11762Re: SA-VIC: SA election results smash records!
- Dec 15, 2004Right,Bob - a parlimentary road to socilaism and a cult
Now why did nobody think of that before?
--- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "bobgould987"
> By Bob Gould
> Further to Nigel Irritable's measured and careful discussion of the
> local government election results in Victoria, it might be useful
> add some elements.elections
> Firstly, whether socialists decide to run independently in
> is a tactical question to be decided by the socialists concerned.In
> my view it's lunacy to counterpose such electoral exercises to theas
> work of socialists who decide that their tactical orientation is to
> work in the Labor Party or the Greens.
> It's even worse to delude yourself that engaging in a fairly
> straightforward electoral exercise solves the central strategic
> problems facing socialists -- whether you're relatively successful
> the Socialist Party and the ISO have been in Victoria, orrelatively
> unsuccessful as the DSP/Socialist Alliance has been everywhere inthe
> recent times.
> The particular strategic problem facing socialists is clearly the
> hegemony of the Labor Party over the organised working class and
> demonstrated viability of the Greens as a small mass electorallayers.
> formation to the left of Labor, based largely in the new social
> It's pretty clear that when they engage in their independent
> activity the Socialist Party and the ISO do so quite seriously, inthe
> way that Nigel Irritable describes.Victorian
> The DSP tends not to do it in that way because of its preoccupation
> with the internal life of its own apparatus, which absorbs the
> energies of that organisation almost totally.
> Several conjunctural factors obviously have a bearing on the
> local elections. Firstly, the Labor Party in Victoria has a morein
> limited tradition of participation in local elections than it does
> NSW and Queensland, for instance.might
> Secondly, and this is an area where people who know more than me
> enlighten me. It's my impression that when the reactionary Liberallocal
> government of Jeff Kennett enforced wholesale amalgamations of
> councils in Victoria a few years ago, it introducedproportional
> first-past-the-post voting everywhere. It appears that a number of
> mainly Labor and Green municipalities have reintroduced
> representation, which is a progressive step. I'd be interested toknow
> when that happened.to 20
> An even more progressive step would be to increase the number of
> councillors from three to four per ward, thus lowering the quota
> per cent. Maybe Steve Jolly could consider such a proposal for theelections.
> Yarra council.
> In the federal elections, the Socialist Party chose not to run,
> implicitly recognising the great polarisation in Australian society
> between the Labor-Green and the Tory sides of politics in those
> The ISO, which did run in the federal elections as part of the
> Socialist Alliance, avoided to a large extent the extravagant
> anti-Labor rhetoric of the DSP, but the DSP rhetoric tended to
> dominate the Socialist Alliance campaign, for which the SA paid the
> inevitable penalty of a vote so small as to be off the electoral
> It seems to me that better electoral result for the Socialist Party
> and the ISO candidates of the Socialist Alliance in the Victorian
> local elections is directly due to the less sectarian and more
> sensible tone of the ISO and the Socialist Party, both to the
> Labor movement and to the Greens.socialist
> On the face of it, Steve Jolly's statements before and after his
> election seem quite reasonable. He counterposed himself as a
> both to the Labor Party and the Greens, but he also made an appealto
> the better traditions of the Labor Party and to the ranks of theexplained
> Greens for better collaboration around progressive policies. All of
> that seems to me entirely reasonable.
> He delivered his vote for mayor to the Labor candidate and
> why. As he only had half a quota, it's quite clear that Steve Jollyas
> was elected on the Labor Party surplus, which carried over to him
> preferences. Half the votes that elected him came from SocialistParty
> voters, and half from Labor voters.the
> I base this interpretation on local newspapers in Yarra, which have
> been sent to me by a friend. Was it the case that Steve Jolly and
> Socialist Party actually exchanged preferences with the LaborParty?
> That's a genuine question, because it's not entirely clear from thegood
> local paper reports.
> Anyway, it seems clear that Jolly's election is the product of a
> deal more sensible strategic orientation than that of the DSP,both in
> the terms described by Nigel Irritable about concentratingseriously
> in one area, and also adopting a more realistic overall approach toexercise,
> the continuing grip of Labor and the Greens on the masses.
> PS. One shouldn't underestimate, in this kind of political
> Steve Jolly's individual personal role. He's a colourful immigrantto
> Australia with a strong Irish accent and in a modest way acharismatic
> figure with a long history of socialist political agitation behind
> him. The human element should never be overlooked as a factor in
> electoral politics.
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