Discussion Bulletin #5 PDF Print E-mail

Young Communist League of Canada - Ligue de la jeunesse communiste du Canada
25th Central Convention – September 24-26 - Toronto
Discussion Bulletin #5

The following submissions make up Discussion Bulletin #5 for our upcoming 25th Central Convention.

Discussion Submissions

Submission by Daniel Mozarowski, Toronto YCL

Free market economics speaks in words of fancy diction,
but what they're really saying are class-based, vulgar fictions!

...To fix the problems of our Earth, we have to think beyond this system;
to a world that's planned for social use: not exploitative conditions!

While the rich divide amongst themselves the fruits of your hard labour,
think back on your own life to choose which class that you will favour.

Will it be the class of working sisters, brothers, friends?
or that of the exploiters; fighting off pre-history's end?

Against Cinderella Memberships, Yes We Can Have Blood-Soaked Steaks On Every Plate (not that we should), and Other Comments on Bulletin #2, Submitted by Saleh Waziruddin from Niagra YCL

I think that the convention contributions about Constitutional Amendments and By-Laws and also about Vegetarianism in Bulletin #2, and Third Worldism more recently, are exactly the kinds of contributions we need before the YCL Convention and exactly the kind of issues we need to hash out a the Convention.  These contributions are a sign that we have a healthy organization with people who can use their brains to think for themselves, that we’re not just a collection of pets and mannequins who are (barely) warm bodies for other people’s words and ideas.

Of course, that does not mean I agree with what these contributions say, and I hope to address some of the Constitutional Amendments and By-Laws from the Trail Club as well as the article on Vegetarianism here.

I am against the age-ceiling to YCL membership in the proposal (by-law 4 Ageing Out) from Trail.  I think this is a wreckless change, to say that you should not be a YCL member when you hit 30, because it automatically removes membership without looking at the need for a careful transition to younger members.  Leaving the YCL should not be something determined by a clock, but is a political task that isn’t always conveniently managed like a calendar.  It takes figuring out to see who to transition the tasks and roles to.  Also a 29-year old YCLer might be in the middle of finishing a responsibility or task close to their 30th birthday, it would be arbitrary to say they cannot finish their job because of their birthday.

Having an automatic cut-off for membership when the clock strikes midnight on your 30th birthday would also create 2 tiers of membership, those who are eligible for election as leaders because of how far they are from being 30 and those who are not.  This is undemocratic, YCL members should be allowed to elect ANY member regardless of their age to leadership positions.

The age-limit is a mechanical proposal.  I confess, I am 32 years old and would not have been eligible to be elected to the Central Committee if this rule was in place then.  But my reasons against it are that it handles the question of transition without regard for the consequences of people leaving the YCL when the clock strikes 12 on their 30th birthday and also is undemocratic because it creates two classes of members.  I have worked out a transition out of the YCL in a way where I can take proper responsibility for my work up to the convention, something that depends on more than the Earth’s revolution around the sun.

Amendment 7 asks for National and Provincial Committees to meet at least monthly.  I think this is impractical, executives might meet monthly at best.  Full committees, which are larger and not executive bodies, would probably need to meet less frequently if they are not just going to be an executive.

I am in favor of gendered speaking lists and use them sometimes where there is a big gender imbalance, but I think it would be wrong to make that a bylaw as for parliamentary meetings like a Convention we need a more simple straight-forward democratic mechanism of every member or speaker having the same rights, even if the composition of the meeting is imbalanced.  In a non-parliamentary meeting it’s worth promoting voices that are not often heard, but where top policy decisions are being made we should use parliamentary procedure that is designed to give  elected representatives equal voice like in Roberts Rules of Order.

I like the idea of a pro- and con- speakers list, but what about those who are not pro or con?

By-law 6, requiring a uniform and pins, is too much like a paramilitary organization or the boy scouts or girl guides, which is not what the YCL is.  We are not an organization of youth with para-military aspirations of uniformity, but have an uneven mix of people struggling against capitalism from different levels of development.  Uniforms and pins, especially those differentiating Communist Party members from non-Communist Party members which should be irrelevant as the YCL is independent of the CPC, are the wrong kind of discipline.

Lastly, I call for rejecting the idea that our personal consumption should be restricted.  Our personal consumption is not the main danger to the world, the capitalist rule of the world is.  While meat eating is certainly less efficient than vegetarian lifestyles, the fact is that we can actually produce enough beef for the whole world under the current system.  I calculated that if you took the highest per-capita beef consumption (from Argentina) and calculated how many cows would be required, based on the highest carcass yield statistics by country (so pick a Japanese beef cow), assuming a cow is slaughtered at age two, and from that figured out how much grassland would be needed for 2.5 acres per cow (the low end of the range for organic farming), current grazing lands can cover this amount of cows.  Under the current level of agricultural technology we actually can have steak for dinner for everyone every day, but we don’t not because the Earth can’t support it but because production is for profit and not need.

Under socialism we might decide not to have steak every day because we might want to use the resources for something else, but if we decide to have steak every day for everyone we can.  The idea that we should restrict our consumption under socialism because of valuing restricted consumption itself, instead of some rational trade-off with an alternative uses of resources, is a defeatist revision of Marxism-Leninism championed by people like Hans Heinz Holz of the German CP who claim the USSR should not have tried to out-produce capitalism but should have tried to pursue alternative non-consumptive ethics.  Marxism-Leninism says socialism can outproduce capitalism in terms of making things we need because socialism transitions us to where we can eliminate scarcity and produce for needs and not profit, the way forward is to be able to provide steaks for everyone who wants one rather than saying we should all be vegetarians.  Of course, this doesn’t mean we should not be vegetarians for other reasons, just that production capacity under socialism should not be one of them.

Ammendment to the Declaration of Unity and Resistance, Submitted by Zach Crispin from Vancouver YCL

Be it resolved that item 2 in the Declaration of Unity and Resistance be amended to read:

"Employment is a right of all young workers. Sustainable, alternative economic policies are required to democratically run our economy, block deindustrialization and create better, safer work, with better wages for youth. A Living Wage is critical in this process. Reducing the work week with no loss in pay, a minimum one month vacation, as well as no obligations on employees to accept overtime work, will also contribute to this solution. We must make unemployment insurance and welfare payments accessible to youth and minimize paper work and wait times.

We struggle for these goals, uniting in, or working to create mass organizations dedicated to their achievement. Our aim is to bring young workers into these struggles and unite them in unions so that they can collectively struggle for their rights."

Marxism, Third-Worldism, and Revolutionary Potential, Submitted by Philip F from Toronto YCL

The Third-Worldist Challenge

For some time in the modern history of Marxism there has been a school of thought which suggests the First World (FW) working class has been bought off with the super-profits of imperialism and as such has lost all revolutionary potential. Today one can find ‘Third-Worldist’ groups which claim that the only way to uphold the legacy of Marx and Lenin is to reject political work among the FW working class and accept that it is delusional to think that workers in the rich countries can be won over to the struggle for Socialism and Communism. Although I do not think this line is correct, it does pose some challenging questions which should force us to critically examine our outlook, tactics, and expectations.

What follows is a deliberately provocative attempt to challenge our political line and an assessment of this challenge. The hope is that through engaging in critical analysis of some of our fundamental assumptions we sharpen our revolutionary, Marxist-Leninist politics. I welcome the most strident and thorough criticism.

Firstly, how do the Third Wordists reach their conclusions? Their starting point is that workers in the rich countries are not exploited, and so have no material interest in overthrowing capitalism and imperialism:

  • FW workers enjoy massively inflated wages, putting even the lowest paid in the top 13% richest, globally. For example, a worker earning the Canadian average wage of $36,000 is in the top 5% richest people in the world. Conversely, over half the world’s population (more than 3 billion people) live on $2.50 per day or less; 80% of the world’s people are living on $10 a day or less; and there are more people in India living on $0.80 cents a day or less than there are people living in the US overall (i.e. over 300 million people, approximately 10 times the population of Canada).
  • FW economies are ‘mall economies’; workers here are engaged, overwhelmingly, not with producing value but with the realization of capital. So if they are not producing value, and the cash for wages in the FW is ultimately derived from the profits of imperialist super-exploitation, then one can say these workers are not having surplus value extracted from their labour and are therefore not exploited.
  • An improvement of conditions in the FW necessarily involves deterioration in the Third World (TW), as the superior material conditions in the rich countries depends on the impoverishment of the poor ones. FW and TW workers do not, therefore, share a class interest.

In the light of these material issues, should we be surprised if FW workers reject Socialism, which by its very nature would entail an end to the super-exploitation of imperialism and the decadent ‘Western life-style’ it has afforded?

And crucially, Communists are meant to be on he side of the oppressed, not the side of the oppressor. This is what class struggle is about. If the FW working class is consciously and willingly collaborating with imperialism, that suggests they are a class enemy, not a revolutionary class which will have a role in the global shift to Socialism.

Marx described the proletariat as having “nothing to lose but their chains” – does this accurately describe a worker in Canada, living in a cozy apartment, perhaps driving a car to work everyday, indulging in a rich diet to the point of heart failure; whilst the proletariat in the TW subsists from one day to the next, living in total squalor, illiteracy, and desperation, surrounded by the chaos and destruction of imperialist immiseration, with a life-expectancy of about two-thirds that of their counterparts in the FW?

This should not be taken as suggesting that there are not multifarious oppressions, humiliations, and indignities in the lives of FW workers. There clearly are. But there are degrees of suffering, and this Third-Worldist line provides some compelling reasons for why the working class in the FW does not shift to the Left even in the face of a clearly moribund capitalism which has produced nothing but human misery and ecological annihilation. In fact, it explains why FW workers overwhelmingly shift to the Right, embracing religious fundamentalism, war, racism and all manner of chauvinism and bigotry, thus facilitating the FW bourgeoisie’s consolidation of a fascist system to protect their wealth and power. This analysis seems to hold particularly true in the United States, where these ultra-Right tendencies are highly popular, deeply engrained, and well advanced.

A Marxist Leninist Response

I suggest that we embrace the challenge provided to us by this Third-Worldist analysis, without accepting it in its entirety. We should constantly be examining and re-examining the conditions created by global capitalism and how this affects our struggle – this is the only scientific and dialectical-materialist way to go about political work. If we ignore some of the material facts pointed out to us by the Third-Worldists we run the risk of becoming utopians and idealists – seeing the working class in Canada as we would like it to be, and not as it is.

However, if we adopt the outlook of the Third-Worldists wholesale, we will end up simply polemicizing on internet forums and doing little else; completely separating ourselves from the conditions affecting the people in Canada, missing opportunities to develop the potential for a people’s coalition (which is a feasible and viable) and simply be another weird, self-involved cult, much like the various Trotskyite factions.

Third-Worldism does force us to look at what we are doing here in Canada, an imperialist country with a population that is relatively very rich indeed and seems largely devoted to capitalism as things currently stand. But it fails in certain key respects:

  • Revolutionary potential does exist in Canada, and even in the US. The question may be ‘how much’, but should not be ‘does it exist at all’ (which the Third-Worldists answer in the negative). Communists have a duty to seek out allies, work for the advancement of Socialism, and reject defeatism.
  • Third-Worldists, in their ultra-revolutionary fervour, reject solidarity with the ‘revisionist’ Communist Parties in Socialist countries such as Cuba, Nepal, Vietnam, etc. and also totally dismiss Communist Parties as they currently exist in capitalist countries. They also refuse to support movements such as those led by Chavez in Venezuela and Morales in Bolivia. In this they end up being much like the Trotskyites who have undermined and split the Communist movement and reinforced imperialism. This is to be condemned unconditionally.
  • Third-Worldists are incorrect when they posit that the workers in rich countries have more in common, materially, with their own ruling class than with the proletariat of the exploited nations. Even though the income gap between FW and TW workers is enormous, it is not bigger than the gap between FW worker and FW capitalist – the ratio of a FW worker taking home approx. $125 per day (i.e. average Canadian salary of $36k) to a typical TW worker earning $1.50 per day is 83:1. But, the ratio of a typical FW CEO at $20,800 per day (i.e. approx. $5 million per year) to a FW worker at $125 per day is 166:1, i.e. the ratio doubles; and to a FW minimum wage worker that same ratio jumps to 260:1.
  • The question of relative cost of living does not seem to feature in the Third-Worldist analysis, at least not prominently. A FW minimum wage worker may be far wealthier than even a well paid TW worker, and will certainly have a higher standard of living, but that does not mean they are living a life of opulent indulgence as costs are far higher in the FW compared to the TW.
  • As Communists in the FW we realise and accept that Socialist construction here would necessarily involve an end to imperialist domination and exploitation, but we reject the idea that an improvement of conditions in one part of the world leads to an impoverishment elsewhere. Once workers in rich countries are engaged in constructive work to better the condition of humanity at home and abroad, and not engaged in the realisation of profits for their ruling class, all peoples can look forward to a better future.
  • In the light of the Third-Worldist challenge, Marxist theories around alienation, reification, commodity fetishism and class consciousness provide a strong basis for more thoroughly understanding what it is exactly that is keeping the workers in the FW generally hostile to Socialist ideas, in opposition to their class interest.

Third World-ism is Not a Challenge but Rather is “Challenged”, Submitted by Saleh Waziruddin from Niagra YCL

A Toronto Comrade writes that Third Worldism, the idea that the world can be divided into three income brackets and wealth is produced by those who are in the poorest countries, has some facts to offer us and explains why there is less of a fight-back in imperialist countries like Canada.  Actually Third Worldism is not based on facts at all and does not challenge us into recognizing realities but instead tries to confuse us to accept the boss’s lies about ourselves.  The outcome of believing the boss’s lies that many Canadian workers have it too good already is to give up any hope of fighting Canadian capitalists, perversely in the name of helping people exploited by our capitalists in other countries when what they need most is for us to bring Canadian capitalists to their knees, something Third Worldism says we can’t do because we are bought off.

The lowest paid Canadian does not make $36,000 a year, but $0 a year.  The fact is most Canadians are not comfortably well off, many are either starving and homeless or one cheque away from it.  It’s not scientific to take the average income and say this represents the bottom income.  The 2004 Stats Can Survey of Household Spending shows that the bottom 20% of Ontarians by income spend about 140% of their income on basic necessities.

But there is a bigger fact Third Worldism gets wrong, which is that even though it is on a small scale, the Canadian working class and youth ARE fighting back.  We are going on strikes, supporting picket lines, protesting the G20, organizing solidarity campaigns despite not even having the right to use the word “Apartheid”.  Third Worldism is blind to this reality and tries to make us ignore the real fight-back as it is and the potential for growing it, by telling us we are all bought off by the labour of workers in neo-colonies, which itself shows a completely muddled interpretation of Marx.

Third Worldism mixes up income, which is how much physical money we get, with the social relationship we are in.  Capitalism is not defined by income but by the social relationship of producing wealth.  As far as understanding capitalism goes it’s not so important whether your income is high or low, but whether you are producing wealth for the capitalists or if someone else is producing wealth for you.  Often relatively higher-income auto and steel workers are producing much more wealth and are much more exploited (in the Marxist sense of producing wealth for capitalists) than low income workers who might not be producing as much wealth for capitalists.  Third Worldism tries to make us forget capitalism is about social relationships by telling us it is about income, which robs us of the revolutionary analysis needed to change Canada.

Instead of income tiers, the world should be looked at as consisting of imperialist countries like Canada, socialist countries like Cuba or Democratic Korea, and what I will call neo-colonies which are countries targeted by capitalists in imperialist countries for making money off of them.  Looking at the world through imperialist relations directly, rather than income brackets, shows that wealth is produced by workers in imperialist countries too and this has nothing to do with the size of your paycheck.

Third Worldism as presented by the Toronto Comrade, and I think this is a distortion in the presentation, confuses retail with service.  A “mall economy” is a retail economy, and according to Marx’s analysis in Capital II retail workers do not produce wealth but instead circulate it.  However, not all service workers are retail workers, and service workers such as those in outsourced call centres like myself do produce wealth for capitalists, in fact a lot of it.  Marx’s analysis of capitalism is about looking at wealth production, not the production of physical stuff.  The fallacy that those who do not produce physical goods are not producing wealth was smashed by people who came long before Marx, like Adam Smith.  What’s important about capitalist exploitation is whether the capitalists as a class makes a profit off of the work, which they do for outsourced services, and to focus on income alone is to turn back the clock on Economics over 200 years.

Stats Can’s Labour Force Survey released August 6 2010 shows manufacturing workers increased by 26,000 in July and make up 1.7 million workers (productive and non-productive of capital e.g. in administration and maintenance).  The goods-producing industries have 3.7 million workers vs 13.5 million for the service industries, but only 2.7 million of those are in trade.  Most of the other service workers are not in retail and produce capital and so are “productive” of capital and exploited in the same way as workers in manufacturing industries or workers in neo-colonies.  These are the facts that Third Worldism wants to confuse us about by mixing up retail and service work, and mixing up paycheck sizes with the social relationships of capitalism.

All of these workers in manufacturing and non-retail services produce wealth for capitalists, and their paychecks are not from the third world or neo-colonial countries but from their own labour.  So it’s wrong to say that we make gains from the exploitation of workers in neo-colonies, we make gains from the struggle against our own capitalists, who workers in neo-colonies are also struggling against.  In fact we can only beat the Canadian capitalists if we work together with workers in neo-colonies to take them on, something Third Worldism will never let us do because it wants us to close our eyes to the realities of the struggle in Canada in the name of confusing income disparity as a short-hand for imperialist social relations.  To say workers in imperialist countries are collaborators is to ignore the fight back as it is, and to ignore the reality of our responsibility in Canada to increase the resistance and win the leadership of the working class here as a means of overthrowing capitalism.

Nothing to lose but your chains does not mean you literally have nothing other than chains, but rather that socially we are nothing under capitalism even if we have good food or a good apartment because we don’t control the means of production, and so “we have been naught but we shall be all” as in the song Internationale not because we have naught but because despite what material things we might have we are still naught.  This is the difference between physical income vs our social relationship.  Capitalism is not about how much stuff you have but about the social relationship of making the stuff.

The Right is successful because it uses demagoguery backed up by its wealth, and we have limited success because we need to improve in our leadership of the struggle and our work and not because Canadian workers are living large.  Third Worldism buys into the ignorant stereotypes of capitalist demagoguery that tries to convince us Canadian workers have it good and so should accept pay cuts and layoffs, and plays into the hands of the capitalists to make us forget the potential around us of rebellion by having us focus only on what is happening in neo-colonies.

We don’t need theories of fetishism to tell us a fight-back is happening in Canada, we just need to open our eyes (at least a couple of millimeters).     The reason capitalism is strong in Canada is not because workers are weak through living off the workers in neo-colonies, but because capitalists are strong through living off the workers in neo-colonies as well as Canada.  “Third worldism” has this backwards and does not offer a scientific solution forward, and tries to confuse us about the basics of Marxism by playing tricks with the idea that your income determines your social relationship in the economy.

Motions Forwarded by YCL BC Provincial Convention

1.Be it resolved that we re-affirm our opposition to historical revisionism and point out the key historical role of Communists, including you Communists, in building the working class movement in Canada and internationally including the trade union movement, the peace movement, and the international solidarity movements.

 

Be it further resolved that the YCL firmly denounces and opposes all forms of anti-Communism, fascist, and anti-worker ideology and policy.

 

Be it further resolved that the YCL demands cancelation of plans to build the anti-Communist monument in Ottawa which severely distorts history and unjustly attacks Communists in Canada including the YCL.

 

2. Be it resolved that the YCL add campaigning around a Charter of Youth Rights to its Plan of Work.

 

3. Be it resolved that the YCL re-affirms its support for, and solidarity with, the Cuban people as well as with our comrades in our sister organization, the Union of Young Communists of Cuba.

 

4. Be it resolved that the YCL will continue to support the call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions against Israel including demanding an end to all aid from Canada to the Israeli state.

 

Be it further resolved that we declare our solidarity with those who are resisting apartheid and Israeli oppression as well as those who are resisting attacks, harassment, and slander from the Zionist lobby in Canada and internationally for thier work in solidarity with Palestine.

 

Constitutional Discussions

Constitutional Amendments, Submitted by Toronto YCL

1. That the ‘pledge’ be completely removed

  • As a comrade in Toronto pointed out during our discussion of this, the constitution already contains a provision that members are obliged to work for the goals of the organization and not undertake activities that are deleterious to the working class – this seems sufficient, and a pledge seems redundant.
  • The reality may already be that new members are not in practice asked to ‘pledge’ – certainly this is the case in Toronto
  • It has the appearance, to new members especially, of being somewhat Masonic or cult-like; and that’s a long way from the reality of the YCL

2. That a ‘right-to-recall’ be implemented at the Central and Provincial level

  • Members of the YCL who are elected at Central or Provincial level should be subject to recall if they neglect the responsibilities of their elected office
  • Any dues-paid member of the YCL in good standing to be able to precipitate a recall by informing the Central Committee and providing a second; each club to then gather votes either for/against or ‘abstain’. If a majority of votes cast favours the recall of a member of the Central Committee (including the CEC) then that person is to resign their position and a new election to fill the post is to be held.
  • A likewise procedure to exist for Provincial Committee and PEC members, although the voting shall be limited to the Province in question
  • It is understood that this measure of recall is only to be precipitated for serious cases of neglect toward duty by elected office-holders, but is nonetheless an important democratic measure that empowers membership of the YCL and heightens accountability

Constitutional Amendment, Submitted by YCL BC Committee

Be it resolved that Article 3.1 of the Constitution shall read: "The emblem of the YCL is a red flag being held by a fist, surrounded by a circle. The flag shall have, in its top left corner, a red star outlined in gold above the initials of the League: YCL-LJC.

Constitutional Ammedment, Submitted by Jason Mann, YCL Vancouver

Be it resolved that Article 4 of the constitution be amended to include this sub-section:
"6. A member who has reached the age of thirty (30) or older is no longer a member of the YCL at the end of the next Central Convention."

CEC on the constitution

A feature of our convention has been a number of submissions from clubs and members to amend the constitution. We think it is very positive that members are familiar with this document. The most detailed proposals are from the Trail club. In our view some aspects of the Trail club’s proposals are quite positive while others implicate very complicated questions around the national question -- the relationship of the different nations that exist in Canada, including Quebec, the First Nations and Metis, the Acadians, and English-speaking Canada. This problem is very complex in real life.

Because these are very complicated political questions but in a concentrated administrative form (ie. questions about language and wording) we are proposing a different wording on the national question amendments.

On Trail Club’s proposal for Bylaws, and associated constitutional amendments 1. and 2. and 9.

The purpose of the convention is to deal with political policy questions of highest importance to the League, the constitution, and electing leadership. We think the central convention is a too high body to address this question. Also, the purpose of bylaws is to deal with day-to-day work. In the actual constitution, any body of the YCL is able to establish rules of order and procedure because it this allows the flexibility to adapt rules to the day to day work. For these raison, the CEC recommends the convention to not adopt these amendments.

We think that some of the ideas contained in the by-laws could be forwarded to the incoming Central Committee for discussion, to see if integrating them into the YCL would be sound. In the debate, comrades have noted that some of the Trail club's amendments are positive ideas, but to put them into rules would be wooden and mechanistic. We agree with this view. We think the YCL-LJC must to orient towards the struggle for greater and more militant unity of the youth and student forces, and socialism -- in short on action, learning to struggle and struggling to learn. We think the idea is rather mistaken that, on a central level, and at this current moment, we need to adopt bylaws. Our proposal is outlined below.

On the LJC-Q and the reflection of the Canada’s multi-national character in the YCL

To understand this problem we must start with the question ‘what is a nation?’ We should seek to answer this question from a Leninist perspective and concretely, within the context of the Canadian state. The Programme of the Communist Party of Canada says:

Canada includes small and large nations, each of which is a historically-constituted community of people, formed on the basis of a common language, territory, economic life, and national consciousness manifested in a common culture. Nations come into existence and pass out of existence, by forcible and peaceful historical processes, or a combination of both. It is a dynamic process in which, in each case, the path of development into nationhood is specific and different. As a result, the struggle for a democratic solution to the national question requires an understanding and respect for these objective differences.

 

Amongst the smaller nations in Canada are groups of Aboriginal peoples who are exercising their right to sovereignty with the demand for autonomy and self-government. Amongst these are the Northern Cree in Quebec, and the newly created territory of Nunavut, the Nisga'a on the west coast, and others. The Acadians in the Maritimes also constitute a smaller nation in Canada. The two largest nations are English-speaking Canada and Quebec.


Within the YCL today, there are Aboriginal members including First Nations and Metis youth, as well as Acadian and Québécois. The majority of our membership belong to the nation of English-speaking Canada.  The YCL constructs itself on a class and age basis, not on a national or ‘ethnic’ basis.

At the same time, the multi-national character of Canada, and the Leninist principle of equality of nations, is reflected in the YCL. This position has developed historically as the Communist Party and the YCL have clarified their understanding of the national question in Canada.

At the point of the 1991 liquidation of the YCL, the constitution of the League recognized the LJC-Q as a distinct entity within the League, with complete control over its policies and structures. The LJC-Q is based on the working class and youth within the province of Quebec, not on a ‘ethnic’ basis, but because of the historical development of the Quebec within the Canadian state.

At the same time, the members of the LJC-Q are members of the YCL and subject to democratic centralism. Therefore the LJC-Q today publishes its own news magazine, Jeunesse Militante, which expresses the YCL policies applied to the political reality of Quebec. The YCL has one political policy (or ‘line’) across the country, anchored to the concrete local political realities of youth and student struggle. (For example, in English-speaking Canada our duty is to advocate for the rights of oppressed nations, up to and including separation, and against big-nation chauvinism. In Quebec, we place the emphasis on the unity of the working class and youth across Canada, and against narrow nationalism).

The English-speaking Canadian youth are present in the LJC-Q and all the YCL. They do not have a specific national convention. At this point in time, there are no national formations within the League, there are reflections of Canada’s multi-national character, namely the LJC-Q. Therefore to speak of ‘national conventions’ in the general sense (as does our current constitution) confuses the matter.

We want to stop to refer to ‘national’ organs in the general sense, and instead restore the definition of the LJC-Q in the past constitution, as follows (with small modification:

Original texte in 1988 :

1. La Ligue des Jeunesses communistes du Québec (LJCQ) is a distinct entity within the YCL of Canada

 

The LJCQ has complete control over its policies and structures within Quebec as decided by the National convention and National committee of LJCQ

 

2. The members of the LJCQ, as members of the YCLC, participate fully in its life and activities, in its convention, Central council and Leadership, have the same rights and duties as the members of YCLC, and take part in the collective formulation of the policy and share in the common responsibility for action in the interests of the youth of Canada.


Proposal :

1. La Ligue de la Jeunesse communiste du Québec (LJCQ) is a distinct entity within the YCL of Canada

 

The LJCQ has complete control over its policies and structures within Quebec as decided by the convention and committee of LJCQ

 

2. The members of the LJCQ, as members of the YCLC, participate fully in its life and activities, in its convention, Central committee and Leadership, have the same rights and duties as the members of YCLC, and take part in the collective formulation of the policy and share in the common responsibility for action in the interests of the youth of Canada.


We think that this answers the actual reality of the YCL in a sensible way and want to continue this way to organize ourselves in the constitution.


Trail Club Constitutional Amendment 3

Article 6, Section 1 of the Constitution be amended to read:

Within the scope of duties and powers assigned them either by the constitution or by the authorization of the constitution, the following shall be the levels of authority in the YCL: Central Convention; Central Committee; Central Executive; National Conventions of the LCJ-Q, and Provincial Conventions; National Committees of the LCJ-Q, and Provincial Committees; National Executives, Provincial Executives; Clubs.

Why:

  • We agree with this amendment because it clarifies the order of authority within the YCL to include National Convention and National Committee of the LJC-Q
  • It specifies that the National Convention and National Committee are organs of the LJC-Q, not all potential national or ethnic constituencies (ie. Acadian’s, Métis, First Nations, English-speaking Canada).
  • We do not include National Executive because the LJC-Q has complete control over its own structures, and it is therefore the constitution don’t need to regulate its committee.

On Trail Club’s constitution amendment 5 and 6

This amendment reflects a misunderstanding of the national question. Not having a definition or a plan made by all Canada for, in our reality, Quebec, is not chauvinist, but show that the YCL respect the sovereignty of Quebec on is own structure. The YCL canada constitution should not determined the intern organisation of the LJC-Q at the place of the LJC-Q.

Also , the proposal for Article 9, Section 1 asking for replaced the current text with: Where sufficient clubs exist in one province or nation, the Central Executive shall convene a National Convention or Provincial Convention. This convention shall elect a National Committee or Provincial Committee, can lead to the creation of National convention were the people allowed to participate is determined by the origin or nationality.

 

Language Selection