AR-Online logoPosted Wednesday, March 3, 1999
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Letters to the Editor

Communist thinking

by Opinion Page Editor: Peter Menzies


WE DO not normally praise communists, but the unlikely combination of Canadian Communist Party leader Miguel Figueroa and Ontario Justice Anne Molloy deserves commendation for overturning a portion of federal election law.

Figueroa had complained changes to the law in 1993 violated charter guarantees of the right to vote and run for Parliament. Madame Justice Molloy agreed. She found there was no rational basis for legally obliging political parties to forfeit registered status if they failed to field 50 or more candidates. She is right.

The number is utterly whimsical. Why 50? Why not five? As a result, the 78-year-old Communist Party of Canada had to liquidate its assets and hand the results over to Ottawa. The answer to Vladimir Lenin's primal political question - who benefits? - was crystal clear: status quo political parties are the only ones helped when small parties aren't around.

Canadian voters deserve to hear a full range of political expression, not just endless offerings of mainstream mush. It is shameful that it took an ideological fore to remind politicians of basic democratic principles. But rarely has such a reminder been more welcome.

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© Focal Point 1999 e-mail: write to David Irving