I won’t spend time detailing the actual all-too heinous crimes, betrayals and pro-capitalist actions of the Australian Labor Party (ALP). For a start, I’ve only got 15 minutes, not the 15 hours you’d need to begin. I’m sure Judy and all ISO comrades here would agree in condemning their racist, pro-imperialist, pro-war, pro-boss record, in government and out – although when they’re out they sometimes have to put on a bit of an act.
Elections & Parliament
ALISTER BLACK is an assistant national secretary of the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP), which had six comrades elected to the Scottish parliament on May 1. Black visited Australia in May. He spoke to Green Left Weekly‘s JOHN PERCY.
Nearly two weeks later we’re still in the middle of the United States election farce! Who’s won?
Bush? The illiterate idiot?
Or Gore? The wooden idiot?
And what does it say about democracy in the US?
There’s an air of unreality and fakery about this election:
- The stage-managed walks through malls;
- The packaged releases of TV bites for the evening news;
- The refusal of [Kim] Beasley to really fight on the GST;
- The incompetence and repellent characters of all the main players.
Hansonism – that’s now a synonym for racism and bigotry – and it has burst onto Australia’s political stage with a vengeance. It’s shameful – for us as Australians, as workers, as socialists, as human beings. We can take some cold comfort – the biggest parliamentary victims in the Queensland elections were its creators and nurturers, the Nationals and Liberals. But 23% was 23% too much!
In early October, Italy’s Party of Communist Refoundation (PRC) withdrew its support for the ruling Olive Tree coalition government of Prime Minister Romano Prodi because of the cuts contained in the government’s draft 1997-98 budget. However, after much debate the party reversed its decision and, in exchange for equality of treatment for blue- and white-collar workers in the pension system and a government commitment to introduce a 35-hour week in 2001, reversed its decision. Green Left Weekly’s JOHN PERCY spoke to PRC national executive member FRANCO TURIGLIATTO about the crisis. Turigliatto also edits Bandiera Rossa, a magazine orienting to the left of the PRC.
The lack of financial accountability of MPs revealed by the “Colston affair” highlights the fact that — contrary to the myths perpetuated by establishment political commentators in the capitalist media and in academia, as well as bourgeois politicians themselves — the parliamentary system exists to thwart rather than implement democracy (“rule by the people”).
In a June 24, 1987, discussion of the July 11 federal House of Representatives elections, the Socialist Workers Party national executive decided to support a first-preference protest vote for left alternative candidates wherever possible, and a vote for the Australian Democrats where no left alternative candidate was available.