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Tell Them What They Want to Hear

Unremarked by commentators on Canada's federal election last November was the performance of candidates for the Communist Party of Canada. To qualify for national status, a party must field candidates in 50 ridings, which the CPC manages to do despite a singular lack of voter support. Out of some 13 million votes cast, the CPC garnered 6,782, its average of 135 ranging from a high of 310 in a Montreal riding to a low of 54 in Vancouver South. Yet the party's influence is undeniable.

Solitary amidst the mass of partisan pleas to embrace or shun freer trade with the United States during the election campaign was a five-column-wide advertisement bearing the headline "Wouldn't you like to hand this down to your kids?" Below it, and held between a thumb and forefinger, was a tiny replica of the Earth; home, readers were reminded, to 60,000 nuclear warheads. Instead of providing a world that kids could grow up in, Canadians were said to be "spending billions of dollars on aggressive military hardware. Money that could be spent insuring that children get adequate childcare, or building affordable homes, or feeding the hungry people lined up at foodbanks from Victoria to St. John's."

Electors were urged to "vote Canada out of the arms race" and to sign the Canadian Peace Pledge that would "make Canada a nuclear weapons free zone and make Canada an international voice for peace."...

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