Victorian State Election 2010 — Vote Socialist

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It’ s three months since the federal election and nothing has altered in the political landscape, except for one thing, of course — the rise and rise of The Greens party. Based on the federal results, The Greens will almost certainly win the seats of Brunswick and Melbourne in the Legislative Assembly and stand a good chance in Richmond and Northcote and a lesser chance of gaining Footscray. The party also has some chance of increasing its numbers in the upper house.
As we commented during the federal election, we quite understand why working people are choosing the policies of The Greens over the cynical pragmatism of the Coalition and the Australian Labour Party. However, a suite of good policies is not enough to catalyse real social change, or to restore the environment after centuries of capitalist depredation.
Real social change requires a firmly anti-capitalist viewpoint. It’ s true that many supporters of The Greens do want systemic change. However, the party itself is not looking to break with capitalism but to manage it more “ sustainably.” Yet it is clear from any objective assessment that to change the world for the better, it’ s necessary to change the economic system. Anything less perpetuates the dangerous illusion that gaining a prosperous, just and sustainable world can be achieved by voting for a gentler capitalism, with responsible management.
We cannot recommend a vote for The Greens because of this lack of a clear anti- capitalist platform.
There are socialist candidates in six electorates. While we do not endorse the entire political stance of the Socialist Alliance, we do call for a vote for their candidates: Trent Hawkins in Brunswick, Margarita Windisch in Footscray, Ron Guy in Melton and Mitch Cherry in Bellarine. Steve Jolly, from the Socialist Party (SP), must stand as an “ independent” due to anti-democratic laws. The SP is weak on women’ s rights and issues of LGTBI liberation. Despite this, we call for a vote for Steve, because he is standing on a socialist platform. In Derrimut, Van Thanh Rudd, from the Revolutionary Socialist Party, is also forced to stand as an “ independent.” We call for a vote for Van who says: “ Working people cannot rely on the parliament; our whole history tells us that. We need to re-learn how to fight. The 10 million workers’ general strike in Spain this week is a good example of that.”
In Broadmeadows, the Socialist Equality Party (SEP) is standing a candidate, Peter Byrne. We do not call for a vote for this candidate. The SEP views the unions are state institutions for the oppression of working people. This bizarre position marks a clear break with socialism.
Are you interested in being part of a discussion about why we work with Greens members, share some policies, but do not call for a vote for The Greens? Then come to our post-election discussion: Is voting Greens sustainable? We’ll look at what’ s behind the rise in the party’ s popularity, explore if a market economy can deliver environmental and social justice and examine the socialist alternative to Green reformism. Tuesday 30 November, Dinner at 6:30 pm for an $8 donation, meeting at 7 pm. Solidarity Salon, 580 Sydney Road, Brunswick. For more information, contact freedom.socialist.party@ozemail.com.au or phone 9388-0062.

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