6725SOCIALIST SENATE CAMPAIGNS FULL OF INTEREST
- Jun 3, 2004Dave,
I couldn't agree more about the need for Socialist Parties to be
registered in order that they appear on the ballot paper under their
party affiliation rather than to appear as 'ungrouped' or
unspecified independents. If this is indeed the case with the SEP
then it is disappointing.
I had another look at the Progressive Labour Party's web site last
night and in fact I had underestimated the total they received in
the Senate in N.S.W. at the last Federal Election. According to the
web site they in fact received 70 000 votes not 50 000 as I stated.
This amounted to 1.77% of the vote or to look at it another way they
got about a quarter of the way to having someone elected. I think a
party needs 7 to 8% in order to have someone elected to the senate.
Of coursew had they replicated this result at the Election for the
N.S.W. Upper House they could well have had someone elected I
believe A Better Future for Our Children elected someone to the
Upper House with about 1% of the vote. Unfortuneately however
because of undemocratic laws passed by the Carr Government the
Progressive Labour Party were unable to muster enough signatures in
order to receive registration and therefore appeared on the ballot
paper as 'independents' their candidates still managed to poll quite
well in the Newcastle/Hunter region but they estimate that the
failure to appear on the ballot paper under the banner of the
Progressive Labour Party cost them at least 2% of the vote.
Come hell or highwater Socialists must appear as such on ballot
papers if they are serious about attracting electoral support which
after all is the whole aim of the exercise. Often voters will be
confronted with a long list of independents on ballot papers with no
idea of what they stand for in my experience if in doubt I place
such candidates toward the bottom of preferences and I bet many
others do as well.
The Progressive Labour Party web site also mentioned that in the
same election the Socialist Alliance polled just 0.03% of the vote.
Dave this has me genuinely perplexed. The D.S.P. or Socialist
Alliance should on paper have enormous advantages it publishes an
internationally respected Socialist newspaper and we've all seen the
figures relating to the number of 'hits' it receives and so on. And
of course the same can be said for WSWS in this regard. In addition
the D.S.P. or Socialist Alliance also has a powerful presence on
University Campuses which gives it access to a significant bloc of
18-25 yr old voters, often young, impressionable and idealistic.
When at the Asian Pacific Solidarity Conference a couple of years
ago I mentioned the Progressive Labour Party I was told that it
virtually has no younger members its membership is very old, it
would seem that it breaks all the rules and yet was able to trounce
the Socialist Alliuance at the last Federal Election.
One disturbing lesson might be that high profile web sites count
for almost nothing in attracting electoral support. For example if
one 'googles' Nick Beams name it comes up everywhere, his opinions
are well respected and have wide currency across a great range of
forums his articles are even re-printed on non-Socialist sites which
is a good sign as it shows that his opinions are respected by friend
and foe alike. Now its just possible that a lot of what he writes
is 'snake oil' I'm not well versed in Economics to know but somehow
I doubt it, he has authored a well respected book on globalisation
any number of articles he has written could well be the basis for a
doctoral thesis and I assume he has extensive academic
qualifications in the field. If anyone knows anything about his
academic background I would appreciate hearing about it.
In any case he is an enormous asset not only to the World
Socialist Web Site but to the Socialist Movement in general but I
don't think his talents are being utilised effectively. His views
and his analysis of Capitalism should be front and centre before the
Australian public rather than as some cult figure on the margins of
cyberspace. If either or both the Socialist Alliance and the
Socialist Equality Party are resigned to getting something like
0.03% of the vote in this years Federal Election then neither
organisation is fulfilling its potential and that is primarily why I
have written these posts. Both organisations if they are serious
should be seriously looking to at least replicate the performance of
the Progressive Labour Party at the last election.
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