If I lived in Western Australia, I’d be voting Socialist Alliance
I don’t live in Western Australia.
The Senate by-election there has only one party putting anything close to my politics on the electoral agenda. That is Socialist Alliance with their 2 candidates Alec Bainbridge and Chris Jenkins. Other organisations like Socialist Alternative have politics even closer to mine but they aren’t running.
Running under a banner of putting the banks and mines into the hands of the community (plus much more) the policies of Socialist Alliance are the policies of socialists trying to relate to a wider audience, an audience that by and large still has hopes for progressive change, progressive change that cannot be paid for out of the dwindling profit rates globally or is difficult to do so if there is no mass working class agitation and strikes for it. Some workers (although much less than in the past) still have illusions in Labor delivering that progressive change.
Labor is neoliberal. With market ‘solutions’ like the price on carbon the Greens are also economically neoliberal.
Voting Socialist Alliance won’t change the world. Even electing Alec to the Senate – it won’t happen – wouldn’t change the world either.
Given the massive decline in working class struggle the vote for socialists is likely to be very low. While I think as a tactical question standing in elections, at the moment, is not the way forward, others believe it can be part of the wider propaganda effort to bring to the attention of the working class ideas outside the dominant neoliberal mainstream.
What voting Socialist Alliance in decent numbers will do is send a message that there are some people who reject neoliberalism and who understand that we can and must fight for a better world, a world where ordinary people run things, where refugees are welcome, where wars no longer exist, where steps to address climate change start immediately, where there is a treatry recognising Aboriginal sovereingty, where we can and do tax the rich, where there is enough money for public education, public health and public transport, in short where people come before profits.
To all those who struck or demonstrated for public education this week in WA, for all those there who marched in March, for all those who want to be active and make the world better, even change the world, one small step would be to vote for Socialist Alliance on Saturday in Western Australia as part of building a fighting opposition to neoliberalism and more generally to capitalism.