The ruling class has managed to make immigration the issue in this election. It is even saying that the Coalition Avenir Québec is posed to win the election on the basis of this platform.
To be very clear, if the CAQ wins a majority of seats in this election and forms the next government, it is not because immigration is the problem preventing the society from advancing. Escalating attacks on immigrants Donald Trump-style is purely for purposes of increasing the police powers and anti-worker laws which will be used against everyone, not only immigrants. History has shown that it doesn’t take long before workers are told that they must submit to anti-worker legislation.
Such anti-immigrant propaganda serves to deprive the people of the political unity they need to defeat the anti-social offensive of governments. It is to stop the workers from forming organizations which fight for political renewal so that it is they, not the rich, who control the decision-making process. It is to deprive the polity of an outlook which permits it to focus on the problems of the economy and how to change its direction so that the society can flourish, even within the conditions of neo-liberal globalization.
The CAQ claims to defend the interests of Quebeckers and the media have spared no effort to stoke irrational fears against « the other. » The biggest fraud is the suggestion that all the problems the people face are the fault of immigrants. It must be said loud and clear that it is not immigrants who cause economic uncertainty and the erosion of social programs and difficulties which arise as a result of the privatization of services which affect all aspects of life. To have a government formed by the CAQ which operates like a shock-talk radio station is not a good outcome for Quebeckers in this election.
Meanwhile, the Liberals have no interest in putting this all aside. They play along claiming that for them, the issue is all about « reasonable accommodations. » This serves to divert from the fact that they do not affirm the rights of all but engage in endless divide-and-rule politics to give arbitrary powers to ministers, governments and police forces to play with people’s lives. Their media cannot put this issue to rest either, because they accept the aim of divide and rule and diversion to keep the people marginalized and out of power.
The Parti Québécois has lost its place in the Quebec polity because it is turning its back on any modern nation-building project. Ever since Lucien Bouchard was head of the PQ and smashed the social contract in Lac St-Jean and the Saguenay, striking at the heart of Quebec, the PQ has not been able to recuperate. It is not for nothing that today Bouchard is the preferred negotiator to represent the interests of the rich against the workers. The PQ does not start with a recognition of the world as-is, but with a hazy notion of the past and a world based on ideas, so the workers must rise to the occasion and take up nation-building on a modern basis.
This starts with the recognition that today the economy is global. As a result of the technical and scientific revolution, the productive powers are more predominant than ever before and have surpassed the ability of current societies and arrangements to control them. These are facts but they do not mean that then working peoples of the world have to submit to neo-liberal nation-wrecking where the big powers set out to control everything and destroy whatever they cannot control. Destruction, aggression and war are not the only option the peoples face. On a world scale, the working peoples are fighting to humanize the natural and social environment, to build modern nation states which uphold the rights of all.
It is not the peoples’ fate to be controlled and dominated by oligopolies and an international mafia. The human productive forces can build the world in their own image, not that of the elites that are currently competing for control.
The PQ’s claim to support France’s model of « integration » versus Canadian « multiculturalism » is pathetic given that the French model is as much in crisis as the Canadian and British ones.
Now Québec solidaire has added its two cents to the mix. It claims that the issue is not immigration but how immigrants are integrated. This is just another variant of the accommodation polices the British imposed at the time of empire. It is not possible to make any headway on that basis. A decisive break with the definition of rights imposed by the British in the 19th century is required to affirm the rights of all on a human basis.
The definition of rights conferred on the basis of dividing people into categories based on gender, ethnic origin and nationality, religious or political belief, etc. has never been realized without discrimination and such rights will not be recognized if the working class is divided between immigrants and old stock Quebeckers or other such categories.
The cause of the problems at this time is that the direction of the economy is set by supranational private interests. This is accompanied by an anti-social offensive based on pay-the-rich policies, privatization of social services and subjecting human beings and all aspects of life to narrow private interests.
The PMLQ calls on the Quebec workers and people to not permit themselves to be diverted by these attacks on a section of the people who are called immigrants. Those who are forced into immigration are forced to do so by the same forces which cause the problems for the peoples here. They leave their countries and take residence abroad. It is not easy. They face a life similar to that being imposed on thousands of Quebec workers submitted to the whims caused by internal migration. Their lives are just as difficult and full of financial and emotional upheavals.
We must not permit those who seize the reins of power to launch anti-immigrant pogroms. Let’s unite in action to demand that governments stop paying the rich and increase investments in social programs!