Venezuela’s Chavez to Ministers: Now is the Time for Self-Criticism

by Rachael Boothroyd, Venezuela Analysis

In a cabinet meeting with his top ministers on Saturday, Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez strongly criticised his political team for failing to show commitment to the participatory democratic model currently being proposed by his government and urged them to undertake serious “self-criticism”.

Chavez at the cabinet meeting on Saturday

The meeting was the first cabinet meeting to have taken place since the Venezuelan national elections were held on 7 October, in which Chavez won a third presidential term with over 54% of the vote.

During the televised meeting, Chavez made many criticisms of his party, especially with regards to the construction of the country’s communes, which group together communal councils in a given region. Continue reading

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Communist Party Condemns Proroguing of Parliament: Recall the Legislature!

Communist Party of Canada (Ontario)

Withdraw Bill 155, repeal Bill 115 and restore Free Collective Bargaining in the Public Sector!

The Communist Party of Canada (Ontario) condemns Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty’s indefinite proroguing of the Provincial Parliament and suspension of parliamentary democracy, and demands the government recall Parliament and end its abuse of power.

Logo of the Communist Party of Canada – Parti Communiste du Canada

Unable to pass his government’s anti-democratic “Protecting Public Services Act” (Bill 155) – which would legislate a wage freeze and suspend free collective bargaining across the public sector – the Premier wants to dispense with Parliament and try to impose his program of austerity without legislation. The government also hopes to evade any accountability or responsibility in the on-going exposure of wrong-doing by government Ministers and agencies. Continue reading

Pussy Riot: Whose Freedom, Whose Riot?

Radfem HUB

Please reblog this radical feminist analysis of the Pussy Riot controversy.

Recently there has been lots of noise around the arrest of three members of Pussy Riot, a Russian anarchist female punk band. The media almost unequivocally represented them as the modern heroines of our time, fighting for freedom, democracy, sexual liberation and peace against a dark and ruthless dictatorship (articles are to be found in the NYTLe MondeThe Guardian, etc.) Feminist groups all over the Western world are sending links and petitions to “free pussy riot”, anddemonstrations have even been organised in support of the group by big institutionalised organisations such as “Osez le féminisme” (dare to be a feminist).

Now while I support without ambiguity the liberation of Pussy Riot’s members, it’s worth pausing for a minute to ask ourselves, as radical feminists, what the political dynamics are here. Why would Western media denounce so passionately the repression of feminists in Russia, when it usually only diffuses information that supports male supremacy and patriarchy? Feminism has long disappeared from any malestream media, except when journalists can turn it into male masturbation material, that is pornify either our suffering or our resistance to it. What’s going on here? Continue reading

Why Don’t the Greek Communists Just Link Forces With the Radical Left Coalition?

by Johan Boyden

The political assessment of the Communist Party of Greece (which we posted here) deserves some introduction for our readers in Canada. Afterall, as Greece heads towards Sunday elections, all eyes seem to suddenly be turned to the volatile situation in the Hellenic Republic.

UPDATE: View the election results in graphic form and read the assessment of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Greece.

Progressive-minded people in Canada are optimistic. After years of hard struggle with countless general strikes and mass rallies, maybe these elections will hand a victory to political parties that identify with the left? Maybe they will demonstrate a different direction from austerity and economic crisis to the world?

There is also a certain renewed anxiety in the voices of the ruling class.  “We cannot have a Greek election determining the future of the global economy. That’s not fair to anybody,” Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said recently. Today, Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney referenced Greece and the European situation to warn of more mass unemployment and ‘recession’ over here. Continue reading

Communist Party of China Delegate Election Shows Improved Intra-Party Democracy

Xinhua/People’s Daily Online

BEIJING, Aug. 16 (Xinhua) — After almost one year of campaigning, the Communist Party of China (CPC) has elected its delegates to the 18th National Congress, demonstrating both its understanding of democratic procedure and an optimized lineup with more younger, grassroots-level Party members.

Image from the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China

Earlier this week, the CPC published a list of names for the 2,270 delegates for its 18th National Congress, which will be held in the second half of this year.

Improved election measures have shown that the Party does not regard the election as mere routine, but as an important demonstration of intra-Party democracy that will serve as a critical factor in establishing a substantial democracy in a socialist country. Continue reading

Quebec Movements Face Election Challenge

by Johan Boyden, Montreal

The community of Trois Pistoles along the northern banks of the St. Lawrence river is known for its picturesque beauty and historic links to Basque whalers, who travelled there hundreds of years ago from Spain. Now it has become a symbol of the pre‑election polarization and fear‑mongering going on in Québec.

A student protester in Quebec

An ecological festival in the town, put on by community activists including some who have been fighting high‑risk shale gas development in the region, wanted to invite student leaders to speak at their event.

A storm of controversy erupted. Mayor Jean‑Pierre Rioux met with organizers and threatened to withdraw all funding. “Around here, people think that [student leader] Gabriel Nadeau‑Dubois is […] like Maurice `Mom’ Boucher” one festival organizer said.

Mom Boucher is, of course, the convicted rapist, drug dealer and murderer who leads the Montreal Hells Angels. Continue reading

People’s Democracy in China

by Joseph Stalin

People illiterate in terms of economics do not distinguish between the People’s Republic of China and the People’s Democracies of the countries of Central and South-Eastern Europe, let us say the People’s Democratic Republic of Poland. These are different things.

Assorted art from the Chinese Revolution

What is People’s Democracy? It contains at least such features as: 1) Political power being in the hands of the proletariat; 2) nationalisation of the industry; 3) the guiding role of the Communist and Working Peoples’ Parties; 4) the construction of Socialism not only in the towns but also in the countryside.

In China we cannot even talk about the building of Socialism either in the towns or in the countryside. Some enterprises have been nationalised but this is a drop in the ocean. The main mass of industrial commodities for the population is produced by artisans. There are about 30 million artisans in China. Continue reading