Fremantle City Councillor Sam Wainwright, who is standing in the seat of Fremantle for the Socialist Alliance, said at a meet-the-candidates meeting that after the election on September 7, Australia will have a government that is "either bad or worse".
It was a grim but realistic observation. This is an election that confronts voters with a very poor choice of who should form government. The Australian Labor Party and the Liberal-National Coalition are united on much more than they are divided on. And most of what they are united on is bad for most people and catastrophic for the environment.
Both of the two possible governments have pledged to carry on Australia's status as a global climate rogue state, a partner-in-crime to the warmongering US, to treat asylum seekers with even more cruelty, to continue the dispossession and oppression of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, to victimise single parents — and remain in service to the billionaire class that rules Australia.
Ultimately it is these parties’ loyalty to the system of exploitation and privilege that has further enriched and empowered the billionaires that results in their war on the environment and on social justice. It’s summed up in the ubiquitous excuse for so many bad policies: "We cannot afford it" or "The economy must come first".
The Socialist Alliance’s election campaign aims to show that these excuses are false. There is enough money. But these parties of big business want to spend it in other ways, on such things as tax cuts for the rich, multibillion-dollar subsidies, tax concessions for the companies that would destroy the environment, high-tech and deadly warplanes and submarines designed for aggression, not defence, and the list continues.
This message is slowly getting through to more people, but not enough yet to free us from this poor governmental choice in this election. So the struggle must and will go on after the election.
Some parties will disappear after the election, but the Socialist Alliance will not. We will continue our main form of political activity, which is in the streets, workplaces, campuses and communities. We will be out there, building the movements and getting out the message straight after the election.
This is one good reason not only to vote for and support the Socialist Alliance in the election, but also to join us in order to strengthen the political work that must continue after the election.
Among other things, we will be joining with others in preparing the resistance to any new attacks on our rights and on the environment — attacks that we know will come.
We will be working with trade-union militants who are prepared to resist the return of Work Choices in some form, with students and staff who are prepared to fight education cuts and with communities that want to resist the coal seam gas and other mining companies.
If the Coalition wins and Tony Abbott becomes prime minister, these attacks could be ferocious.
But there will be a fightback. There are people with the experience in the campaign against John Howard's Work Choices and the construction industry bosses.
There are entire communities that have become highly organised against the coal seam gas mining companies’ greed and have already tasted some significant victories. They will resist any more attacks that the incoming government and their big business bosses dare to throw at them.
After September ... we'll see you in the streets and on the picket lines. Dare to struggle, dare to win. If we don't fight, we lose.