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Communist candidate for Saanich-Gulf Islands says current crises require radical solutions

Dock Currie has no illusions about his chances but is excited to present his ideas
Duck Currie is running for the Communist Party of Canada in Saanich-Gulf Islands. (Courtesy of the Dock Currie campaign)

As the local standard-bearer for the Communist Party of Canada in Saanich Gulf-Islands, Dock Currie is realistic about his chances, but nonetheless excited about the current federal election.

“I have no illusions about probably not taking the victory lap this time, but I want to be in the running and in the debates because the other parties don’t have credible platforms on these fronts and I want to forcefully put it to them that this twiddling of dials, twitching of knobs is not going to fix the radical inequities and disparities that are afflicting our society,” said Currie, a graduate of the law program at Thompson Rivers University and labour activist.

Those crises include the climate crisis, the housing crisis and the pandemic. “And I think that on many of those fronts, the other parties are just laughing in the wind with their half-measures, their half-truths,” he said.

Currie joins the race against local incumbent Elizabeth May of the federal Greens, Conservative David Busch, federal New Democrat Sabina Singh, Liberal Sherri Arbour-Moore and David Hilderman of the People’s Party of Canada under the banner of a party with a lot of baggage.

Contrary to their western European counterparts, communist parties in North America have never made any measurable inroads among voters, which likely has something to do with the reputation of communism and its leading figures such as Vladimir Lenin, Josef Stalin and Mao Zedong, a history that will likely promote many voters to say ‘no, thank you.’

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“First on Lenin, I definitely subscribe to Lenin,” he said. “People should read Imperalism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism. I think they would find it interesting, the parallels that are occurring in our present society,” he said. “The other is it is no longer 1991 (the year when the Soviet Union ceased to exist).”

While Currie acknowledged that older people might think of communism as a four-letter word, more people, including younger ones, are becoming more receptive toward the communist message, while recognizing the current “lack of central, rational economic, ecological planning” responsible for current crises.

So if Currie accuses the other party of half-measures, what are the necessary full-measures? With respect to climate change, Currie said his party would nationalize Canada’s energy industry and immediately shut down the Albertan tar sands, while helping energy workers transition to new employment.

“That is actually a more material, more tangible set of policy proposals than those that are on offer from the Liberals or the Greens or the NDP,” he said.

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A stroll through Currie’s Twitter feed also reveals support for the People’s Republic of China, whose authoritarian government has less ambitious climate change goals than western actors like the European Union, denies various rights as part of a surveillance state and oppresses various ethnic and religious minorities. So why praise such a regime?

“Precisely, because they have raised 840 million people out of poverty over the last 40 years, wages have increased by six-fold,” said Currie, who acknowledges problems, but also sees China (along with Venezuela, Bolivia, Libya and Syria) as victims of western propaganda. “I won’t accept the relentless, imperialist U.S. garbage that is heaped on them.”

So would he live in contemporary China?

“Absolutely,” he said. Would he be as outspoken about the Chinese regime as he is of western liberal democracy? “What I would say is that I wouldn’t need to be,” he said. “I believe in the advancement of history. I believe that the liberations … that were achieved were important and good. But we have come now to such a restricted, narrow, emaciated definition of personal and individual freedoms that they serve as merely a bulwark for the status quo.”

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Wolf Depner

About the Author: Wolf Depner

I joined the national team with Black Press Media in 2023 from the Peninsula News Review, where I had reported on Vancouver Island's Saanich Peninsula since 2019.
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