With the financial crisis as a backdrop, Stephen Harper’s minority Conservative government may not survive another week. Less than two months after the last election the government is facing a confidence vote on its budget update and all three opposition parties say they will vote against. Rumours are rife of a Liberal-NDP coalition to replace the Conservatives. The Conservatives must be defeated, but there can be no coalition with the bosses’ parties.

Teaching assistants, graduate assistants and research assistants at York University in Toronto have been on strike since November 6th. York University workers have traditionally been amongst the most militant in Canada. Recently, thousands of students demonstrated for lower fees in numbers not seen in a decade and many other campus workers are heading into possible strikes. Therefore this strike has the potential of becoming the spark that ignites a generalized movement.

Canada has another minority government. Both the Conservatives and the union-supported New Democratic Party increased their support at the expense of the Liberals. However, none of the parties were able to give any answer to the current financial crisis. Faced with a lack of real solutions, workers stayed home in historic numbers with only 59% coming out to vote. The polarization in the electorate is an indicator of increased class struggle as the world heads into economic turmoil.

The International Marxist Tendency in Quebec has released the following statement on the federal election. "It’s time to break with the parties of the bosses, in French and in English. Whether at the provincial or federal levels, we have to rise above national differences, refuse to be divided, and insist on a single, united socialist movement across Québec and Canada. Only a united, internationalist movement can overthrow capitalism and lay the basis for a truly free, socialist Québec."

October 14th will be Canada’s 3rd election in just four years. After an entire year of speculation that the government could fall at any minute, it was Stephen Harper who broke his own fixed election date promise and pulled the plug. We are facing harder and harder times but do any of the parties have a solution to the problems workers face?