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Issue #1598      June 19, 2013

On the federal election

Statement from the Communist Party of Australia

During its term in office, Labor has persisted with the pro-corporate, pro-wealth, anti-union agenda of its predecessor. It is also clear that the election of an Abbott-led Coalition government would lead to a worsening of the conditions of the people of Australia and further hamper their capacity to fight for their interests. It is important that members and supporters become active during the election campaign to help break the two-party system dominated by the big parties of capital. The CPA will be producing a leaflet dealing with key issues for members and supporters to distribute.

At the federal election on September 14, the CPA recommends to its supporters to put Coalition candidates last on their ballot papers along with other reactionary candidates including those from the RiseUp Australia Party, Family First, Bob Katter Party, Democratic Labor Party, One Nation, Chrisitan Democrats and so on. The CPA supports the campaign by trade unions to put Abbott last. We recommend a vote for Labor ahead of these reactionary groupings.

Unfortunately, elections in Australia are not held on a level playing field. As in the USA, the parties and candidates with the deepest pockets make the biggest impact. The sheer cost of fielding a candidate precludes most parties or organisations representing the poor from participating. If they do gather the necessary funds to stand a candidate, they must then find a huge sum to pay for a vast number of advertising leaflets, plus an equally vast number of How To Votes. There are sundry other expenses too, all designed to keep small parties and independent candidates from breaking the cosy power-sharing arrangement between Labor and the Liberals. This dominance must be broken.

Therefore, the CPA recommends voting for left, progressive independent or Green candidates in the Lower House. Though the Greens compromised badly on a number of important questions during their time in virtual coalition with Labor, including over the mining and carbon taxes, its overall policy approach is significantly more progressive than that of the ALP. The Greens’ position on the vital question of industrial relations is preferable to that of Labor. It is vital that the Greens build their numbers in the Senate, so the CPA recommends voting for the Greens in the Upper House to prevent the Coalition obtaining an absolute majority.

The Communist Party of Australia does not believe that parliaments are the main forums for the determination of the overall political direction of the country. Legislation by parliaments is kept within bounds established by the ruling class and in response to pressure exerted by means of class struggle by exploited people. Nevertheless, the CPA understands that a number of extremely important questions are facing workers at the federal election to be held in September.

While we will be working to keep Abbott out of office and encourage other people to join these efforts, we know the job of building an alliance of left and progressive forces with a strong Communist Party at its core will still be with us after the poll on September 14. That task remains our main priority.   

Next article – Cruel and dangerous “solutions”

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