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Regarding the other "PCQ"

by André Parizeau
24 September 2006

Since their expulsion from the PCQ in April 2005, a few former Party members have decided to proclaim themselves the « only » and the « true » communists of Quebec. Consequently have created a 2nd PCQ and shamelessly use our name.

As a result, we continue to be seen as a small group distinguished by its ultra-leftism, sectarinism and dogmatism even though we broke all ties with them at the time of their expulsion and, since then are no longer associated with them. For this reason we must clearly state that we catigoricaly disassociate ourselves from them and state that anything they may say and declare has nothing to do with us because no longer have any connection with these persons.

On the matter of our our application, the General Director of Elections Quebec (DGEQ) : we were recognised once again at the beginning 2006 as a legal political party (note : we had this status up to 2003). Acheiving this was «an up hill struggle » one in which we could have easily given up. But we did not!  To them, the DGEQ simply made a mistake in granting this status to a group of « renegates ». They insist that only they and no one else that can ever be the true PCQ.

The business is quite ridiculious …. But what did they care!  They were clearly unable to meet such legal requirements as established but none-the-less, hold themselves as the only « guardians of the truth » and they persist in propagating this « truth » in their fight against « revisionists » (that means us) and the whole gambit of opportunists.

These persons act like a sect because they are a sect. It is sad.

Inside the Party we came up with the term « Gang of Four » to describe these individuals. The story behind this  nickname comes from the fact that they have four leaders and because they represent a blaitant example of ultra-leftism and sectarianism pushed to the extreme. Their four leaders are : Bill Sloan, Anibal Laner et Sylvain Archambault and their positions are quite reminisent of those of an other very ultra-leftist group : the PCR.

These persons who now-a-days pass themselves off as call the « true » PCQ have a newspaper called « Clarté ». They show up for the occasional demonstration and also have an Inaternet site whose e-mail address is very similar to our own; on purpose of course!

One of their members includes Antonio Artuso, who has brought two charges against our leader, André Parizeau. These cases are pending in the courts.

These persons, who have very little credibility, on the Quebecois scene, have finally settled upon tagging along with the Communist Party of Canada (CPC) because that is all they have left. This is appropriate because they are opposed to the Quebec sovreignty plans just as is the CPC. Because they are associated with the CPC (we are no longer; having withdrawn in 2005), they often sign their material (PCQ-PCC) which stands for in English : The Communist Party of Quebec-Communist Party of Canada.

In that the CPC has accepted to keep such individuals in their ranks and to pass them off as « the only representatives » du PCQ clearly does not facilitate the possibility of a reconciliation of our two parties any time soon; pity!

This little group’s persistence in using our name is certainly an enfringement of our rights as that of a legally constituted political body. Their ultra-leftist, sectarian actions also harm the socialist cause, doing it a discredit.

Fortunately for us and for the over all Quebecois left this little group is not very influential. In order to allow new members and friends to better understand some of the basics behind this little group and current ultra-leftism, we have are providing here a summary of the political report presented by the PCQ leader during the April 2005 Convention of the PCQ that directly deals this question. The report is entitled: «Eliminate ultra-leftism and sectarianism in order to make us better able to carry out our responsabilities »


(Editor’s note : Extract of the political report presented by André Parizeau, leader of the PCQ, during the PCQ April 2005 Convention)

 A childish sickness …very dangerous

 At this stage in the development of the PCQ, inspite of still being a very small organisation whose influence and effects remain limited, the principal danger remains, quite clearly, that of ultra-leftism and sectarianism.

When we become a party with much more considerable mass support, matters will undoubtedly be much different, and right-wing opportunism will become a more substantial danger. Now, however, we are still quite far from that possibility. What irony that persons such as the « Gang of Four », go about warning everyone about the dangers of right-wing opportunism while very individuals represent the camp of ultra-leftism and sectarianism.

The « Gang of Four » tried to take control of the leadership of the PCQ. For years they held us back. They made us deviate from the objects of our XIVth Convention. Here is an example to show their ultra-leftist danger.

Over the last several years, they tried to not recruit progressive people and, especially not workers. They didn’t trust young people. They saw themselves as the only holders of the truth. People outside of their frame of reference they saw as opportunists, revisionists, anarchists or wicked Trotsyites. They did not hesitate to label the Party Programme and Party members as something dominated by Trotskyism. The labels they used changed from time to time, each time to suit their needs but in the end it all boiled down to one thing : that most times they were against each and every move or initiative that might break the isolation and marginalization that the PCQ has experienced for so many years.   I

When the « Gang of Four » was confronted with new situations that required a certain spirit of openness in order to find working solutions to difficult problems they prefered to fold their arms. Why? Because they are ultra-leftists who are sectarian and very dogmatic. They are weak on analysis. To make a concrete analysis of a given situation was not something in they were used to.  When an unexpected situation arrived which lay beyond their narrow dogmatic frame of reference and did not fit with their pre-fabricated fromulas they did not know what to do.  Dogmatic attitudes give way to « tailism »* and at times is even extreme « tailism ». After this dogmatism quickly follows. We could not let them continue any longer with these deadly weaknesses (…)

A threat to the Party

One thing remains more clear than ever : these persons represented a threat to our Party. That is why certain measures finally had to be taken. We had no choice. Also, it became clear that additional measures were needed to deal with certain individuals who were committed to provoking problems in the  PCQ.

We know that these had formed a faction towards the end of the summer of 2004 with the objective of take over control of the leadership of the PCQ. We have wittnessed testemony to back this up!

We know today that the National Committee report of last October (2004) was concocted by this faction. We furthermore have written proof of how at least one of them was ready to go extreme to win their point; ie, even up to (and we have a copy of this writing) physical threats. Furthermore, recently in Toronto, at a meeting of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Canada, they did not hesitate either to say that many members of the PCQ should not be in the Party. They went further during a National Committee meeting on the 19th and 20th of February to use methods of intimidation especially against women and young people. This must stop!

Always antagonise

More often than not, when confronted by other Party members, the ultra-leftists in the Party tend to antagonise. The most recent events flowing out of the PCQ since 2005 amply bear this out. In the final analysis, these persons have very little respect for others.

The fact that the Party remained small did not bother them. Quite the opposite, prefered it that way because then they could more easily control matters, or, at least, they try to do so with less resistence. As the Party grew it became more and more difficult for them to hold on to their influence.

Because they do not trust the masses, ultra-leftists have no influence in approaching them, even less in consulting them. To them that would be a come down.  It comes then as no suprise that the « Gang of Four » did no recruiting. How could they? Most of them had little connection with the masses; their reputation precluded that. It was weak. To not go on (…).

Quoting Lenin out of context does not make us true communists.

For ultra-leftists, who like to quote Lenin and Marx out of context or, better yet Mao Zedoung, the Communist Party should be vanguard party. To them this means that the Communist Party should be on top of the working class. They have a very elitist view of politics and therefore make much criticism of what, in their minds, is the bourgeois way. They act above all in a way that serves their selfish interests. 

In fact. their action are the exact oposite of what should guide our action; that of in so being a vanguard party which means being at the service of the workersabove all serving the interests of the working class to the best of our understanding. The vanguard is to be at the service of the people.

Ultra-leftists seldom have penetrated the workers’ movement for a simple and good reason; they generally have an aversion for these kinds of people.

Ultra-leftists are generally incapable of developing tactics and adequate analysis from a situation. Therefore they have often a tendency to alienate everybody.including those who might have been able to get over their aprehensions when confronted with these individuals. Acting this way, they have done an enormous harm to the communist movement in that people have come to think that all communists are like them(…).

Never forget our principal enemy

Ultra-leftists often forget who the principal enemy is and have a tendency to shoot at anything that moves, including those who do not operate exactly as they would have them do.  The idea that political education is a continuous and dialectical process, linking the nceessity of fighting against mistaken ideas while working together is strange to ultra-leftists.  They would do well to recite pre-fabricated slogans; such as the one « unity-criticism-unity », they have no idea what that means.

Within the sites of their political educatiion that could be reduced down to the following : criticize, criticize, criticizeIsolate, isolate, isolate (…).

A double-speech

Ultra-leftists such as the « Gang of Four » often use double-speach. Inside they are the most radical. They criticise everyone. Outside party ranks is another story. They are much more moderate in their talk when they, often completly quiet, and they go even so far as to hide their ideas. Ultra-leftists are also often lazy.

Ultra-leftists’ speeches are not always wrong. The problem lies elsewhere. When they say something it is seldom at a good moment. It comes too late or too early and may be even unrelated to the question at hand.

This is all the result of their inability to analyise matters and because they are isolated from the masses who they don’t realy want to listen to. All of their defects re-enforce each other.

The ultra-leftists and alliances

The ultra-leftists are ready to support the concept of alliances. Most frequently, this support, however, is limited to the repetition of declarations of principle.  Rarely do thy back themselves up with deeds, for one simple reason, they don’t realy believe in themselves. They do not have conficence in the ability of the Party to grow and to finally become a mass party.  What is even more, they would not want it to be a mass party because they would loose their control over it, as has already been mentioned.

They don’t believe either in the capacity of people outside of the Communist Party (one could say ithey trust no one but themselves) to keep left.  As far as they are concerned, everyone inevetably becomes corrupted at some point.  If a movement such as  the UFP, Option citoyenne, or an amalgimation of these two is going to continue to develop, then inevetably they will move to the right.  The end result is that it is useless from the very outset and not useful to invest too much energy in such movements (…).

The root of the problem

The root cause of ultra-leftism is because our connections with the masses are relitivly weak. To make inroads with the masses is not always an easy thing. The Party is small. The tasks are heavy and the resources to do them are not always available. Struggling to change a given situation demands also that we work more collectivly and furthermore, that we make some decisions including some which may be divisive. All this requires getting along with others and learning to make comprimises. 

On the other hand, turning inwards on one’s self and focusing upon a sectarian and ultra-leftist aproach can have two advantages. First : it is easier, and second : it gives time to develop a rhetoric to justify its incompitence and its refusal to play a real vanguard role, ie. (and this cannot be over repeated) to link up with the masses to serve them better.

Ultra-Leftists and the democratic question

The « Gang of Four » including their followers build barricades very quickly when one dares to take them on. They then become fervent defenders of democracy and respecters of all the democratic rules.

But their opinion on democracy and the importance of the struggle to re-enforce democracy and the importance to struggle for democracy in society is very ambiguous, to say the least. No sooner does one come out of the nframe work of internal struggles in the PCQ then the struggle to defend democracy suddenly takes a new and dangerous turn, that which will ultimately deliver us to the forces of the more liberal of the bourgeoisie. Such comprimise is unacceptable. Why are they so reluctant to fight in these occasions?

One should note in passing, that this reluctance is found also on the national question. In doing so they make such a division between democratic questions and our objective of socialism, here they effectivly increase to isolate the struggle for socialism from the day-to-day struggles and in so doing produce a completly abstract result, something which is unobtainable in the opinion of most people.

After a few months the « Gang of Four » declared that it considered themselves to be the greatest defender of the Communist Party Programme. In so doing, they have a serious problem in that their points of view regarding the importance of struggle to re-enforce democracy goes directly against what our political programme says about this very matter.

The would argue that waging struggles on the democratic front takes us away from the struggle for socialism even though in our Party Programme, quite the oposite is said. This is a particularly fertile area for the advancing of the struggle for socialism.

When you do a little investigation of what these ultra-leftists say you wll see that they effectivly are opposed to the reality of democracy and socialism. One is a bourgeois concept and the other is proletarian. They go on and on about wanting socialism that is a dictatorship of the proletariat, they insist that this is the primary formula (…)  But, they hasten to point out as Lenin did at the beginning of the revolution, that socialism must be an extention of democracy in so far as it should represent the victory of democracy by the broad masses of the people, in other words, the workers. Where did the idea of the dictatorship of the proletariat? But this is not the kind of quotation that sits well with these ultra-leftists. They prefer to useterms whichare still frightening undoubetly with the idea of showing themselves to be the « hard liners and the purists ». They are not at all bothered that they end up isolated in their own little corner.

Parti communiste du Québec (PCQ) - Last update: October 29th, 2006.