[Updated : Monday]
Trot Guide fears for the future of socialist electioneering in the state of Victoria.
1) In the safe Labor seat of Broadmeadows, Will Marshall stood for the horribly-named Socialist Equality Party (nee Socialist Labour League). Preliminary results suggest that he came last of seven candidates, receiving just 425 first-preference votes, or 1.53%.
2) In the safe Labor seat of Brunswick, Vannessa Hearman stood for the mighty Socialist Alliance. Hearman did slightly better than Marshall, gaining 549 first-preference votes, or 1.97%: enough to beat Family First (442 votes / 1.59%) and People Power (433 votes / 1.56%).
3) In the safe Labor seat of Derrimut, Jorge Jorquera of the Marxist-Solidarity-Direct-Action-Workers-&-Community-First Network-Party has failed to capture the electorate’s imagination: No son Chavistas en Derrimut. (Jorquera came last of six candidates, receiving 262 first-preference votes or 0.97%).
4) Margarita Windisch‘s bogus attempt to arrest Paul Wolfowitz last Saturday didn’t seem to endear her terribly to the good, Labor-voting people of Footscray; as the other Socialist Alliance candidate for a Lower House seat in the state of Victoria, Windisch came last of six candidates, receiving 406 first-preference votes or 1.45%.
5) Of all the socialist candidates in the election, Steve Jolly of the Socialist Party did best: he got 1,632 votes or 6.09% in Richmond. But despite this and a significant Greens vote, the seat remains safely in Labor’s hands.
6) Finally, in the Upper House seat of Western Victoria, Socialist Alliance candidates Sue Bull and Rowan Stuart got something like 0.28% of first-preference votes (985).
All in all, another nail in the coffin for the unfortunate SA.
- [See also : ‘Vote for the socialists!’ (except Will Marshall), The DSP/SA Candidates, Green Left Weakly, November 22; ‘Labor returned in Vic election’, Selena Black, GLW, November 25; ‘Obscuring the violence inherent in the system’, Tony Iltis (with apologies to Monty Python), GLW, November 24: “More than three thousand people had a somewhat surreal experience on November 18. They attended a rally, called by the Melbourne Stop the War Coalition and Stop G20, to oppose the genocide by poverty being promoted by the finance ministers’ meeting, and the warfare that makes the corporate plunder of the Third World possible… What made the experience surreal was turning on the evening news, or opening the next day’s papers, to see what coverage the protest had received. They were confronted by scenes quite different from anything they’d witnessed at the rally, involving people in strange white outfits and masks battling it out with police.”]
It\’s so weird:
I work with Vannessa and I kind of expected better from her.
But more importantly, it just goes to show that SA can\’t win popular support.
Kind of shows up an issue with their praxis, don\’t it?
Although maybe a similar charge could be levelled at Anarchists…
But at least we\’re not trying to run in this bizarre popularity contest against the evidence of unpopularity.
I\’d expect them to start talking about false consciousness or the inability of adversarial voices to be granted a platform in the media or public space in general to explain such a poor outcome, but I think the truth of the matter lies closer to the fact that very few want to live the travesty of an explicitly authoritarian political system. Most Victorians prefer their oppression sugar-coated.
And Leigh says that Trots have an analysis that likes to turn losses into gains. I\’m not sure what he means by this or how it works but by this logic SA must really be reaping rewards right now!
Dunno ’bout Vannessa: she’s been a Leninist and a member of the DSP for many, many years (1991 or thereabouts), so I don’t read her candidature for SA as being anything extraordinary…
As for SA itself, it’s been, at best, a mixed bag I think. If it’s been of benefit to anyone, however, it’s Vannessa’s party, which has very modestly increased its own size and scope while at the same time successfully reducing the appeal of its main rival, the ISO.
More generally, SA was initiated in February 2001 (post-S11 and pre-9/11) as an *explicit* attempt to capture the votes and political loyalties of what was assumed — in the shape of the ‘anti-capitalist’/’anti-globalisation’ movement — to be auspicious times for such a venture. The relatively poor results obtained by SA candidates — not just in this election, but *every single one that SA has contested* — suggest that the DSP-dominated SA has been simply unable to break-out of the Leninist ghetto, and whatever progressive political sentiment exists in Australian society has been drawn — quite naturally, imo — towards the Greens, not SA.
As for SA spin, yeah, o’ course. They’ve had lots and lots and lots of practice in telling lies and half-truths. I mean, the entire party (to the extent that the DSP and SA can be distinguished — a doubtful proposition) is based on fictional premisses in any case!