There are a number of Socialist (meaning: Leninist) battlegrounds at this year’s federal election. Apart from the Senate, in the Whorehouse of Representatives, there’s pitched battles in South Australia (SA) and Tasmania (TAS); two in Queensland (QLD); three in Western Australia (WA); five in Victoria (VIC); and eight in New South Wales (NSW). In other words, of 150 seats, just 20 will feature explicitly ‘socialist’ candidates. With the exception of Swan in WA, all seats are considered safe Labor territory.
Here’s an A –> Z.
Gemma Weedall, a yoof activist for the Socialist Alliance (SA), is waving the red flag in Radelaide in 2010, the seat currently held by Kate Ellis (in 2004 the youngest woman ever elected to the House). Ellis is much bigger on sport than she is on socialism: could this be the key to Weedall’s success?
After two unsuccessful attempts, Raul Bassi of SA has been replaced by Richard Phillips of the Socialist Equality Party (SEP) for their first crack of the Trotskyist whip in Blaxland — such is the harsh and unforgiving nature of the socialist struggle! But will the SEP be able to unseat “Jason Clare, a Labor Party apparatchik who is being touted as a future minister”? Their first task, presumably, will be to avoid coming last and/or to gain the trust of at least 1% of the electorate.
According to SA, “Ewan Saunders is a 3rd generation resident of Ashgrove in the heart of Brisbane and has been a dedicated advocate for social justice since leaving high school in 1999” — this combination of yoof and local knowledge ideal weapons with which to confront the corrupt regime of middle-aged former high skool teacher Arch Bevis. Hey Bevis, leave those kids alone! But will the announcement of ‘$16m for Climate Change Projects and 189 Green Jobs’ on April 21, 2009 placate rising red and green sentiment among the yoof of Pig City? Time will tell.
Peter Byrne (SEP) takes Frank Gagliotti’s place in the very safe Labor seat of Calwell, the unfortunate Gagliotti having been purged following his failure in 2007 (273 votes). Family First came third last time around, and Byrne (an architect by trade) will have to work very hard to construct a socialist alternative among the suburban homes in outer-northern Melbourne.
Another very safe Labor seat, Sue Bull’s challenge will be to reverse the trend that saw SA lose votes at the 2007 election. Or to put it another way, to gain more than 0.40% of the vote. In 2006, Bull stood for a Senate seat in the Victorian state election: she and her running mate got 0.28% of votes between them. In the ACT Legislative Assembly election of February 21, 1988, Bull was one of three Democratic Socialists asking for the support of the people of Molonglo: 745 (1.0%) put their hands up.
Jess Moore wants Cunningham. Sadly, so does Sharon Bird (ALP). Last time, Moore got 706 votes (0.84%) while Bird received 44,835 (53.23%), putting her at a distinct advantage in the battle for the hearts and minds of the people of Cunningham. (In 2004, SA candidate Chris Williams got 310 votes.) Before Bird became The Word in Cunningham, the seat was held by Michael Organ, the first Australian Greens Federal Member (October 19, 2002–October 9, 2004).
Melanie Barnes (SA) has taken over from Susan Austin in the seat of Denison. In 2007, Austin got 494 votes (0.77%); in 2004, Kamala Emanuel got 544 votes (0.85%). Can Barnes break the 1% barrier, or will socialism remain an outlaw ideology in Denison?
Mike Head enters new territory for the SEP. A very safe Labor seat, Head — one of several NTEU members to attempt to transfer their overflowing brains from the Academy to Parliament — will need to employ all the tricks in his lawyerly brainworker’s bag if he’s to unseat the incumbent.
Sanna Andrew is SA’s candidate in Fremantle in 2010 — in 2007, Sam Wainwright got 361 votes (0.45%), a slight decrease on 2004, when Ian Jamieson got 350 (0.48%). Happily, Wainwright went on to become SA’s first successful (local) election candidate.
SA’s Ben Courtice has another go at Gellibrand, this time confronting the SEP’s Tania Baptist, who stood on the SEP’s Senate ticket in Victoria in 2007. In 2007, Courtice received 1,334 votes (1.59%); in 2004, Linda Waldron got 508 (0.64%). Health Minister Nicola Roxon is the siting Member, and has described deputy opposition leader Julie Bishop’s recent commentary on Prime Minister Julia Gillard as “catty”. All three candidates are God-less.
Pip Hinman (SA) once again confronts the SEP, on this occasion in the person of James Cogan, the SEP’s national organiser. In 2007, Hinman (1,394 votes / 1.66%) faced down the SEP’s Patrick O’Connor (328 votes / 0.39%). In 2004, SA’s Sue Johnson got 1,010 votes (1.34%). Anthony Albanese holds down the top spot in Grayndler, and is a member of the Socialist Left faction of the ALP. Note that Cogan was a candidate for Chifley in 2007. He got 1,069 votes.
Hamish Chitts is challenging Kevin Rudd for the seat of Griffith. Having sold his soul to the devil of secular politics, and then been dumped as PM, Xtian Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em Rudd would be devastated should Chitts, the bus-driving former soldier, steal away his seat too. (In 2007, SA, from which the RSP split in 2008, stood Jim McIlroy (293 votes // 0.35%) while in 2004 it stood Lynda Hansen (580 votes / 0.72%).)
“This fight is first and foremost a political struggle against the Gillard government” reckons our hero. But the SEP’s Zac Hambides has his work cut out for him in Kingsford-Smith, following on comrade Alex Safari’s 1,096 votes (1.26%) in 2007. Otherwise, it looks certain that the the Minister for Shit-eating Grins, Uranium Mining, Wood-chipping & The Yartz will be returned in triumph to Canberra.
Gillard out! Gillard out! Hear the people scream, hear the people shout! Socialism is the alternative! Van Rudd for Lalor! (Note that the odds, as well as the repressive and ideological state apparatus, strongly favour Gillard over Rudd.)
Zane Alcorn (SA) contested local council elections in Newcastle in 2008, but stood for the seat of Wills in Victoria in 2007. On neither occasion was he very successful. This time his rhyming skillz are being tested by Noel Holt — the SEP’s candidate for Newcastle in 2007.
In the final Lower House battle for socialist supremacy, the SEP’s Chris Gordon will be pitting his mathematics against SA’s Duncan Roden’s yoof; neither are likely to trouble Labor’s Julie Owens. (In 2007, SA’s Rachel Evans got 1,015 votes (1.19%), while the SEP’s Chris Gordon got 261 (0.31%).) [Sportsbet]
Alex Bainbridge is SA’s man in Perth. (He was SA’s man in Denison in 2002.) Chris Latham was SA’s man in 2007 (464 votes / 0.59%) while Nikki Ulasowski got 984 votes (1.34%) in 2004. [Sportsbet]
The SEP’s Carolyn Kennett is challenging John Lowe in Reid (the former home of Laurie Ferguson), the first occasion upon which the International Committee of the Fourth International has been able to use Lowe in this manner (that I’m aware of). [Sportsbet]
“In Western Australia, Joe Lopez, a 45-year-old hospital worker, will stand in Swan, the same seat he contested in 2007.” Last time, Lopez got 157 votes — 68 more than LaRouche follower Norman Gay, and just 86 votes less than the LDP candidate. [Sportsbet]
Trent Hawkins (SA) wants the people of Wills to elevate him to Parliament, taking over this Herculean task from Zane Alcorn (624 votes / 0.72%) in 2007 — who in turn displaced David Glanz (867 votes / 1.06%) in 2004 (Glanz is a member of Solidarity). Trent Hawkins for Wills! is on Facebook.
Socialists belonging to SA are standing for the Senate in NSW, VIC, QLD, SA and WA; socialists belonging to the SEP are standing for the Senate in NSW and VIC. Otherwise, the Communist Alliance is running for the NSW Senate; the Socialist Party (SP) ran a candidate in the seat of Melbourne in 2007 (but don’t appear to be standing anyone this time around) and finally — fingers crossed — Ron Poulsen will once again be standing in the NSW seat of Watson on behalf of the Communist League.
Revolutionary Socialist Party : RSP federal election campaign: No racism! No war! For a working people’s government! | Socialist Alliance : Introducing the Socialist Alliance candidates for 2010! | Socialist Equality Party : Socialist Equality Party announces its 2010 election candidates.
See also : Socialism vs. 2007 Federal Election (November 22, 2007).
JOSEPH Toscano, doctor, chief anarchist at the Anarchist Media Institute and impassioned letter-writer to newspapers, is not enrolled to vote and has never voted, but that won’t stop him contesting the federal election. Again. Dr Toscano has stood as a Senate candidate at every election since 1990 and also tried the 2009 Higgins byelection. Dr Toscano says a ”quirk in the Australian constitution” allows him to stand, so that’s democracy. Call him persistent, he’s standing as an ”Independent Radical Candidate” with Jenny Wharfe and Andrew Sadauskas. What’s radical is their policy to abolish Parliament and replace it with a federation of community and workplace councils where wealth is used for the ”common good”. Other policies are voluntary euthanasia, same-sex marriage, a people’s bank, a ”resources rent tax” of 30 per cent. Naturally, Dr Toscano wants to abolish compulsory voting. Not that he can vote for himself to get elected and abolish compulsory voting.