Alastair Haythornthwaite of North Cowichan was announced as candidate for the Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada in Cowichan-Malahat-Langford.

CANDIDATE PROFILE: Alastair Haythornthwaite, Marxist-Leninist Party

Cowichan-Malahat-Langford: Riding gains another contestant

With three main opposition parties in this federal election battling to take apiece out of the Conservative pie, newly confirmed Marxist-Leninist Party candidate Alastair Haythornthwaite is, like his fellow 70 candidates across the country, taking a decidedly non-aggressive stance to the campaign.

“The reason I agreed to run is I’m very much opposed to the wars we’re participating in the Middle East,” says Haythornthwaite, who is running in the Cowichan-Malahat-Langford riding. His party’s platform calls for Canada’s withdrawal from international defence bodies NATO and NORAD. “We’ve been party to the smashing of three states: Libya, Iraq and Syria.”

Not unlike the mainstream parties over the years that have fought to take out the standing government, Marxist-Leninists also favour democratic renewal, a term Haythornthwaite defines as getting back to a place where government involves its citizens more in the decision-making process.

“I think it’s pretty obvious to everyone that our whole political system needs to be overhauled,” he says. “In this country it’s a question of who makes the decisions and who reaps the benefits, and at this point I don’t think it’s the majority. I think people who are going to be affected by a decision are the ones who deserve to be involved.”

He sees Canada as falling under a great deal of outside pressure from the U.S. and from corporations looking to cash in on this country’s natural resources, a situation he says leads more to “made-on-Wall Street solutions” than decisions made in Canada’s best interest.

From a campaign standpoint, he doesn’t expect that getting started well after most of his opponents will affect his opportunity to get his party’s message out there.

Haythornthwaite was not on the list when the B.C. Sustainable Energy Association and Dogwood Initiative assembled their South Island ridings candidate debate series on environmental issues. He made sure he was at last Thursday’s event in Langford, lining up at the microphone to ask questions of the three candidates in attendance from the NDP, Liberal and Green parties.

All three agreed that Canada isn’t playing the same international role it has in past. Green candidate Fran Hunt-Jinnouchi, who has family members in the military, lamented having grown up with Canada as peacekeepers and moving into a key humanitarian role. “Somehow we’ve become warmongers,” she said.

A relatively recent retiree from a career as a journeyman machinist, self-described lifelong Communist Haythornthwaite, 63, has lived on the Island since 1978. With more time on his hands, he says, taking on a political campaign is to him like working on another project. He acknowledges being an underdog in this race, but plans to offer people a true left-wing perspective on the issues.

“I think everyone in Canada recognizes that the path we’re on right now is not going to work out for us, either in the short term or the long run,” he says, calling the Stephen Harper “austerity program” a failure that has seen Canada become beholden to vested interests.

“Whatever happens, I’m sure we’ll get a good candidate elected out of this riding.”

editor@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

Royal Bay student growing out locks for cancer

Luke Eilertsen to donate 16 inches of his hair to Wigs for Kids

UPDATED: More rental homes under construction in Colwood

New housing project underway on Sooke Road for families, seniors and people with disabilities

UPDATED: Health Canada looking into B.C. boy’s treatment of rabid dog saliva

BC Naturopathic Association questions Dr. Anke Zimmermann’s conduct on recent treatments

Westmont Montessori upgrades to be completed this fall

New space will feature larger classrooms, more storage

Get your hands dirty or enjoy nature at your pace

Fort Rodd Hill hosts two days of events for volunteer week and Earth Day

Lt.-Gov. Guichon believes she made the right decision

Outgoing Lt.-Gov Judith Guichon said her most memorable moments weren’t surrounding the election

Spring Home Show this weekend in Colwood

West Shore Parks and Recreation will be transformed to showcase everything home related

VIDEO: Smokers talk pot rules at annual 4-20 event

Annual pot protest-meets-festival in Vancouver attracted hundreds to vendors, concert

Saanich’s Shew sisters win gold, silver at national wrestling championships

Kiana, 17, won gold while Zena, 14, won silver at nationals

New funds, recruits set to alleviate B.C. sheriff shortage

The Government of British Columbia announced new sheriff graduates, funding for more classes

Video: RCMP investigation gets a deer little photobomb

Princeton RCMP were conducting a drug investigation in Princeton which a deer strolled through

Farnworth says five years too long for feds to deal with organized crime in medical pot

Needs to be dealt with much sooner than that, B.C. Public Safety Minister says

UPDATED: Unions, CP Rail come to agreement, avoiding work stoppage

Locomotive engineers, conductors and signals specialists seeking new collective agreements.

B.C. woman known to hitchhike around province missing

Aislynn Hanson, 18, last seen April 13; known to travel throughout B.C. by hitchhiking

Most Read