Democratic Socialists to contest NSW elections


By Lisa Macdonald

SYDNEY — The Democratic Socialist Electoral League (DSEL) has announced that it will be standing at least two candidates in the NSW state elections in March 1995.

Karen Fletcher, a well-known feminist and previous candidate in local and federal government elections for both the Green Alliance and the Democratic Socialists, will be contesting the inner west seat of Marrickville.

Mike Karadjis, a long-term peace and solidarity activist, and currently a youth and community worker in Bosley Park, will be contesting the western suburbs seat of Fairfield.

"The aims of this campaign", said Fletcher, "are to provide a green and left alternative for voters fed up with the no-choice option of Liberal or Labor. More importantly, we want to bring together in an active, grassroots campaign, all of those people interested in constructing a genuinely democratic and progressive alternative type of politics — instead of the daily lies, betrayals and self-interested greed of 'politics as usual'."

The DSEL campaigns will focus on those issues which are most hurting ordinary people in Sydney's west — high unemployment, environmental degradation and the attacks on living standards through cuts to health, welfare and education funding, the privatisation of public assets and the decline in real wages and working conditions.

"There is a very widespread discontent with mainstream politics among Australians today", said Karadjis. "Whether you are a new immigrant who can't access English language classes or find a job that isn't operating under sweatshop conditions, or a woman who can't afford child-care to further your education or find a better paying job, or one of the more than 40% of young people in Sydney's west who can't find a job at all, it is increasingly clear that our system is not delivering even the basic goods any more."

The Democratic Socialists would "campaign to raise these facts and to expose the major parties' propaganda that 'everything is fine' — that Australia is a fair and egalitarian nation. It's not; there is an awful lot wrong with this system for an awful lot of people.

"But there is also a lot we can do to change it, including challenging the major parties and their policies at election time by telling the truth and encouraging people to become actively involved in organising our own alternatives to the major parties, alternatives like the Democratic Socialists who put people before profits, not vice versa."

More detailed policy and campaign information can be obtained by contacting the DSEL campaign office on (02) 690 1977 or PO Box 515, Broadway 2007.