 April 2005

[6]. Tariq Ali, "For one day only, I’m a Lib Dem," The Guardian, 26 March 2005

[7]. Editorial, "Deep Integration and the New North American Man,", 28 February 2005. John Manley, former deputy Prime Minister in the Jean Chrétien Liberal government is widely touted as the heir apparent to current Prime Minister Paul Martin. Manley is actively leading the task force pursuing closer cross-border integration.