Darrell Rankin

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Darrell Rankin

Darrell T. Rankin (born February 14, 1957) is a Canadian peace activist and communist politician. He was briefly the leader of the Communist Party of Canada - Ontario (CPC-O) in 1995, and has led the Communist Party of Canada - Manitoba (CPC-M) since 1996. His partner, Cheryl-Anne Carr, is also active with the Communist Party.[1]

Early life and career[edit]

Rankin (actual family name Renka, of Ukrainian ethnic origin) was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, and became involved in radical left politics through an early opposition to the Vietnam War. His grandparents were active in the Communist Party of Canada, which Rankin joined in 1978. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Alberta.[2]

He lived in Ottawa, Ontario from 1983 to 1995, and was a leading figure in the Canadian Peace Alliance and the Ottawa Disarmament Coalition.[3] A newspaper report from 1986 listed him as an articling lawyer, although it is not clear if he continued in this direction.[4] He participated in protests against the Gulf War in 1991.[5]

CPC-O leader[edit]

In 1992, a majority of delegates at the Communist Party's national convention voted to abandon Marxism-Leninism and pursue a social democratic alternative. Rankin was a part of the minority group led by Miguel Figueroa that opposed the change, and continued to support traditional communist principles. The party split, and the minority group won the rights to the Communist Party name through an out-of-court settlement.

Rankin was appointed as interim leader of the Communist Party of Canada - Ontario in April 1995, and led the party in the 1995 provincial election. The national party had fallen to only 500 members in this period, and the Ontario party ran a low-profile campaign with only five candidates and an $8,000 budget.[6] Rankin challenged New Democratic Party Premier Bob Rae in York South, and focused on issues such as health, education, social programs and full employment.[7]

In June 1995, Rankin contributed an article entitled "Observations on the setbacks to Socialism" to the Communist Party discussion journal The Spark! (which is not to be confused with the Trotskyist organization of the same name). The piece examined recent events in Eastern Europe, including the fall of the Soviet Union.[8]

CPC-M leader[edit]

Rankin moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1995, after the Ontario election. The Communist Party of Canada - Manitoba had been without effective leadership for several years, and Rankin was chosen as the party's provincial organizer before the year was over. He coordinated the CPC-M's 75th anniversary banquet in early 1996, and was elected party leader later in the year.[9] He has led the party in the 1999, 2003 and 2007 provincial elections.[10]

In January 2004, Rankin was challenged for the CPC-M leadership by Paul Sidon. He received 79% of delegate support, against 21% for Sidon.

Rankin is a founding member of Peace Alliance Winnipeg and a member of the No War Coalition (Manitoba). He helped organize protests against the 1999 Kosovo Conflict, the 2001 NATO invasion of Afghanistan and the 2003 invasion of Iraq. He wrote an article for The People's Voice supporting Slobodan Milosevic's policies in Kosovo in order to protect Serbians from Albanians in the region whom Rankin labelled as 'Fascists.' [11] He also writes occasional articles for People's Voice, the newspaper of the Communist Party.[12] In November 2007, he organized a party at Winnipeg's Ukrainian Labour Temple to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Russian Revolution.[13]

Rankin has campaigned for public office several times, although he has never been elected. IN March 2006, he was the leader of Communist Party of Canada's Peace and Disarmament Coalition.[14] He is not related to Naomi Rankin, the leader of the Communist Party of Canada - Alberta.[15]

Table of offices held[edit]

Preceded by
Frank Goldspink
(1990 General election)
Leader of the Communist Party of Canada - Manitoba
1996-present
Succeeded by
current leader
Preceded by
Elizabeth Rowley
(1990 General election)
Leader of the Communist Party of Canada - Ontario (interim)
1995
Succeeded by
Hassan Husseini
  • The CPC-M had been without a leader since at least 1990, and possibly longer.
  • It is not clear if the CPC-O had a recognized leader between 1992 and 1998, apart from Rankin's short tenure in 1995. Hassan Husseini was chosen as leader in 1998.

Electoral record[edit]

Manitoba general election, 2007: Point Douglas
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
     New Democrat George Hickes 2,665 66.36 -8.50 $12,892.59
Liberal Mary Lou Bourgeois 591 14.72 +0.49 $11,443.44
     Progressive Conservative Alexa Rosentreter 481 11.98 +3.21 $1,180.30
Green Kristen Andrews 213 5.30 $84.55
     Communist Darrell Rankin 66 1.64 -0.49 $373.89
Total valid votes 4,016 100.00
Rejected and declined ballots 29
Turnout 4,045 40.16 -0.08
Electors on the lists 10,073


Canadian federal election, 2006: Winnipeg North
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
     New Democratic Party Judy Wasylycia-Leis 15,582 57.18 +9.02 $53,357.55
Liberal Parmjeet Gill 5,752 21.11 -15.44 $64,979.49
     Conservative Garreth McDonald 4,810 17.65 +5.38 $5,321.33
Green David Carey 779 2.86 +0.82 $397.50
     Christian Heritage Eric Truijen 207 0.76 +0.22
     Communist Darrell Rankin 123 0.45 +0.02 $295.28
Total valid votes 27,253 100.00
Rejected ballots 137
Turnout 27,390 50.91 +3.78
Electors on the lists 53,805
Sources: Official Results, Elections Canada and Financial Returns, Elections Canada.


Canadian federal election, 2004: Winnipeg North
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
     New Democratic Party Judy Wasylycia-Leis 12,507 48.16 +1.53 $34,948.23
Liberal Rey Pagtakhan 9,491 36.55 +0.04 $61,961.93
     Conservative Kris Stevenson 3,186 12.27 -2.56 $9,148.61
Green Alon Weinberg 531 2.04 $2,287.45
     Christian Heritage Eric Truijen 141 0.54 $1,000.00
     Communist Darrell Rankin 111 0.43 $654.58
Total valid votes 25,967 100.00
Rejected ballots 128
Turnout 26,095 47.13
Electors on the lists 55,372
Percentage change figures are factored for redistribution. Conservative Party percentages are contrasted with the combined Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservative percentages from 2000.
Sources: Official Results, Elections Canada and Financial Returns, Elections Canada.


Manitoba general election, 2003: Point Douglas
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
     New Democrat George Hickes 2,877 74.86 +21.52 $10,189.54
Liberal Mary Lou Bourgeois 547 14.23 -7.12 $7,991.06
     Progressive Conservative Wyatt McIntyre 337 8.77 -10.79 $10.68
     Communist Darrell Rankin 82 2.13 $376.06
Total valid votes 3,843 100.00
Rejected and declined ballots 55
Turnout 3,898 40.24 -18.84
Electors on the lists 9,687


Canadian federal election, 2000: Winnipeg North Centre
Party Candidate Votes % Expenditures
     New Democratic Party Judy Wasylycia-Leis 14,356 58.39 $54,041.14
Liberal Mary Richard 6,755 27.47 $48,194.97
     Progressive Conservative Myron Troniak 2,950 12.00 $4,320.59
     Communist Darrell Rankin 525 2.14 $263.77
Total valid votes 24,586 100.00
Rejected ballots 481
Turnout 25,067 51.95
Electors on the lists 48,254
Sources: Official Results, Elections Canada and Financial Returns, Elections Canada.


Manitoba general election, 1999: Burrows
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
     New Democratic Party Doug Martindale 5,151 66.34 $21,056.00
Liberal Mike Babinsky 1,849 23.81 $24,553.70
     Progressive Conservative Cheryl Clark 724 9.32 $11,879.28
     Communist Darrell Rankin 41 0.53 $0.00
Total valid votes 7,765 100.00
Rejected and declined ballots 55
Turnout 7,820 65.63
Electors on the lists 11,916


Canadian federal election, 1997: Winnipeg Centre
Party Candidate Votes % Expenditures
     New Democratic Party Pat Martin 10,979 40.89 $48,662
Liberal David Walker 9,895 36.86 $47,283
     Reform Reginald A. Smith 3,095 11.53 $3,175
     Progressive Conservative Campbell Alexander 2,442 9.10 $6,171
     Independent Greg Krawchuk 148 0.55 $163
Marxist–Leninist Glenn Michalchuk 136 0.51 $11
     Ind. (Communist) Darrell Rankin 108 0.40 $1,913
     Ind. (Ind. Libertarian) Didz Zuzens 44 0.16 $0
Total valid votes 26,847 100.00
Rejected ballots 374
Turnout 27,221 57.00
Electors on the lists 47,753
Sources: Official Results, Elections Canada and Financial Returns, Elections Canada.


Ontario general election, 1995: York South
Party Candidate Votes % Expenditures
     New Democratic Party Bob Rae 10,442 41.24 $39,100.07
     Progressive Conservative Larry Edwards 7,726 30.51 $28,482.21
Liberal Hagood Hardy 6,025 23.79 $42,578.22
Family Coalition Don Pennell 305 1.20 $4,210.68
Green David James Cooper 219 0.86 $1,046.57
     Natural Law Bob Hyman 176 0.70 $0.00
     Independent Kevin Clarke 170 0.67 $1,164.66
     Libertarian Roma Kelembet 153 0.60 $819.58
     Communist Darrell Rankin 105 0.41 $59.00
Total valid votes 25,321 100.00
Rejected, unmarked and declined ballots 388
Turnout 25,709 69.13
Electors on the lists 37,192


Canadian federal election, 1993: Calgary Southwest
Party Candidate Votes % Expenditures
     Reform Preston Manning 41,630 61.22 $59,445
     Progressive Conservative Bobbie Sparrow 12,642 18.59 $61,978
Liberal Bill Richards 11,087 17.36 $60,511
     New Democratic Party Catherine Rose 1,099 1.62 $4,791
     National Lea Russell 910 1.34 $2,580
Green Sol Candel 301 0.44 $6,216
     Natural Law Ida Bugmann 249 0.37 $0
     Independent Miel S.R. Gabriel 57 0.08 $218
     N/A (Communist) Darrell Rankin 28 0.04 $1,422
Total valid votes 68,003 100.00
Rejected ballots 137
Turnout 68,140 70.81
Electors on lists 96,213
Source:Thirty-fifth General Election, 1993: Official Voting Results, Published by the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada. Financial figures taken from official contributions and expenses provided by Elections Canada.

All electoral information is taken from Elections Canada, Elections Ontario and Elections Manitoba. Provincial election expenditures in Manitoba refer to individual candidate expenses. Italicized expenditures refer to submitted totals, and are presented when the final reviewed totals are not available.

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ "The Communist Party: Darrell Rankin", Party leaders, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, 10 May 2007, accessed 26 October 2007.
  2. ^ Election 2000 entry: Darrell Rankin, Globe and Mail, online report.
  3. ^ "Handful hold low-key protests", Toronto Star, 11 February 1989, A11.
  4. ^ Abby Deveney and Jacquie Miller, "First rooms open in new courthouse", Ottawa Citizen, 18 August 1996, C2.
  5. ^ "Protesters condemn ground attack", Ottawa Citizen, 25 February 1991, C1.
  6. ^ John Gray, "Liberal numbers don't add up in attack on NDP expenditure", Globe and Mail, 16 May 1995, A6.
  7. ^ Nicolaas Van Rijn, "Meet the people who want your vote", Toronto Star, 5 June 1995, A12.
  8. ^ Darrell Rankin, "Observations on the setbacks to Socialism", The Spark! No. 6, 1995.
  9. ^ Holli Moncrieff, "Volunteers needed for Earth Day events", Winnipeg Free Press, 3 April 1996, p. 1.
  10. ^ "Communist party plans to field five in election", Winnipeg Free Press, 22 March 1999, A8.
  11. ^ Kevin Rollason, "No bombs in Kosovo, activists say", Winnipeg Free Press, 23 March 1999, A3; Kevin Rollason, "War in Afghanistan draws critics", Winnipeg Free Press, 24 March 2002, A4; Alexandra Paul, "Threats to Iraq all about oil,say protesters", Winnipeg Free Press, 19 January 2003, A5.
  12. ^ For instance, Darrell Rankin, ""No!" to Privatized Health Care", 16–31 January 2006 (Volume 14, No. 2).
  13. ^ "Communists celebrate", Winnipeg Free Press, 12 November 2007.
  14. ^ Darrell Rankin, "Humanity needs a strong peace movement", Political Affairs Magazine, 18 March 2006.
  15. ^ Brian Laghi, "Moscow not on the North Saskatchewan", Edmonton Journal, 15 January 1995, B2.