The level of panic in Ottawa around the “threat of foreign interference” in the October federal election is astounding, including stern warnings by “experts” about the “danger to our electoral process” posed by… the Russians and Chinese! As “evidence”, news outlets are reviving the tale of a 2016 military raid against “Russian separatists” in eastern Ukraine, in which eleven Canadian soldiers were supposedly killed; this fabricated story was shared online a shocking – shocking! – 3000 times!
Please allow us to unpack this chilling narrative. First, election ballots in Canada are filled in and counted by hand. There is no way for a hacker in Miami or Minsk to rig the results. Second, the United States itself intervenes in foreign elections as an integral tactic in a wider strategy to protect its imperialist domination of the planet. If a serious electoral challenge ever arises against capitalist parties in Canada, would the US find ways to interfere? To ask is to answer.
Let’s examine the above case. How exactly would that “false news” story influence a Canadian election? There is no “pro-Russian separatist” party on the ballot here. This example does illustrate how some lies are woven completely, almost invisibly, into the fabric of bourgeois ideology. For years, we have been bombarded with accusations that “the Russians annexed Crimea” in 2014. But wait… Crimea has been part of Russia for centuries, and its people voted overwhelmingly in 2014 to return to that status. Isn’t the real story here the barrage of lies and hatred against Russia and China – the only two countries which could present a serious challenge to US hegemony?
Yes, Russian and Chinese news agencies do report news, often from a different perspective than the CBC. This does not mean they want to steal our elections. Our advice is to calm down and debate the issues.