In Praise of the Canadian Waffle: Bringing Canada Back from the Brink

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by Betty Krawczyk l Betty's Early Edition
When I first came to Canada in 1966 from the American South I was happy to be out of a country that was, in my opinion, becoming increasingly sexist, racist, militaristic, and where fundamentalist Christian religion condoned all of the above.
To my relief, not only was Canada not involved in a cruel and senseless war (Viet Nam) but had a history of socialist thinking that was unheard of in the States. The “Waffle”, commonly described as the left wing of the NDP, and blatantly socialist oriented, fascinated me. I immediately joined up.
Now, forty five years later I find the Harper government not only championing unjust wars and threats of wars with righteous aplomb, but as well as trying desperately to break unions, undo health care, bring back the issues of birth control and abortion through his back benchers, deny science, and stealthily practice fundamental religious beliefs by egging Israel on to bomb Iran in order, in my view, to bring the “Rapture” and fulfill Biblical scripture.
Not to mention trying, in my view, to criminally rig elections.
Given that privatization is the economic mantra for both the Harper government and the BC Christy Cark government and as this continuing privatization brings more pauperization for the people, while further enriching the one percent, what’s the solution?
What’s the solution when people become so improvised by privatization that they can’t buy the things made by machines? When most of the nations’ money slumbers in off shore bank accounts? When nothing can move because one small group has it all? I believe the only antidote to privatization is nationalization.

And yes, nationalism means socialism, real socialism, not just a theory tacked onto the back of a capitalist structure that is riddled with corporate corruption. With a bow of gratitude to the NDP’s Tommy Douglas for Canada’s universal health care plan, I contend that we Canadians, having lost the “Waffle” wing of the NDP, do not have a home grown Socialist Party.

Socialism is first, and foremost, the recognition that there will never be any fairness and justice in a country if the country’s banking system is controlled by private banks. All of our banks in Canada are private except for one…The Bank of Canada. The Bank of Canada is a public bank and it belongs to us.
The government of Canada can borrow without interest from The Bank of Canada for public works, military spending, health care, etc., whatever it needs to run the country. However, all Canadian Prime Ministers since 1935 have been persuaded, one way or another, by the private banks that it would be good for the country to borrow from them instead of from the Bank of Canada, as then the private banks could charge compound interest that would be paid by citizens through public debt. This is wonderful for private Canadian banks (check their profits) disastrous for us (check our load of private debt) and our national debt.

The second major recognition of any country that is working toward Socialism is that it must make haste to get its natural resources in hand. This means that a country’s natural resources such as water, oil, gas, mining and forestry must be under direct public ownership, and not private corporations.

Corporations and private companies operating in Canada would laugh at the suggestion of nationalizing Canada’s banks, water, oil, gas, and trees. It’s because they believe these natural resources belong to them and when they stopped laughing at any suggestion of nationalizing “their” resources they would shout “Communism!” and then sit back, still chuckling, as if that accusation would settle the matter.
The mere accusation of godless Communism is thought to frighten passive Canadian citizens senseless.

But no, it doesn’t settle the matter. Communism implies such an advanced citizen consciousness that it doesn’t need the state and this exists nowhere on this earth.

In my opinion, if we don’t become Socialists in its most fundamental sense in Canada, if we continue to depend only upon our natural resources in corporate hands with next to no manufacturing base, then I agree with those who say we are set to become a third world country. Help! Bring back the “Waffle”!  

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