- Jun 18, 2003Australian socialists: from alliance to party
By Ken Davis
(Socialist Alliance national executive and Socialist Democracy)
The second conference of the Australian Socialist Alliance, held in
May in Melbourne, voted by a large majority to advance rapidly
towards a single, pluralist, multi-tendency, broad socialist party.
This perspective was championed by a caucus of 150 "non-aligned"
members and by the Democratic Socialist Party (DSP), which last year
announced it wishes to become a tendency within the Alliance.
This unprecedented regroupment, including half of the small socialist
groups and several hundred socialists not currently members of
affiliates, opens up new possibilities for the Australian left, where
few have any experience in democratic multi-tendency organisations,
and where factionalism and sectarianism have strong pedigrees.
Socialist Democracy (SD) supported in principle the move towards
socialist renewal and a democratic multi-tendency pluralist party,
but questioned why the pace of regroupment should be forced, ahead of
developing deeper political agreement, and challenged the larger
affiliates on how they planned to transform their political cultures
from that of tight cadre parties to open tendencies within a broad
socialist party - a party that respects, builds and learns from the
independent campaigns, autonomous social movements and from the
history of the Australian and international workers' movement.
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